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Anthony & Ray
Thank you for taking your time and considering us as potential parents for your child. We know that the road may be challenging and we applaud your strength. Family has always played a big part in our lives. We love being uncles and look forward to taking the next step in becoming parents. We have centered our life around love and joy, so we invite you to join us on this journey.
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Of all the places we have traveled, the destinations most frequented have been Disney parks. Anthony, a lifelong fan of all things Disney has worked for the company going on 15 years. Visiting the theme parks has been a great perk, and one we love sharing with our nieces and nephew. We have had so many special memories with them, both at Disneyland in Anaheim and Walt Disney World in Florida. Seeing the excitement on their faces when they meet their favorite character, or when they finally muster up the courage to go on the "scary" roller coaster has been very rewarding for us. We can't wait to make additional memories as the family grows.
We do love to travel beyond Disney theme parks too. We have returned to Europe a couple of times, most recently for our Honeymoon. We love learning about their history, finding the best local restaurants, and really soaking up the diverse culture that is seen throughout Europe. Next on our list is Japan and China, and you bet we will fit in a trip to the Disney parks there too!
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Ray About Anthony: I admire Anthony's love for efficiency and diligence. Whenever I ask Anthony how his day was, a response of "It was productive" means that his day was fantastic. Silly as it may sound, but checking off a task within a to-do list brings Anthony so much joy. This happiness is not rooted in selfish gain, but rather on how much value he has given to those around him. I also love how Anthony deeply empathizes with those around him, which results in frequent acts of compassion and generosity. For example, at family functions, Anthony is usually the person asking his elderly relatives if he can grab them food, and he is also the one helping with cleaning up after the party.
Anthony About Ray: One of the things I admire most about Ray is his deep and humble commitment to family. Over the years, from our littlest niece to my grandmother, and everyone in between Ray always made it a point to get to know everyone and make a close and genuine connection with each of them. Because of Ray's humor, and outgoing personality, it wasn't long before we were competing for the title of favorite uncle during playtime and family trips to Disneyland, and sharing inside jokes with my cousins, aunts, and uncles. In fact, whether it's celebrating with his family or mine, Ray is often bringing his great energy and spirit to the celebrations. Being with family is a place where Ray, and his love for others, really shines.
Our Leisure Time
Volunteerism is an important part of both our lives. Anthony spends a great deal of time supporting a California based theatre arts organization, focused on honoring student achievement, supporting educators, and advocating for theatre arts education. Having been involved in Theatre throughout Junior High and High School, he has seen how access to and the support of arts education is impactful to a child's education. Anthony continued to be involved after graduating high school and now volunteers as a Treasurer overseeing their scholarship and sponsorship programs.
Ray is equally passionate about where he dedicates his time and serves as a leader of a gay-affirming Christian fellowship nonprofit organization. They seek to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ and their allies to unpack and better understand what it means to be LGBTQ+ and Christian, and what it means to be a supportive and affirming Christian ally. Giving back to our communities is a value that we both believe in deeply and will instill within our own family.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a diverse and beautiful neighborhood just northeast of Los Angeles.
We recently purchased our first home as a couple and have been spending this time settling in. We are especially excited for the front and back yards where we can stretch out and our dog can explore and play fetch.
While a new address to us, we have been living in the area for some time and have many friends, family, and their respective children living close by.
Our neighborhood offers convenient access to many theme parks which we love visiting. We also enjoy visiting local museums, city parks, many of which offer play areas, picnic tables, and large grass areas perfect for a weekend family picnic. We are also close to Griffith Park and Observatory, which we enjoy exploring with our families, nieces, and nephew.
Additionally, our home has offered us a short commute to work, so as we grow, we will have ample time at home as a family.
Most importantly though, it comes back to the large network of local family and close friends which we visit and enjoy these activities with that make our neighborhood such a great place for us.
