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Mladen & Elena
We are so excited to meet you! As we think about you, we want you to know that we deeply admire your willingness to consider adoption for your baby. We appreciate the opportunity to cherish, love, and support the life you are bringing into this world. Your strength and courage provide a loving couple like us the opportunity to give your baby all the love in our hearts and for us to have the family we have dreamed of.
Our Cultural Heritage
We are fortunate enough to come from two different but also similar backgrounds. Mladen is Serbian - his family moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago from former Yugoslavia, and Elena is originally from Russia.
While Serbian and Russian cultures have a lot of similarities there are still many differences, including traditions, holidays, language and cuisine. Mladen's dad roasts a pig every Christmas and his mom makes the best phyllo dough cheese pie. Russians love to drink tea so Elena is famous for her freshly brewed teas. We love to attend local Serbian festivals where we can watch folk dances and listen to live music. We visit our families in Europe every few years and can't wait to introduce our child to different cultures and teach him/her to appreciate diversity.
Because we value different cultures so much based on our own experience, all backgrounds are welcome in our home. Some of our close friends are American, Chinese and Puerto Rican. We choose to embrace and celebrate the diverse culture that make up our friends and family. We look forward to sharing our big world with a child, while preserving child's own authenticity and celebrating where they are from and their own cultural traditions.
Our Leisure Time
In our leisure time we like to tackle house projects, spend time with family and friends, explore the city or spend time outdoors. Family is very important to us so we see each other often for casual family dinners or coffee. We love hanging out with our two nephews who live close by, helping out with Cub Scout projects or taking them out for ice cream.
Our vacations usually involve travelling away from home - few of our favorite destinations are Mexico, Europe and US National Parks. Our European travels are usually to visit family but we like to mix them up with seeing new places. We also enjoy road trips a great deal and exploring the US - our favorite places so far include Great Canyon, California Redwoods and driving highway 101 along the West coast.
Mladen is a big soccer fan. He plays soccer weekly with his adult team at the local arena and follows all major soccer tournaments. Both of us enjoy watching American football and are big Seahawks fans, we try to attend at least one game every season - go Hawks! Elena loves to cook, decorate and organize the house and keep it cozy. She is always testing out new recipes from different cuisines. Family and friends love to come over because they always know they are up for a treat. We can't wait to share our favorite past times with a child.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Our favorite vacation spot is Rivera Maya, Mexico. We truly enjoy Caribbean beach vacation and try to go every winter to escape the rain. Our favorite Mexican resort is perfect for families with shallow sandy beach, wave pool, lazy river, awesome kids club and all day activities for children and adults. Vacation is a perfect time to escape busy everyday lives and to enjoy each other as a family. Besides soaking up the sun and playing in the ocean, there are several other activities we really enjoy in Rivera Maya region. We love to explore natural wonders such as Xcaret park and nearby islands such as Cozumel or sightseeing trips to Mayan ruins with Chichen-Itza being the most famous. One of our favorite memories is swimming in the underground rivers of Xcaret and visiting a cenote. We love tropical wildlife - we really enjoying interacting with resident flamingos and peacocks at our favorite resort. We look forward to our beach vacation every year and can't wait to share this tradition with a child.
Our House and Neighborhood
We are very lucky to call Washington state our home! Natural beauty of Pacific Northwest is stunning and that is why we chose to have a house in the suburbs. This way we can have the best of both, big city nearby and scenery and wildlife in our own backyard.
We love our two-story house with open layout downstairs and three bedrooms upstairs. Elena loves to cook in our new kitchen which we had an adventure remodeling ourselves. In summer we enjoy being outside in our backyard or out on a deck where on a clear day one can see city skyline and Olympic mountains. Our favorite way to relax after work is with a cup of coffee out on a deck watching hummingbirds visit our petunia baskets. We love having family and friends over for dinner or BBQ and our nephews love chasing Mladen around the yard, playing soccer or toy water guns.
