The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein
Board games &
Hello! ¡Hola! Thank you for taking the time to read this. We’re a married couple from San José, California, and have been together for over 17 years. Since we met, we’ve hoped to one day welcome a child into our lives. We admire you for your strength to consider open adoption for your baby. Your child will grow up in a home surrounded by art, cultural influences, and a steady stream of diverse music. We are both bilingual and intend to raise your child to speak English and Spanish. We are fortunate to have the flexibility to work from home and plan on taking turns as stay at home dads for the first few years. Our neighborhood is peaceful and next to our home is a park with a jungle gym, soccer field, and basketball courts. From our backyard, we can hear the children laughing and playing. We can’t wait for your child to be one of those voices, joining in the fun.
In the summer of 2002, we went on our first date and got to know each other over french fries and milkshakes where we shared our hopes for the future. Over 17 magical years later we are happily married, have a stable and loving relationship, and have surrounded ourselves with a supportive network of friends and family. We were married on the 14 year anniversary of being together. We had a small and intimate wedding reception at home with those nearest and dearest bearing witness to our special day.
Our home is always filled with the joyful company of those we love. On weekends, you can find us hosting get togethers at our home, working on our yard, or exploring the wonderful outdoor treasures the Bay Area has to offer. We can’t wait to share these moments with a child through open adoption.
We live in a quiet tree lined neighborhood, which is very family oriented. Our home is across the street from an elementary school and adjacent to a park. Our neighborhood is its own community that has outdoor movie nights, picnics, fruit and vegetable exchanges, and even has its own local-farm egg delivery service started by one of our neighbors.
During the first year in our home, we imagined how we wanted each room to look and have spent over 13 years making these dreams a reality. We wanted a home where every room transported you to a different interpretation of an exotic land. Robert’s favorite room is our Mexican themed kitchen where we host family game nights and holiday dinners. Cris’ favorite room is the master bedroom which will transport our child‘s imagination to an Indian palace.
Our home has morphed into a fusion of multiple cultures through our learning of different countries. There is a lot of history in our home and we take great pride in doing many of the home projects ourselves. Our current project is to transform our backyard into a Cambodian jungle complete with a life-sized elephant which we would like our child to help us name.
Cris is an incredibly kind person with a gentle moral compass that always steers him in the right direction. He has become the godfather or mentor for every one of his nieces/nephews. He is superbly patient with all children and loves to experience new things with them. From teaching our child to ride a bike or learning how to fish on summer camping trips, Cris will be a loving and committed father. I can’t wait to see how his character rubs off on our child. Next to his father, he is the patriarch of our family, who strives for togetherness and encourages everyone to succeed.
Cris grew up in East Palo Alto which was a city plagued with gangs and violence. His parents taught him that education was an escape from his impoverished surroundings. He financed his own education and turned his first job into a career. Cris is an award winning Graphic Designer and Web Developer. He is one of the most driven people I know and his drive has propelled him into a league of passionate individuals who want to make a difference in their communities.
Cris loves to try new recipes and cooks the best eggplant in town. He spends his free time drinking chocolate milk, reading books, helping others, and experimenting with new technology. I know one day, he’ll be the type of dad who can patiently sit and teach our child many different things.
For as long as I’ve known Robert, Halloween has been a very special holiday for him and his family. It allows him to be creative and design fun getups. I know he is looking forward to crafting imaginative costumes with our child for an evening of family fun and neighborhood trick-or-treating.Robert’s personality can best be described as caring and generous. On top of that, he is incredibly creative, energetic, engaging, and an overall fun person. From throwing great parties, to acting out stories for our nieces and nephews, he can’t help but bring happiness and smiles to everyone he knows.
Robert has a gift for being social and easily engaging others with his charm. He has focused this talent into his career as a Volunteer Coordinator where he encourages people to give back to their community. Whether developing a toddler dance party in the park or organizing a neighborhood carnival for families, his charisma encourages volunteers to return again and again.
The personality trait I find most endearing of Robert is that children are magically drawn to him. Whenever a child sees him they want to spend every second with him. Children go as far as telling their parents they want to stay with “Uncle Robert” and not go home. I know one day our child will be equally captivated to follow him around the house calling out “Daddy”.
We were both born into large families with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles, which makes for exciting family gatherings. We both have family members that live just a short drive away, so we get together often. Those that live farther away will give our child the opportunity to explore other parts of California outside the Bay Area.
Both of us are extremely close to our seven nieces and nephews, ranging in ages 4 to 19. We play an active role in the lives of our nieces and nephews from changing their diapers to seeing their kindergarten holiday recitals, from helping with school projects to moving them into their dorm rooms. We continue to be involved in their development and can’t wait to do the same by raising our child in the community we too were raised in.
We encourage them all to try new things and learn from their experiences. For the past few years, we have taken the teenagers on weekend getaways without their parents so they can explore the world as adults. We also host family slumber parties during the summertime where we project movies outdoors. Last summer’s movies included The Wizard of Oz, Moana, and episodes of I Love Lucy. All our family members excitedly await for our child to join in the fun of family movie night.
Our families have several traditions which have been passed down for generations as well as some newly formed ones. We honor these traditions every year and have often said, “Wouldn’t this be nice to share with our child.” We long for the joyful day when we finally have the opportunity to share these memories.
Every year we kick off the holiday season by throwing a large Halloween party where everyone dresses up in extraordinary costumes. One of the things that we can’t wait to do with our child is to dress up like the three trick-or-treaters from Nightmare Before Christmas. Thanksgiving is hosted by Cris’ brother since he loves to cook the turkey, so much in fact, he cooks two of them in different styles. The nieces and nephews lead a taste test and crown a winner by naming the best turkey. Christmas is the biggest holiday in our family so we typically celebrate it twice, once with each side of the family. We make mountains of tamales with Cris’ family, and we wear festive pajamas or sweaters at Robert’s family get together. We wrap up the holiday season at our home, by hosting a countdown to the New Year. An age-old family tradition is to eat 12 grapes, one for each stroke of midnight, which all the kids love.
Every summer, we gather at BBQ’s and pool parties intended for the children in our families to play together. Robert’s cousins, who live outside of the Bay Area, often visit and stay with us. When they visit, we become tourists and explore local landmarks. We enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors as often as we can. We are excited to experience such family focused traditions with our child.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. Your caring and loving decision will allow us to start our family. Trust that we will be loving and dedicated parents to your child and possibly lifelong companions with you should you desire that too. We appreciate that you are considering such a selfless and loving decision, and hope this letter will resonate with you. We’re beyond excited to start our family and to welcome you into our lives.
Please feel free to contact us through our adoption agency, Adoption Connection at [email protected] or by text/calling 415-355-4636.