First and foremost we want to try to express how grateful we are to you for taking the time to get to know us. We are Sarah and Tony. The love that you have for your unborn child to be considering an adoption plan is a love we dream about giving to our future children. We want you to know that we deeply respect your decision now and in every step moving forward. We can’t begin to image what you are experiencing. What we can do is help you understand who we are and why our hearts yearn to expand our family.
Our Adoption Story
Our story doesn’t start 8 years ago or when we were married or 12 years ago when we first met. For both of us, our story started as day dreaming young children. Sarah was never the type to daydream about the perfect husband or the perfect wedding, it was always about a warm home filled with laughter, love and tradition. Tony always wanted to raise and educate his kids the way his parents and grandparents raised him. Through years of heartbreaking infertility treatments we have forged ahead to create a loving home filled with laughter, creating new traditions and taking every moment we can to spread our love to our niece and nephews. A child of own is a deeply missing part of our life, adoption has reinvigorated our hopes that a child for us doesn’t need to be a daydream.
Our promise to you and our promise to our future child is this: Our child will grow up knowing unconditional love through us and through your own story. As parents we will guide our child to have the confidence to get back up after they fall down. That a rule in our house will always be “we can clean up messes” (because life needs to be lived, even if that means our 6 year old nephew covered head to toe in flour). We will strive to teach our child how empathy can shape their world and to be empowered to define their self. As parents we want to instill these traits through a home where love comes first, where questions are encourage and where lessons are taught.
A little about who we are. Our very first interaction was a $1 dollar bet on a football game, one of us dressed in a tutu, the other with a pair of boxing gloves. I’ll let you envision which one of us had the tutu! That bet turned into Sarah’s first introduction to Jersey Diners where we feasted on breakfast for dinner and the conversation flowed so naturally that you wouldn’t believe we just met less than 24 hours ago. We are homebodies at heart. Our absolute favorite part of the week is on weekend mornings when we get to catch up on the small things over coffee and chess. Tony will without a doubt talk about how his students surprised him with interesting connections they made after one of his teaching sessions. Sarah will without a doubt talk about a cool thing she learned about the human body (which often turns into “Tony, you really should try to lift something heavy today”).
Our guilty pleasures has to be really good bad reality TV shows. You know when Netflix asks you “Are you still watching?” After an exceptionally stressful week, we view that message as a badge of honor! Our favorite vacation spots are National Parks, we have a goal to visit all within the U.S. and Canada! A favorite memory, now that it’s in the past, is a visit to Zion in Utah when we turned right instead of left on a canyon hike and got big time lost. Hours later we thankfully ran into off-trail hikers whom we immediately befriended.
As Sarah's partner for over twelve years, the best word that I can use to describe Sarah is drive. Every part of her being is driven. We joke all that time that I am her rock, that I ground her. I tell her she is my wind and propels me, often to convince me to lift heavy things. To give you a snap shot of what Sarah's personality is like, here is one of my favorite stories. After completing her first half ironman triathlon, as we were walking through the transition area a man stops her to thank her. Why? Because during the run portion she was this person's motivation to keep on pushing, to be better. Towards the end of a 70 miles, 7 hours event, Sarah still had the capacity to drive people to be better.
One of our long standing inside jokes revolves around our first official date. I treated Sarah to her first true Jersey Diner experience. After, when I asked what she thought about it, Sarah said that the sample size was too small and we needed more data points. To this day, we throw the term "need more data points" at many things. Now, Sarah gets to nerd out on data all day long working for a marketing agency as a data strategist.
I get to see firsthand how Sarah will be as a mother by seeing how she works with our 2 year old niece Ilaria, who is very sensitive to sensory inputs. Sarah has such a calming and nurturing approach that every time we visit Ilaria, her mother (Sarah’s sister) gets emotional at how easy Ilaria attaches to Sarah. “Sarah is one of three people that Ilaria actively seeks out.” That’s how I envision Sarah as mother, empathetic, always approachable and leading with empathy.
As Tony’s partner for 12 years I am constantly in awe of his compassion and empathy. One of the first stories Tony told me was an experience he had that has stuck with me for how it still describes him: He had recently graduated college and was walking back to his house, ear phones in, hoodie up, when we walked past an older women struggling to take something out of her car. Without hesitation he immediately stopped to help her. He was initially fought off by the women who was not used to this type of compassion from a young man in the middle of an over-crowded city. That’s Tony, he will go to any length to help anyone, stranger or not.
