- Louisiana -
The universe is a strange and magical place. Sometimes the curve balls that get thrown at us, like an unplanned pregnancy or infertility, are opportunities to learn a deeper love through grace. We are here for that opportunity and we respect and honor the incredible role you would play in that gift.
I'm an ambitious, curious and fun-loving person. Music is my love language and having a sound track for all occasions means my spotify playlists go deep. I believe that what is meant for us will be - so it doesn't make a lot of sense trying to control the flow of life. I'm looking forward to being a mom, even though I've gotten a late start. I felt I needed to wait for the right time and to undertake parenthood with the right person. When I found Rob - I knew I had finally met a man that I wanted to parent with. He is so kind and supportive. I can't fully describe why I know adoption is the path for us - other than I feel it in my gut.
I lost my father early in life (age 4) when he passed away due to cancer. As the baby of a family of 6, there was a constant struggle for my mom to provide for so many but I was fortunate to be surrounded by strong women who taught me early on how to manage conflict. I am passionately curious and am excited to parent to experience the wonder that a child brings to life.
Dear Birth Mom,
We recognize and admire the strength it takes to make a selfless decision like considering adoption. We honor you for your bravery, courage and convictions, qualities which are only forged in times that are the toughest in our lives. For that, we stand in awe of you as a person and fellow human being.
We hope our profile allows you to get a sense of who we are as people and the type of family we would be for your unborn child. Our core family values are honesty, curiosity, perseverance, integrity, courageousness, and individuality. The same types of qualities we believe must be in you as well.
We have chosen adoption after a two-year long IVF journey that led to the unexplainable miscarriage and loss of twins at 19 weeks in utero. We think adoption represents something truly beautiful on both sides of the equation, it’s people in two very different types of life crisis that come together to do what is best for another soul. Although we don’t have any personal experience with adoption, we are confident that the acts of love that come out of the adoption experience are transformative for all parties. We want to make sure this baby knows how much you love him or her and that your act was the ultimate sacrifice to ensure this baby has all the resources needed to be successful and happy.
We commit, as part of this open adoption, to send you letters and pictures of this child and to allow you to have peace of mind and connection with this child that meets your needs as a birth mom. We know this child will have an intense desire to know and understand you and we want to do everything we can to make sure that he or she has access to that information. We never want this child to remember the day they found out about being adopted. We want it to be part of their story from the beginning – so that they never feel like their story was a surprise or a secret.
We firmly believe that secrets make you sick and family secrets lead to dysfunctional families. Therefore, we want to make adoption the most natural thing to this child and their story. We want to recognize that it might still be hard and will require outside support and therapy. But who doesn’t need therapy? We are strong believers in therapy and working through issues with professionals and each other. We are very comforted in knowing that American Adoptions is committed to ensuring you also have access to therapy as needed throughout your journey so that whenever you need to talk to someone you can. Both of our families will be well-served with this philosophy.
Our hope for all of us in this experience is that we each are able to say that we did the best we could to love this new soul. You are giving him or her the gift of life. We will nuture, love and educate them. We will stay open, kind and honest with you through your journey and we want a birth mom that can agree to be open, kind and honest with this child when it comes time for him or her to know about you and your history. We stand ready to support you and this baby. Thank you for considering us.
Love Always Wins,
Amanda Butler & Robert Schley
Traditionally, the model of parenthood has been linear and hierarchical, where the child is seen as “lesser-than” or more “moldable,” ready to be transformed by a “greater,” “more-knowing,” parent.
We prefer Dr. Shefali’s conscious parenting approach to parenting, which turns this typical model on its head. Dr. Shefali has written four books, three of which are NYT best-sellers, including her two landmark books, The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family.
The conscious-parenting model cuts through the illusion of hierarchy which is set up so that the parent retains control, and seeks to disintegrate it. It equalizes the playing field and asks parents to step off their pedestals of dominance and power. It does so, by clearly shattering the myth that the relationship between parent and child is unidirectional. It challenges us to see the truly circular potential of this journey, underscoring how our children contribute to our growth in ways that are perhaps more profound than we can ever contribute to theirs.
