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Dan & Alicia
Sometimes opposites attract. Dan is a tea drinking night owl who loves scary movies and comedy writing. Alicia is a coffee loving morning glory who loves rom-coms and reading the latest John Grisham novel. But we completely agree on one thing: your child would get nothing but unconditional love, support, and encouragement from us - no matter what. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us.
We both have full-time remote/work from home positions, and our dog Molly loves to make cameo appearances on Zoom calls!
Alicia is a lawyer who works in insurance, and Dan works in marketing for a Fortune 100 company. Since Dan's industry is more flexible, he plans on being a stay-at-home dad until the child is of school age, at which point he would likely return to work part-time.
As the main caregiver, Dan can't wait to share all of his favorite childhood toys (Legos), movies (The Iron Giant), books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), art projects (finger painting) and activities (trips to hands-on science museums).
When we're not working, we love to spend time outdoors in the Florida sunshine with friends. Farmer's markets, dog-friendly beaches, outdoor dining, and long walks around the neighborhood are always on the agenda! Our downtime usually consists of reading, movie nights, board games, and puzzles.
We are also committed to wellness and have a renewed focus on exercise (dance aerobics and Pilates for Alicia and Tae Kwon Do for Dan) and healthy home cooking.
We have built a fantastic life together and can't wait to share it with a little one!
Qualities We Love, Admire and Respect in Each Other
Alicia About Dan: Dan's enthusiasm and thoughtfulness are unparalleled.
I've seen him entertain our friend's toddler on a five hour road trip by singing "Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed" in funny voices.
During COVID, he planned the sweetest "drive-in date night," which consisted of streaming "Bad Boys For Life" on his laptop in our car and making my favorite popcorn.
When my sister adopted a shelter dog who was terrified of men, Dan spent an entire year painstakingly gaining the dog's trust and making him feel comfortable (now when we dog sit, I'm the third wheel!).
He is a supportive husband who makes the best of any situation.
Dan About Alicia: Alicia is caring, generous, and insightful. She is always the one her friends call first when they need advice, or just to talk through something. Alicia's ability to see things from different perspectives is outstanding, and makes her an incredible friend and spouse.
When Alicia's friend went through cancer treatment, Alicia organized a "friend-sitting" schedule, coordinating an effort to make sure everything from walking the dog to keeping the candy drawer full, was taken care of.
When I was unable to celebrate my birthday with friends and family during COVID, she arranged for them to send cards and favorite memories, which she then secretly collected and turned into an epic scrapbook.
Why We Chose Adoption
After one miscarriage and some discouraging fertility testing, we knew that the likelihood of conceiving naturally was disappointingly small.
Dan was immediately open to discussing all of the options, including adoption, fostering, surrogacy, and IVF. Within days, his laptop was covered with open Safari tabs and Google Docs bursting with research.
Alicia's reaction was to cry, cry some more, and then conduct her own type of research by talking to her friends and family. One of Alicia's best friends went through four rounds of IVF (including a scary trip to the emergency room) to have her two kids, and she would do it again in a heartbeat. Alicia's sister offered to be an egg donor or a surrogate.
Next, Alicia reached out to her former boss and mentor, who adopted a daughter five years prior. Before the call, Alicia was ready to jump headfirst into IVF, but she knew that she owed it to herself, and to Dan, to explore all options. The phone call lasted two hours, and one thing that Alicia's mentor said stood out: "Alicia, there's no right or wrong here, but you and Dan need to talk about what's more important – being parents or passing on your genes?" That was our "aha" moment, and the anxiety and doubt vanished. We want to be parents and we choose adoption.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in a bright, spacious two-bedroom apartment with a large living room and den area. We are located in a luxury condominium complex in Florida, complete with a neighborhood pool, playground, and BBQ/picnic area. It's a small community, and our dog Molly has made it her business to befriend all of our neighbors when we're out and about!
We're walking distance to a movie theater, two of our favorite restaurants, and an enormous grocery store. And we're a short drive to major metropolitan areas, so we can get our fix of live theatre, delicious Thai food (our favorite), and museums.
During COVID, we took advantage of outdoor activities like the beach, dog parks, farmer's markets, and botanical gardens. And when our friends with little ones come to visit, there are aquariums, zoos, science centers, splash pads, and amusement parks. Our area also has stellar school systems, award-winning libraries, and gorgeous parks.
For us, our apartment is perfect! But with kids, our priorities will shift, and we may want more living space and a backyard with our own swing set. We're grateful to have the financial resources to move to a house when it's the right time for our family.
The floorplan may change, but we don't plan on moving too far since both of our families are here, including our new little niece!
Our Extended Families
Alicia: I met Dan's extended family early on at his uncle's retirement party. Truthfully, I had reservations. I'm Jewish and my family is limited to my sister and parents. Meanwhile, Dan's extended family tree is pushing 100 and they're Irish Catholic. I needn't have worried – they were so welcoming that within minutes I felt like family!
I've since been at countless family gatherings – these folks need only the flimsiest excuse to have a four generation, cross-country celebration – and the thing that amazes me is that they spend time with their extended family not out of any sense of obligation, but because they genuinely love and enjoy each other.
Dan: I thought my immediate family was close-knit, until I met Alicia's family. Two months into our relationship, Hurricane Irma was heading towards Alicia's family in Florida, and they needed somewhere to ride out the storm. It went without saying they would drive up to NYC with their three dogs to stay in Alicia's tiny apartment for a week! This is their dynamic – there's nothing they wouldn't do for one another.
Both: We knew our families are supportive, but we were overwhelmed by the pure joy and excitement from EVERYONE at our choice to pursue adoption. They can't wait to add to the family!
From Us to You
We have to admit it.
We're those people.
Our little Shih-Poo dog is the center of our world and has more toys than she could possibly need.
Our love of dogs is one of the first things we bonded over on our first date. We've been together for four years (and married for two), and if American Adoptions asked, we could easily submit hundreds of pictures of us with our Molly Munchkin for this profile.
As we sat here thinking about what to write in this letter, we realized little Miss Molly has a role to play. We recognize we can't possibly know how you are feeling, and we know dogs and babies are not the same thing (despite both sets of parents referring to Molly affectionately as their "grand furbaby"). But as we tried to relate to what you are going through, and see things through your eyes, we thought about how we'd feel if we needed to place Molly with another family:
Just thinking about re-homing Molly (who, again, is just a dog) forced us to examine our feelings if our roles here were reversed. So we didn't fill this profile with stuff that we thought you'd want to hear or claim that we're perfect. We tried to give you a glimpse of who we are as people, and how we'll be as parents, so that you can decide if we're the right family for you. Because that's exactly what we'd want if we were faced with your decision.
And to that end, here are our promises to you:
And if Molly could talk, she'd tell you how thrilled she is at the thought of having a human sibling; she knows there's more than enough love to go around.
Dan & Alicia