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Jon & Clare
Hello from Ghana! Thank you for choosing to get to know us. The day we adopted our daughter Sora was the best day of our lives, and we've treasured every moment of snuggling her, singing to her, laughing with her, and helping her grow. We both come from big families, and we're grateful to you for considering us as parents and potentially giving Sora a sibling.
Adoption in Our Lives
Sora parachuted into our lives on May 10, 2019. Her birth mother decided to place her for adoption just two weeks before she was scheduled for a C-section, so we only had a few days' notice to drop everything and hurry to Florida for the birth. We were excited beyond words, but also nervous and trying to keep our expectations under control.
Now, a year later, it's hard to even imagine life without Sora. She makes our hearts sing with her sweetness and snuggliness - the best part of everyday is the half-hour before her bedtime, when she rolls around on the bed with us, plays with our noses, and burrows her head into our chests. She's a total goof-ball - she loves dancing like a crazy person to upbeat hip-hop tunes and belly-laughing whenever she eats something that hits her just right. And her excitement at discovering the world has helped us appreciate the beauty of our everyday lives - when we take her outside to see the animals she loves to greet on the streets of our neighborhood, we're reminded of how lucky we are to live in such a vibrant and joyful place.
We know parenting won't always be easy, whether it's with Sora or another child. But we're so excited for Sora to share her light with a new brother or sister.
Our Leisure Time
As a family, we love to cook delicious meals, see friends and family, and go adventuring to different corners of the globe. On a typical night at home, Sora goes to bed by 7:30, and then we spend the rest of the evening reading, watching Netflix, or having dinner parties with friends. On a weekend, we might head out of town to the beach or just spend a lazy Saturday at a friend's pool. On vacation, things are a little more unpredictable - you might find us visiting family in Nebraska, hiking in the Rocky Mountains, or going to obscure music festivals in remote West African capitals.
When Jon is away on work travel, he usually comes back to find out that Clare has binge-watched three seasons of her current fave TV show and eaten grilled cheese every night after Sora went to bed.
When Clare is away on work travel, she learns on her return that Jon has filled the freezer with experimental dinners, eaten two tubs of ice cream, and pulled at least two all-nighters reading sci-fi or history e-books.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Jon says: Clare is a creative soul who's always looking to make someone feel special or turn an ordinary day into a dance party. She has a sharp mind, a big heart, and believes we're in this world to make life better for others.
Fun Facts about Clare:
Clare says: Watching Jon with Sora is so special - his passion for life, kindness, and teaching spirit make him an awesome dad.
Fun Facts about Jon:
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a vibrant neighborhood in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Ghana is an amazing place. There is a spark and diversity to life: people wear bright clothes, big is beautiful, and there's usually music playing somewhere. We live in a sweet, bright house with a mango tree out front and Ghanaian neighbors who have taken us into their family. Our house is separated into two large apartments - the ground floor apartment is our home (two bedrooms, big living room with play space, dining area etc.), and the second floor apartment is the headquarters for Jon's human rights non-profit where he and his team work every day (best commute ever!).
We have a large, tree-covered area in the front with a big trampoline that provides us endless jumping fun. Each morning after some breakfast, we all usually head outside so Sora can wave and make noises at chickens, roosters, goats, and the occasional friendly dog. Accra is the best of Africa - we've got good roads, electricity, and public services, but also free-roaming animals and friendly neighbors who stop to say hello.
After our morning stroll, Sora's nanny, Rose, arrives, and they play while we go upstairs to work. Working so close is amazing - we get to come downstairs for lunch with Sora and see her throughout the day jumping on the trampoline and playing. It's hot year-round here, so on the weekends, we usually cook, eat, and play in the pool with friends. Most evenings we stay at home and have family music and dancing time until Sora goes to bed - Jon plays the piano, and Clare and Sora sing and dance along. We feel very lucky - it's a pretty great life.