The conscious-parenting model refuses to view this journey in its traditionally dualistic manner where the greater-than parent bestows its gifts upon the helpless, lesser than child.
We see the journey as truly circular, where each in the dynamic is called upon by their higher selves to enact their “spiritual duties.” Here, the child is seen as pivotal to the parent’s spiritual and emotional transformation as much, if not more than, the parent is for the child. Here, both give to each other, encircling each other with spiritual riches. The parent is called upon to provide the child with emotional guidance, stability, acceptance and safety. The child is invited into the parent’s life to teach it something only a child can, like how to engage with Life with in-the-now-presence, authenticity, ego-detachment and joyful spontaneity; the diamonds of conscious living.
We live in a beautiful part of New Orleans known as the Garden District. It has charm and character and beauty for days. If you like architecture, oak-lined streets, flower gardens, and history – this neighborhood is a dream. During the spring, you can smell the fragrant gardenias, jasmine and privets in bloom.
It also hosts the family friendly version of Mardi Gras, as all the parades flow down St. Charles Ave., only blocks from our house.
Our street is filled with families who have children. You can hear them playing baseball, soccer and other games after they get home from school and throughout the summer.
Our house was built in the late 1800s in the Italianate architecture style, it has 12-foot ceilings, and plaster moldings, but has been renovated with all the modern conveniences. It sits on what’s called a key shaped lot which gives it a large backyard for the area. We love sitting on the back deck and enjoying the lush landscape and flower filled backyard. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms, it has plenty of space for a small family.
We have two older dogs, Ava & Kadan. Ava is an 8 year old cocker spaniel and Kadan is a 12 year old rescue lab-mix. They are the lights of our life and bring us so much joy. They say that, “Dogs our not our whole lives, but they do make our lives whole,” and we agree whole heartedly.
We are lucky to have Amanda’s mom right around the corner from us here in New Orleans, but the rest of our extended family is scattered throughout the U.S. Rob’s parents and Amanda’s grandparents live outside of Houston, and Amanda’s dad and stepmom live in Dallas (where she grew up).
Since Amanda is an only child, and Rob is the baby of six, Rob has a much larger extended family. His closest two sisters and their families all live in California (where Rob grew up). Last year, we hosted Rob’s niece Allison as she attended a university close by. She also completed basic training this summer and is now a member of the Army National Guard!
Having family scattered makes for fun holiday travel plans. If you’ve ever seen the movie Four Christmases, our holidays look a lot like that. Rob’s sister Jeannie and her family live in Pacific Grove, California – near Monterrey – which is a beautiful part of the country. We will be heading there this year to celebrate Christmas Eve with his family. Back to NOLA again for Christmas with Amanda’s Mom.
Our family is always excited to welcome new members. Amanda’s mother is particularly looking forward to loving on her first grand baby and this will be Rob’s parents 31st grandchild! There will be no shortage of family to adore and love this child and lots of opportunity for this child to travel and see all different cities.
Rob and I met briefly when he signed off on me taking the last spot on a sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) put together by our mutual friend, Seth. While sparks certainly didn’t fly at that initial meeting (he said I was stuck up, I thought he was boring), they did develop over the course of the 10 day trip to the BVIs in May of 2015. Led by Seth and Rob, as our Captain and First Mate, an amazing group of folks chartered and crewed a 50 ft sailboat, the Sambamba, and explored the Islands together. It was Amanda’s first real sailing experience – and she was hooked! That trip was the start of our dream to buy a sail boat and live aboard full time, which we began planning in 2016.
After selling everything we owned and buying our boat the Stay Foolish (named after the Steve Jobs quote), we moved aboard and set sail on a 2 year grand adventure in December of 2017. Sailing along the gulf coast of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, our plan was to get married in St. Lucia which was along our Caribbean sailing route – but we missed our weather window and ended up flying from Tampa Florida to meet friends and family for the celebration.
It solidified our love of travel. We both firmly believe that, “Of all the books in the world, the best are found between the pages of a passport.”