SF East Bay in a quiet, friendly neighborhood near hiking trails, walking distance to neighborhood school.
Nickolai's is Thanksgiving, Keri's Christmas - both because of family traditions and memories!
Our home, hiking trails and mountain lakes, National Parks, Oakland and SF, Oregon and the Pacific Coast
Exploring mountains, lakes, and local culture with each other, friends and family.
Nickolai: high school history teacher, Keri: music teacher/nonprofit executive director
We are Nickolai and Keri from the SF East Bay – hiking together through life, with stops for art, music, history, and travel along the way. We look forward to the greatest adventure of all – becoming parents and raising a kind, confident child surrounded by love.
Thank you for taking the time to read our profile – we look forward to meeting you!
We met at a movie meetup on a rainy Sunday evening in December 2008. Nickolai noticed Keri sitting three seats away and decided to get her attention by making what he hoped were funny comments about the previews — just over two years later, we got married at an outdoor service in front of Yosemite Falls.
We love the outdoors and exploring national parks, local museums, and hiking, camping and kayaking together.
Keri was raised in Wisconsin and Michigan, and can’t wait to continue the tradition of family road trips with a big cooler full of picnic supplies, to take our child fishing and golfing and to pick blueberries like she did growing up.
We look forward to mountain and lakeside camping trips, visiting Nickolai’s family in Colorado and Panama, making pelmeny (Siberian dumplings), baking cookies, and going to concerts, museums, and playdates. Most of all, we’re excited to discover the world through our child’s eyes and all they will become.
My wife is the most amazing person I know. Kind, funny and smart, Keri is patient and warm. She balances teaching music and leading non-profits with family and staying connected to a group of caring friends. Keri steps up to a challenge, especially when it involves helping others.
I know Keri will be a wonderful mother. Leading a youth music organization lets her work from home a couple of days each week, and she also can bring our child to work. I know she can’t wait to take them to the children’s music, art, and theatre experiences she’s spent her career creating for others. With her love for animated films, I definitely see matinees and sing-a-long films in our future.
I’m excited to hear her sing to our own child the same lullabies and songs from around the world she’s taught her students, and trade open water swimming for family swims and parent-tot swim classes.
On our first date to the Musee Mechanique in San Francisco, I found out about Nickolai’s first career in human rights, and supporting immigrants seeking asylum. He carried that into becoming a high school social studies teacher and volunteering to support immigrants (as his parents once were).
His greatest passion is his family – from watching soccer games long-distance with his parents via Zoom to bringing me flowers for years “just because”. When we bought our home, he seeded the whole yard with wildflowers just so I would come home to flowers every day. He was never too busy to play with our dog or our niece, or to support his friends. He’s a big kid with a bigger heart, and makes me a stronger, more relaxed and happier person every day.
I know he will encourage our child to try new things, lead carpools, and teach them to ride a bike, and that there will be lots of creative, probably messy, projects ahead as a family!
We live in a quiet, friendly neighborhood in the Richmond hills. Our nearest neighbor is a retreat center run by Tibetan Buddhist monks who have built a community garden, playground, and walking paths just outside our front door!
We love our friendly neighbors and our local K-8 school just three blocks away. Keri has taught music there for many years and has become friends with many of the teachers and parents. She loves seeing current and former students at the market or trick or treating.
When we look over the fence in our backyard on summer evenings, we see tall redwood trees and stars – it feels like we’re camping at home. Our yard is filled with strawberries and vegetables, lemon, lime and orange trees, and lots of flowers. Nickolai can’t wait to help our child develop their own green thumb!
We love our cozy house, with space for our child to have their own room, grandparents and cousins to visit, and everyone to gather around to watch movies, read, play games, or cook together on the weekends.
We’ve always loved cooking together, trying new things, hiking and traveling. In the past few years, we did a lot of traveling in the Western States with our last boxer Bubbles, and discovered many local favorite museums and places to visit.
Keri’s dad lived with us for close to two years so we could keep him active in the world instead of alone in memory care in her hometown, and it gave us the opportunity to see many points of interest we may have otherwise overlooked. Taking care of him, and then of a 10 year old boxer with cancer with love and dignity wasn’t always easy, but we are grateful for every moment we had with them and for all of the love that remains.
We’ve continued to safely visit more outdoor arts exhibits, parks, and museums, while adding more hiking, gardening, biking and kayaking to our weekends, reconnecting with friends and family, learning new recipes and preparing our home for a little one.
While we have hopes for the big life events, it’s the everyday moments that matter most: reading bedtime stories, packing school lunches, helping with homework, reassuring our child after a bad dream, and family dinners.
We can only imagine what a difficult decision this is, and we thank you for taking the time to read our letter and get to know us. We are committed to open adoption and promise that your child will always know the story of where they came from and will always feel loved and supported.
Our journey to parenthood, like many couples seeking to adopt, has been a long and winding road, but it has confirmed for us in a deep way that love creates a family.
We promise to love and treasure your child, to support them in becoming the amazing person they are meant to be, and to surround them with people who love and care about them.
If you would like to learn more about us, please contact our adoption agency Adoption Connection at [email protected] or text/phone 415-355-4636.
Keri and Nickolai