Dear Expectant Mother,
We once read the quote: “We don’t meet people by accident; they are meant to cross our paths for a reason,” and it is exactly how we feel about you. It is with our sincerest, most heart-felt gratitude that we thank you for considering us as adoptive parents to your child. Just as our journey has been filled with a wide variety of emotions and uncertainty, we can only imagine the path that has brought us all to this point—a chance to provide a child with a loving, safe, and nurturing home. What we do know is that you are a strong and courageous woman who loves her child enough to make sure that they are well taken care of with the gift of adoption. We respect that this decision was not an easy one for you, and our hope is that we can be the ones to ease your fears and provide some comfort in this process.
We are Don and Shadi. We are truly best friends and partners. We met over ten years ago, and it did not take long for us to both realize that we were meant to be together. We have so much in common, including both dedicating our careers to education. When we first met, we were both teaching in middle school—Shadi was a Math teacher and Don was an English teacher. While most people may look at this age group and see confusion and frustration, we both see enthusiasm and liveliness. We embrace the challenges these adolescents display on a daily basis, and see it as the beginning of a new stage in their life. Don is now a Principal of a middle school and leads teachers and students from diverse backgrounds. He hopes to inspire the next generation by sharing his love for education. After five years in the classroom, Shadi decided to get her doctorate degree in Child Development and is now a Professor of Education. She is working with students who aspire to be teachers and loves to research how teachers can impact students beyond the four walls of their classroom. More than anything she loves teaching, and appreciates the flexibility of her career which allows her to make her own schedule. Both of us have dedicated our careers to working with individuals of different backgrounds and have learned more about ourselves through our diverse interactions. More than anything we’ve learned about empathy, patience, compassion, and human kindness just by working with our students and their families.
Our love for each other has also grown through the last four years as we faced the challenges of infertility and loss. However, one thing kept coming back to us. When we started the process of expanding our family, we always talked about adopting. As we struggled with infertility, we took the struggle as a sign that we didn’t need to be pregnant, but rather we wanted to be parents. This only solidified our decision to move forward with learning about adoption. Once we decided that adoption was the right choice for us, we knew that this love we share would extend to any child that we bring into our family. We can promise you that your child will also be surrounded with the open arms of our village, which includes our amazing family and friends. Both of our parents could not be more excited at the thought of being grandparents, as are our brothers, sister, and numerous aunts and uncles. We have many friends from all backgrounds that are lining up to welcome your child.
You will always find us surrounded by laughter with friends and family. When Don is home, you can find him playing the guitar or chasing Milo around the house while Shadi fills the kitchen with delicious aromas of her latest recipe. At the end of the day, we may embark on a family walk along a nearby trail, or simply curl up on the couch for cuddle time and a movie on the TV. Our holidays and vacations are always full of laughs, adventures, games, and most of all, love. We always kick off the winter holidays with a trip to see Don’s family. Shadi has an annual challenge with Don’s dad that includes playing a new game, at which she always beats him! This is followed by additional trips to see other family and friends from both sides. Don takes out his old baseball cards, and shares them with our friends’ children, and has even helped them start their own card collections. Shadi is seen as the trustee of all secrets, and is always the one everyone feels comfortable sharing whatever they are experiencing.
We live in California, surrounded by lots of fun things in the neighborhood. We live close to parks, great schools, the library, lakes, and the amazing local attractions! We are also surrounded by two zoos, hiking trails, numerous sporting venues, and museums. We cannot wait to share these experiences with a child.
As parents, we promise to share your story of love and strength and remind your child what a gift you are giving us. More than anything we want you to know that your child will be loved and supported unconditionally and surrounded by a home full of laughter, kindness, and respect. We are so grateful that we have crossed paths.
With our sincerest gratitude,
Don & Shadi