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David & Jordan
Being parents has been the most joyful and fulfilling part of our lives. We adopted our son two years ago and can't wait to add more love and laughter to our home. To us, adoption means building wonderful, unexpected ties, and we are so grateful that you're taking the time to learn more about who we are as parents and a family.
Adoption in Our Lives
We adopted our son at birth in January 2018 and the process changed our lives forever. One of the most wonderful parts about adoption is recognizing that your child could be born anywhere from any background. It makes you feel connected to the whole world in a brand new way.
When we matched with Adrian’s birth mom, we clicked instantly, bonding over our mutual affection for NFL football and indie rock. She felt like an old friend and over the next few months, she would show us what selflessness, bravery, and love truly means. Leading up to Adrian’s birth, she would do things like request that we send voice recordings of ourselves so she could play them for him to help him get to know us. She was the first person to know and love our son, and he will always know that.
Once Adrian was born, we stayed nearby his birth family for two weeks. His family welcomed us as their own, and we shared countless meals and stories, getting to know the extended family none of us had ever expected. Even though we don’t speak frequently nowadays, we use a private app to share photos, videos, and stories of Adrian’s life, and we feel very close to them.
Each adoption story is different. We don’t know our second child’s story yet, but we do know for certain that we already love and respect their birth family with all our hearts.
Our Professional Lives
As employees of the State Department, our lifestyle is very different from most Americans. Our home base will always be Washington, D.C., but we live overseas for 2-3 years at a time, providing unique opportunities for our children to have immersive, cross-cultural experiences. Within the diplomatic community, there is a tremendous support system for children and adults alike, since the vast majority of our friends and colleagues move on a regular basis. It’s also a community that embraces diversity, as many families adopt or have mixed-race families through marriage. We have seen that over time, children in families like ours tend to grow up understanding the value of public service and they are adept at adjusting to changing environments.
Education is very important to us and we have chosen careers that will give our children access to the best private schools all over the globe. At the same time, we recognize that every individual reacts differently to change, especially as teenagers. Fortunately, our careers provide us with the flexibility to remain in D.C. while our children proceed through middle and high school if that turns out to be a better fit. Above all, our kids are our number one priority. We will do everything in our power to ensure they have unforgettable childhoods, but that they also feel grounded and supported throughout their adolescence and young adulthood.
Addressing Cultural Diversity
As white parents of a mixed-race son, we take care to surround our son with people, books, and music that represent all different backgrounds. We have a very diverse extended family, with members from four continents, but our son is the first with African-American heritage. As adoptive parents, we believe it’s important to highlight what binds us as a family, but it’s also important to be open about what distinguishes us as individuals. For our son and future child, that means helping them explore and understand their unique racial heritages as they grow.
Leading up to Adrian’s birth, we assessed our community and acknowledged that we needed to incorporate more racial diversity. This meant taking more deliberative steps to put ourselves and our son in more diverse spaces, which included things like selecting a pediatric clinic with African-American doctors and predominantly African-American patients. As white parents, we are committed to always seeking out racially diverse spaces. Given the option, Mom or Dad will be the one that sticks out in a room; not our kids.
As we anticipate adopting again, we hope our second child looks more like their big brother than like us. We will be our childrens’ rock and advocate as best we can, but inevitably, there will be parts of their experience that only their sibling will understand. We see our role as parents as supporting them in exploring and understanding their identity and to connect them to the communities they feel closest to however we can.
Our House and Neighborhood
We currently live in a U.S. government-owned home in Mexico. It is a gorgeous, three-level, four-bedroom townhouse, situated in a quiet, tree-lined community in an otherwise bustling town. Our house looks out onto a large courtyard, which we share with 15 other families, including two other families from the U.S. consulate. Like all U.S. housing overseas, our home has the full suite of security features, including an alarm system and a direct line to the U.S. security staff.
One great aspect of our housing is the community around it. Almost every day, our son plays with the other children outside (there are 10 kids under the age of six), riding tricycles, drawing with chalk, and playing games. Inside, our home is spacious and tidy - Adrian takes after his mom and actually likes putting his toys away! Our favorite feature of our house is the interior glass atrium, where Adrian spends time in his playhouse and David keeps a small garden.
