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Thomas & Kaleb
Hi! We are Kaleb and Thomas. We are so excited to be able to build our family through adoption. As a same-sex couple, we did not always know that being able to grow our family would be an option, but we are thankful for this opportunity to hopefully welcome a child into our home and provide them with all the love, support, and laughter that we have to give.
We embrace cultural diversity in all aspects of our lives. No matter what our child’s cultural heritage may be, we intend to introduce him or her to all different kinds of people and cultures. This will be done through food, literature, film, and travel. Additionally, we are fortunate to live in a community that is very racially diverse. Due to the presence of a university, medical school, and being a major medical hub, our community draws people in from all over the world. From this, we are fortunate to have wonderful festivals that show pride in as varied of areas as the Lebanese food festival to the Irish festival and the fine art fair.
Further, as gay men we understand the need to find your “community” and those who share similar backgrounds or interests and will help our child find that for themselves. We want to make sure that our child feels a connection with the larger world that extends beyond the four walls of our home.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Our favorite vacations are those where we are able to be outside. We enjoy our, what has almost become, annual trip to Mexico where we get to sit on the beach or next to the pool, listening to the waves and reading a book. We especially love these trips because they are a means to explore Mayan ruins and eat some of our favorite foods like huevos rancheros, chicken chilaquiles, and guacamole.
Our love of being outside also means that we enjoy discovering new cities by wandering through its parks or dining al fresco. Some of our best memories are sitting in the gardens in Paris eating a macaroon after walking through a museum. We look forward to being able to bring our child on these trips and to share these new experiences with them. We are especially excited to see his or her face light up as they experience Disney World for the first time.
Our Family Traditions
During our almost 9 years together we have developed a number of family traditions that we hope to share with our child. To start, we have a tradition of Friday night pizza. For Thomas, this has been a tradition since he was a child. Now we share this tradition together and use it as a means of creating new pizzas at home as well as a way to explore new restaurants around town.
Christmas also carries a lot of tradition in our home and with our families. First, we have an annual day of baking Christmas cookies. Then, on Christmas Eve we have dinner with family, followed by the children opening presents and the annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” We also have a Christmas Eve tradition of driving around the neighborhood and looking at all of the wonderful Christmas lights. This is something that Thomas did with his family ever since he was a child; now we pack the dogs in the car, grab some hot chocolate and hit the road. We cannot wait to share this with our child!
Our Extended Families
Family is very important to both of us. We are lucky to have family nearby that we see often. No matter how old we get, we always get together for everyone’s birthday, with the birthday person getting to choose what kind of dessert he or she wants. For Kaleb that means yellow cake with strawberries and for Thomas it is lemon cake. Recently we have started a new “tradition” of singing the birthday song, but not in unison and definitely not in key. It turns out to be a noisy disaster that we find hilarious each and every time. Thomas’ family has always enjoyed playing dominos, which is something we shared with Kaleb’s family on a recent trip to Florida. Our families are very excited for us to start our family so we will have more birthday songs and more game time.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a midcentury modern home in a well-established neighborhood with lots of trees. Despite the neighborhood being built in the 1950s and 60s, there are many young families with children that have moved here because it is near shopping, restaurants, has great schools, and is still close to downtown.
We chose our home because it has a wonderful indoor/outdoor feel with large windows and huge sliding glass doors that lets you see out to the yard. For that reason, our favorite room in our home is our family room because we can sit on the couch and see through the sliding glass doors to our patio with fire pit and to the green grass and trees.
One of the best features of our home is the park that is within walking distance. The park has huge, open fields with lots of trees. There is also play equipment and a lake. During the summers, our neighborhood plays movies in the park at dusk for families to come together, have a picnic, and enjoy a movie.
From Us to You
We would like to thank you for taking the time to read our letter and to learn more about us. We want you to know that, no matter what has led you to creating an adoption plan, we are here with nothing but love, support, and the desire to welcome a child into our family and home.
We met about nine years ago when both of us were in graduate school. Thomas was in his first year of law school and Kaleb was in his first year of medical school. We met through a mutual friend and have been inseparable ever since. We have seen each other through graduate school in Arizona and a move for medical residency in Illinois. Now that we have been married for four years and settled into our home and our careers, we hope to start our family.
Despite both of us having traditionally demanding jobs, we are extremely lucky to have found ourselves working for employers that value family and balance in our lives. Thomas works at a non-profit law firm that provides free legal services to low income, disabled, and elderly individuals where he specializes in representing disabled individuals. His work offers him flexibility in his schedule and he plans to reduce his hours once we welcome a child into our home. We both want to have an active role in our child’s life and have chosen careers and jobs that will allow us to do this.
We live in a city in Illinois that boasts a university, numerous museums, parks, and countless festivals and activities year-round. We love being able to take our dogs, Yuma and Bella, out for a hike or along the trails overlooking the river. Our favorite time of year is fall, when the leaves are changing and when we can visit the apple orchard for some apple cider donuts and fresh apple pie. We cannot wait to take our child exploring in our community, to the park, out for ice cream, and especially to pick apples!
Because Kaleb grew up in this area we are lucky to have his mom, sisters, and numerous relatives nearby. Thomas grew up in Arizona, but his brother Scott recently moved to Illinois and his parents plan to relocate here after they retire and when there is a grandchild for them to spoil!
The flexibility and balance that our jobs offer, also means that we are afforded the opportunity to travel often. Because we love being outside and enjoy trying new food, we let those two things direct many of our trips. For instance, going to Mexico to be on the beach and eating the local cuisine to traveling to Santa Fe to hike and view the history and art. Being in Illinois also means taking advantage of all that Chicago has to offer all year long. We hope to use travel as a means of helping our child understand how large and diverse the world is and to cherish that diversity and find confidence in all the little things that make each of us unique.
Ultimately, we just want you to know that we are here to provide our future child the love and support that he or she may need to grow. We will also provide our child with the knowledge that their adoption was filled with love. With that, we also want you to know that we come into this with an open mind and an open heart. We also want you to be a part of this journey, if you so wish, by sending pictures, letters and emails.
Thank you for reading this letter, learning more about us, and how much we look forward to welcoming a child into our home.
Thomas & Kaleb
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