Hello from Elizabeth, Eric, and Emilia Grace!
Greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area! We are honored that you are reading our letter, and are in awe of your bravery in considering open adoption. As you contemplate your child’s future, we are eager to share with you some information about our loving home. We are excited about the possibility of completing our family through open adoption. We hope to have the chance to talk with you about your own dreams and hopes for your baby.
We first met at a backyard barbecue, having both moved to California to pursue outdoor activities and professional interests in the environmental field. When Elizabeth left for an extended research project in Asia, Eric traveled halfway around the world to visit, showing our relationship could go the distance. Upon our return, Eric proposed as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. We were married on a local beach, surrounded by family and friends. We sustain our relationship through open communication, deep mutual respect, and a common devotion to making the world a better place. We have so much love to give, and we are excited to share it with another child.
I love Elizabeth because she has everything: beauty, intelligence, and most of all, a passion to make the world greener and more just. Elizabeth gets so much joy from being a mother, whether carrying Emilia Grace piggyback around the house, singing songs with her in the car, or making sure all the stuffed animals are tucked in just right for bedtime. I know that she wants to do all this and more with another child in our home.
Eric is a fantastic life partner: thoughtful, funny, insatiably curious, and always up for a new adventure. He is dedicated to making the world a better place, through compassion, education, and protection of wild species and spaces. He is a patient, easy-going teacher, helping Emilia Grace learn to swim and to overcome her shyness in groups. He is a true parenting partner, sharing equally in the day-to-day chores and the joy of raising a child. For him, a second child is a natural next step.
Our daughter Emilia Grace, born in 2012, is excited to have a baby brother or sister. She says that she wants to be “a big sister!” when she grows up. She inherited her parents’ love of reading; at bedtime, she always insists on her “one last book.” We can’t wait to have another little voice singing songs with Emilia Grace and asking us to read “one last book!”
We live on a quiet, friendly street with many young families in Albany, California, a small city near San Francisco. Within a short walk is a beautiful park with a playground perfect for little hands and feet, an excellent elementary school, and a street lined with shops, restaurants, and (most importantly!) ice cream shops and toy stores.
We have a spacious backyard where our children can play together on their scooters or bicycles or plant vegetables in the garden. And we can cuddle on our comfy couch in the bright California sunshine.
We treasure the diverse cultural and educational opportunities of the Bay Area – the array of music, art, festivals, museums, and restaurants ensures that we are never bored. We often hike in the nearby hills or visit one of the many local children’s museums, where Emilia Grace enjoys learning about animals and building with giant foam blocks.
We both focus on environmental issues. As university professors, we enjoy teaching students and exploring new ideas. Our jobs include extended winter and summer breaks when we have flexibility to spend time as a family, and to travel to the mountains or visit relatives. Our universities will each grant parental leave such that one or both of us can be home for nearly the entire first year of our next child’s life.
Over our years living here, we have made many friends and put down deep roots. We enjoy sharing dinners and hikes with our local friends. After our daughter was born, we became part of a close-knit babysitting co-op that shares outings, brunches, and playdates. Our parents live out of state (Nebraska, Missouri, Virginia), but there are regular visits and Skype calls so that Emilia Grace can get to know her grandparents. Emilia Grace’s four young cousins live in Washington, DC, close to Eric’s parents, and we see them regularly. Our families and friends are eager to welcome and support a new family member.
We share many mutual interests – travel, concerts, good food, and reading. Most of all, we enjoy being outdoors. We spend summer vacations in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Emilia Grace loves the alpine meadows filled with flowers and clear streams. In the winter, we look forward to family skiing trips. Another child would only heighten our enjoyment of these special places!
Being parents has brought unimaginable joy and meaning to our lives. Watching Emilia Grace grow – in mind, spirit and body – every day is just incredible. We strive to create a home where our children can explore, where they learn to be thoughtful and caring, where they learn to be confident in their abilities and reach to fulfill their dreams. We can’t wait to welcome another child – and his or her birthparents – into our family through open adoption. We look forward to learning about you and your hopes and dreams. Please get in touch with us anytime.