Meet the Bailey Family!
We are the Bailey family, and when we are not traveling the world (we have been to 49 countries so far!) we can be found at home in Bettendorf, IA playing board games or spending time outside in our backyard with our two guinea pigs, Bear and Twiggy. We joke that we are two gingers and a cinnamon (two redheads and a brunette) ready to add more spice(s) to our family. We are open to a variety of special needs and disabilities, with the exception of behavioral issues that would harm our son or pets. To maintain birth order, we are currently able to adopt children 5 and under. We are able to take sibling placements, too.
Brandon & Kathryn met while deployed with the military to Afghanistan. Patriotism and passion for our country runs deep in our families, going back generations. So it feels only natural that we met while serving our country!
We followed our careers to Germany for a few years and while there we gave birth to Erik, our spunky now five-year-old. Raising him has been the most exciting, amusing, challenging, coolest thing we have ever done. Parenting him has been a dream come true - and yes, there are days when we want to pull my hair out! But getting to watch him grow up and learn and experience the world... You just can't beat that!
After living in Germany, much to the delight of our families, our service has brought us here to Bettendorf, IA where we purchased a home and are setting down roots. Brandon is no longer active in the military (although he is still in the US Army Reserves) and we both work at Rock Island Arsenal in federal positions. (Brandon is an Information Security Specialist and Kathryn is a Logistics Manager.)
Although Brandon has Reserves duty one weekend a month, we remain very active in our community and love planning and doing things together as a family. From craft-night (Erik helped Brandon and I design and decorate the 3rd bedroom of our home for our foster children and future adopted children) to wrestling class, we are almost always up to something fun.
Adoption has a strong place in our family - on both sides! Parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even Brandon himself have all been adopted. Our adopted children will have rich support at all family gatherings because they will have that in common with so many of their new relatives.
One thing that makes us a little different is our strong ginger genes! We have a family full of redheads. Less than 2% of the population is born with red hair so we tend to stand out a bit. Of course, we aren't only looking to adopt red-heads, but if a readheaded child is looking for a home, our family would be a way to fit in!
It's tempting to only put forth the happy pictures and not discuss the heartache that we have. Although we always planned to grow our family with adoption, we did not expect the heartache of infertility to color our adoption journey the way it has. We are coming with faith that God has been preparing the right children for our family, but our desire to have more children is growing stronger by the minute. We're eager, excited, and earnest to adopt and share the love we have in our hearts with that special child waiting for a home.
Our Adoption Availability & Preferences
We would love to adopt a whole houseful of children! But we need to start with one or two so we have the opportunity to form strong bonds with each child before adding more to our family. Because maintaining the birth order is important to us, we are seeking to adopt children under the age of five.
We are available as an adoptive resource for children with special needs. Kathryn's BS in Psychology and MS in Communication Studies, along with clinical experience working with special needs children, give us confidence that we understand the challenges and blessings associated with special needs children.
At this time, we do not feel equipped to parent children with behavioral challenges that would put our son or our pets in harm.
Our Home and Community
Our home is on a quiet street with close proximity to bike trails, parks and playgrounds - in fact, we think it's the perfect spot for kids! Kathryn is a professional photographer (We told you we were a busy family!) and we can often be found roaming the trails to find the perfect spot for a photo session. Since we support open adoption, our adopted children will be able to send lots of pictures to their birth families.
Most of our parenting experience comes from raising our son Erik. Watching him grow has been an amazing journey. He has taught us so much about patience, love, and the sheer joy of watching him grow. From middle-of-the-night feedings to cheering him on in his school play, we have been richly blessed to be his Mom and Dad for the past five years.
We've recently started foster care, too. It's been a wonderful way to help children in our community, and to broaden our parenting roles.
