Q: Describe your childhoods
A: Adoptive Dad: Growing up my brother and I were close. We shared a room growing up and we often played many of the same sports and had the same circle of friends in our neighborhood. We rode our bikes all over and didn’t come home until the street lights were on. A lot of the time I would ride my bike down to my grandfather’s car dealership and help wash cars or vacuum. Sports were a huge part of my childhood and that stayed with me through school, college and now my adult life. I also did some child modeling in my early teenage years and it was an experience I will never forget! My mom supported my modeling all while I played three different sports and went to school! It was hectic, but she made it work. I have no regrets and would not change anything from my childhood.
Adoptive Mom: I grew up with 2 older brothers and 1 sister and my extended family is very big. I spent much of my time as a child with cousins from my mom’s side of the family. We saw my dad’s side of the family once a year because they lived far away. I have wonderful memories of very full and busy holidays, trips and vacations and I spent a ton of time outside, with friends at the pool, playing softball, going to dance and cheerleading. I loved making new friends and had several groups that were either neighbors, kids I went to school with or friends I made through activities. I went to a small catholic school that is a part of my parents’ home church.
Q: Tell us about your home?
A: We live in beautiful, Victorian-style home that has 3 bedrooms and a cozy backyard. The nursery is ready and filled with so many gifts from friends and family. We have a walkout to our backyard where we can spend lots of time in our garden, playing with our pets and dreaming of the day our child will be running around playing hide and seek, catch with Daddy and planting new flowers with Mommy. We have lots of close neighbors with young kids and we look forward to joining them when they walk their children to school, or play days in the park, and riding bikes together.
Q: Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
A: We have two dogs and one cat because we love animals! Our first pet is our cat LiLi. After we bought our house we brought Ginger home, who is an 8-year old mixed breed and is the kindest dog! She loves going on walks, peanut butter and sleeping on every soft surface in our house. Tom’s daughter, Kayla, picked Ginger out of our local animal rescue center so we knew she would be great with kids! Just last year we added another dog, Maggie, to our family. Our next-door neighbor walks dogs at the rescue center and thought she would be a good match for our family and she was right! Maggie is a 1-year-old mixed breed dog who loves all dogs, humans, and running around at the dog park.
Q: What do you hope to teach your child/children?
A: I think the most important thing we can impart to our child will be a sense of curiosity. As children, we were both able to pursue many different interests and passions because our parents supported us in doing so. Julie found out from years of playing softball that art classes were more her speed! Tom learned that even being a child model for a few years wasn’t as great as hitting a home run in baseball. As we grew up, we knew that our parents were there for us, supported us, loved us and wanted us to have all the opportunities in life and we want to teach our child to be curious and try new things.
Q: Describe your neighborhood?
A: We live in a part of the city which is widely known as a diverse, artsy and historic neighborhood with fantastic views of the city skyline and all the fireworks you could ask for! The children’s museum, national aviary, contemporary art museum and local theater are all within walking distance of our house. Not to mention the countless restaurants, major sports stadiums, riverfront trails and parks. Our neighborhood, for an urban setting, has lots to offer with monthly “stoop nights” which is like a low-key progressive party and a lot of our neighbors have young children from diverse backgrounds. The park that is 3 blocks away has a small lake, a dog park, multiple playgrounds, tennis courts and an old-fashioned ice-ball and popcorn cart. When we aren't walking the dogs through the many parks close by, we can be found walking to our local church, volunteering at a neighborhood organization, or visiting friends and family.
Q: What will you tell your child about his or her birthmother?
A: We have seen what other adoptive parents have done and decided that we would like to make a photo-book of pictures to tell the story of adoption, the baby’s birthmother and their family—really as much as she would like to include. We plan to read this from a very early age so that the baby can be familiar with his/her story and how special adoption is. We truly want to embrace open adoption and the birthmother of our baby, as much as she allows. We both know from our own families that children have a huge capacity to understand different relationships. I, Julie, have known Tom’s daughter since she was 5 and she’s always known I was her step-mom. We hope to have an active, loving, fulfilling relationship with the baby’s birthmother so that he/she has the opportunity to interact with her and know where he/she came from.
Q: How did you come to the decision of adoption?
A: I have wanted to be a mother since I was very little. Coming from a huge family, motherhood has always been a part of my life. I’ve never thought about not being a mom. I think raising children is the ultimate gift and role I will ever have. Jobs come and go and so do hobbies, but being a mother is a part of who I am as a woman and I have had to wait for this moment longer than most and that’s ok. Tom feels that he missed out on much of Kayla’s early years despite seeing her every week, after his divorce, from the time she was 3 until now, Tom wants to have the experience of being the father he didn’t get to be in his first marriage.
