Donald and Shadi

Married Since: 2011

Pets: Yes

Stay at Home Parent: Part-Time

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: No

As parents, we promise to share your story of love and strength and remind your child what a gift you are giving us. More than anything we want you to know that your child will be loved and supported unconditionally…

Donald and Shadi

from California

Donald

Ancestry: English, Irish, Scottish

Religion: Spiritual

Occupation: Principal

Education: MS

Hobbies: Reading, Playing Guitar, Watching Sports

Shadi

Ancestry: Persian

Religion: Spiritual

Occupation: Professor

Education: PhD

Hobbies: Reading, Nature, Photography

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: All Races / Ethnicities

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Spiritual

>
<

From Us to You

Dear Expectant Mother,

We once read the quote: “We don’t meet people by accident; they are meant to cross our paths for a reason,” and it is exactly how we feel about you. It is with our sincerest, most heart-felt gratitude that we thank you for considering us as adoptive parents to your child. Just as our journey has been filled with a wide variety of emotions and uncertainty, we can only imagine the path that has brought us all to this point—a chance to provide a child with a loving, safe, and nurturing home. What we do know is that you are a strong and courageous woman who loves her child enough to make sure that they are well taken care of with the gift of adoption. We respect that this decision was not an easy one for you, and our hope is that we can be the ones to ease your fears and provide some comfort in this process.

We are Don and Shadi. We are truly best friends and partners. We met over ten years ago, and it did not take long for us to both realize that we were meant to be together. We have so much in common, including both dedicating our careers to education. When we first met, we were both teaching in middle school—Shadi was a Math teacher and Don was an English teacher. While most people may look at this age group and see confusion and frustration, we both see enthusiasm and liveliness. We embrace the challenges these adolescents display on a daily basis, and see it as the beginning of a new stage in their life. Don is now a Principal of a middle school and leads teachers and students from diverse backgrounds. He hopes to inspire the next generation by sharing his love for education. After five years in the classroom, Shadi decided to get her doctorate degree in Child Development and is now a Professor of Education. She is working with students who aspire to be teachers and loves to research how teachers can impact students beyond the four walls of their classroom. More than anything she loves teaching, and appreciates the flexibility of her career which allows her to make her own schedule. Both of us have dedicated our careers to working with individuals of different backgrounds and have learned more about ourselves through our diverse interactions. More than anything we’ve learned about empathy, patience, compassion, and human kindness just by working with our students and their families.

Our love for each other has also grown through the last four years as we faced the challenges of infertility and loss. However, one thing kept coming back to us. When we started the process of expanding our family, we always talked about adopting. As we struggled with infertility, we took the struggle as a sign that we didn’t need to be pregnant, but rather we wanted to be parents. This only solidified our decision to move forward with learning about adoption. Once we decided that adoption was the right choice for us, we knew that this love we share would extend to any child that we bring into our family. We can promise you that your child will also be surrounded with the open arms of our village, which includes our amazing family and friends. Both of our parents could not be more excited at the thought of being grandparents, as are our brothers, sister, and numerous aunts and uncles. We have many friends from all backgrounds that are lining up to welcome your child.

You will always find us surrounded by laughter with friends and family. When Don is home, you can find him playing the guitar or chasing Milo around the house while Shadi fills the kitchen with delicious aromas of her latest recipe. At the end of the day, we may embark on a family walk along a nearby trail, or simply curl up on the couch for cuddle time and a movie on the TV. Our holidays and vacations are always full of laughs, adventures, games, and most of all, love. We always kick off the winter holidays with a trip to see Don’s family. Shadi has an annual challenge with Don’s dad that includes playing a new game, at which she always beats him! This is followed by additional trips to see other family and friends from both sides. Don takes out his old baseball cards, and shares them with our friends’ children, and has even helped them start their own card collections. Shadi is seen as the trustee of all secrets, and is always the one everyone feels comfortable sharing whatever they are experiencing.

