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Sasha & Gillian
We have both wanted to be parents as long as we can remember and are excited to be taking "the road less traveled" on the path to parenthood, as we have in other aspects of life. We want to thank you for considering us as parents for your child. We wish you strength and peace as you choose which of life's next adventures seem like the best fit for you and your child.
Our Leisure Time
In Gillian's leisure time, she runs. A lot. Running is meditative for her, but it's also a social activity, since she often runs to friends' houses or participates in group training programs through her local running club. It's also a healthy way to challenge herself and to see what amazing things the human body is capable of! In Sasha's leisure time, he plays computer games. He particularly enjoys strategy and civilization-building games because they are complex and engaging. Gillian and Sasha both enjoy reading, as well. Sasha has a large sci-fi/fantasy collection, whereas Gillian enjoys a mix of fiction and nonfiction. She also has a large collection of books (mostly fiction and poetry) in French and Spanish.
Together, we enjoy watching various TV shows, from Avatar: The Last Airbender to The Witcher to The Mandalorian. We also enjoy playing board games together and have introduced our friends to several of our favorites. Additionally, we are very active in our church. Gillian directs the choir (she loves to sing!), and Sasha is a church school assistant, member of the Parish Council, and church warden. As warden, his responsibilities include maintaining the church property and keeping order and calm during the services—always a challenge with many small children in the congregation, but a church filled with noisy children is a growing church! We look forward to sharing our faith and interests with a child and expanding our world as they discover new interests.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Gillian About Sasha:The thing that first drew me to Sasha was his intellect, followed by his honesty. We can talk for hours, and some of our deepest conversations happen on our holiday road trips to New England. Sasha is a gentle soul—children and animals gravitate towards him; I think they can sense this gentleness in him. He has the utmost patience with people, particularly when they are at their worst. In an argument, he truly listens and tries to understand, and he always tries to view issues from multiple angles. Sasha is also my greatest cheerleader! He takes me to all my races and greets me at the finish line, and he supports me wholeheartedly in all my goals. I know he will be just as much a cheerleader and advocate for any child we welcome into our family.
Sasha About Gillian: I admire Gillian's dedication and drive. In the years we have been married, Gillian has accomplished so many great feats from scratch. She has run marathons, directed choirs, learned to code—all things that she had never done before. She is self-motivated, disciplined, and tenacious. Gillian is also an incredibly organized and helpful person. She helps me keep track of our schedule, and she packs me healthy lunches to take to work. Gillian takes care of me and makes my life easier; she is the second half of my life. I have no doubt she will be just as dedicated to our child.
We have both spent time living outside of the U.S. As a result, we each speak more than one language, we understand how it feels not to fit in, and we have learned how to adapt to a foreign culture in a way that celebrates and respects both the differences between people and the common humanity within us all.
Additionally, Gillian's experience teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) in Baltimore was a source of important learning and reflection for us. As a White person teaching (mostly) Hispanic ELLs in the majority-Black city of Baltimore, race and cultural identity came up regularly. We both spent time talking through and processing many of the challenging situations that came up in the course of Gillian's three years teaching there.
A child growing up in our family will be encouraged to explore their own unique background. We plan to engage early and often in age-appropriate conversations around race and identity, openly discussing the history of racism in our country and how it intersects with other identities. We live in a very diverse community, so we believe these conversations are important for any child. If this child is not White, we will also go out of our way to ensure that they are able to develop relationships with same-race peers and mentors. In all cases, we value the unique heritage that a child will bring to our family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We currently rent a three-bedroom apartment in a diverse neighborhood just outside of Washington, D.C. One of the bedrooms is Gillian's office space, where she works from home, and the third bedroom will become our future child's room. We share our home with our two cats, Pangur Ban and Bilbo Ballot. Our apartment complex has an outdoor pool where Sasha has been teaching Gillian's goddaughter how to swim. The complex has a lot of other families with kids, and many of them go to the pool, so our child will have plenty of potential playmates.
We are lucky to have multiple trails within walking distance of our home where we take family walks and where Gillian spends time training for races. There are even more trails a short drive away. Playgrounds are scattered along the trails, providing a fun outdoor play option for kids, and Gillian often takes her goddaughter to the closest playground when she is visiting. We also have a variety of bilingual public schools near us, and we hope to be able to send our child to one of these schools. Regardless, our child will likely grow up hearing different languages at the community spaces near our home—playground, library, church. Our proximity to D.C. and to the University of Maryland makes for a large international presence in the area and adds to the neighborhood's racial and ethnic diversity.
