Relationship: Domestic Partners: 2014

Pets: No

Stay at Home Parent: No

Other Adopted Children at Home: No

Other Biological Children at Home: No

“A Birth Mother always puts the needs of her child above the wants of her heart.”

Benjamin and Monika

from Illinois

Benjamin

Ancestry: Russian

Religion: Jewish

Occupation: Teacher/Attorney

Education: JD

Hobbies: Music, Philosophy, Literature, Volunteering

Monika

Ancestry: Indian

Religion: Spiritual

Occupation: Engineer

Education: MS

Hobbies: Tennis, Jewelry Making, Traveling, Cooking, Music

Baby

Preferred Ethnicity of Baby: All Races / Ethnicities

Preferred Gender of Baby: Either

Religion Child To Be Raised: Spiritual

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From Us to You

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”
-Ancient Chinese proverb

Dearest Expectant Mother,

How do you choose a family from pictures and a letter? We can only imagine how difficult of a decision this must be for you. You chose to bring your child into this world and offer him/her a chance at life because you love your child. We know you will do one of the hardest, yet strongest things any woman has to do and we would make sure that your child knows of your strength and courage. We wish you comfort and peace through this difficult and emotional time. We appreciate you taking the time to read our message and hope it provides you with some insight about us and the life we will help create for our children.

Mona is an engineer and works for a software company. She has the fortune to be able to walk to work and also has flexibility in her schedule as she can work from home when needed. Ben is an attorney and a high school teacher. He is passionate about working with and helping youth. Our individual experiences have led us both to know that adoption is the right path for us.

We live in a tremendous, cosmopolitan city. We enjoy taking advantage of all that our city has to offer, whether it be theater; comedy; music; ethnic cuisines, neighborhoods and festivals; or museums. Our favorite Thai and Turkish restaurants are just a few blocks away! One of our friends is an up and coming local comedian and she keeps us informed of all the open mics and small venue shows. We’ve been regularly attending storytelling events as we find it intimate and personal (in fact, Mona performed her own personal story just last year for the first time!). We also love to travel and experience different cultures, traditions and viewpoints. Mona has traveled the world extensively and Ben now has the travel bug, too! Our favorite trip together was when we went to India to meet Mona’s extended family and attend a wedding. Often, our travels involve visiting family members in places like Madison (WI), Houston and Birmingham (AL). We look forward to sharing all of this with our children one day and exposing them to the diverse world we live in. With this, we believe they will develop acceptance and respect for those who may be different from them and gain a better world view and understanding of how to make a difference.

Living a healthy and active lifestyle is important to us. This is in the form of actively going to our local YMCA gym (which also has great family activities!), camping, playing tennis, hiking, and biking. We frequently go for evening walks in our neighborhood, too, and we will continue to do that with your child. We look forward to cooking home-made healthy meals, nightly story-time, do-it-yourself arts & crafts and visiting the many local parks in our community with your child. We would love the gift of a child to include and teach about all there is to enjoy and the fun that is always available.

We want to ensure that we instill the values in our children which will encourage leadership, self-assurance and fearlessness to do what is right. Of course, unconditional love, support and discipline are foundational and we know we can provide that. Regardless of how our children decide to contribute to the world, we look forward to the beautiful people they become and supporting them in the path they choose in life.

We have an incredibly supportive circle of family and friends with whom we often have over for delicious home-cooked meals and make it a priority to spend time, especially during the holidays. Typically, for Passover Seder and Rosh Hashanah (important Jewish holidays), we are with Ben’s family and close family friends. For the Christmas holiday, we usually spend with Mona’s sister’s family (Mona’s brother-in-law is Catholic). Mona grew-up celebrating and continues to celebrate Rakhi, which is a popular holiday for Indians and celebrates the sacred bond of protection and care between brothers and sisters.

We do believe that “it takes a village” to properly raise a child and know that our friends and family look forward to being a significant part of our children’s lives and journeys. We are very open to the level of involvement you would like to have with your child as we believe this is important for you, your child and us.