Our Extended Families
We are blessed to have a large and loving family and enjoy celebrating many moments with them throughout the year. We are lucky to live close by one another which allows for quick trips to Disneyland, family picnics, and many holiday celebrations.
Anthony's mom is retired, but loves to keep busy with craft projects and embroidery and she is especially excited to be babysitting and dotting on another grandchild. During the holidays she also hosts a large Thanksgiving dinner for extended family and friends. We also celebrate Christmas Eve and Easter with Anthony's extended family, which include childhood friends that are now lovingly part of our family functions.
Ray's parents live just 30 minutes away, and he also has a large extended family that enjoys celebrating together during the holidays. Ray has family that stretches from New York, Washington, Philippines, and China so it is really fun to get together during the holidays, swap stories, and catch up on what is happening in each other's lives.
We each have one brother, each married, and between them, we have a nephew and three nieces. We are super excited about raising a child with other young cousins in the mix, just like we both remember when we were kids.
Our family is beautiful, diverse, and most importantly filled with love for one another. We welcome the opportunity for it to continue to grow.
From Us to You
Excited, humbled, and grateful describe our current feelings as we write this letter to you. We are excited, because we look forward to growing our family through open adoption. We are humbled by your courage to take on this adoption journey, which is not easy and we acknowledge that. We are grateful that you are taking a moment to get to know who we are and why we look forward to being parents.
We are a married couple living in a Southern California suburb just north of Los Angeles near a large network of family and friends. Back in 2014, early within our relationship, we shared the importance of family and how we envisioned our future. We both knew that we wanted a child and that adoption would be central to our family story. We envisioned passing on family traditions, like making sticky buns on Christmas morning, as well as forming new traditions, like pretending to stay up to catch Santa. We have talked about forming inside jokes that only one dad knows, which lovingly frustrates the other. We also picture this child growing up with our playful dog Waffles, which this child will cuddle with, blame messes on, play with in the backyard, and exchange many puppy hugs just because.
Ray's self-proclaimed hobby of eating his way through life has had a big impact in our lives. Whether it is a new local restaurant or a small corner bakery while traveling on vacation, Ray loves to explore different cuisines and it's been a great way for us to get to know a community. Similarly, we hope to use food as a way to introduce and celebrate the different cultures that make up our family. Ray has a Filipino background and has practiced many Filipino dishes that remind him of his childhood. He hopes to share those food memories with this child, and plan to cook more meals that celebrate the cultural background of this child. And if the dishes turn out terribly, we will laugh it off, search on Yelp, and hope to find that same dish at a local restaurant.
Anthony enjoys spending his free time volunteering for theatre arts organizations and giving back to youth, just as others did when he was in theatre as a student. We have found that by engaging in the arts we are able to explore important and impactful stories, through which we are able to see our world differently. We look forward to exploring all sorts of extracurricular activities with your child, and whether it's sports, visual or performing arts, academia, student government, or anything in between, we are going to be the best cheerleaders and supporters we can be. To relish and celebrate their successes and to provide safety and support for those times in which they may stumble.
We want to offer our promise to you that we will wholeheartedly love this child by always showing kindness, respect, and honesty. Through kindness, we hope to teach this child compassion for others. Through respect, we hope they learn the value of being open-minded to others' opinions, even if they disagree because there is strength in hearing diverse perspectives. Through honesty, we hope to provide a sense of comfort in sharing feelings and questions about how our family came to be, and how we aim to thrive in the future. We will always honor you and it's our commitment to ensure that your child understands how much love and bravery you showed with your selfless decision in choosing adoption.
Furthermore, we wish to respect the level of involvement that you choose to have with this child. You are important to us, our story of family, and especially to your child. We would love the opportunity to send letters and pictures, and as they grow, involve them in the process.
We will never take this opportunity for granted, and acknowledge that this is the best gift we could ever receive. Thank you for your consideration to be the parents of your child, and no matter your decision, know we are inspired by you and wish the very best for you and for your child.
Anthony & Ray