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, our dog and family.
Nickolai: human rights advocate turned history teacher, Keri: singer/actor/music teacher turned nonprofit leader
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 both love the outdoors, which is why we each decided to build our futures in the Bay Area before we even met. When we’re not on the hiking trail, we enjoy taking our dog, Bubbles, on long walks along the water or in the neighborhood, where he is a minor celebrity with the local children.
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 with grandpa 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) and blintzes, 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.
I admit that I’m biased, but my wife is the most amazing person I know. Kind, funny and whip smart, Keri exudes patience and warmth. She balances a career teaching music and turning around struggling non-profits, taking care of her dad, and staying connected to a large group of caring friends. Most people try to avoid extra responsibilities; Keri steps up to a challenge, especially when it involves helping others.
I know that Keri will be a wonderful mother. Leading a youth and family based music organization lets her work from home a couple of days each week, and she’s grateful to also have the flexibility to bring our child to work with her. I know she can’t wait to take our child 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 swimming Alcatraz in for family swims and reprising her first job as a swimming teacher with 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 advocacy, and his “side job” as an expert witness supporting people in immigration courts seeking asylum in our country. He’s carried that fight for justice into his second career as a teacher of social studies, and volunteering with local groups to advocate for candidates and support immigrants (as his parents once were).
His greatest passion is his family – from watching soccer games long-distance with his parents over Skype 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 is never too busy to play with our dog, Skype with our 4 year old niece, or 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 for soccer games, and teach them to ride a bike. He brings history alive for his students, and I smile thinking of the creative, probably messy, projects ahead as he makes learning fun for our child.
We live in a quiet, friendly neighborhood in the Richmond hills. Our nearest neighbors are Tibetan Buddhist monks – we like to walk our dog in their meditation paths.
We picked this area primarily because of the neighborhood K-8 school. Through her organization, Keri has taught music there for six years and has become friends with many of the teachers and parents. She jokes that her students are her personal army of future babysitters and loves being part of the community.
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 back and side yards are filled with strawberry, tomato, peas, beans, artichokes and other vegetables, lemon, lime and orange trees, and lots of flowers. Nickolai can’t wait to help our child develop their own green thumb during his summer breaks at home.
We love our cozy house, with enough space for our child to have their own room, grandparents to stay for extended visits, and everyone to gather around to watch movies, read, play games, or cook waffles on the weekends.
On the day after Christmas 2015, we rescued a 4 year old Boxer and named him Bubbles. He was at the rescue for over a year and because of scars on his face and leg injuries, we were the only people who applied for him. We were the luckiest ones!
The volunteers loved him so much that they drove him 7 hours from So Cal to San Jose, just on the chance that we would take him home. He came to us with different health problems, but thanks to regular P/T sessions and a special diet (Keri home cooks his food), he is more energetic, loves to play, goes with us on vacations to the central coast, Oregon and Colorado, and loves running on the beach and long leash walks in our local parks along the shoreline.
Boxers are known for being patient and loving with children (Nickolai grew up with one). Sweet, goofy, and definitely spoiled, Bubbles loves everybody who doesn’t work for the Post Office and is especially happy in the company of Keri’s choir students and our friends’ kids.
While adoption was always an option we considered in building our family, we came to this point in our journey after other avenues led to loss. Our journey was difficult at times, but it both made us stronger as a couple and confirmed for us in a deep way that love creates a family. Families extend as far as our hearts.
We promise to love and treasure your child, to support them in becoming the amazing person they are meant to be, and through an honest, open, and trusting relationship with you, help them to know how deeply they are loved.
Thank you again for reading our profile. We wish you and your child every blessing, and admire your courage and love for them.
To connect with us, please contact Adoption Connection at [email protected] or 888-517-3123.
We hope to hear from you!