Q: Tell us about your home and neighborhood.
A: We live in a beautiful neighborhood with over 20 parks surrounding us! We have a view of a lagoon and easy access to bike and walking trails. Our neighborhood is very family friendly with lots of kids, and some of the best schools in the state. We live close to some family and see them every week. Our home is a one story apartment, with lots of space and full of pictures of our family and friends. We frequently have bbqs with family and friends at our house, and you can always hear laughter and games coming from our home.
Q: When you have a 3-day weekend, what you like to do?
A: We love to do a little bit of everything. Sometimes we like to just quietly stay home and hang out, watch tv, cook dinner, or read a book. Other times we might work on a project at home. Don loves to make things Shadi designs. Last year we built a shelf for our living room and the year before we made a headboard for our bedroom. No matter what, we make sure to go outdoors and venture into our beautiful surroundings. We love to wander and go on long walks with our dog, Milo, and enjoy the beautiful California sunshine. We also love to spend time with friends and family as much as we can.
Q: Do you have pets? If so, tell us about them.
A: Let us introduce you to Milo, the man of the house. He is our 7-year-old rescue malti-poo who changed our lives for the best. He loves to snuggle, play chase, and go on long walks. He absolutely loves to play with kids and can’t wait to play with someone his own size. After adopting him, Milo solidified our feelings of wanting to have a family and taught us the meaning of unconditional love.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child(ren)?
A: More than anything we want to teach our child how important it is to be a kind and compassionate towards others. No matter what someone can do or be, we want to instill in our child that the greatest impact they can have on the world is ultimately how they treat others.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birthmom?
A: That she is brave woman who loved her child so much that she wanted to provide them with a better life than she could provide. We will share how thankful we are for her strength and compassion and that she is the one who made us a family. We would also share any information about her heritage and make sure that we celebrate it together as a family.
Q: What faith will you raise your child?
A: Although we are not religious, both of us believe in the spirit of human kindness. We strongly believe in helping others and being kind. We also believe in a higher power, and trust that things happen for a reason and will work out in the end. We’ve dedicated our lives to educating others, and believe that that is one of the most important things in life. Regardless of our beliefs, we plan to expose our child to different cultures and religions so that he or she can decide what path they would like to take.
Q: How will a child enrich your life?
A: When we first met, there were several signs that led us to believe we were meant to be together. For starters, we were both teachers. As we got to know each other, we both realized that our love of working with children was not limited to our professional lives; we both desired to have families of our own. Even early on, when we started to talk about creating a family, we discussed adopting a child. While we put this desire on hold when we first married to establish our careers, our desire never wavered. In fact, it only grew stronger. When we started to struggle with infertility, we had no doubt that adoption was going to be our path to parenthood. We’ve both been successful in our careers and have amazing relationships with friends and family. However, we always felt that there was something missing. We had no doubt that the only thing missing from our lives was a child. We have never doubted our decision to adopt and believe that our lives will cross with the right individual that needs us as much as we need them.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: We love all kinds of food. Ever since Don got a barbeque last summer, he has definitely favored any kind of food that can be grilled (including foods that shouldn’t be grilled—like spaghetti). Shadi also loves all kinds of food, and is appreciating Don’s desire to grill all foods. Sometimes she wishes he would use the other appliances in the house to make foods like spaghetti. No matter what, we try to cook at home during the week and enjoy a meal together. That is our time to just enjoy each other’s company.
Q: Share something about your spouse that only you know:
A: Don loves to wear mis-matched socks because it drives Shadi crazy! Even though Don makes fun of Shadi for watching Hallmark channel movies, Don secretly enjoys them too.
Q: Describe the last romantic thing you did together?
A: Towards the end of the school year, both of us were very busy finishing grades and getting ready for graduation. We were both so exhausted that when we were home, it usually meant we were half asleep. A week after things settled, Don planned a whole day for us. It started with a morning stroll at our favorite beach with Milo, a beautiful picnic at the park, followed by a nap, and then dinner out. It was exactly what we both needed to just enjoy another successful school year and just be together.
Q: Describe your last vacation and/or daytrip.
A: For our eighth wedding anniversary we went away on a trip to Seattle. We decided to leave the laptops at home, not check any email, and just enjoy each other’s company. We loved exploring a new city, meeting new people, and just being together. Sometimes we can get lost in the everyday hustle of work and home life, and take time to value getting away and just being together.
Q: Will you be a stay-at-home parent? If so, what are your day-to-day plans?
A: Shadi’s job as a professor is very flexible and therefore she can be home most of the day. She teaches classes in the evening a few days a week, and can easily work from home other days. Don’s job is very close by and he comes home before Shadi leaves to teach. When one of us is not able to stay home, we have family that plan on staying with us to help out.
Q: When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms, what are your thoughts regarding his or her birth mother?
A: We are so thankful for the strength of this amazing woman who was willing to choose a better life for their child. We would not be parents without this woman and thank her for trusting us and giving us the most amazing gift anyone could. We also hope that she is at peace knowing that there is a child that is loved by so many people, and will be reminded of where they came from. When we hold our child, we want the birth mother to know that she will always be in our hearts and we know that we are all surrounded by her love as well.