Our Extended Families
Dozens of cousins bouncing on cushions in the basement. Six sets of aunts and uncles, ready to read a child a story, take them for a walk, or just play board games. A grandmother, two grandpas, and a great-grandma (Noni) to watch over you, sing you to sleep, and make sure you pee before you go to bed! That's how we'll spend Christmas and other holidays with Clare's family in Omaha, Michigan, and Tennessee.
A goofy grandpa with bottomless energy and endless stories to fool around with. A doting Bubbe (the Jewish word for grandmother) who will always send you home with your favorite baked dessert. An aunt and uncle who will make time for any activity that catches your interest, and two cousins who will always include you in their crazy games. That's what weekends with Jon's family in New York will be like.
Then there are the friends – also our family – here in Ghana who are just waiting to welcome another child into our Tuesday dance nights and singalong Fridays. And our home crew in the U.S., who are always asking us when we're coming back next to see them and their kids.
And of course, there is us – two completely devoted parents, head over heels in love with our daughter Sora and hoping to adopt again. Two parents who try to make every single day full of adventure, joy, and learning. Two parents who are ready to nurture another child and make our family complete.
From Us to You
Adoption is a crazy process. For you, making the tough decision to entrust your child to other people to raise and then choosing who those people should be. For us, going through 27+ layers of paperwork and process, all the while wondering when and how it will end. But we want to do it because we want to give a child the best shot at a great life, a loving upbringing, a stable environment, and a nurturing home.
We know the adoption process is long, intense, and uncertain. When we set out to adopt our first child, the first opportunity fell through at the last minute. But the world had a surprise in store: three months later, our case worker called. A woman named Stephanie was scheduled for a C-section and had chosen us to adopt the baby. We jumped on a plane, not knowing if this would be the time that we really got to become parents.
When we met Stephanie in person and held little Sora for the first time at the hospital, all the stress and exhaustion was washed away by the joy of forming a new family. A day later, we took Sora home; two days later, we spent Mother's Day with Stephanie and her two other kids. We text them pictures and videos of Sora regularly, and they joined our families on Zoom for Sora's one-year birthday. We love Stephanie, and we are grateful to her for bringing Sora into this world and helping us become parents.
We moved to Ghana four years ago for Jon's work. He is a human rights lawyer and had been working from the U.S. for years supporting human rights lawyers in their cases around the world. A group of West African lawyers eventually asked him if he would move here to start a non-profit to provide them with more regular support and greater financial resources for their cases protecting communities against large corporations - usually mining companies - that destroy their environment and their livelihoods. His work is awesome - he is empowering communities to fight for their rights. Clare's passion is climate change and clean energy. She got to work for President Obama on international climate change agreements, and then, when we decided to make the move to West Africa, she was able to find a job with a small U.S. government agency that supports clean energy projects. We are dedicated to trying to make this world a better place in whatever way we can.
We've found that Ghana is an amazing place for a child. Our neighborhood is full of schools, churches, vibrant restaurants, big flowering trees, and Ghanaian neighbors who have taken us into their family. And diversity - awesome diversity of people, cultures, and beliefs. We do plan to move back to America in a few years, and we travel home every few months to see family, so our kids will know what it means to be American. But we also think that living in different parts of the world is important - our experiences abroad have helped us realize who we are and inspired in us greater compassion for others. Our children will grow up knowing diverse cultures, including those of their birth parents. For example, Sora's birth father is from Nigeria, and we plan to make sure her Nigerian heritage is part of her life.
Thank you for reading to the end of our profile. We are not perfect, but we are thoughtful people who love each other and have a lot more love to give. Any child who joins our family will grow up seeing the world with us. We will give them love, support, and encouragement as they pursue their dreams in life. And they will have fun! We love to sing, dance, eat, have adventures, and be silly ?" life is meant to be lived! They will also have the roots and grounding that come from an open, accepting, and hilarious circle of family and friends. Their birth parents will receive letters and pictures, and we'd be open to more consistent contact as well. Most importantly, they will be loved.
We hope that you will want to get to know us better and consider helping us complete our family. We send you our love and gratitude as you decide your next step,
Jon & Clare