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If you would like to learn more about us, please call 1-800-ADOPTION (2367846), fill out the form at the bottom of our on-line profile page, or email us at bp_information@americanadoptions.com.

To revisit our on-line profile page and view our profile video at American Adoptions, simply use your mobile phone to scan the QR code on the right. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Tom & Kirsten

Five years ago, adoption built the family you see in this profile. A few years later, we're ready to welcome a new child into our lives, and to build a strong, respectful relationship with you, the child's birth parents. We thank you for reading our profile and considering us as a family for your child.

About Us

Tom
Kirsten
Job
Research Ecologist
Associate Professor
Education
Ph.D. in Marine Biology
Ph.D. in Environmental Science
Children
Beatrix "Bix"
Relationship
Legally Married

Adoption in Our Lives

Hiking Through Hawaii

Even before we met, we were both committed to the idea of adoption to help build our family. All of our lives have been made better by adoption, as we were lucky enough to welcome our first child, Bix, into our lives five years ago. Bix's adoption is closed, to respect the wishes of her birthparents. While respecting this, we've shared with Bix everything we can about her story. We frequently tell her about the day she was born and about her birthparents who loved her so much they worked hard to find a couple who would love her and raise her.

Even though our first child has a closed adoption, we would value an open adoption with the child's birth parents involved in the child's life. We think that every child deserves his or her full, true story, even when it's complicated. We're committed to sharing their story with them and making sure that the child feels secure and loved by everyone in their story. We understand that you may desire more or less contact and we are open to a range of possibilities.

Our Lifestyle

A Day at the Races With Our Paddling Club

Family takes priority in our lives. We love spending time together! We go to different trails on the island to hike in the forest and swim under waterfalls. We set up a shade canopy at the beach, and body surf the waves, build sand castles, or float in the water. We volunteer with Bix’s school events, often at a farm where they grow taro using traditional agricultural methods brought to Hawaii by the original Polynesian voyagers.

Kirsten's Woven Traditional Lei

We sit down together for homecooked dinner every night. We also eat dinner with Kirsten’s parents, who live in Honolulu, at least once a week. We take vacation every summer to visit Tom’s parents, sisters, and nephews on the east coast. We Skype on the weekends with Kirsten’s brothers. In moments of need, we are all there for one another.

Individually, Kirsten loves cooking vegetarian food, reading books, making lei (Hawaiian flower garlands), gardening, singing, and playing board games. Tom enjoys playing the ukulele, sailing canoes, cooking, and puttering in the yard.

Cultural Diversity

Bix

We are committed to raising a child with a strong foundation of their birth culture. What that literally means is a commitment on our part to making the child’s culture part of our family’s culture – we will celebrate traditions of their birth culture, cook the food, learn the language (if not English), and, most importantly, become a meaningful member of a local, living community in the child’s birth culture.

As an example of this, our daughter is Native Hawaiian and we’ve worked to build the language and culture of Hawaii into our family. In the five years she’s been in our family, we’ve raised her in Hawaiian language immersion schools, we’ve all learned to speak native Hawaiian, she dances hula, and we’ve and built a network of friends who both look like her and can serve as authentic, living models of her birth culture.

Video

Photos

Sunset in the Park
Sunset in the Park
With Friends at the Taro Fields
With Friends at the Taro Fields
Bix After a Surf Lesson
Bix After a Surf Lesson
Hiking Up Makapuu
Hiking Up Makapuu
Picking Out Our Christmas Tree
Picking Out Our Christmas Tree
Enjoying a Beautiful Sunset on Our Anniversary
Enjoying a Beautiful Sunset on Our Anniversary
Happy Family
Happy Family
All Smiles After a Long, Dirty Bike Ride
All Smiles After a Long, Dirty Bike Ride
We Love Living So Close to the Beach!
We Love Living So Close to the Beach!
At the Top of a Hike on Kauai
At the Top of a Hike on Kauai
Bundled Up for a Picnic in California
Bundled Up for a Picnic in California
Making a Salad Together
Making a Salad Together
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Sunset in the Park
Sunset in the Park
2 / 12
With Friends at the Taro Fields
With Friends at the Taro Fields
3 / 12
Bix After a Surf Lesson
Bix After a Surf Lesson
4 / 12
Hiking Up Makapuu
Hiking Up Makapuu
5 / 12
Picking Out Our Christmas Tree
Picking Out Our Christmas Tree
6 / 12
Enjoying a Beautiful Sunset on Our Anniversary
Enjoying a Beautiful Sunset on Our Anniversary
7 / 12
Happy Family
Happy Family
8 / 12
All Smiles After a Long, Dirty Bike Ride
All Smiles After a Long, Dirty Bike Ride
9 / 12
We Love Living So Close to the Beach!
We Love Living So Close to the Beach!
10 / 12
At the Top of a Hike on Kauai
At the Top of a Hike on Kauai
11 / 12
Bundled Up for a Picnic in California
Bundled Up for a Picnic in California
12 / 12
Making a Salad Together
Making a Salad Together

