Dear Birth Mom,
We cannot know what this decision must be like for you, but we would like you to know that we are thinking of you and holding you close to our hearts. We have so much respect for the love and care you are taking to make the best decision for you and your baby. Through this book, we hope to offer you a look at who we are and what kind of parents and family we dream of being. As you are making this choice, we are honored to share ourselves with you and give you the truest picture of what it would be like for your child to grow up with us. Our goal in this is to show you who we are, what inspires us to be parents and what it would mean to be a part of our family.
Know that in whatever way we can, we are thinking of you -- and whatever you decide, we support you.
Before we got married, we talked often and seriously about what we thought our family might be like. Even in those early conversations, adoption was something we thought about (and talked about!) a lot. It was never important to either of us that we have children biologically. Instead, what we have always looked forward to about parenthood is raising and building relationships with our future children at every age. When we found out that having children biologically would be a challenge for us, we quickly realized that adoption was what we wanted after all.
When we picture raising a kid, something that always comes up is comfort. We want any child that grows up here with us to know that there is no one way to be a part of our family. There is nothing special they have to do to fit in. Were excited to know them as they are, support them and love them as they do what everyone does: figure out how to be the best they can be.
We met in college in Walla Walla, Washington, when Tanya was a junior and Chris was a sophomore. We actually lived together in a house for students interested in writing for a whole semester before we started dating! At the end of that year, we were officially a couple and have been together ever since. Our relationship has always had that strong foundation of friendship, and even now, after 16 years, we not only love each other, we really like each other, too. We have always connected by talking and spending time together, and many weekend mornings are spent just chatting and thinking and dreaming together across the kitchen table over a cup of coffee or on our big yellow couch with our feet up.
A few years after college, we decided we were ready for our next big adventure. We moved to Brooklyn and have called New York home ever since. Cooking and sharing meals together is a hobby and a passion of ours. When we first moved to New York, we started a tradition of writing ourselves weekly dinner menus that we would keep on the fridge, so we always knew what to start cooking when we got home from work. We save the menus in an orange three-ring binder that is now extremely full! We look forward to filling more binders as the years roll on.
It won't be a surprise that our evenings after work start with dinner. Whether it's rice and beans or chicken curry or a salmon salad, we put a meal together while we talk about our days and listen to some music. We listen to anything from Top 40 to 70s folk to bossa nova or even something classical, as we both grew up playing in orchestras.
In our free time, we enjoy reading, drawing (Tanya), gaming (Chris), and catching up on our favorite TV shows. We love comedies like The Good Place, Schitt's Creek and Ted Lasso. We are also suckers for reality TV -- anything from Great British Baking Show to MTVs The Challenge and Are You The One. We even love Holey Moley (even though neither of us have ever played golf, LOL).
On weekends, we love to get together with friends, which could mean anything from hosting a game night to exploring a new museum in the city together. We also love to tackle a domestic project, and we are proud of our little backyard garden where we enjoy spending time in the warmer months.
We like to laugh a lot. Being open and silly is important to us and it is how we relate with our friends and family, too. We are so excited to share our lives and our laughter with your little one - we are ready to welcome you and your baby into our lives and our hearts.
If you were to meet Tanya at a party, you would probably be struck by how quickly you found yourself connecting with her and wondering where the past two hours went! Tanya is an amazing listener and captivating speaker and there is nothing she loves more than time spent talking to others and really getting to know people on a deeper level. She is warm and very funny with a witty sense of humor. Her laughter brightens every room she is in.
Tanya is the most caring person I have ever met. She is kind and thoughtful when it comes to how she treats others and is always without judgment. I absolutely adore her.
Tanya is a professional copywriter and has always had a love for literature - hence, her love of reading! But her true passion is connecting with others - for her, time talking with friends and family, whether in person or over the phone, is always time well spent.
And I know Tanya will be an amazing parent. As long as I have known her, Tanya has always wanted to be a parent and is approaching this journey with an open and loving heart. With Tanya, your child will always have a mom who makes time to listen to what is going on with them and who supports them with love no matter what. She cares deeply about creating a safe space for your child to grow up in and become whoever they want to be.
If you were to meet Chris at a party, you would see him making an effort to meet and connect with everyone there. He is warm and friendly right away and loves talking with new people. He is the first one to suggest a game or offer to run out to the store if anyone needs anything. His energy and ability to bring fun into our lives also makes him a hit with kids, including our niece, who adores him.
Even after all the years we have been together, I am still struck by Chris's generosity. Whether he is pitching in to assist coworkers with a project at work or helping our friends move, he is always there for the people in his life, to lend a hand and make them laugh along the way. He is amazing at not taking himself too seriously and is always up for an adventure.