Our Extended Families
Sasha has one younger brother, and Gillian has one younger sister. We each consider our sibling our best friend! Our families live in New England, which makes it easy to visit everyone at once. Gillian's parents host Thanksgiving each year, and Sasha's family joins them in Massachusetts so that we can spend the holiday together. On Thanksgiving morning, half of us do a 5k "Turkey Trot" to make room for delicious food while Gillian's mother prepares the turkey and a mix of Greek and American side dishes with help from the family's non-runners. Our siblings are excited to jump into the "cool aunt/uncle" role, and our parents are looking forward to becoming grandparents for the first time. Although they are not close by, we video chat often, and we look forward to family visits here and in New England multiple times a year.
Our church family is our local family and firm support. Many of our fellow parishioners have kids, and we are involved with them in different ways. Sasha is assisting with church school classes, and Gillian has been taking her goddaughter to the Healthy Kids Running Series, which several families from church participate in. We're particularly close to our friends Claire and Matt, and we usually have breakfast with them and their daughter once a week after Claire and Gillian go for a morning run. They, like many of our friends, are full of love and parenting tips to send our way when the time comes.
From Us to You
One of our friends said it best: A child can never have too many people who love them. We know that you must love your child very much to be considering such a difficult decision. We also know that a child in our home will be loved extraordinarily and unconditionally not just by us, but by our family and friends, too. We appreciate your taking the time to learn a little about us as you try to make the right decision for you and your child. We hope you'll consider us as parents for your child, but more than that, we hope you'll make the decision that's right for you.
We have both wanted to be parents for as long as we can remember, and after five happy years of marriage, we are excited to be embarking on this journey toward parenthood. We have had a lot of time to consider the values and experiences we hope to share with a child. First and foremost, we hope to raise independent, resilient, God-loving children. We believe in arming children with life skills, from problem-solving and emotional intelligence to financial literacy skills. We want to avoid the extremes of both a "hands-off" approach and a "helicopter parenting" approach; children benefit from guidance, but they also need opportunities to try things and to learn from both successes and failures. We believe that learning from and overcoming failure and disappointment is the key to resilience. Trust in God provides the assurance that come what may, we are whole, worthy, and loved beyond anything we could ever imagine.
Beyond this, we want to provide a child with experiences that pique their curiosity in the world around them, and we have many ideas based on our own experiences to get them started. For us, international travel has been formative, and we hope to take our children on international trips once they are old enough to remember these experiences. Since we both speak another language and have several bilingual public schools in our area, we hope to help this child learn another language. Additionally, Gillian and her family are very musical, and Gillian is excited to share the joy of music with a child. Music is a window to the culture and spirituality of a people; it is art, discipline, and connection. Gillian has also been getting her goddaughter and her friends' kids involved in running, and we have seen these kids blossom as they learn the value of finishing a race (even when it didn't go as planned), of cheering on other participants (both friends and new acquaintances), and of appreciating the journey and the consistent work required to achieve individual and team goals. These skills can be learned in many extracurricular activities, including sports and the arts, so we hope to support this child in whatever athletic and artistic activities appeal to them.
We believe that most children are curious about who they are and where they come from, and we want your child to be proud of their adoption story and their heritage in all of its uniqueness. Your child will know their adoption story from their earliest days. We plan to talk to them about their adoption and their birth family before they can even conceptualize what adoption is, first through pictures, stories, and simple conversations and later through deeper conversations, support groups, and other resources. We plan for them to always know that they are adopted. We welcome your continued participation in your child's life in whatever way(s) you are comfortable. We are happy to update you on your child's life via photos, letters, email, or other mutually agreeable forms of communication, and we would also be glad to arrange visits when the time is right. We welcome openness in adoption because it would allow your child to know more about their heritage and history.
You are part of who they are, and if you choose us as parents for your child, we will always speak positively of you and highlight our gratitude for making us a family. Regardless of the choice you make, we wish you resilience in all that life sends your way.
Sasha & Gillian
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