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Hanan & Irina
The happiest moment in our lives was when we met our adopted son Jacob. In that moment, we became parents and began to learn just how boundless love can be. We are now ready to grow our family and feel so eternally grateful to you for even considering us as potential adoptive parents to your most loved little baby.
What Made Us Who we are Today
As immigrants from Russia, Irina's parents always touted the immigrant mentality of "it's all for the kids." They were determined to make their children's lives better and easier than their own had been. Irina vividly remember window shopping after first arriving in America and thinking "gosh, what beautiful things. I shouldn't ask for anything though because we can't afford it." Any yet Irina's parents worked so they could provide their children with these very things. We grew up valuing perseverance, and experienced firsthand what it means to reap the fruits of your labor.
After finishing high school, Hanan served in Israel's military for 3 years, eventually becoming promoted to a high ranking officer. Afterwards Hanan put himself through college, working nights after long days of studying, to earn his degree. When he immigrated to America, he was already accustomed to hard work and quickly built his own business, which under his enthusiasm and vision has blossomed into multiple retail stores all over Ohio. Most recently, the struggles we have faced together in trying to grow our family has drastically impacted who we are today. Only when we were pushed to the breaking point did we realize that we are not easily broken. We are closer and more bonded than ever before in our marriage and our lives at large. Let's just say we no longer sweat the small stuff.
Favorite Vacation Spot
Every year we travel to Israel to visit our families. While Hanan was born and raised in Israel, Irina also has quite a bit of family there. Her grandmother, uncle and cousins live there, immigrating from Russia around the same time we immigrated to the States. Usually we take 1-2 weeks to travel around and visit everyone. Our families are sprawled across the country, including Jerusalem and the Golan, so it's never boring. We usually try to plan our trip around major family celebrations so we can participate in the festivities (and oh, what festivities!)
When we're not flying off to Israel, hiking in the mountains has always been our favorite vacation. We went hiking in Yosemite for our honeymoon and have been back a few times since then. We always manage to have the most beautiful adventures on these trips, and cannot wait to strap our little one to our chest while we scale the mountains together as a family.
More recently we have also started to enjoy the white sands and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. A beautiful beach vacation is not to be underestimated! We definitely try to get to the beach at least once per year - it's good for the soul.
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Irina about Hanan: Hanan thrives on social interaction and is brilliant at bringing people together. His philosophy is "there's always room for one more." He is a planner and very organized, which is why he balances Irina perfectly! It is also how we end up hosting the majority of family get togethers at our house. Aside from this, Hanan has a natural sense of curiosity about the world and the people in it; as soon as a question pops into his mind, he'll set out reading about that topic. He's charismatic, funny, and thinks outside the box; a true role model for any child.
Hanan about Irina: Irina is one of the most patient people you will find. She is gentle and soft-spoken and can always find a common tongue with any child. She is an amazing listener and will sympathize with you all day; that is, despite her being able to see the other side of every story. She is naturally nurturing which was what fueled her into her medical career initially from an early age. Irina wanted to be a doctor ever since she realized being a ballerina was unrealistic!
Our Extended Families
Irina's extended family is very close and consists of her parents and older brother, who has always been her best friend. He has his own family and three unbelievably adorable children, with whom we spend the majority of our holidays. Irina's parents live in a neighboring city in Ohio approximately an hour and half away, but that doesn't stop her mom from cooking soup and driving it over for us to enjoy during the week! Irina's parents often drive up for the weekend; we go out to restaurants and watch movies.
Hanan and his five siblings were raised in a large vivacious Israeli family that was always finding occasions to celebrate - someone's wedding, birth of a baby, a cousin's bar-mitzvah. Between his brothers and sisters he has 24 nieces and nephews. When Irina first met them in Israel shortly after we became engaged, she instantaneously felt part of the family, immersing herself in endless jokes, laughter, celebrations, and lots of barbecues! We now go at least once a year for a couple weeks to Israel and Hanan's mom stays with us for a month every year during the Jewish high holidays. She cooks piles of yummy Moroccan food; needless to say our house fills up quickly with guests!
Our House and Neighborhood
Ohio - We live in a suburban single family house in Ohio. Our neighborhood sometimes reminds us of "Pleasantville," with white picket fences and green manicured lawns. We've become friends with many of the families that live around us, having each other for dinner, and walking our dogs together in the evenings. We see some of our neighbors on a weekly basis at our neighborhood synagogue, which cultivates an amazing sense of community. Every summer we look forward to the "block party," which is a giant pot- luck. Our favorite part of living here is how safe we feel in the neighborhood. In the summers, we see kids riding their bikes to the community pool and to get pizza. There are sidewalks that connect the entire town, so in the summer we walk to the center to get dinner and then walk home.
We've really been blessed to find our home, which we purchased with the intention of filling it with children. It is a large house with four bedrooms upstairs, a sprawling open floor plan, and a backyard with a deck where we spend our summers. It caught our eye because of how sunny it was inside, with a whole wall of windows in the kitchen and family room. Our favorite thing to do on a weekend morning is drink coffee, read and listen to music in the bright kitchen.
From Us to You
The first and most important emotion we hope to convey to you is gratitude: thank you for the wholly selfless journey on which you are about to embark. We truly believe there is nothing more noble than wanting to give your child the best possible life.
Hanan and I have been married for almost 10 years, and in that time, we have scaled many metaphorical mountains together. After grieving through multiple miscarriages, the last of which was at 20 weeks and left Irina in the hospital for a few months, we have come out more bonded and stronger than ever. When we first turned to adoption, we had a gaping hole in our lives that only a child was capable of filling. Our adopted son Jacob’s birth mother mended that hole when she trusted us to care for, nurture, and love her baby. However there is still a palpable feeling that we have so much more to give, and the desire to add a child to our family grows stronger with every passing day.
There is no doubt that Jacob lives a charmed life. We have yearned for a child for so long, and love him so completely and unconditionally, that we have to remind ourselves not to spoil him rotten. The attention he receives on a daily basis is something worth mentioning. Whenever we are home, both of us feed him together, do bath time together, and play with him together. We don’t take for granted even one moment we are able to spend with him because we remember so vividly how we yearned and struggled for a child. Our new baby would fit so perfectly into our family and receive the love that has only grown and grown since we became parents. We dream of taking our new baby to travel in Israel and on RV trips across the country, with older brother Jacob showing him or her the ropes along the way. We dream of raising children who will respect and honor the concept of family, the strength of parental and sibling bonds, and who will always, ALWAYS, know where they came from. We are part of an amazing family and community that is so anxiously awaiting his or her arrival.
We want to share with you a little about our current relationship with Jacob’s birth mother. She chose us as perspective adoptive parents a couple months before her due date. After our initial conversation on the phone, we got on a plane and flew to meet her (with the birth mom’s encouragement). We had dinner together and talked about how we want our future child to grow up, what will be his name, and how we see our relationship moving forward. A couple months later we flew back just in time for our son’s birth. From then we developed an unwavering bond with our son’s birth mother. After we arrived home, we continued exchanging text messages and pictures, and do so to this day. We welcomed our birth mother into our lives with unfettered gratitude and appreciation for the gift she has bestowed upon us. In expanding our family and our hearts, we cannot wait to share an equally strong bond with you.
Our new son or daughter will grow up knowing that his or her birth mom is a woman of valor, to be respected and admired for her immense sacrifice. We will welcome this baby into our lives with love and commitment. You are entrusting us with your own hopes and dreams for your precious child, and we do not take our responsibility to you lightly. May this journey for you be a peaceful one, filled with knowledge of a loving future.
Hanan & Irina