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Amit & PJ
Family has always been an important part of our story. We hope to share our cultural backgrounds, family traditions, and joy for life. With lots of love to give, we can't wait to be parents! Our promise to you is that we will be committed to being your ally throughout this journey. We truly appreciate you discovering more about us and are honored that you are considering us as potential parents.
Our Most Memorable Moment
Our most memorable moment was trekking up the Himalayas. While PJ was researching in Nepal, Amit came to visit and we spent one week hiking into the Mount Everest region. The first adventure of our trip was landing at the airport, which was called "the most dangerous airport in the world," because of its short runaway and typical bad weather conditions. We then started our 3,000-ft vertical trek up to one of the base camps. It was a difficult journey, where at times, we would climb steep terrain without a flat landing for hours. Even though it was challenging, we supported each other by being goofy, motivating each other to keep going and finding beauty in the breathtaking landscape and in small things like tea breaks off the side of a cliff. As we navigated through small villages and slept in simple hostels, it reminded ourselves of how lucky we were to be able to enjoy a trip like this. Near the end, we decided to push even further than we first planned and encouraged by the magnificence of the Himalayan mountains, we trekked one more day to a Buddhist Monastery lost in the middle of nowhere. Even though we were exhausted, we found peace up there and stayed the night before heading back down. We really want to support our child to experience moments like this, where their pure hard work pays off in the end by the mere satisfaction of accomplishing something truly difficult and worthwhile.
We have a very balanced lifestyle. Each of us takes the lead on different fronts to make a more holistic home. With PJ being more of the homemaker and Amit being more sociable, we are able to complement and support each other at the same time. Keeping to a routine like planning our meals for the week ahead and regularly going to the gym or playing sports gives us stability and a healthy foundation for a happy life.
As the better cook, PJ makes most of our meals from scratch: he bakes bread twice a week, cooks various soups from fresh ingredients, and regularly makes Amit's favorite meals from his traditional French recipes like squash quiche, ratatouille, and red cabbage and potatoes.
Amit usually takes the lead on planning our social calendar and is often the house handyman, fixing broken things and keeping up the house and garden. He also plans and hosts entertaining activities for our friends like board game tournaments and puts together creative projects like building a princess fort for his nieces.
Our lives have a good mix of activities where we mainly enjoy our time together whether we are snuggling up near the fireplace to watch our favorite shows or enjoying outdoor excursions during our international travels.
Our Family Traditions
Traditions are very important for us: it's our way to connect with the past, the past of our families, and future generations.
Many of our traditions mark key times of the year, the most significant being Christmas. PJ bakes a chocolate yule log and sugar cookies, while Amit decorates a real tree and the whole house. PJ also keeps French traditions alive from his family such as celebrating St. Nicolas, when St. Nicolas is supposed to leave outside your door chocolates, nuts, and fruits. We can't wait to watch holiday movies with our child and surprise him or her with what St. Nicolas brings!
Thanksgiving is also a time where we love to host friends and play games. We mainly try to provide a welcoming and cozy house for those who don't have a place to go because the holidays can be a difficult time for some.
Amit is also keen on celebrating birthdays, coming of age events, and weddings, which comes from his Indian cultural heritage and sense of community. For us, these moments are all really about family and friends getting together and reconnecting to stay close throughout the years. This sense of connection is really what tradition means to us. We want our child to have a way to be connected to the past and open to the future.
Our House and Neighborhood
We love our house! We recently moved from a big city out of state to a more easy going and smaller city in New Mexico where we found our spacious two story, three bedroom, single family home. We have a wonderful backyard where PJ loves to take care of our many flowers and where Amit makes sure that the hummingbirds always have food. Every year we collect fresh fruit from our apple and nectarine trees as well as grapes from the vines over a trellis.
Our home is in a quiet cul-de-sac where some neighbors with young kids have recently moved in. There are several parks, playgrounds, and community centers within walking distance that provide interactive activities and enough space to run around and just be a kid.
