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Steve & Mark
We are honored you have given us the chance to be part of your adoption journey. Steve's adoption as an infant showed us the impact that adoption can have for all involved. We are grateful for the wonderful life we've built together and can't wait for the opportunity to share our love with a child. We respect the difficult decision you're making and appreciate your time learning more about our family.
Our Leisure Time
We enjoy the simple pleasures of game nights with friends, watching a movie, and cooking a meal. We also try to take in everything the city has to offer, whether it be trying a new restaurant or seeing a play. One staple of our summers has been visiting a riverfront park that has activities for kids and adults. Our friends’ children really enjoy the oversized board games and crafts. We also enjoy traveling—particularly to places we’ve never visited before. While traveling, we try to visit a botanical garden and we always search for a colorful magnet to bring back. From adventures in the city to trips abroad, we can’t wait to have a little traveler along for the ride.
We also both like to stay physically active. Mark enjoys playing in recreational sports leagues. He has played bowling, floor hockey, volleyball, and cornhole…sometimes all in one year! Mark also enjoys running and takes every opportunity to participate in a race around the city. Steve practices a Japanese martial art called Aikido, and has been training since he was 11 years old. Steve credits Aikido with building his self-confidence as a child, and he now teaches the martial art to college students in hopes that it will have the same impact on them. While we selfishly would love for your child to enjoy what we enjoy, we are more excited to help him or her explore the many ways to have fun while staying active.
What it Means to be Parents
As parents, we will commit to providing your child with a healthy diet, a good education, and plenty of love along the way. As an adopted child, Steve is so appreciative of the opportunity he was given by his adoptive parents and his birth mother. Your child will be our number one priority, and we will dedicate our time, energy, and finances toward his or her success. Parenting also requires a level of unconditional love that builds trust with the child. It is important for your child to feel safe making mistakes and sharing his or her feelings. These are great learning moments and we look forward to navigating the peaks and valleys of your child’s life. Along the way, we do not want to lose sight of having fun as we share our interests and help your child discover his or hers.
We always think about what it will actually be like to be fathers. We expect that there will be good days and bad days, but we’re sure the joys of parenting will far outweigh the challenges. We are most excited about celebrating milestones with your child. The first step, the first word, the first day of school—these proud parent moments are what it is all about for us because they show growth in the child. Even more, we are excited to share these milestones with you—to keep you informed every step of the way.
Why We Chose Adoption
As a gay couple, our options to build a family were limited. We both want to raise a child from infancy and adoption was always at the top of our list. Since Steve was adopted, we know first-hand how adoption can change a child’s life. Unlike in-vitro fertilization—another common option for gay couples—adoption provides the unique chance to provide for a young child who may not otherwise have the opportunities we can provide. Through adoption, we hope to not only provide for a child, but to give you peace of mind. We were specifically drawn to American Adoptions because you as the birth mother choose us. We know we are being entrusted with your child and we take that responsibility very seriously. Finally, we chose adoption because we know that a family is not just genetic. It is the love, laughter, tears, and fears that are shared between people who care about each other. With all of the ups and downs of parenting in mind, we couldn’t think of a better path to fatherhood than adoption.
Our Extended Families
In addition to having multi-ethnic parents, your child will be loved by a diverse group of family members who each have something to share. Mark’s father, for example, is great at making Filipino favorites like lumpia and pancit. Our parents live within an hour from our home, but our sisters live on the other side of the country. However, we talk with them on a weekly basis and see them at least once a year. When we do, we maximize the time with our niece and nephew by taking them to the movies, doing crafts, and going go-kart racing.
We grew up in close-knit families, and we're excited to provide a similar experience for your child. Whether it be eating in Chinatown with Lolo and Lola (grandfather and grandmother) or going to a baseball game with Poppop, we expect our parents to be closely involved in this child's life. Another tradition is our annual family vacation to Disney World; we can’t wait for your child to join in on the fun!
Our friends are also like family to us. Many of our friends have very young children, so your child will have no shortage of playmates! We have a loving network of family and friends, and they’re all waiting to welcome a new child to the family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a metropolitan city in Pennsylvania. Recently, we purchased a newly-constructed row home with a spacious first floor, three bedrooms, outdoor patio, and roof deck. We also have a finished basement that would be great for play dates. We spend much of our time on the main floor cooking for and entertaining family and friends.
You can’t walk through our neighborhood without passing by a beautiful mural that represents the diversity of the city. Within walking distance are bustling playgrounds, parks, and community centers. We’ve also been researching a new Montessori school that is only a block away. With world-famous museums, national historical sites, and an arts district only a few minutes away, we try to take in everything the city has to offer. The city hosts many kid (and adult) friendly events such as parades and pop-up ice-skating rinks. One of our favorite activities are the many street fairs in the area, such as food truck festivals where your child can try everything from cheese curds to ice cream.
We also have easy access to nature. The beaches of New Jersey and the Pocono mountains are great family destinations that we’ve visited many times. We are also one to two hours away from other major cities like Washington D.C. and New York City which offer access to countless fun, educational activities for children of all ages.
From Us to You
As you consider adoption, we want to thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit more about us. We are so grateful to be among the adoptive parents you are considering for your child.
After being married for three years, and being together for six, we are looking forward to sharing our love with a child. However, we understand that while adoption has been at the forefront of our minds, it was probably never part of your plan. As we embrace feelings of excitement and hopefulness, you may be consumed with very different emotions. Even though we cannot relate to what you are going through, we respect the decisions you are weighing - it shows just how much you love your child.
We’ve reflected a lot on our thoughts about an open adoption, and for us, it has never been a question of whom the child belongs to, but instead a question of who belongs to the child? We believe that we all can play a role and we are committed to maintaining a connection between you and your child. For example, when sending letters and pictures to you, some could include personal notes and crafts from your child. We are also open to more personal communication through email, video calls, and potentially visits as your child grows. Perhaps we have this perspective because we know first-hand the drawbacks of a closed adoption. Steve was adopted through a closed adoption and even though his adoptive parents were very open about his adoption, information on his birth mother was simply limited. We believe that an open adoption provides an opportunity to honor your role in your child’s life, with respect to your preferences. We are not only being given the incredible opportunity to build a loving relationship with your child, but also with you.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve already learned a lot about us. We’d like to leave you with our hopes for you and your child:
First and foremost, we hope you are able to make the best decision for you and your child, regardless of the path you choose.
If you do choose us, we hope to help you feel more comfortable by sharing more about us as we get to know you. A foundation of trust and communication will make us strong partners in this journey.
We hope to share our Filipino and Indian cultures with your child while also celebrating the unique contribution that he or she will make to our family. With immediate family members of Filipino, Indian, Caucasian and Chinese heritage, your child will add to the diversity of our family.
We hope to continue the history of adoption in our family, and appreciate its everyday gifts. Adoption comes with unique challenges, and we look forward to drawing from Steve’s adoption story to navigate those challenges without losing site of the joy that adoption has brought to our lives.
And finally, we hope to recognize, respect, and integrate your unique relationship with your child…always. You will be a priority for us long after the birth of your child, and we are open to learning more about the relationship you want to have with him or her.
Right now, we are total strangers, but we look forward to the chance to become much more. We wish you peace and clarity as you make your decision.
Steve & Mark