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Sam & Marisa
Hello from California! We're Sam and Marisa and we are truly honored that you are considering us as adoptive parents for your child. Please know that you will always be honored and respected in our home. Any kiddo that makes their way into our hearts will always be cherished and protected, and know a lifetime of unconditional support, self-respect and opportunity.
How We Met
We met when we were kids ourselves. We were both in the 10th grade, and it was pretty much love at first sight. Happily together throughout most of high school, upon graduation we parted ways for a few years as we both took some time to travel the world and figure out the kinds of adults we wanted to become. Sam spent several years living in Israel, while Marisa lived in Guatemala on an extended art fellowship. Throughout this period, we learned to push our individual boundaries and expand our perspectives beyond the monochromatic Midwestern suburbs of our youth. We are both so thankful for the privileges that life has provided us, and these experiences abroad were an integral part of our appreciation for creating lives that embrace and celebrate diversity. Soon after we returned to the states, we found each other again, and we haven't looked back since. Having known each other as long as we have, we benefit from a real shorthand and a mutual understanding of one another's needs and rhythms. Any life has it's challenges, and lord knows we've had ours, but love is something that we've both been very fortunate in, and we will always be there for each other.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Sam About Marisa: Whoever gets Marisa as a mama is going to be one lucky little human. She's got a remarkable instinct for nurturing others; it just seems to come so naturally to her. She's smart and tough and she never stops moving. I think that tireless nature will undoubtedly go hand in hand with the requirements of parenthood, but it's her creativity that I most look forward to seeing her share with our child. She really can't help herself from making wherever she is a more beautiful place. I really love that about her. If she's not playing in the garden, she's decorating our home or stretching a canvas or making origami cranes. It's a lot of fun to watch her in action, and I think she's going to create a very dynamic life for our child.
Marisa About Sam: Sam is one of the most kind-hearted people I've ever known. He takes incredible care of the people he loves, and works extremely hard for his family. I feel so fortunate to have such an amazing partner, and I can't wait to see him as a dad. His passion for learning about other people and the world around us seems boundless. His sense of adventure, whether it's getting lost in an epic story or finding a fun new place to hike and explore - he's just got such an incredible excitement for life, and I know our child is going to have the most amazing experiences with him.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
Our entire family will be identified as multicultural, and we'll always ensure that our home and community reflect that reality. Our house is full of art, music, books and toys that reflect cultures beyond our own. Hopefully in time our child will come to share some of the same heroes that we do; we both grew up revering civil rights icons like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. But there will be many moments in life when our child will have to face the harsh realities of racism. We will stand up for them and stand with them, as we do our best to prepare them for some of the tough realities they will confront. Our child will always understand that we love and accept them for exactly who they are. We will never minimize or dismiss their experiences, feelings or concerns. They need to know that they can trust their instincts, and we plan to confront these issues openly and honestly, while doing our best to surround them with friends, family and community who are open-minded and accepting of people from all backgrounds.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a charming suburban neighborhood in southern California with some of the best schools in the area. That's a big part of what drew us here. We're blessed with some very friendly neighbors, many of whom have young children themselves, so people in this community really look out for each other. Our house is within walking distance from a gorgeous mountain range with lots of trails that we like to hike on most weekends. Our neighborhood is quite diverse, and we enjoy the wide variety of music, art, and culture that is at our fingertips here. There's an incredible farmers market with lots of fresh food and great activities for kids. The entire area has tons of parks and libraries with some really cool playgrounds, pools, and programs for children.
We've got a delightful three-bedroom home that we've poured a lot of love into to make it a comfortable and welcoming environment. There's a big fully enclosed yard out back, with several cozy gathering spaces and lots of room for kids to run around and play. Our house is filled with books and games. We entertain quite a bit, and really enjoy having a home full of close friends and family. It's the rare weekend that we don't have folks over for barbecue or a nice dinner. There's abundant space here for our family to grow, and we just put the finishing touches on the nursery. All that's missing is a little bambino!
Our Extended Families
We both come from spirited, joyful families. Most of Sam's relatives live in California, and we visit each other often. While together, we enjoy picnics, hikes, lively debates, and singing around the piano. Sam has over 20 cousins, most of whom are more like siblings to each other. Two of them just had babies themselves, one of whom was also adopted—we are so excited that our baby will have many cousins to play with! Trips home are spent with countless family members ... some years we've had more than 50 people at Thanksgiving, and we always come away feeling blessed by the endless love and support in our lives. Sam's sister lives right up the way, with her husband (who was also adopted), and our darling little niece and nephew. Several other aunts and cousins live within 15 minutes of our home, making babysitting, game nights and family get togethers a regular experience.
Marisa's family lives in Minnesota. They visit us every year, and we're lucky enough to visit them, too. Like Sam's family, Marisa's family loves to spend time together, and will find any excuse to gather around the table for good food and camaraderie. Marisa and her father talk every night, even if only to say "I love you." Everyone's thrilled we've decided to adopt, and cannot wait to welcome a new child into the family.
From Us to You
Hello! Is it wrong to admit to you how nervous we are as we write this letter? We are. How can we possibly encapsulate everything about us that matters to you in 500-700 words? We have only one thing to give ... ourselves. We'll share that here with as much fullness of heart and generosity of spirit as we can muster. And spoiler alert! ... We are not perfect people. But with humility and respect ... we're pretty darned good. We're two people who care deeply about each other, this world, and our contributions to it. We cherish our families and will do anything we can to raise them up and keep them safe. We love each other fiercely, and still have so much more love left to give. That's where we hope you come in ...
We're a couple of Midwestern folks who managed to find our way to the Golden state, and have carved out a great life for ourselves here. We fell in love when we were 15 years old, and have been through thick and thin together. Our marriage is rock solid, and not a day goes by that we don't thank the stars for all that life has blessed us with. We've had the opportunity to pursue our own hopes and dreams - and we are more than ready now to support a child with everything we've got. The years and tears it took to get us here have ensured that we are incapable of taking parenthood for granted. And we cannot imagine what this time must be like for you. But we want to listen, if you want to share.
Adoption can be complicated in the best of circumstances. Lord knows we've gone through our own rollercoaster of emotions as this process has evolved. We recognize the magnitude of the decision you've undertaken, and have tremendous respect for the path you've set upon. If you have questions for us, we invite them with open arms. As our grasp of adoption has evolved, so have we. We've wrestled through our sense of helplessness, and have come to the conclusion that we must approach this moment with faith. In ourselves, in the process, and most importantly in you. We'll do everything in our power to instill with you that same sense of faith and security.
We feel so fortunate to have this opportunity, and though at times it's been a bumpy road getting here, we've embraced it wholeheartedly. We have been waiting and wondering for a long time now just what parenthood will be like, and though profoundly humbled by the prospect, we are also as ready as any two people can be to experience the wonders and challenges of parenthood. We cannot wait to welcome this little kiddo into the world with you and into our family. We are fully committed to sending you regular updates and photos. If you would like, we would also love to share updates from you with your child.
Sam's sister and brother-in law live right up the way with our niece and nephew, who are a big part of our life. They're both amazing kids, and being close with them has been a real gift. They cannot wait to meet their new little cousin ... in fact they ask us almost every week if the baby's here yet. We eagerly await the day when we can tell them their cousin has arrived!
With Warmth and Respect,
Sam & Marisa
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