We live in California, surrounded by lots of fun things in the neighborhood. We live close to parks, great schools, the library, lakes, and the amazing local attractions! We are also surrounded by two zoos, hiking trails, numerous sporting venues, and museums. We cannot wait to share these experiences with a child.

As parents, we promise to share your story of love and strength and remind your child what a gift you are giving us. More than anything we want you to know that your child will be loved and supported unconditionally and surrounded by a home full of laughter, kindness, and respect. We are so grateful that we have crossed paths.

With our sincerest gratitude,
Don & Shadi

>
<

Shadi, by Donald

People always say that we find love when we least expect it, and that certainly was the case when I first met Shadi. I was in my late twenties, and largely focused on my career. From the moment I met her, though, I knew I was in the presence of something truly special and my life would never be the same; the only thing more amazing than her outer beauty is her inner beauty. Her intelligence, warmth, and compassion are truly one of a kind, as evidenced by the way children and adults are naturally drawn to her. All our friends’ children light up around her, referring to her as “Aunt Shadi.” Watching her read to them, comfort them when they’re upset, and share in even their smallest joys provides me with a glimpse of what an amazing mother she’ll be. She is equally loved by adults; her laughter and warm, inviting personality makes even people who have just met her feel like they are friends who have known each other for years. Watching her in all of these capacities never ceases to result in my beaming with pride, and sometimes disbelief, that I am lucky enough to share my life with such an amazing person. She is my best friend, my partner, and truly my better half. She will doubtlessly be an amazing mother!

>
<

Don, by Shadi

Before I met Don, I made a list of ten things I wanted in a partner. Some were as silly as being taller than me, enjoys sports, but the big ones included having a great sense of humor, intelligent, strong family values, and most of all, kind. Little did I know I was making a list that described Don. In fact, Don is so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. Before we met, I was focused on my career and independence. Then, in walked Don, and my whole world changed. I now wanted more than just a story about me…I wanted a story about us. Through the last ten years, our friendship and partnership has only grown stronger. We have faced many adventures, some more trying than others, but through it all, we have supported each other. Don is the first one I want to share my daily joys and struggles with and is always the first to help me celebrate and overcome them all. He is the kindest person I know, with the most amazing heart…always putting his friends and family first. I watch him with our dog Milo or with the students at his school and have no doubt he will be an amazing father. I even catch him talking to Milo about becoming a big brother, and he is so excited to start this new chapter in our lives. I have no doubt that he will pass along these amazing qualities and so much more to a child and look forward to adding a new chapter to our story.

>
<

Our Lifestyle

The people in our lives, whether it be family, friends, or the students and families we work with, are at the core of our lifestyle. Both of us thrive off of the relationships we’ve formed and enjoy being surrounded by others. We love to visit friends and family, and enjoy weekly catch up phone calls and video chats with those who are most important to us. We also love to spend time together, whether it is travelling to a new place or sitting on the couch at home and watching a movie. When we are out and about, we love to spend as much time as we can outside, enjoying the unique surroundings of California—beaches, forests, museums, sporting events, and so much more.

>
<

Why We are Choosing To Adopt

To us, it has always been about having a family, not getting pregnant. The initial thought of adoption came to us before we even wanted to start a family. Both of us have worked with many children through our teaching experiences, and have also formed close bonds with our students. The best part of our jobs is getting to know each child’s individual story. We want to be part of that story for our own child. We know being a parent doesn’t mean you have to get pregnant and have a biological child. Parenting, to us, is about loving a child, bonding with them, and guiding them and growing with them. When we were ready to start our family, and struggled with infertility, we reminded ourselves of this. From that point, it was an easy decision, and we knew our road to starting a family was the path of adoption. Our dog, Milo, also solidified this decision as we could not love him anymore, and there was no way we could have conceived him!