Please view our Adoption Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BenAndMonaAreAdopting

Sincerely,
Mona & Ben

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Our Lifestyle

When we come home from work, we love spending time cooking together and going for a walk in the neighborhood to catch-up on our days. Occasionally, we’ll go out for dinner but we love home-cooked meals the best. Time with friends usually involves cooking together, too. Mona makes sure we go camping at least once during the summer and we love to go on hikes and bike rides, too. We see our families often, especially during the holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving and Passover. Mona plans our trips with family, vacations and social outings. Ben investigates the ratings for good shows, series and movies for us to watch on Netflix. Mona plays tennis once a week with her fellow collegiate tennis players and works out 3-4 times a week. Ben enjoys reading and keeps us up-to-date with current events, politics and what’s going on in the world. We enjoy opportunities to grow and learn such as a cooking class, lecture, DIY or a craft workshop. In fact, Ben just learned how to make homemade pasta…and boy, is it good!

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Why We Are Choosing To Adopt

Adoption has always been in our hearts and the parenthood path we wanted to pursue to create a family. We are excited to start a family and can’t wait to be parents. As a bi-racial, multicultural couple, we embrace the idea of expanding our family’s cultural or ethnic make-up. We want to exchange family traditions, share our faith, and make memories with our child, while at the same time, celebrating and participating with our child’s birth family and culture. We know that we can provide your child with a loving, supportive home. At this time, being established in our careers, we also feel financially secure and have the time and emotional energy to start our family.

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Our Traditions

We believe that because of our unique backgrounds, religions and experiences, we have a lot to offer our child. Ben grew up in a Jewish home and Mona grew-up in a Jain-Indian home and we hope to continue the traditions with which we grew-up. We feel like we have many great traditions to share with our child and we will ensure that he/she maintains traditions from the unique culture of his/her birth family. We usually spend Christmas with Mona’s family and alternate going to our respective families for Thanksgiving. We typically spend Hanukkah and Passover with Ben’s family. Having a Passover seder with family and lighting the menorah during Hanukkah, are really special for us. In the Indian culture, Rakhi, a day honoring the relationship between brothers and sisters, is widely celebrated and is a special day for Mona. On this day, brothers and sisters vow to respect and take care of each other through life. Diwali, the “Festival of Lights” is another Indian festival symbolizing victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. Diwali is like a new beginning, so people will clean their homes, buy new clothes and/or share sweets with friends and family. And birthdays are always fun! We usually have some kind of party or get together with family and friends, whether at home or at a fun venue.

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Cultural Diversity

We recognize the importance of a child’s native culture and want to make sure your child maintains their identity with their native culture. Being a multi-racial and mutli-religious couple, we feel we have an appreciation and respect for not only our own respective cultures, but others as well. Living in a large metropolitan area, we have the resources, such as diverse communities, museums and festivals, that will allow your child to learn about and be immersed in their respective cultural heritage. And, we would take advantage of these resources and enjoy learning more about your child’s native culture. We would celebrate holidays that are unique to your child’s native culture and ensure that your child understands why we are doing this through ongoing conversations. Starting to create new traditions with your child as early as possible is something we plan on doing and we look forward to having new traditions as a family.

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Vacations & Leisure Time

Our vacations have typically involved traveling to or with family members and friends typically during holidays or long weekends. Planning the trip is part of the fun! Some trips in the last few years with our family have been Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes; Memphis, TN (Mona’s birth city); Destin, FL; Houston, TX; Denver, CO; Louisville, KY; India; Czechoslovakia; Scotland; and France. Some vacations with friends have been to Durham, NC; Toronto, Canada; San Diego, CA; and Mexico City. In our leisure time, Mona likes to experiment in the kitchen, make jewelry, DIY projects and play tennis. Ben likes to read and catch-up on current events and news. We both enjoy spending time with our friends and occasionally watching movies or TV shows. We cannot wait to share all of this with our children!

3-Day Weekends:

Typically, on any long weekend, we are either visiting family and friends or they are visiting us in Chicago. But, if that’s not happening, we could be found doing one of these: going to a music festival, camping in a nearby state or national parks, road-tripping to quaint towns nearby or exploring a neighborhood in Chicago.

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What We Will Teach

There are many things we wish to teach our children such as kindness, compassion, living life with integrity and finding happiness. We hope that we can instill a sense of confidence such that they are comfortable with their voice and know when to speak up and speak out for themselves and for those who cannot. We want them to see life as a joyful journey with continual self-development. We look forward to being a part of the unique journey and adventures they create for themselves.

