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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.

About Us

Henry
Larisa
Job
Professor
Middle School Principal
Education
Master's Degree in Creative Writing
Bachelor's Degree in English Literature
Children
None
Relationship
Legally Married

Our Leisure Time

Larisa Marching in a Parade

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

Henry + Larisa

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!

Video

Photos

Gondola Ride
Gondola Ride
Larisa With Her Debate Students
Larisa With Her Debate Students
Henry Officiating a Friend's Wedding
Henry Officiating a Friend's Wedding
Exploring Morocco
Exploring Morocco
Larisa With Our Nephew
Larisa With Our Nephew
Henry With His Godson & Brother-in-Law
Henry With His Godson & Brother-in-Law
Dancing With Our Niece
Dancing With Our Niece
At the Zoo With Our Nephews
At the Zoo With Our Nephews
Larisa at a Music Festival
Larisa at a Music Festival
Henry Playing With Our Nephew
Henry Playing With Our Nephew
Dressed Up to March in a Parade
Dressed Up to March in a Parade
Henry With His Mother
Henry With His Mother
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Gondola Ride
Gondola Ride
2 / 12
Larisa With Her Debate Students
Larisa With Her Debate Students
3 / 12
Henry Officiating a Friend's Wedding
Henry Officiating a Friend's Wedding
4 / 12
Exploring Morocco
Exploring Morocco
5 / 12
Larisa With Our Nephew
Larisa With Our Nephew
6 / 12
Henry With His Godson & Brother-in-Law
Henry With His Godson & Brother-in-Law
7 / 12
Dancing With Our Niece
Dancing With Our Niece
8 / 12
At the Zoo With Our Nephews
At the Zoo With Our Nephews
9 / 12
Larisa at a Music Festival
Larisa at a Music Festival
10 / 12
Henry Playing With Our Nephew
Henry Playing With Our Nephew
11 / 12
Dressed Up to March in a Parade
Dressed Up to March in a Parade
12 / 12
Henry With His Mother
Henry With His Mother

Our House and Neighborhood

Our Home

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

Larisa With Her Family

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.

With Henry's Family

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

Favorites

Henry
Larisa
Actor
Marlon Brando, Samuel L. Jackson
Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman
Actress
Meryl Streep, Barbara Stanwyck
Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Katherine Hepburn
Animal
dogs, probably
Elephant
Author
I like all kids of books, and have a hard time picking a favorite author
Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison
Book
One Hundred Years of Solitude, and many more
the job is too big, but my favorite genre right now is Russian fairy tales
Candy Bar
Hershey's with Almonds
Snickers
Cartoon
The Simpsons
Foghorn Leghorn and Pepe le Pew
Childhood Memory
My parents taking me and my sisters to see The Wiz. They brought us twice!
When I was tiny, riding around in an old military Jeep with my dad, at night with the top down, singing the theme song to Batman at the top of our lungs because I couldn't sleep. Except where you're supposed to sing "Batman" we snag "outside."
Childhood Toy
my teddy bear
A Raggedy Ann doll made for me by my Granny.
Children's Book
"Always Help a Bird," by E. Pintoff, my first book
The Little Engine That Could.
City
New Orleans, New York City
Florence, Italy
Classic Movie
Casablanca
The Godfather
Color
Green
green
Day of Week
Sunday
all of them and none of them
Dessert
Tiramisu
Banana Bread
Disney Movie
Wall-E, Fantasia, Princess and the Frog
The Jungle Book and The Princess and the Frog
Dream Car
cars aren't that important to me, but an electric car would be cool
Jeep Wrangler
Dream Job
Film Director
Architect or Archaeologist
Dream Vacation
Around the world
beaches all over the world
Family Activity
going to brunch together
going to the zoo to feed the giraffes
Flower / Plant
lillies of all kinds
Food
anything Italian or Japanese
oysters
Form of Exercise
dancing, bicycling
dancing
Fruit
bananas
pineapple
Game
Dungeons & Dragons
Jenga
Hobby
Collecting Vinyl Records
Singing With My Band
Holiday
Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
Holiday Song
All Mardi Gras music is lovely
Holiday Tradition
going to parades
costuming for Mardi Gras day
Ice Cream
coffee
mint chocolate chip
Junk Food
popcorn
potato chips with cold green grapes
Leisure Activity
going to classic movies
streaming movies and reading
Magazine
The New Yorker
Atlantic Monthly
Memory with a Child
taking my 2-year-old nephews to their first movie in a theater; dancing with my 11-year-old niece to the Dixie Cups
watching my baby sister takes her first steps
Memory with Spouse
Proposing to Larisa with a band to serenade her. She said yes!
the day Henry proposed
Movie
2001: A Space Odyssey
When Harry Met Sally
Movie Munchie
popcorn
Raisinets
Movie Quote
"I believe in America, America is where I made my fortune" opening scene of The Godfather.
Movie Type
Classic or foreign
political drama
Musical
Singin' in the Rain
Hamilton
Musical Group
The Beatles, the John Coltrane Quartet
Earth, Wind, and Fire and Duke Ellington, and a very long list
Nursery Rhyme
For Want of a Nail
Humpty Dumpty
Olympic Event
fencing
couples ice skating
Personal Hero
Louis Armstrong
Madeleine Albright
Play
Hamilton
Poet
William Shakespeare
Billy Collins
Quality about my Spouse
Her Commitment to Achieving Her Goals - She is an Inspiration!
His Sense of Humor
Quote
"Life can only be understood backwards. But it must be lived forward." - Soren Kierkegaard
"Never forget that a small group of dedicated people can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead
Sandwich
turkey reuben
Scripture
The Book of Job
"blessed are the peacemakers"
Shopping Store
the local bookstore
Dollar Tree
Song
"It's Your Thing."
couldn't possibly select
Sport to Watch
NBA basketball
whatever Henry is watching
Sports Star
Phil Jackson (my favorite coach)
Sports Team
New Orleans Pelicans (and the L.A. Lakers)
Subject in School
English
English
Superhero
Green Lantern
Spiderman
Thing to Cook
pasta
fried catfish and gnocchi
Time of Day
dawn
sunset
Tradition
Going to Music Festivals With Larisa
Bach Around the Clock With Henry
TV Show
The Wire
The West Wing
TV Show Character
Omar, from The Wire.
C.J. Cregg
Type of Music
Jazz, classic funk, and R&B
jazz, funk, R&B
Vacation Spot
New York City
Gulf beaches
Video Game
Tetris

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You can also call 1-800-ADOPTION (236-7846) and ask to speak with an Adoption Specialist or Michelle, who is a birth mother herself.