Our House and Neighborhood

Our Home

We live in a three-bedroom, two-bath house a couple of blocks from the beach on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Hawaii is all about supporting family, or as we say here, ohana. Our neighborhood is full of young families, many of whom attend our local school. The neighborhood public elementary school is the best on the island and a 10 minute walk from our front door. We have a strong community that puts on plays, hosts paddling competitions, and throws neighborhood gatherings in the park.

Given the weather in Hawaii, we live as much outside as we do inside, and our house has wide doors to throw open to our garden. We have a lovely yard with loads of flowers and fruit trees (and soon, chickens!). The beach a couple blocks from our house has wide, white sand, protected waters, and a real, live coral reef. Families gather in the evening for picnics while the kids splash in the water. We are an easy stroll to a wonderful beach park, where kids climb on the playground, people paddle outrigger canoes, play soccer and volleyball, and BBQ with friends. A short ride down the bike path leads to a downtown area with a grocery store, restaurants, and shops.

Our Extended Families

At the Beach With Oma & Opa

We both come from large, loving families who are all excited to see us grow our family and to welcome a newcomer into the family fold. They have fully embraced Bix and supported us in our role as adoptive parents.

Both Tom’s and Kirsten’s parents are still together after almost 50 years, and we both have two siblings – so there are two uncles (Kirsten’s brothers) and two aunts (Tom’s sisters) ready and waiting for a new niece or a nephew. Your child will join a close-knit group of cousins ready for games, camp-outs, and fun!

Skating With Tom's Sisters

Our families are incredibly important to us. Fortunately, we see each other quite often. Kirsten’s parents moved to Honolulu to be closer to us, and now they live over the hill in Waikiki. We have weekly dinners over at “Oma’s” house, and Oma and Opa regularly help out – taking Bix swimming or to watch hula dancing.

Tom’s parents split their time between Massachusetts and South Carolina, and we go back east to visit every summer. Fourth of July means fireworks, BBQ, and jumping off the dock with the cousins at Giga and Da’s!

From Us to You

Aloha!

We’re Tom, Kirsten, and Beatrix. Adoption has built the family you see in this profile. Now we’re all ready to welcome a new child into our lives, and to build a strong, respectful relationship with you, the child’s birth parents. We recognize that the decisions you’re faced with are all difficult. We thank you for reading our profile, and for considering us as a family for your child.

Tom is a marine biologist who studies how corals may adapt to a changing world and how we can best work to protect coral reefs. Kirsten is an environmental economist, who works to make sure that economics actually counts the things that really matter to humans, like standing forests, clean water, and plenty of fish in the sea. Our daughter, Beatrix Puakala, or Bix, joined us five very exciting years ago.

We met almost sixteen years ago, in the first year of our doctorates. We had our first date on leap day 2004, and were married four years later, on leap day 2008. One of our vows was to share a “joyful, adventurous” life together, and we’ve done a great job so far.

We lived for two years in Madagascar, bicycled through Holland, conducted research in Samoa and the Marshall Islands, sailed along the coast of Croatia, went on safari in Tanzania, and hiked in California. Bix jumped right in with us and has helped with field-work on Big Island and Maui, hiked through Yosemite and New Hampshire, and visited her loving grandparents in the snowy east.

Even before we met, we were both committed to the idea of adoption to help build our family and have now been living that dream for five years. After learning about the many different styles of adoption, we decided that we value open adoption with birth parents involved in the child’s life. We believe in open adoption and think that every child deserves his or her full, true story, even when it’s complicated. We understand that you may desire more or less contact and we are open to a range of possibilities. Whatever level of openness you prefer, we commit to sharing letters and pictures with you as your child grows.