>
<

Our Traditions

For the last eleven years, we have worked on creating our own traditions for our family. We enjoy celebrating holidays with family, usually Thanksgiving with Shadi’s side, and Christmas with Don’s family. Each year, instead of exchanging gifts with each other during the holidays, we donate gifts to a charity. We also fill our tree with ornaments from places we’ve traveled. Every year, when we trim the tree, we can tell you the story behind each ornament. We also buy at least one ornament together that symbolizes the year. In March, we celebrate Persian New Year on the first day of Spring. Shadi sets a table that showcases different items that symbolize elements of a new year. We cook a traditional meal of fish and rice, and invite friends and family over for the feast. We also have mundane traditions that include cooking together at least once a week, setting aside the first 30 minutes we’re home together as a catch up with no other distractions, and our daily walks with Milo.

>
<

Cultural Diversity

We live in Northern California, one of the most diverse places you will ever find. Both of us have had the privilege of teaching in at schools with diverse populations, encountering a wide variety of students and families, from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Between our students with varying abilities and students from challenging homes, we value the importance of loving all of them equally despite their differences. We are passionate about working with students, families, and schools that celebrate individuality and embrace diversity. Our personal lives also reflect this as our extended group of friends come from all walks of life. We enjoy honoring different holidays, learning and creating new traditions, as well as growing from each other’s’ stories.

>
<

Our Dog, Milo

We both grew up with dogs and have always wanted our own. When we finished graduate school and started our careers, we knew the first thing we needed to add to our home was a dog. Let us introduce you to Milo, our 8-year-old rescue, who changed our lives for the better and makes us wonder, who rescued who? He is the most loving, caring dog, and he absolutely loves kids—they are even the same size! He refuses to leave their side, loves to snuggle, and of course play chase and fetch. Without a doubt, he is ready to be a big brother, and will welcome any child into the family with endless love and devotion.

>
<

Our Relationships With Our Parents

We are very close to our families. Both of us were raised by our parents, who have each been married for more than 40 years. We are both the first children in our families, with younger siblings. Our parents are all college educated and taught us the value of education, as well as being honest, genuine, well-rounded people. Both of our families have instilled the importance of kindness and compassion. These values and qualities are cornerstones of who we are as people and would certainly be passed down to any child. When we shared with our parents that we wanted to adopt a child, they all cried from being so overjoyed with our decision. As parents, it was difficult for them to see us struggle with starting this next phase of our lives. To them, the news meant not only were we moving forward with our plans, but now they could celebrate becoming grandparents.

>
<

Our Home & Neighborhood

We live in North California, surrounded by lots of fun things in the neighborhood. Our home is a spacious two-bedroom apartment, full of photos, books, and love. Our neighborhood is very safe and walkable. We are surrounded by tons of kids and families of all kinds. We live close to parks, great schools, the library, lakes, and the amazing landmarks! We are also surrounded by two zoos, hiking trails, numerous sporting venues, and museums. We cannot wait to share these experiences with a child.

>
<

Our Extended Family & Friends

We are very close to our families and friends! Both of us are California natives, raised by our parents and surrounded by family friends. We were the first children in both of our families, with younger siblings coming along in later years. In both of our cases, our grandparents and numerous aunts and uncles were never far away; holidays and vacations often involved visits to these extended family members. Our parents are all college educated and taught us the value of education, as well as being honest, genuine, well-rounded people. These values and qualities are cornerstones of who we are as people and would certainly be passed down to any child. We also have an amazing village of friends, with many children of their own. We are looking forward to extended holidays and vacations with them, and just as their children see us as “Aunt Shadi and Uncle Don,” they will just as easily and happily see any child of ours as their niece or nephew.

Our Promise to You

We promise to share your story of love and strength and let your child know of the beautiful gift you gave to us. More than anything we want you to know that your child will be loved and supported unconditionally and surrounded by a home full of laughter, kindness, and respect. We are so grateful that we have crossed paths.

Message Donald and Shadi

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Contact Donald and Shadi

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

Contact Us

Get your Free Adoption Packet

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY

We respect your privacy. View our Privacy Policy.

We respect your privacy. View our Privacy Policy.

Speak with a Specialist 1-800-367-2367