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Henry & Larisa
Parenthood has been the dream of our marriage, one that we hope will come true. Thank you for considering us as you make the difficult decisions that lie ahead. The most important things we have to offer are love, laughter, and joy. Happily married and deeply in love, we are generous and kind, ready to provide a child with a stable home, a strong education, and an adulthood filled with promise and opportunity.
Our Leisure Time
We share an abiding love for the arts and spend a lot of our free time attending concerts, going to museums and film screenings, and reading. We are also committed to helping support non-profit causes and our city’s cultural economy. Henry works in the film world, has been vice-president of the board of the local film festival, and promotes the local film scene on a public-radio show. Larisa led a Carnival marching club which empowers women through dance, performance, and an anti-domestic violence campaign. Larisa chaired the fundraising committee for six years, and raised an estimated $100,000 through an annual ”party with a purpose” to benefit a local center for women and children. Larisa has recently handed off these responsibilities to other group leaders to make time for a little one, hopefully joining us through the adoption process.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
When Henry thought about his future wife, he hoped she would love books, movies, music, and that she would be a good dancer. He won that lottery when he fell in love with Larisa. Married love with Larisa also showed him what makes her a strong woman: a powerful intellect, an open mind, and fierce determination. She makes friends easily, and is loyal to them. She calls her friends “brother” and “sister,” not just by habit, but to put a name on her true feelings for them. Henry knows that the world would be a better place if Larisa ran more of it because she has high standards and is an incurable optimist.Larisa needed a man to be cute, funny, smart, creative, and a dancer. She found the husband of her heart in Henry. He has taught Larisa the power of those blue eyes and red curls, to laugh every day, to read more thick books, to watch more films with subtitles, to write more in her own voice, and to hold hands while dancing.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
If we are fortunate enough to grow our family with a child who is ethnically different from us, we are ready to address diversity. As prospective parents of an African-American child, we know that it is important that our child grow up with pride for their heritage by birth, as well as by upbringing. The heritage of our community is largely an African-American story, with its celebrated contributions to world culture through music, literature, and cuisine.
We both work in public education, and we daily address issues with young people and ethnic identity. We welcome the chance to help our child navigate the world they will grow up in with a sense of pride in all of the families they can claim.We have a very diverse group of friends and neighbors from all different races and cultural backgrounds, especially African-American and bi-racial. These friends have children, some of whom were also transracially adopted. We hope to instill a sense of pride in our child for his or her background and we will celebrate our family's diversity each day!
Our House and Neighborhood
We own a lovely home with plenty of room for our child to have its own room, lots of toys and books, and sleep-overs. The house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a bit of yard which will soon have a swingset and a hammock.
Our neighborhood is quiet, safe, and diverse. We are walking distance from schools, parks, restaurants, a movie theater, and the public library. Henry grew up in this very neighborhood, and learned to swim at the local community center. A nearby public park is filled on the weekend with families playing games, having picnics, and watching the sun set over the Mississippi River. The neighborhood ice cream parlor often has a gathering of young people with their parents and dogs at the cafe tables enjoying a cone or a yogurt after school.We have flexible hours and usually take summers off to travel or chill out. We look forward to sharing all of this with our new little one.
Our Extended Families
We both grew up with two siblings, with whom we are still close. Henry’s older sister, Lucy, is mother to Ardis and Avery, our beloved nephew and niece who live upstate in Shreveport. Henry’s younger sister, Sarah, is mother to twin boys Houston and William who live nearby. Larisa’s younger brother, Ben, lives in Chicago, and is a jazz drummer and music teacher with no children of his own. Larisa’s sister, Rebecca, lives outside of Orlando with their mom, and has no children of her own. We spend every Christmas together, and most Thanksgivings, dividing our holiday time between the Louisiana and Florida families. We frequently babysit the twins, or take them for a playdate to the park.
One of our favorite playdate activities is to take the kiddos to the zoo to feed the giraffes. We also have a great time during Mardi Gras, and we admire Sarah’s commitment to family costuming. The parents dressed like stormy weather, and the little boys were “El Nino.” One liked the cloud outfit more than the other, but that’s twins for you.
Our community has many activities that help make childhood a magical time.
From Us to You
We’d like to introduce ourselves to you as possible adoptive parents, and we’d like you to know that we understand how difficult this decision is for you and your family. We offer our warmest wishes to you as you work your way through the tough choices that lie ahead.
We are a happily married couple living in a very diverse community in Louisiana. We are surrounded by a close group of friends and family. We’ve been together for twleve years, and married for seven this May. Henry and his family are natives of Louisiana and Henry has lived here most of his life. Larisa grew up and lived in Georgia her whole life before moving to Louisiana about 15 years ago.
We are both teachers. Larisa works as a principal at a local school, and Henry is a professor of Film at a local university. We are very much in love, but married later in life than most couples. So, after trying and failing to conceive on our own, we have begun the journey to become adoptive parents.
We own a lovely home, with plenty of room for a child to have her own room, lots of toys and books, and sleep-overs. We live in a quiet, safe, diverse neighborhood that is within walking distance to schools, parks, restaurants, a movie theater, and the public library. We have flexible hours and usually take summers off, and look forward to spending lots of time with our new little one. Henry’s job has offered him opportunities to teach abroad, which has given us chances to travel. It is our hope to provide a stable home life for a child, while also showing her the world.
We have two sisters in town with children, so our growing family includes lots of first cousins to play with, and most of our friends have little ones who are toddlers or just starting pre-school. One of our favorite play-date activities is to take the kiddos to the zoo to feed the giraffes.
We love good music, dancing, travel, literature, movies, and theatre, and we will raise our child in a deeply artistic environment. As prospective parents of an African-American child, we know that it is important that a child grow up with pride for the heritage that is hers by birth, as well as by upbringing. In our community, developing and practicing that pride comes naturally based on our rich history and traditions and it can also be a lot of fun.
The most important thing we have to offer is love, laughter, and joy. We are generous and kind, and can provide a child a stable home, a strong education, leading to an adulthood filled with promise and opportunity.
We understand that feeling connected to the life of your child can be essential, and we look forward to staying connected with you through letters, emails, photos, videos, phone calls, video chatting, and we are open to exploring other types of communication, if that is something you would want.
Parenthood has been the dream of our marriage, one that we hope will come true. We sincerely hope that you consider us as you review your options.Sincerely,
Henry & Larisa
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