As you might expect from two academics, we love learning and will surround your child with the joys of books, the wonders of the natural world, and the adventures of travel. Our home is full of books, both fun ones and weighty tomes, as well as cozy places set up for reading. For fun outside the house, we love hiking, camping, paddling our stand up paddle board, surfing, biking, listening to live music, and just setting up the canopy at the beach park for the day. Our family will see a lot of the world and its many cultures - from fieldwork on small Pacific islands to visiting extended family in Europe.

We’re at a point in our lives where we are ready welcome another child into our family, build a loving world around him or her, and watch that child grow to his or her full potential. We hope that you and your child will join us on this next joyful adventure.

Tom & Kirsten

Favorites

Tom
Kirsten
Actor
Bill Murray
Kevin Spacey
Actress
Frances McDormand
Meryl Streep
Animal
Dragonfly
Horse
Author
David Mitchell
Margaret Atwood
Book
Pale Fire
Walden; or Life in the woods (Thoreau)
Candy Bar
Snickers
Snickers
Cartoon
Rick and Morty
Simpsons
Childhood Memory
Digging up Mole Crabs in Massachusetts
Sledding down our backyard hill
Childhood Toy
My bear
My bear
Children's Book
Dinotopia
Lamont the Lonely Monster
City
San Francisco
San Francisco
Classic Movie
Yojimbo
Breakfast at TIffany's
Color
Ultramarine
Yellow
Day of Week
Saturday
Saturday
Dessert
Lemon sorbet
Ice cream
Disney Movie
Moana
Moana
Dream Car
Electric Pickup Truck
Truck
Dream Job
Marine Biologist
Natural Geographic Explorer
Dream Vacation
Hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail
Hiking in the mountains and camping by streams
Family Activity
Paddleboarding
Hiking, board games
Flower / Plant
Puakala
Puakala
Food
Poke Bowl
Cheese
Form of Exercise
Trail Running
Hiking
Fruit
Sour Sop
Peach
Game
Bocce ball
Settlers of Catan
Hobby
Building electronic gizmos
Knitting
Holiday
Boxing Day
Christmas
Holiday Song
Mele Kalikimaka
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Holiday Tradition
Driving up to the North Shore to get an xmas tree, then eating at El Palenque in Wahiwa
Singing carols
Ice Cream
Lemon Sorbet
Coffee
Junk Food
Corn Nuts
Chocolate
Leisure Activity
Sailing Outrigger Canoes
Reading a book
Magazine
The Atlantic
The New Yorker
Memory with a Child
Paddling Boarding along Ala Moana with Bix, showing her the sea turtles
Climbing trees
Memory with Spouse
Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez on our Honeymoon
Getting engaged while practicing headstands, on a hike in Big Sur
Movie
Raising Arizona
Princess Bride
Movie Munchie
Popcorn
Popcorn, of course!
Movie Quote
"You're not wrong Walter, you're just ..."
"I'll have what she's having." (When Harry Met Sally)
Movie Type
Witty Comedy (Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson); Kurosawa, Tarantino
Drama
Musical
Blues Brothers
Alexander Hamilton
Musical Group
Johnny Cash, The Replacements
REM, U2, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead
Nursery Rhyme
Rockabye Baby On the Tree Top...
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
Olympic Event
Biathalon
Downhill skiing
Personal Hero
Ernest Shackleton
Jane Goodall
Play
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Arcadia (Tom Stoppard)
Poet
Stephen Vincent Benet, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Nabokov,
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Quality about my Spouse
Her kindness and dedication
Kindness, curiosity
Quote
"I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it."
Keep close to nature's heart...and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend the week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. (John Muir)
Restaurant
Piggy Smalls
Greens (San Francisco)
Sandwich
Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese
Shopping Store
McMaster Carr Catalog
Farmer's market
Song
Sweet Baby James
Hey Jude (The Beatles)
Sport to Play
Rock Climbing
Hiking
Sport to Watch
Soccer
Soccer
Sports Star
John John Florence
Florence Griffith Joyner
Sports Team
Polynesian Voyaging Society
US women's soccer
Subject in School
Biology, English
Physics
Superhero
Spiderman
Wonder Woman
Thing to Cook
Popovers
Dinner for friends
Time of Day
Evening Twilight
early morning
Tradition
Cooking Sunday Brunches
TV Show
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones
TV Show Character
Arya Stark
Daenerys Targaryen
Type of Music
Indie Rock
Folk
Vacation Spot
Right at home
We live in my favorite spot - Hawaii!
Video Game
Joust
Cribbage

Contact Us

Thank you for reading our profile. If you have any comments or questions for us, please leave a message below to find out more about us!

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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.