When Matt and Christy Downey moved intotheir home in 2002, they didn’t really givemuch thought to mineral rights on theirproperty. So six years later, when the couplediscovered Chesapeake Energy was interestedin leasing mineral rights on properties in theirArlington neighborhood, their excitement wastempered by a lingering doubt about whetherthey had obtained those rights.“My rst thought was, ‘I can’t rememberwhether we got them when we closed onour home,’ ” Matt recalled.“I suspected that we hadn’t and that wewere going to be the odd family out in ourneighborhood,” Matt said.“But as we investigated, we found out that,lo and behold, we did have mineral rights.“As it turned out, the money was absolutelyneeded,” Matt said.After conrming their mineral ownership andlearning about all the potential future benetsof being a Chesapeake lessor, the Downeysdecided to lease their minerals to thecompany in 2008.It proved to be a wise and fateful decision.When the bonus check arrived for theDowneys, the timing could not have beenany better. For years, Matt and Christy had wantedto adopt a baby from China.Finally, they decided the time was right toadopt and led paperwork with the ChinaCenter for Adoption Affairs.
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“The bonus payment we gotfrom signing our lease reallyhelped us underwrite theexpenses of this. The moneyallowed us to pay almost all ofthe adoption fees.”
Soon after submitting their application, theDowneys were approved as adoptive parents.And while the couple could hardly wait tomeet their new little boy or girl, unexpecteddelays in the adoption process hindered theirtimetable and tested their patience.Although the lengthy delay was disappointingand frustrating to the Downeys, theyremained committed to waiting for their newchild. They weren’t, however, willing to waitany longer to become parents.Matt and Christy decided the best solutionwas to add yet another member to theirfamily — something they previously had nointention of doing.“The wait was getting longer, and we weren’tgetting any younger,” said Matt.“We had been waiting a couple years for ouradoption to take place. So in the interim, weactually decided to adopt a baby girl fromCalifornia.”The China Center for Adoption Affairs usuallydoesn’t allow adoptions when another one isalready in progress, Downey said.“But because the wait had gotten so long,they let us do a parallel adoption.”The result was that the Downeys couldproceed with two adoption plans.The couple adopted Olivia as a newborn inJanuary 2008. About 14 months later, theadoption from China was nalized, and7-year-old Jonathan entered their lives.“He is happy, healthy and proud to be a partof our family,” said Matt.Although the two adoptions were expensive,they proved priceless. The couple was able touse their leasing bonus from Chesapeake topay a signicant portion of the adoption fees.
“I never anticipated gettinga leasing bonus; it was notsomething that was on thehorizon for us. And I absolutelywould never have expected itwould have helped us pay forthe adoptions the way thatwe did.”
Some things are well worth the wait. Such was the case with Matt and Christy Downey of Arlington. Their patienceduring an adoption process, coupled with an unexpected but welcome leasing bonus from Chesapeake, literally helped bring their new family together.
Proud parents Matt and Christy Downey share a moment with children Olivia and Jonathan.