Our small city is a perfect place for families - with plenty of parks, trails and playgrounds. There are three lakes within ten minute drive with beach areas to swim or paddle around on a kayak. Our neighborhood park is just around the corner and it's our favorite for dog walks, especially during summer when we often see wild bunnies and deer. Our school district is the best in the state and two elementary schools are also within short walking distance. The city hosts family-friendly events several times a year which are always fun for everyone.
Our Extended Families
We are both lucky to have been brought up in loving and supportive families. Mladen's family, parents and sister with her family, leave half an hour away and we get to spend a lot of quality time with them. Our favorite get-togethers are during Thanksgiving and Christmas when we invite close friends and enjoy variety of good foods, share laughs and play games. What makes both our families unique that we come from the same cultural/religious background (Eastern Orthodox Christian) and one of the fun benefits is that we celebrate two Christmases, two weeks apart, one on December 25th and one on January 7th. Mladen's nephews love this tradition and always look forward to spending more time with the family and, of course, more presents. Mladen loves spending time with his two nephews playing board games, sports and working on fun projects for Cub Scouts.
Elena's mother and brother with his family live in Russia and we keep in touch with them regularly via Skype. Couple of years ago we spent a relaxing week with them in Finland where we rented a house, enjoyed nature and visited the capital city Helsinki. Elena's family is also a close-nit family, they love getting together. Elena's two nieces are currently taking English classes and it's always fun to converse with them in English.
From Us to You
Hello and thank you for taking time to get to know us! We cannot imagine how difficult of a decision this must be for you and we admire your strength and courage. We hope that learning more about us will give you piece of mind as you consider adoption for your child. We are committed to going through this process with you and want you to know that you are not alone.
Please know that your child will be raised in a safe, stable and loving home. We have been together for eight years and have been married for six. Ever since we met we knew that we wanted to be parents and it was difficult to keep trying to conceive without success. We feel that this experience made us stronger as a couple and after taking a break we are still determined to become parents. We have been lucky enough to be a part of our nephews lives, attending their sporting events, Cub Scout meetings, and babysitting. We have so much love for them and truly enjoy being a part of all that they do. We want that for a child of our own. We also have friends who adopted and couldn't be happier - it has been amazing to witness how adoption changed their lives.
We love living in Washington state! Our town is a perfect place for children. We are surrounded by nature - there are parks with playgrounds and sport fields, nature preserves with trails, lakes where one can swim, boat or kayak. Mountains and ocean is a short drive away, as well the city with sport arenas, museums and theaters. Our school district is the best in the state, education is very important to us and we are committed to give our child every opportunity to succeed. Our town always offers activities for growing children such as toddler story time at the library and holiday and music events for kids. One of the favorite events is Rig-A-Palooza where kids get to meet firefighters and other service providers and climb into fire truck or police car.
We are proud of our Serbian and Russian backgrounds and we would love to share our cultures with your child. There is so much that we can't wait to experience and share with your child from family traditions like celebrating not one but two Christmases, coloring eggs for Easter, dinners and sleepovers at grandma and grandpa's, beach vacations to Mexico and trips to Europe to spend time with extended families. Our world spreads well beyond US borders and we would love to share this big world with your child.
Elena works an actuary for a major insurance company, she loves her job and enjoys the flexibility in regards to schedule and option to work from home. Her company just expanded parental leave coverage to provide more time for a parent-child bonding - it is great to work for a company that values family. Mladen is a support services manager with our school district, same district where your child will go to school. We love our jobs, stability that they provide and ability to support many opportunities for our future child.
There is so much that we can share about our lives and plans for our future children, we would love to talk with you more and learn more about your values and hopes and dreams for your baby. You are significant to us and always will be! We have, and always will have, the utmost respect for you and the difficult choice you are making out of pure love for your baby. We want to make sure they know the sacrifice that was made for them and that they know their full story. Adoption will not define our child, but it will be a huge part of who they are. We will send pictures and letters and keep open to visits and communication. Thank you for reading a little about us and thank you for considering our family to become a part of your family.
Mladen & Elena
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