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Greg & Luda
We believe in "meant to be's" and know that all happens for its own reason. We've both waited for the right moment and our family is excited, happy and ready to be the best parents we can be. Our story has taken a lot of roads to get here...and the one ahead includes what we've both dreamed of in starting a family together and the places we'll go along the way.
We like to create memories. It's where our smiles come from. We do a lot of local activities that keep things exciting and pretty unique (charity events, concerts, food events, sports, wine tasting, local drives, etc.) but what we really look forward to are our travels. We love to experience new things and make certain we take advantage of this whenever possible. We have been to over 50 countries combined and are usually outside the country at least once a year. We enjoy most of the same activities and some that are unique to each of us. We both love site seeing, new cities, trying new food, joining in on local activities and really creating some memories. Luda tends to like beaches, water, great food, hiking, biking and sun. Greg tends to like meeting local people, getting involved in local activities, anything with a motor, a bit more extreme activities and trying anything new. Our favorite place is Hawaii. We have a special beach in Hana, Maui where we were married and spent our honeymoon. Greg's favorites include Peru, Spain, Russia and Costa Rica.
Our Leisure Time
We live in a beautiful lake community full of year-round family activities such as boating, fishing, camping, hiking, recreational vehicles, sand-dunes, waterskiing, snow skiing, music festivals, farmers markets, great restaurants and school sports. As we live in a resort town, we often host family and friends.
Individually, Luda speaks three languages, is a master at cross-stitch and great in the kitchen. Greg loves history, food, woodworking, home improvement projects and sports. Greg is also a life member of the Royal Rosarians, which is a small group of community members invited by the mayor and state governor to represent the Portland community and involves participating in festivals located in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
We also dedicate a significant part of our lives supporting and attending charitable events, mostly involving at-risk youth and military causes. We are deeply involved in our community and are anything but bored! We look forward to sharing these activities with a child and finding new ones to enjoy together as a family!
Our Family Traditions
Luda is originally from Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe. Luda's upbringing was full of tradition, which she loves sharing with others and looks forward to passing on. Luda will plan Moldovan parties with food and music with friends. Luda stays close with her family and celebrates unique Moldovan holidays, such as 'Martisor,' which celebrates the start of Spring in March by wearing red/white flowers and hanging them in trees. We also celebrate 'National' day with Moldovan music/dancing and food. Luda brings additions to American holidays such as Easter with a good luck egg crack or a special Easter cake ... among others. We also regularly travel to Moldova and celebrate traditions when there.
Greg's family is notorious for holiday traditions involving loud games and specific food. The most notorious is the family 'Surveaster' event where we set up an elaborate and series of games and challenges that resemble the challenges on shows like Survivor. Greg's dad and two sisters live on large properties right next to each other, which allows for a massive scavenger hunt and huge games build by his dad. Outside of holidays, Greg's family usually gets together at least a couple times a month, Luda talks with her family every week and friends are at our home pretty much every week.
Our House and Neighborhood
We live in the picturesque mountain lake town of Hope, Idaho. This is just outside of Sandpoint, voted many times as the #1 best small town to live in America. We also have a home near our immediate family outside of Portland, Oregon and are there often. Hope, in our opinion, is the most beautiful place we've ever been and where we have more than 100 years of local family history and also where Greg spent many summers as a kid. The community is very close, friendly and thrives around endless activities. The lake: boating, fishing, waterskiing, swimming. The mountains: hiking, camping, recreational vehicles, snow skiing. The town: arts, farmers market, music festivals, restaurants and local school sports.
We live in a 4,700 square-foot home with an incredible storybook view over the lake. We are a five-minute walk to the marina, our boat, the community center, grocery, restaurant and school. Our home is built for entertaining and we regularly have guests. Luda loves cooking, Greg is often in the workshop and we never lack for activities nearby. Our home has five bedrooms, a home office, two small guest cottages, a movie/video game room and views of the lake from almost every room.
Our Extended Families
Greg is one of seven children (four of which are adopted) and Luda has one older brother. Luda's parents have been married for more than 50 years. Her mother spent her career as a special needs educator, is heavily involved in her community and church and loves to travel and garden. Her father spent more than 50 years working in government and loves to spend time in his vacation home managing the garden and making his own wine. Her brother is an engineer in telecommunications. Luda has a very close and loving extended family in Moldova and has a weekly call with them that she never misses.
Greg's parents were childhood sweethearts that were married 55 years before his mother sadly passed away two years ago. Greg and his mom had a close relationship and he got his love of gardening and family traditions from her. Greg's father started his career as a high school teacher, worked in technology, then managed the family furniture company. He and Greg spend a lot of time together on the latest home improvement project and traveling. Greg has six siblings (three who live close by) and 23 nieces and nephews. We spend a lot of time with them at family events and holidays. The family is always crazy fun, outgoing and loving.
From Us to You
We thought a long time about what we would say in this letter. It's been the hardest part of this process to try and put into words why we want this so much ... and why we are so ready for this part of our lives ... and how to communicate to you why you should even consider allowing us to be part of your story.
From a small child, Luda has dreamed of raising an incredible child into a fantastic human being. She's meant to be a mom, to the core. Every moment she's awake, she thinks of how to help those around her. She is dedicated, selfless, secure and has the biggest heart you could imagine. Greg has always wanted to be a dad and has been consciously waiting to start a family until he knew it was the right time. Meeting Luda was the last piece he needed to make it clear that time is now. Greg is an ambitious dreamer who has worked hard to get where he is yet is still a kid at heart.
We were raised in very different family settings, but with very similar values. We've both been through a lot and have gained a lot of wisdom from our upbringing and life experiences. We fought hard to get here, but it's been worth it. Our lives are pretty fantastic, and we are openly grateful for what we have and the life we are able to lead. We live in a town where my family goes back over a century just down the street from the grade school my father attended. We went to a lot of effort and risk to put ourselves in what I think is the perfect place to raise a family. We are very active in our community and charitable organizations. We have great neighbors, friends and family nearby. We work in an industry that allows us a lot of flexibility on time and we're able to take advantage of this in a good amount of travel and fun activities. We've been a lot of places and of everywhere, this is home.
When we think about how we will raise a child, we always start with ... as long as they're a good human, the rest is secondary. We want to collect as many happy moments as life can offer. From there we hope to teach a child a few languages (Luda speaks three fluently), share our love of travel (together we've been to 50+ countries), provide a great education and provide our child the opportunity to be who the best person they want to be. We know there will be tough times, but we also know we have the recipe ready to raise a great kid.
We can't even imagine how difficult this decision is for you. We hope, and are very open to, discussing what role you want to play in this story as well. Greg was raised in a family of seven kids where four were adopted. We also have many friends who were either adopted as children or who have adopted. We've seen so many ways that other families have organized contact, from none to fully open, and we understand it's not so much how open it is that makes success, but the common goal of raising a great kid. We're great at photos, updates, letters and working together on whatever will be best for this child.
To end where we started, we are excited, nervous, hopeful and ready for this. It's a dream come true, one we almost can't believe is real ... one that brings us to happy tears every time we sit and discuss what's next. Your decision is big, and we promise, with everything that we are to understand and honor that decision for the life of this child.
Greg & Luda