The Oregon Zoo
Hi there! We are Jeff and Louis from Portland, Oregon. We started our family two years ago when we adopted our daughter Jacqueline, whom we call Jax for short. We have tremendous respect for your decision to consider adoption. We appreciate you taking the time to read this letter and learn more about us and the dream we and big sister Jax share to expand our family.
We’ve been a couple for 16 years and got married 10 years ago on the first day it was legal for same-sex couples to marry in California. We became parents in 2015 with our daughter, Jacqueline. We live in a great neighborhood with friendly neighbors. Our relationship is founded on love, trust and equality. We are each other’s number-one fans and Jax centers our love even more, as we know our second child will continue to do too. We are big kids ourselves and love to spend time horsing around with our daughter, our family and each other.
Style in High School: Hippy
Guilty Pleasure: Cheese
Turn Off: Broccoli
Pet Peeve: Knives in the dishwasher
Favorite Movie: Amelie
First Album: Michael Jackson’s Thriller
Favorite Food: Tacos
Favorite Book: Giovanni’s Room
Favorite Artist: Boccioni
Favorite Trip: India
Style in High School: Goth
Guilty Pleasure: Moana soundtrack
Turn Off: Judgmental People
Pet Peeve: Bullying
Favorite Movie: Super hero movies
First Album: Duran Duran’s Arena
Favorite Food: Mediterranean
Favorite Book: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Love, Simon)
Favorite Artist: Renoir
Favorite Trip: Provence, France
We live in Portland, Oregon, so there are many family-oriented, cultural and artistic things to do. We also spend time in the Bay Area (where we met) and Southern California, where some of our families are. We love walking in the Farmers Market and enjoy visiting the Zoo and the damp pine forests of Oregon for our romps. We are total foodies and love introducing new flavors to Jax. Louis gives her impromptu baking and cooking classes and can’t wait to enroll a younger sibling. Most weeks you will find us participating in swim, music, gymnastics, dance and playing with other neighborhood kids at the playground.
We have both become seasoned fathers through patience and respect. Jax has shown us the privilege of parenting, and we can’t wait to welcome another child into our lives. We are now experts at child-proofing, a process that has basically converted our living area into an art/playzone. Jax is naturally happy and kind and is ready to take to her new role as a loving big sister.
To put it simply, Jeff is amazing! Everyone who knows him, including myself, is extremely lucky to have him in our lives. He is very calm-tempered and really thinks things through in all manners from family to finances to our relationship. Children love him because he is so big-hearted and cuddly; they rarely let go of him. His new way of relaxing is glass fusing. He has made numerous stained glass windows and jewelry! He also thrives on knowledge. He reads all the time, about everything. He shoots photography and vacation movies, buys books for our library, loves music and loves a good long hike with friends and family.
Jeff is extremely passionate about his work. He is a physician. He truly cares for his patients. He creates relationships with them whether it be calling every couple of hours to check lab work or making sure that his patients’ family understands what he is doing to make tough situations better and more comfortable.
Jeff is crazy about Jax and she is smitten by the mere sight of him. They have dance parties in the front room and Sesame Street mornings on Saturday, they play with a bubble table outside on warm days, and they spend time with grandma Kathy and Pop Pop on walks. They love sitting with each other in evenings with a bottle before bedtime. He wrote haiku every week about Jax’s first year.
Jeff is the most adventurous person I know. He will travel to places so exotic and desolate and peaceful. He is passing on his adventurous spirit to Jax as I’m sure he will with our next child.
Lou and I met at the Farmers Market in San Francisco. As a broke student, I came for the free food samples, but ended up finding the love of my life! Louis’s talents are as boundless as his energy. He makes the best salads on the planet after years of training as a chef. He is the pioneer in our relationship, constantly exposing me to new flavors, music and art. His latest find is Calabrian Chiles and espeleete!
Louis’s creativity is not limited to the kitchen. He makes beautiful, energetic art, layered with text and photography, color and shadow; his images are as unique as he is. Currently, we are working on a joint project in painting and stained glass of the sky as seen through New York skyscrapers. He graduated with a degree in Graphic Design before following his passion to become a stay-at-home dad.
Louis grew up in the Inland Empire of CA but always dreamed about moving to the Bay Area. When we met, he had lived in 39 apartments in San Francisco with over 150 roommates, all of whom seemed to love him–we couldn’t walk down the street without running into a friend, roommate or colleague from his past.
It has deepened my love for Louis to watch him grow as a parent. He is patient, kind and entertaining. He’s amazing at keeping class and nap schedules. He also is in charge of preventive worrying, anticipating potential dangers and keeping Jax safe. He is the kind of dad who sets up the painting station, cooks Jax’s favorite foods, drives all over to get to the numerous classes and sets up playdates. It is the highlight of my day to see the two of them curled up on the couch giggling when I come home from work–I can’t wait to see him outnumbered with two children!
Jeff is extremely dedicated to his family. They love to travel and also lounge at home solving the Sunday New York Times Crossword together. Every year they compete in a treasure hunt through downtown San Francisco during the Chinese New Year’s Parade. Growing up with two close sisters, he values sibling relationships and wants Jax and her brother or sister to learn these values as well.
Jeff’s parents recently moved to Oregon as well. They have a place on the coast near where the 80’s movie The Goonies was filmed, surrounded by blackberries and sand dunes. His sister Kristen and her husband also live in Portland and have three amazing children close to Jax’s age. The four of them are inseparable. Jeff’s youngest sister lives with her husband in the Los Angeles area. All can’t wait to welcome another child into the fold.
Louis comes from a small but big-hearted family. Louis’s sister, Deja, her husband and daughter, Ella, live in Redlands, California. Laughing together is their favorite past-time. Louis’s youngest sister, Clarissa, and her husband live outside of Nashville and have a daughter, Kaelee Ann.
We want our children to know and love their cousins as well. When we hang-out with our four nieces and one nephew we usually spend our time together during the winter holidays, vacationing at our family’s beach house for Fourth of July, going to the movies, painting and drawing pictures, going to the ballet to see The Nutcracker, reading stories or running through Disneyland. We are super uncles to all our nieces and nephew. Everyone is great with Jax, and will be as amazing to our second child!
We share the same principles in raising children. We want to teach our children to be polite but fun-loving, to make friends, to explore the world and ask questions about it, to scrape their knees and get dirty, to make mistakes and learn from them and to love themselves. We firmly value learning and will provide the best educational opportunities that we can. We will expose our children to French and Spanish. We want our children to enjoy being kids but also to learn the skills they need to become happy, kind and successful adults. We do not want our children to have a favorite dad; both of us will play good and bad cop. We believe that cherishing our children and nurturing their interests will make us the best parents we can be.
Thank you again for reading our letter. We can only imagine the difficulty of your decision to seek out adoption. We think of Jax’s birthmother often, and honor her decision by being the best parents possible to Jax. Please know that we will love and care for your child, and give him or her the best opportunities that we can provide. If you would like to meet us please contact us at through Adoption Connection at 415-355-4636.