Kathryn has a degree in Psychology and a Masters in communications study, along with clinical experience working with children with disabilities. As a Therapeutic Support Staff, she's worked one-on-one with special needs children, including children diagnosed with autism, down syndrome, behavior defiance, and hearing impairment. As a Psychiatric Technician, she worked in residential facilities for troubled teenagers that were not safe enough to remain in their own homes or in foster homes. Her experiences prior to military service leave her uniquely capable to assist with a variety of disabilities and has helped to open our hearts to children in need of homes.
In addition, we are both very open to learning and reaching out for support. We have no ego about us - no desire to pretend that we know it all. We are ready and willing to take on whatever challenges face us as parents of more than one child. And as the next section will show - we have a wide support network that will help us no matter what challenges come our way.
Our Amazing Support Network
Though we moved several times before settling in Iowa, the military community is one we remain connected to, and helps us maintain relationships across the country. Throughout our many travels we have deep connections to the military members and families who served alongside us.
We also have a great support network through the adoption community. As we shared in our introduction, adoption is a big part of our family on both sides. Brandon was adopted, my father was adopted, and we have aunts, uncles, and cousins who have been adopted as well. Even outside of our relatives, we have close friends who have adopted, both privately and through foster care and are encouraging and supporting us on our journey.
Our faith is a strength for us, too. Between church and Bible Study we've found a great community in the Quad Cities; people that are praying for us, supporting us, encouraging us, and walking this adoption journey beside us.
Our biggest network is our friends and family. We have been very open about being called to adopt, and are blessed to have so very many loved ones around the world supporting us. They are all so excited to meet and love on the future children we will be adding to our family!
We are very blessed to be able to provide extensive resources for a child with a disability. We both have a great jobs that give us a comprehensive healthcare packet with access to a variety of physicians and therapists.
We are blessed in that we are financially stable enough to provide extras like our son's private school, a Montessori alternative education program, and his wrestling classes. We own our own home, our car, and live debt free, which allows us to make sure our kids will be given opportunities to explore their passions. Additionally, we are able to teach our children strong financial habits and show them the value of smart money decisions.
We live in Bettendorf, Iowa with a school district that is top ranked not just in our nation but in our state. This ensures that if we are placed with a child with a disability we have the resources we need to help them find success.
We travel a great deal; our son has been to more than 40 different countries. This provides great cultural opportunities as well as a global mindset. We are excited to bring our children on our travels with us in the future - both globally and here in the United States.
Our community is a blended community, so our kids will always be able to feel like they belong.
We feel the best resource we have, though, is our family. We are a stable, loving home and will be able to give our adopted children a lifetime of love, encouragement, and support.
Lifestyle & Interests
Not many people can say they have visited nearly 50 countries (49 to be exact) but we can! We are passionate about embracing new cultures and traveling globally. Travel gives us opportunities to get away from our demanding careers and focus on family. It is something we hope our adopted children will really enjoy about being a part of our family.
Kathryn is a creative at heart. She is a blogger on the writing staff for Quad City Moms Blog, an avid Do-It-Yourselfer who is constantly coming up with fun crafts to do with Erik, our son, and she ?is also a published photographer who has been featured by established publications such as Vogue Italia and Wall Street Journal. Her passion for the arts provides a fun, creative household for kids to explore the right side of their brain!
Brandon is more analytical. He loves reading to our son, helping him solve mazes, and is passionate about all this computers. His left brain mentality gives our household a grounded base with a strong focus on the value of education.
As a family we enjoy cooking together (all three of us like making new recipes together!), camping on the weekends (Sunset Lakes and Resorts is our favorite local spot), going to church (we attend Bettendorf Christian Church), game nights (you should see our board game collection!), family walks (Erik usually bikes beside us - we live next to a beautiful bike trail), and of course travel!
Our lifestyle also allows us to focus on our health. We eat sensibly and stay active. We don't even have cable because we value family time not TV time! And while we are hoping to adopt a child with special medical needs, we feel that our active, healthy lifestyle will only add to the overall health and healing of children placed with us.