Recipient Story – Nicole
As a little girl, I dreamed of having a family of my own one day. My sister has 6 children and my mother had 5, all naturally. Never did it cross my mind that my husband and I would be faced with the physical, emotional, and financial stress that comes with infertility. It is my hope, as you learn more about who we are, and where we come from, my husband and I will prove to be worthy candidates.
I am the youngest of 5. When I was born, all my siblings were in High School, and my parents were 42 (mother) and 50 (father) respectively. I was definitely an, “oops”, baby, yet spoiled with all the love one could ask for. Although brought up in a home with meager means, my parents always made sure to have money for extra-curricular activities.
I have fond memories of playing catch with my dad (who loves baseball), and dancing in the kitchen with my mom (she loved to dance). To this day, my own kitchen is made for dancing, and I plan on taking my dad to a Seattle Mariner’s game for his 87th birthday.
Family has strongly molded who I am today, and sometimes I happily catch myself mirroring the likes of my parents. For example, my mother’s exuberant love for Christmas, and my father’s patriotic love for the 4th of July. Sadly, I lost my mother unexpectedly in January of 2017, however, she leaves with me the words, “don’t forget to smile!”.
These words may seem silly to some, but not to me. Every morning when I would leave for school, when I was feeling down, before a huge job interview, in my lunch box, in a letter, in a voicemail, slipped into my purse, left on the kitchen counter, before a big game, I would find those small, yet mighty, four words that she lived by. She understood the power of a smile and wanted me to do the same.
For the past nine years, I have worked serving low-income children and families, in the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) in Mukilteo, WA, where I grew up. We provide free preschool to low-income families, as well as various resources to help them get on their feet. In this program, I have been fortunate enough to work as a lead Preschool Teacher. I oversee a morning and an afternoon classroom of 20 culturally diverse 3, 4, and 5-year-olds with varied abilities. Each child comes with their own story, and each family their own struggle.
I believe my purpose is to provide a safe, structured, learning environment, where each child feels heard and valued while they are in my care. In this position I have been blessed with meeting some incredible families, who work hard each day because they want the best for their children.
My husband, Christopher is the elder of two children. His mother was born with a severe case of Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and was told she would never be able to have children, nonetheless live into her 60’s. She is currently alive and well, with her 3 cats and 2 dogs, determined to live on her own as long as she can. Christopher’s late father, a talented carpenter and mechanic, taught him everything he knows.
Christopher believes that he would not be as successful as he is today without all the knowledge his father passed down. An avid fisherman, and hunter, my husband has fond memories of sharing these experiences with his dad. One thing I believe my husband takes away from both of his parents, is his dedication and value of an honest days’ work. Rain or shine, my husband completes his job, and I admire him for that.
Christopher and I, having been together since 2006, probably hold the record for the world’s longest engagement. It wasn’t until 2015 that we decided to buy our own home, and in June of 2016 we finally began to plan our wedding. No one was more excited than my mother, Nancy. I think at the time she was more excited than I was!
As soon as she heard the news, she quickly found her dress and played a huge part in the planning. Unfortunately, on January 3,2017, she suffered a massive stroke and heart attack that would eventually take her life. Knowing that my mother would never make it to our wedding day, we brought our wedding day to my mother.
With the help of family, friends, and hospital staff, we put together a wedding in a matter of hours. Our doctor, a retired Marine, came back in on her own time to marry us under an old military rule (in cases of emergency, the highest-ranking officer can preside over a wedding). That evening in her hospital room, due to the kindness of others, my mother attended my wedding. Three days later, she passed away.
Months later my husband and I had a large wedding ceremony. The ceremony was in honor of our late parents. I will never forget dancing to “Wagon Wheel”, and the best of Elvis Presley- some of their favorite songs. Today, my husband and I live with our two Labrador Retrievers, Gunner and Bear, two rabbits, seven chickens, two geese, two ducks, and one lizard. We enjoy spending time with our animals and being outdoors. You can often find me among the weeds in the garden, and my husband tinkering in his shop. One day, we hope to share all this with a family of our own.
There is no way to prepare for what life has in store. As of late, it sure has been a challenge. With confidence, one thing I know, is that I am where I am today because of love. Love has gotten me through. The love from people who have taken the time to share. Whether they shared with me their time, their talent, experience, a hug, or a smile. It is that love that has made me who I am today.
Love is why I wear the words, “Don’t forget to smile”, around my wrist each and every day, and love is why I write this letter to you. I believe I am a worthy candidate because I desire to share that same love with a son or daughter of my own. Who in turn, will one day share that love with the world. Thank-you for your time and consideration.
Nicole and Christopher, WA