I have had the absolute pleasure in getting a glimpse into how Tony will be as a father through our 8 year old nephew Steven. When Steven spends weekends or school vacations with us, Tony skillfully combines his teaching skills with his “I never want to grow up” attitude through quests. On one of these quests, Tony created a treasure map and Steven had to follow the map around our local park. The treasure at the end of the map was some delicious homemade tacos that Steven described as “just a little spicy but not too much”.
I love that Tony decided to become a teacher (something he didn’t turn to until after he graduated college with a degree in biology). There is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear a story about a student that makes Tony glow. Think about your favorite teacher you had growing up, that’s Tony. This didn’t slow down at all during the 2020 lock down. As a biology teacher Tony set up a recording station in our kitchen and taught his students how to make sourdough bread! Practical, hands-on and still very relevant to biology.
Our home is tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac on top of a mountain. The cul-de-sac has been the venue for many bubble blowing competitions and foot races up and down our hill with nephews. We have a single family house on a 2.5 acre plot of land that is forested. Our front yard large enough to teach our nephew baseball on, the forest allowing teachable moments about all things nature. The forest encroaching just enough for Sarah to hide away from people, when she needs to. Sometimes if you look closely into the forest you will see a wild Tony wandering. We live within walking distance from the Appalachian Trail which means easy family hikes (which are never just normal but a time for us to be weird together).
The kitchen is our favorite room in the house. One of Sarah’s passion is testing recipes. Tony’s passion is providing invaluable feedback like “this is really good” or “I like this”. The kitchen allows us to come together at the end of the day and re-connect. It is also an open flow concept that leads directly into our fireplace game room. No matter what time of year it is you will see some pretty great decorations strung about. We have an ongoing challenge to one up each other with weird or unique decorations.
Our community motto is “people and nature together” and it truly lives up to that motto. The community has all of the foundational features such as a well ranked schooling system and several parks with athletic fields. However, our favorite features are the farms. Living in north NJ we are surrounded by locally run farms. Our close friend and neighbor runs a fully organic farm that is a half a mile from our house. It’s where we shop, where we dine and where we get to literally meet our food. Other local farms in the area hosts larger events that attract people from all over. The Octoberfest is one of our favorite, with carnival rides, corn field mazes and games, a true child’s autumn oasis.
Creating traditions is something we both feel passionate about because it’s how we were both raised. One tradition we have is at the end of the Christmas season when we pack away our stockings, we leave our future selves a little treat in the stocking, such as a bag of twizzlers or sour patch kids. Then, when we (okay when Sarah) unpacks Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, we get to open up our stockings and indulge in the treat from our past selves. The day of Thanksgiving we always spend with Tony’s family. Since owning our home we have been the ones to host. This means cooking and baking super bowl for Sarah, trying to think ahead to what Tony will burn and taking bets on how early Tony’s family will be. Thanksgiving with Sarah’s family is celebrated earlier in November. Instead of just doing another Thanksgiving meal we all align on a theme ahead of time. This year was “spudsgiving” and everyone had to bring a potato dish. Of course we all have to vote on the most unique and then the best tasting dish!
Spring time is reserved for National Park adventure, a vacation we dream about taking our kids on. We promise these vacations don’t always include getting lost on a hike! All other vacations are with family. A favorite family vacation is the annual 4th of July camping trip (sleep in a tent, hide your food from bears, pray it doesn’t rain type of camping). Sarah’s grandfather actually started the tradition 80 years ago and Sarah’s first camping trip was when she was 8 months old. Knowing how special of a place the Adirondacks are to both Sarah and her family, Tony proposed on top of a mountain in front of her brothers! It wasn’t as intense as it may sound – Tony has been ‘one of the brothers’ since the very first time he met Sarah’s family.
On Tony’s side of the family a favorite vacation of ours is when we rent a house by water. These are low-key days spent playing games, swimming and watching Tony’s Dad walk around the property pointing out all of things that are broken and how they should be fixed. The best part is he 100% could fix them all. There is always something to learn from that man!
We want to take one more moment to thank you, from the depth of our hearts, for taking the time to learn a little about us. While we can connect with heartbreak we cannot imagine the complex emotions you are experiencing. Our only hope is that we provided you with a little comfort with how much love we have to give. We are extremely grateful that you are open to making this decision for your unborn baby. The love you have is inspiring and will never go unrecognized by us or your unborn.