New Mexico is a magnificent place with mild temperatures and climates of all four seasons. We hike mountains in the fall, make snow angels in the winter, and enjoy sunshine all year long. Our city also hosts an International Hot Air Balloon Festival every year and we often have family and friends visiting with their kids to see the balloons up close and watch as they take off into the sky. We can't wait to take our kid to this event and start another family tradition!
Our Extended Families
Our extended family is an integral part of our lives. Given that we live away from our families (PJ's is in France and Amit's in Chicago), we make an extra effort to visit them often to keep a tight connection between us.
Getting together with family is always a source of fun. With two nieces on one side and three on the other (PJ's new niece is just a few months old), we generally play games with them, read/teach them things, celebrate their birthdays and help expand their curiosities.
We want our child to feel that his/her grandparents, uncles/aunts, and cousins are as much a part of his/her life as possible to provide a sense of community outside of where we live. We both call our mothers several times a week and are close to each other's family as well.
We try to travel to France every year and to Chicago a few times a year. Since PJ's mom's house is 5 minutes away from the Mediterranean Sea, we would love to bring our child there to play on the beach and go for a swim.
Our child will be fully welcomed into our extended family with both sets of our parents retired and ready to spoil them! Everyone is fully behind our adoption plan and Amit's mom has already committed to moving in for a few months to help us around the house while we bond with the child.
From Us to You
As you can imagine, it is not easy to write a letter to someone we don't know, but could have one of the strongest impacts on our lives. We want to introduce ourselves and tell you what we promise to do for the child you are carrying. We can't imagine what you are going through, but we can assure you that we are fully supportive of your plan and are committed to being your ally. By that we mean that we are in favor of you maintaining a connection with the child through regular photos, videos, and even visits, because we think that it will be beneficial for the child, but at the same time we want to respect your decision on what you think is best for you and the child. We think what you are doing is already courageous and we are just grateful that you are considering us. The decision you are making will change our lives, your own, and most importantly the life of the child.
We met in 2010 through friends and spent much of our time that evening just talking about what it means to be in a relationship. We quickly realized that we had a similar interest in finding someone we could build a life with. This is why it is no surprise that, 10 years after we met and 5 years after getting married, we are writing this letter to you.
We want to provide a home for a child to grow up as a happy, thoughtful, and empowered individual who can enrich the world. We think we are capable of that because our couple is a strong unity rich with our respective differences. PJ lives and breathes through culture and education, which nurtures him deeply. Since early childhood, he has been curious about arts, history and more. Becoming a teacher was his way to pass on his thirst for knowledge to others. Amit has always volunteered in various ways and having those social interactions feeds his soul. He has travelled to different countries on humanitarian trips and is currently a mentor to youth in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program.
Our families are models for us of what a supportive and loving family looks like. They were not rich, but they have helped us become who we are. Amit's family emigrated from India in 1980 and had to struggle and sacrifice to make it through tough times. And yet they were able to provide him with small luxuries: a new bike or a family road trip to Florida. These allowed him to be a well-rounded and successful adult. PJ's family was a typical middle-class French family with a father who was a construction worker and a stay-at-home mom. His parents never went to high school, but supported him through his academic career all the way to his PhD in Chicago, which was one of the best places in the world to study Buddhist Philosophy.
We want to pass down this family spirit to a child by keeping alive the family traditions we cherish. We see our future with a child where PJ will be reading classic holiday stories, while Amit is animating the scenes with silly voices. When it's time to go to the local park, Amit will be organizing all the outdoor essentials, while PJ is already explaining all the different species of birds we might encounter. For dinner, PJ will have baked fresh bread and make meals based on his mother's recipes, while Amit will be making up new games or doing creative crafts.
Whether we are travelling to see our families in Chicago and France, or in a routine at home, we also believe that surrounding ourselves with joy and goofiness is essential, and will definitely share that with our child. Having love, learning, and laughter will be key elements in our home.
We firmly believe family is created through the bonds of love, not through genes, so we can't wait to be parents and share these moments as a family. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us.
Amit & PJ
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