I can't stop dreaming about Chris as a parent because I see how thoughtful and caring he is with everyone who is important to him. He is also more than happy to be goofy and silly and run around a playground whenever it is called for, which really comes in handy with kids of all ages! He has got the biggest heart and I think that the way he treats people sets a great example of how to be an open and loving person. I know Chris will be the most incredibly loving and selfless father one day.
WHERE WE LIVE
After spending a few years in Seattle after college, we realized we were ready for our next big adventure. We moved to Brooklyn in 2013 and fell hard for New York even through its blizzards and heat waves. To us, it is a place where so many different kinds of people from so many different places come together as a community and we count ourselves as lucky to be part of it.
We live in a two-bedroom home which is the bottom two floors of an old 1896 brownstone building in Brooklyn. There is so much old charm here! The bedrooms are upstairs and the main living area is on the ground floor, along with the kitchen. The kitchen is modern and has a lot of space and considering we love to cook, we knew this was meant to be our home for now! We also have a large patio where we like to spend time when the weather is milder. We love plants and gardening and having an outdoor space is pretty unique for New York City!
Our neighborhood is very diverse. We love the blend of cultures - we can see it in the historical buildings, the mix of different restaurants and music we hear when walking down any block in our area. Especially for Tanya, who grew up in the Northwest as a biracial child who was around a lot less diversity, it has been important to be in a community made up of different people, and we are excited to offer your child a place to grow up where racial and cultural diversity is the norm. There are parks, incredible elementary schools and a children's museum just blocks away, a community garden across the street, a library one street over, and the large and beautiful Prospect Park a short walk away. We are excited to raise your child in this amazing city!
We are always excited to celebrate the holidays and special occasions - whether that is the first day it is warm enough to grill in our backyard, hosting a costumed murder mystery party for our friend’s birthday, or watching the neighborhood fireworks on the Fourth of July, we love that our house is a gathering place for special times.
For birthdays, we love to bust out streamers and our longstanding Happy Birthday banner, and for Christmas, we love decorating our house with tinsel and a tree, and Chris always looks forward to baking cookies and sharing them with our friends.
Our holiday celebrations are a mix of traditions from family and friends. Tanya grew up making Indian food on holidays and for us no Thanksgiving or Christmas Day is complete without a biriyani in the oven and the sound of sizzling vegetable sides as everyone gets together for a great meal. Every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, we go with our friends to pick out trees at the hardware store and then carry them home (taking a Christmas tree on the subway is a very New York experience!). And a highlight each spring is when we join our friends for their Passover seder.
We typically spend Christmas in Seattle, where were able to attend celebrations with both our families, as they only live about 40 minutes apart. We take time to go to an annual holiday concert put on by the Seattle Men's Chorus, celebrate the winter solstice at Tanya's mom's house with sparklers and spend evenings singing Christmas carols and catching up with family friends.
We are both from the Pacific Northwest and have family there, as well as Tanya's younger sister Nicole who lives in Los Angeles and Chris's twin sister Jess and her family who live in the Washington, D.C. area. Spending time together is important to us and we make a point of traveling multiple times a year to see each other.
Between visits we have regular calls/Skypes with our families to catch up with each other. We never let the distance between us get in the way of keeping us close knit. To us, family means more than just biology. Tanya's family culture has always been very inclusive of chosen family members -- from godparents to longtime friends and neighbors. Now, in the same spirit, we always welcome people into our holidays, birthdays and other celebrations. There is always an extra seat at our table.
Because we are on a different coast from our immediate families, we have built a close group of friends here in Brooklyn that we see often -- whether it is for walks in the park or a getting together for book club, we feel connected to our community here and are surrounded by people who are incredibly supportive of this next step of our lives. Everyone has been extremely supportive of our wish to grow our family through adoption and they can't wait to spoil a new little one with love!
We love to explore the world -- for example, on our honeymoon, we ventured to the Faroe Islands, which are tiny, sheep-dotted islands in the North Sea off of Scandinavia! And while there is something very exciting and special about seeing far away places, a lot of our favorite times are spent at home, whether were working on our garden or having a mini film festival for the day to watch back-to-back movies on our couch.
And, because we live in New York City, we love that there is so much to explore practically in our backyard. We enjoy going to new restaurants, parks, plays and museums and taking in the amazing diversity of experiences this city has to offer.
Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know us and for considering us. We hope these pages and reading our story helped you see the kind of life and family we are hoping to offer your child.
If you would like to know more about us, we are happy to answer any of your questions. We are ready and excited to become parents and we would be absolutely honored to be part of your story.