Kathryn & Kate’s Adoption Journey

Adoption is a journey. In these features, we give hopeful adoptive families the space to share what they’ve learned, what they’ve struggled with, and what keeps them going. We’re so happy to introduce you to Kathryn & Kate.

Tell us about yourself and how you made your way to PairTree?

Hi! We’re a transracial couple living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest after moving from England (Kate’s home country) a while back. We’ve been looking forward to becoming parents for a long time. Now that we’re settled into the comfy house we’ve been renovating, we’ve started the adoption process.

We’re in the 14th year of our collaborative, happy marriage and enjoy many activities together, including trying out new recipes and going for long walks. Kate loves to tinker with electronics and splits her working time between nursing and journalism. Kathryn enjoys trying out different types of art and works at the local community college. We share our spacious backyard with plenty of homegrown veggies and three curious chickens, who provide both delicious eggs and endless entertainment.

We completed our home study at the end of March and found out about PairTree from one of the adoption podcasts we listen to. Both of us are looking forward to sharing the family life we so enjoy!

In the midst of drywalling a couple of years ago.

What has surprised you about this process – good and/or bad?

While we certainly expected to learn during this process, the amount of new information has been startling! It’s also been surprising to find out how much friends and colleagues who are outside of the adoption world don’t know. Listening to podcasts, reading books, taking classes, and talking to others has helped us to understand more. The process has also helped us to realize that we’ll keep learning so much more over the years! Luckily, we both really enjoy learning. Renovating multiple homes has taught us to be patient and persistent when we’re figuring out something new.

Kathryn hiking in the foothills of the Cascades.

What do you think is misunderstood about adoption?

Because of what is seen and heard in popular culture, it seems like a lot of people still understand adoption as it was several decades ago, when many children had no connection to their families of origin. The adoption world has moved on and is becoming more open and focused on the well-being of everyone involved, with the possibility of stronger links between families. Of course, the process is still not perfect, but it feels like it’s moving in a more positive direction.

Kate celebrating her U.S. citizenship!

Who are your biggest supporters? Who can you always turn to?

We have a close-knit group of friends and family who are always there for us. Kathryn’s parents live very nearby and we know we can count on them for all sorts of help and advice. Kate’s mum lives over in England, but we check in with her every week and she is a wonderful supporter. When we lived in England, one of our U.S.-based friends would take advantage of the time difference and call us while she took care of her baby in the middle of the night. With friends and family in both England and the Western U.S., we know we always have someone we can call, day or night.

In one of our happy places – up a small mountain in Scotland.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

“We’re getting there!”

We know that everything is a work in progress and this reminds us that we’re moving forward, even if it can be slow sometimes.

How often do you cry? (Seriously…)

For Kate, not being able to travel during COVID to see her mum has been tough – and sometimes when she’s chatting with her she gets a little tearful. Kathryn doesn’t cry very often. Occasionally, a book or movie will make her tear up, but usually a situation or emotion has to be pretty strong for her to really cry. However, we both believe that a good cry is healthy when that’s what you need.

What you are most proud of – so far – in this process?

We’re proud that we have worked to find and listen to the voices of both adoptees and families of origin as we keep learning. Hearing about their experiences continues to teach us so much.

What scares you the most about this process — and why?

Watching our friends who are parents, we can see that raising children is amazing, but also scary. We are both deeply committed to being the best parents possible for the child who comes into our lives. What scares us most is the possibility of letting that child down. We know no parent gets everything right, but it’s still frightening!

If you had a magic wand, what would you like to change most about this process?

We honestly don’t know how this could happen while still honoring the love and connection that exists, but we wish we could remove the doubts and pain felt by everyone – especially the adoptees and the families of origin.

Click here to learn more about Kathryn & Kate. They’d love to hear from you!

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