We came to adoption from infertility. We were “lucky” in the sense that we knew exactly what was causing our infertility, but the sad part was that the solutions were medications and procedures that inhibited or prevented pregnancy all together. After doing a few rounds of IUI we stopped before moving into IVF because we didn’t think that it was worth the risk since we knew exactly what was preventing pregnancy and instead, I had a hysterectomy in early 2017 and have been pursuing adoption since I recovered emotionally and physically. Everyone in both of our families are beyond supportive and very excited for us. They knew that we struggled getting pregnant for 6 years and only want us to add to the family! We have extended relatives who have adopted and everyone has expressed so much positivity and prayers.
Q: What faith will you raise your child?
A: We will raise your child in the Catholic faith. We are both Catholic and really enjoy going to church together. We both attended Catholic school and felt that we learned how to be good people through our school and faith.
Q: Please describe your personalities
A: Adoptive Dad: I would describe myself as easy-going, calm, hardworking and funny! Julie and I have a similar sense of humor and usually think things are way funnier than others! I’m generally pretty quiet and it takes me a minute to warm up to new people. I think my friends would describe me as genuine, caring, funny and sometimes serious. I really enjoy being out of the house going out to dinner, concerts, and events around town. I’m not perfect, but when you have a spouse who offsets my shortcomings, and vice versa...we can handle any situation.
Adoptive Mom: I think most people would describe me as outgoing and fun to be around. My sense of humor is probably my favorite trait. I love to make people laugh and find the humor in any situation. In almost any job I’ve ever held I have interacted with people or customers which has always been my favorite part of any job. Additional personality traits would be listening to others, learning from others, kindness and forgiveness, and understanding. One of my major strengths is trying to help my friends and family with whatever they are working on. I love a good project or conundrum, and doing the research or talking through options. I am the friend that people turn to when they have important decisions to make or things to talk through. My parents raised me to be an extremely hard worker.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Adoptive Dad: I’m a big sports person and I keep track of all the major events, games and teams from college to professional. I played baseball, volleyball and football when I was growing up and still get out to play a game or two on special occasions. Recently, I’ve gotten into volleyball because my daughter, Kayla, has been playing and traveling on a team. Julie and I love watching her play and grow-up on her team. I also lift weights and workout frequently. Lastly, as someone who has worked in the car business for years, I do like unique, exotic and fast cars. Julie and I will go to the Vintage Grand Prix every year and I will take my own car to car shows in the area.
Adoptive Mom: Tom and I couldn't be more opposite in our interests, but what we do love is spending time together, with our friends and family. I love art of all kinds and enjoy yoga and going to museums. It’s on my 2019 bucket list to attend yoga teacher training. On many weekends and trips we will go to nature centers, arts festivals, symphonies and concerts. Additionally, I love plants and spend a lot of time in our garden, planting and taking care of our indoor plants. Our pets are a huge hobby for us, as odd as that might sound! We do lots of activities where we can bring the dogs such as hiking, walking, pet-friendly events and more.
Q: What attracted you to each other?
A: Adoptive Dad: Sense of humor. Julie walked into my car dealership and made some funny comments about a car. We took a test drive and I gave her my business card because I didn’t want to seem too pushy. I’m lucky that she came back a month later and we teased and joked about things and I asked her out. We’ve been laughing ever since. Honestly, we don’t have to be doing things together to have fun. Going to get groceries or running errands together is how we stay connected. I’d rather spend time with her in any situation.
Adoptive Mom: Tom made me laugh so hard the first two times I met him that I knew I needed to get to know him better. He was teasing me and it was hilarious. I don’t remember anyone making me laugh that hard ever before. Tom is also very kind, very patient, calm, understanding and generous and you learn that through getting to know him better. In our early days of dating, we were both just so happy to see each other and spend time together that it only took us 3 months to tell each other we were in love. To this day, I’d rather spend my time with him than anyone else. We have a friendship and a love for each other that goes deeper than flowers, cards or romantic gestures. We were meant to be together.
Q: When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are
A: Gratitude. Love. Empathy. A desire to have them be a part of our family in whatever way makes sense. I know that Tom and I will never hold a baby together without a birthmother choosing us to parent her child and that is an amazing gift to be thankful for. We want our child’s birthmother to know that love expands and extends in ways that no one ever thinks possible.