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Our Relationship With You

We will tell our child that their birth mother is a courageous and strong woman, who made one of the most difficult decisions a mother could make. We would explain that her decision was a reflection of her love for them. We would emphasize the important role she played in helping us create a family and how grateful we are to her. We would also honor the wishes of the child’s birth mother with respect to what information she’d like to share. Although we can never fully comprehend the emotional experience our child’s birth mother went through, we do know that this very difficult journey and decision required great strength and courage and, for that, we have much admiration for her. So, we would hope to have her a part of our lives and family in whatever capacity she wishes. We would like to find ways to build communication, respect, peace and trust in our relationship while ensuring that we are on the same page with regards to our shared hopes and expectations. We also recognize and know that any relationship takes work and we are willing to put in the work for a healthy and positive relationship.

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Our Personalities

Ben is easy-going, friendly and generous. He always makes himself available for his friends and family. He’s hard-working and always puts in extra effort to help his students learn and grow. Mona is empathetic, patient and thoughtful. She is always thinking of others and how she can help. She is hard-working and disciplined and likes to set goals for herself. We both share a sense of humor (Ben may disagree but Mona is the funnier of the two!) and can be silly – we can still find the child in us! We both are curious and see life as a continued education.

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How A Child Will Enrich Our Lives

Our fulfilling life filled with wonderful experiences will only be amplified when we have the opportunity to observe it through the eyes of a child. A child will bring a sense of innocence and playfulness that continue to remind us of the joys in the simple things and see the world as a playground. A child will give us a sense of purpose and pride by gifting us with the opportunity to help him or her evolve into a unique individual. A child will inspire us to be our best selves, as we know our actions and behavior will significantly influence them.

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What Kind Of Parents We Will Be

We will certainly be involved, fun parents. We will be reasonable and nurturing while setting clear and high expectations. When we discipline, it will be clear and the reasons behind them will be explained. Communication will be frequent and will evolve with our child’s level of understanding. We will listen and give direction as needed. We will set boundaries but will always be there for our children and provide unconditional love. We know that the needs of our child may evolve and change so we will be ready to adapt to provide the structure and support they need to succeed in their own path and journey.

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Our Home & Family

We live in an open and spacious loft/condo, which we love. Our neighborhood is family-friendly and safe and provides us with the pleasure of walking to various grocery stores, ethnic restaurants, local retail shops and our gym. Mona actually has the convenience of walking to work, too. There are also many playgrounds within walking distance and we look forward to making good use of them! We enjoy evening walks in the neighborhood.

We feel very fortunate to have and be surrounded by a group of such loving and supportive friends and family. With our families and friends, we travel, spend the holidays together, cook delicious meals and do fun activities, such as hiking, camping, theater, music festivals, cultural events, and celebrate weddings and other important life milestones.

Ben’s parents and many of his cousins live close, so we are able to see them often. Ben’s brother’s and sister’s families, including three nieces and a nephew, require a plane ride, but we are still able to visit them at least once a year. Mona’s parents and siblings live in the South, but we also see them a few times a year, whether we travel to their homes, they come to visit us in Chicago, or we plan a trip together to a place we all want to go. Because family and friends are so important to both of us, we make the effort to ensure we keep in touch and are able to be a part of their lives. It is not uncommon on the weekends, to see us on FaceTime with our family and friends.

Mona also has much family in India, and she makes the long journey to see her large family almost every other year. This past year, Ben went to India with Mona for the first time and had an incredible experience! We both look forward to future visits to India.

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Our Promise to You

We promise to be open and honest, from the beginning, about your child’s adoption, their story and your story. We want them to understand the courageous choice you made and the love you have for them. We promise to honor your wishes regarding the relationship you desire to have. We’d love to have you in our lives and we will love you and be grateful for the gift of your child. We promise to love your child fiercely and unconditionally, every day. They will be loved not only by us, but also our friends and family. We promise to provide your child with a stable, safe and loving home, a place of joy, laughter and good food. We promise to care for your child’s physical and emotional health. We promise to instill faith in family, community and the Creator. We promise to provide them with an education, both in and out of the school, so that they have a platform to pursue their dreams. We promise to celebrate each milestone and go on family vacations. We promise to teach them to be a good human, who advocates for themselves and the vulnerable, and to be a steward to humanity.

Message Benjamin and Monika

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Hi, We are honored that you are considering us! Lisa, our adoption specialist at Adoption Network, will be reaching out to make sure your needs are being met and your questions about adoption are being answered. She will help us get in touch with each other. We can’t wait to connect with you!

Contact Benjamin and Monika

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Hi, We are honored that you are considering us! Lisa, our adoption specialist at Adoption Network, will be reaching out to make sure your needs are being met and your questions about adoption are being answered. She will help us get in touch with each other. We can’t wait to connect with you!