Meet Joe & Rachel
dear expectant parents:
We are honored to have you take the time to get to know our family. We are Joe, Rachel and Brighton Williams. We have been married for 6 years and have lived in the Chicago area for a year and a half.
About Joe: Joey is in his 2nd year of his residency program in emergency medicine. He will be done in 2011 and will become a supervising doctor in an ER. Joey is a very laid back, kind, loving and giving person. He chose medicine as his career at the age of 10 when his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. As he endured through medical school, he knew that EM was his passion. He is very good at what he does and he loves taking care of people. Losing his mom in 2005 has given him a new insight into what his patients go through, and I believe, makes him a better doctor.
Joey is the best dad. He is so hands on when he is home and he loves to play. We had a 3 year old foster son for several months this year and he was amazing at balancing two children. He was always finding new things to do with the boys that would create memories. He loves to be in the water and play sports.
Joey is very compassionate and open-minded. His heart has been drawn to foster care and adoption for many years. He also hopes to use his skills as a doctor to serve in other countries for short term mission projects in years to come.
About Rachel: Rachel is a stay at home mom and a part time photographer. Rachel was a wedding videographer for 5 years until Brighton was born and decided to switch to the world of still photos. She loves what she does and gets an immense amount of joy from capturing the love between families. She has a studio in our home and is able to manage her job as well as our home and our son. She loved having two kids and spent many hours playing out in the yard with the boys. Her favorite thing was to get in the kiddy pool with them or take them to the park.
Rachel is very out-going, energetic and passionate. Whatever she sets her mind to, she is able to achieve. Rachel loves to give and serve in any way she can. She is involved in bible studies at church and has lead with youth groups in the past.
About us: We were friends in high school and even went on one date once. After high school we went to college 5 hours apart and randomly ended up serving at a camp together for a week. Without realizing it, we had fallen in love. When we returned home, Rachel's mom and sister took one look at us and said "you're in love!" We hadn't even talked about it, but realized what had happened. We started dating and got engaged within the year.
10 months after we were engaged we got married with 200 of our closes friends and family members. It was a perfect day. We honeymooned in Mexico and soon developed a great love for traveling.
The next few years involved Rachel starting her business, Joey going to medical school and traveling as often as we could. We bought a house in the twin cities and became proud dog owners to our Sheltie, Charlie, who is extremely well behaved with children.
We are very close to both of our families and spent most of our time with them. As our family grew with nieces and nephews, so did our love for children. We cannot count the number of times we have had the kids over for slumber parties. Living no more then 30 minutes from any of them was the greatest blessing for us. They have always been such a huge part of our lives.
Our Journey to parenthood: When we had been married 2 years we decided to start trying for a baby. With Rachel working from home, we knew that she would be able to stay home as we had always hoped. After almost 2 years of no success, we decided to seek help. We were given a diagnosis that would mean In vitro fertilization would be necessary to help us conceive.
We watched friends go the route of IVF and had seen the toll it had taken on them. At that point, we decided to move forward with adoption instead. It was something that had always been on both of our hearts and not being able to get pregnant only intensified our desire to expand our family through adoption.
After several drawbacks and roadblocks along the way, we began to lose hope. We decided to give IVF a try, and we were thrilled and lucky to become pregnant after the first try. Our hopes and dreams were renewed when Brighton joined our family in November 2008. We were parents and we couldn't have been more thrilled about it!
Coming to Chicago: While pregnant with Brighton we moved to Chicago for the duration of 3 years for Joe to complete his residency program. At times it is hard to be away from our family and friends, but it has given us a chance to spend even more time as a family of 3 (and 4). Our family and close friends visit often and we are so fortunate to get such quality time when they come.
Choosing to adopt: We have always wanted a big family of 4 kids. After Brighton, we decided that we would not do IVF again. Our hearts are still so drawn to adoption and we truly believe we are meant to have a diverse family. When Bright was 5 months old we decided to work with a volunteer foster care organization. We had our foster son, Shamar, for almost 5 months and he was such a joy in our lives. We knew he could not stay, though we loved him like he would. Every day was a blessing with him and we treasured him in our family. Having Shamar with us renewed our thoughts even more that adoption was the perfect decision for us.
We agreed when Brighton was 1, we would decide on our next step to expanding our family. We both knew right away that adoption would be the route for us.
Our childhoods: Both of us had incredible childhoods. We had loving parents who were very involved in our lives; and we are extremely close to our siblings and their spouses. We know we could call any one of our brothers or sisters at any time for any reason. They are such a huge part of our lives.
Joey grew up on a hobby farm on a river. He was involved in 4H and loved taking care of his horses and animals. Their summers were filled with gardening, playing in the river and camping trips. He was involved in Hockey, baseball and football.
Rachel grew up in town and loved playing with kids in the neighborhood. She has a million memories of long road trips with her whole family packed in a van traveling across country. They saw everything and never spent much money doing it. She was involved in track, cross country, music and was an editor for the school newspaper.
We both have the most incredible memories of growing up in our homes and hope to give our children similar memories. We would love to live in an old house with a few acres and a barn. Some day we plan to buy a cabin on a lake and spend summers there.
When we fell in love, we knew we had the same goals in mind. We both wanted Rachel to stay home and raise our children. We both want to raise our kids in the church, to know and truly understand the love God has for us. We want them to enjoy the world, but see the need in the world as well. We pray they will desire to reach out and help those in need around them. We want them to live life to the fullest, and always know where they came from.
Our family may or may not be the perfect fit for you, but we will love any child who comes into our home. In addition to our foster son, Shamar, throughout the last year we have had each of his three brothers in our home for short periods of time. Each one brought us such joy and love in their own ways. None of them were meant to stay, but even the small glimpses of them in our home have made us so eager to have another child in our lives.
Please know that if you were to choose us to parent your baby, your child will be loved to the fullest. Most importantly they will be raised to be proud of who they are, and will always know that their birthparents' decision was made out of unconditional love. We would welcome an open, on-going relationship with our child's birthparents.
Thank you for taking time to get to know us. We are praying for you during this difficult time in your life.
Rachel, Joey and Brighton