Just as important to us as our home is the community we maintain as a diplomatic family. While we anticipate moving frequently, our children will grow up in an environment where moving is viewed as normal and an exciting opportunity to experience new cultures, meet new people, and learn new languages. As a transracial family, it is extremely important to us to be surrounded by a diverse and accepting community, and we feel very fortunate to have careers, friendships, and colleagues that connect us to all walks of life.
Our Extended Families
We have an abundance of family who are ready to adore the newest member of our crew. One of the best parts of our family is the huge variety of people from different countries, faiths, and cultures. David’s dad was born in Lebanon, while Jordan’s dad was born in New Jersey. Our nieces on one side speak Spanish, and Farsi on the other. No matter our child’s cultural background, academic interests, or spiritual beliefs, our family is guaranteed to love and support them in whoever they are and whatever they do.
The vast majority of our family lives near our home base in Washington, D.C., but with the nature of our work, we spend 2-3 years overseas at a time. This requires us to be creative in how we stay connected. Our son loves our weekly video calls with his grandmas and cousins, and we send them his best artwork at least once a month. Every year we look forward to Thanksgiving in Richmond with David’s family and visits from Jordan’s family on Christmas. No matter where we go, our children will know that they are a part of a large, loving, and accepting family.
From Us to You
Hi there. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We know you’re in the process of making one of the most important decisions of your life and we really admire your strength, courage, and selflessness.
Becoming parents was the best thing that ever happened to us when we adopted our son, Adrian, two years ago. We cannot wait to complete our family with a second adoption and for Adrian to become a big brother.
Adoption has always been our first choice for creating our family. We even talked about adoption the very first day we met! Back then, we both taught at schools in Ukraine as Peace Corps Volunteers, and we first crossed paths at a fundraiser. Our chemistry was instant and we ended up talking about everything: our childhoods, our families, and our plans for the future. We have been together since that day and got married in 2012.
Meet Jordan (by David): Jordan is the spirit of our family. Her presence breathes so much life into our home. She insists on dyeing eggs for Easter. She can’t help but deck the halls for Christmas. Jordan’s personality is like the moment after you plug in all the Christmas lights. She doesn’t just say, “I love you” she shows it every day with her actions.
Jordan is an incredible mom. She is always coming up with new activities that spur Adrian’s creativity and open up his imagination. Just this week she helped him give his toy animals a bubble bath and she helped him fingerprint his way to a new masterpiece.
Meet David (by Jordan): David is an eternal optimist. He is a romantic. He is a powerfully dedicated partner and dad. He speaks with just the right mix of humor and sincerity, which makes you feel wonderful in his presence. David is inquisitive, thoughtful, and one of the silliest people I ever met (for better or worse, he’s been rehearsing Dad jokes for years). He loves people exactly the way they are.
As much as I adore the story of how we met, our real love story is how we have sustained a happy relationship over the years. This is because David takes the most mundane of life’s moments and makes them more fun than I could possibly imagine.
David is an amazing father. With our toddler, David invents games like “tickle spiders” and elicits belly laughs with his silly voices, but he’s also a great teacher. He already has Adrian recognizing half of the alphabet at 26 months! He has a very close bond with Adrian and it makes me so happy to see how much they adore one another.
Open adoption: We believe it’s important for children to know their story, so we would prefer an open adoption and to stay part of one another’s lives. With Adrian’s birth family, we share a private app where we upload photos and videos on a regular basis. This app allows us to easily share lots of moments, from photos of him on his first Halloween as a tiny hedgehog to footage of him taking his first steps. We would love to do the same with our second child’s birth family, in addition to sending letters on a regular basis.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We tried to pour as much of ourselves into this letter as possible and we hope that after reading it you have a sense of who we are as people and the sort of family that we aspire to be. We are open books and look forward to sharing more of who we are and learning more about you.
With lots of love and affection,
David & Jordan
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