Thank you for taking the time to learn about our family. We want to acknowledge how difficult this decision may be for you and want you to know that we respect and admire your decision to consider open adoption for your child.
We are Zach and Erica and we are happy to share with you a bit about us and our hopes to expand our family through open adoption. We have friends who have adopted and we have witnessed what a gift adoption has been to their families. We are drawn specifically to open adoption because we believe it is so important for children to know where they come from as they grow and find their own sense of identity.
We are committed to providing a loving home for our children and would welcome as much or as little contact you would wish to have with our family.
We met 15 years ago at a wedding between mutual friends. It was an instant match once we found out that we had very similar music libraries, were both vegetarian and that we had both traveled and lived abroad. After learning that we shared very similar values and goals, we realized just how fortunate and lucky we were to find each other and began planning a future together.
We enjoy the outdoors and spent many of our early dating years hiking, camping and backpacking throughout National Parks. After many life adventures, we married and started our family.
Today, we absolutely love parenting our daughter, Melina, and can’t wait to become a family of four!
We own our home and have lived here for eight years. Our home is located in the hills and there are several neighborhood hiking trails just a few minutes from our front door.
We love that our home has a calm, peaceful feel and yet is located near the heart of the vibrant, diverse city of Oakland. We enjoy a good project and have worked to remodel our home together.
We spend a lot of time creating and playing in our home. Indoors, there is always music playing; either coming from our own instruments or from our favorite bands. Melina has a permanent art station between our living and dining room where she spends a lot of time drawing and painting. In the evenings, we can often be found playing with board games and puzzles or having impromptu dance parties, where Melina shows us her latest ballet moves.
We also spend a good amount of time outdoors working in our vegetable garden or peeking in on the bees in our backyard hive. We are looking forward to adding a little brother or sister to all of these activities!
Erica is a deeply caring person who has dedicated her life to helping others. She has worked as a social worker in community based clinics for over 15 years, engaging her bilingual language skills to work with people in both English and Spanish. Whether giving direct care to her patients or supervising other social workers, Erica has always created atmospheres of deep trust and mutual respect. It is amazing to see how she has impacted those around her, and I often hear from those who work with her what a unique and incredible person she is.
Erica works extremely hard but always puts family first. She has been fortunate enough to be able to create a schedule that allows her to work Monday through Thursday so that she can spend Fridays with Melina. They often go on adventures to places like the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, dance/gymnastics classes, excursions on our local trails with neighborhood friends or Oakland’s Fairyland for puppet shows and story time.
Erica is such a loving, patient parent. It has been amazing watching Erica develop as a parent as Melina grows into her own person. They can often be found together making dolls in Erica’s sewing/knitting studio, reading books in Spanish, or creating an art masterpiece for a friend. Erica is always extremely encouraging and uses her talents to engage Melina in new activities and skills. Erica believes in making things from scratch when she can, especially gifts for friends, family and Melina, because so much of everything she does comes from the heart. Erica is already working on a baby sweater for our future child.
Zach is an artist, photographer and comes from a family of teachers. He chose to teach high school photography, as it combines his passion for photography and working with youth. Zach receives many heart-felt letters from the teens he works with who often go to him for support and guidance. Zach’s teaching schedule allows him to spend afternoons, summers and school holidays at home with Melina. Together they go to the zoo, local playgrounds and host playdates with other neighbors and friends.
I love watching Zach parent Melina. He is a caring, compassionate father who is always ready to take Melina on exploration hikes in our neighborhood; ensures that there is always enough paint for Melina’s latest art creations and is willing to read the same beloved children’s book over and over and over again. Zach is a creative chef and incorporates ingredients from our backyard garden into our family meals. He and Melina can often be seen planting and picking the tomatoes that make the sauce for our weekly pizza night.
Zach is deeply committed to everything he does; whether he’s playing music with his bandmates; working on his own photography for a local exhibit; creating our family’s annual Christmas card; or playing side-by-side with Melina. He is a great listener and is always there for our family and friends. He is the guy who will run over to your house and fix a leaky faucet, walk your dog when you are sick, or pick you up at the airport while thoughtfully bringing something to eat ‘just in case’ you didn’t have a chance to eat on the plane. He’s excited to share these gifts and experiences with another child!
Our neighborhood is filled with many young families. Melina’s first friendships have been made on our street as we often have playdates and share meals with our neighbors. We enjoy organizing the annual neighborhood Halloween party and other social events.
We have a great group of friends in the Bay Area that have become a second/chosen family for us. We often spend weekends on outings with friends to places like the zoo, Little Farm and the Oakland Museum; we’ll catch a play at the Children’s Theatre; or spend the day at the beach. We have a diverse set of friends that Melina has come to know as ‘uncles’ and ‘aunts’ and it has been a joy to widen Melina’s world by spending time with these incredible people. We are open to transracial adoption and would work to ensure that our adopted child establishes a connection with his/her culture of origin whether that be through our circle of friends or in the wider community.
We have a large extended family that we spend a lot of time with. Fortunately, all of our family lives in California and are just short car trips away. We join Erica’s family for their annual trip to Shaver Lake; a tradition for the past 25 years. Once there we spend hours riding on a ski boat, playing in the water, making s’mores while playing music around a campfire. We are Catholic and spend most religious holidays with both of our familes, where Melina enjoys playing with her eleven cousins. Our families are very supportive and excited about our decision to adopt and cannot wait to welcome another child into the family!
When we want to switch gears from our urban environment, we pack up the car and head to our cabin in the foothills of Sequoia National Park. Zach’s sister has a cabin in the same area and we gather together to spend time playing in the river, hiking local trails and sharing family meals.
To provide a stable and loving environment that celebrates diversity
To value education and to cultivate a love of learning
To adventure and explore new places and experiences together as a family
To parent to the best of our abilities while encouraging the unique gifts of our children
Thank you for taking the time to learn about us. We look forward to achieving our dream of adopting a child and becoming a family of four. Please know that we will love this child just as much as we love our daughter. To whatever extent you may or may not wish to stay connected with us, please know that we believe in being fully open and honest about how they came into our lives. You will forever hold a special place in our hearts and we will always share our gratitude for you with our children.