Mark and Diane

Dear Birthparent,

Thank you for taking the time to read our letter, and to learn a little more about us. We understand that sometimes life doesn’t turn out as planned, but we believe that only means there is a special strength that exists within us. You are reading our letter because you are a strong individual that likely has a big dream for your baby – and we are writing this letter because we have big hearts and are ready to welcome a sibling for our precious Liesl into our family. It is important to us that Liesl – who is also adopted – has a sibling to share in the experience of the adoption journey. We can assure you that your baby will be loved unconditionally, and will be raised in a stable home. Our hope is that these words give you comfort, as you make a very courageous decision.

Mark’s Story

I grew up in a stable, loving home on Mt. Washington. My parents are still together, and working on 47 years of marriage! I am the youngest of 3 kids, with an older sister (Aunt Sharon) and older brother (Uncle Mike). I am a true city kid, attending the Pittsburgh Public schools from Kindergarten through high school.   Growing up I loved playing baseball, sandlot football, and deck hockey – and I always did well in school.

Diane’s Story

I also grew up in a stable, loving home on the Northside. My parents are also still together, working on 42 years of marriage! I am the younger of 2 children, with a brother – Uncle Kimo – but his real name is Jim. Growing up I attended a Catholic grade school then went on to a Pittsburgh Public high school – where I met Mark. I loved school, but I loved being active even more. I played softball, was on the swim team, ski clubs, and played tennis! I actually met Mark playing a pick up game of softball when we were both teenagers. We didn’t start dating seriously right away, but we did build a solid foundation of friendship, which likely has a lot to do with why we are still together today.

Who We Are Today

We have been married for 13 years. Since we grew up on different sides of the rivers, Diane talked Mark into becoming a “transplant” and living just north of the city! Who says people in Pittsburgh don’t cross rivers? Liesl joined our family in September of 2015, and we instantly fell in love. She is the joy in our lives and we are ecstatic about watching her grow, learn, and discover new things everyday! She is a very smart, sweet, curious little girl, and we are delighted that she is a part of our family. Both sets of Grandparents have also been able to build a special bond with Liesl, since they have been up to the task of babysittingwhile Mark & Diane are at work. While we did initially have a couple of very open, friendly discussions with Liesl’s birthmother, she has not chosen to continue with that openness. If at any point her birthmother were to change her mind, we would very much welcome any form of communication. That door is open and will remain open. Please know that no matter what type of adoption you choose – we are open and flexible. Archie is our 13-year-old beagle who loves to eat, snuggle, sleep, and chase rabbits. He has been part of our family since he was 6 weeks old. Skiing and water sports are a big part of our lives. We spend the weekends in the summer camping at a lake – about an hour drive north of Pittsburgh. We have a boat, and Diane is always asking Mark to pull her skiing. Diane is even a champion barefoot water skier in the Eastern Region! (Yes that’s skiing with OUT the skis!) Mark also enjoys skiing, but he prefers to have the skis on his feet. Liesl isn’t quite old enough to ski yet, but we are very much looking forward to getting her out behind the boat. (She is already a big fan of the lake water!) We also enjoy snow skiing – in fact, Diane taught Mark how to snow ski on one of our very first dates. We still go skiing every winter.Mark enjoys fishing at the lake, as well as hunting and shooting his bow and arrow. As much as Archie likes to chase bunnies, he isn’t exactly a hunting dog and prefers staying warm at home with Diane.We are very much looking forward to teaching our children how to read and reason. We are also excited to teach them how to swim, ski, fish, catch a ball, and turn a double play on the field!

How We Make a Living

We are both Engineers – but not the nerdy type. We are curious, inventive, problem solvers.  Mark works as a materials engineer in the steel business, keeping the Pittsburgh steel tradition alive! He doesn’t travel much, if anything he makes a trip to Ohio for a few days.  Diane is a project manager with a background in mechanical engineering, and has traveled the world for the medical product business.  She has been to many countries, including Germany, England, China, Taiwan and the Philippines for work. Perhaps that sounds a little dorky – but we assure you – we are looking forward to helping with some sweet science fair projects!  Even though we both have very successful careers, Diane would really like to go back to a part time position after our next blessing is bestowed upon us, so that she can spend even more time at home raising our family.

We believe that everything happens for a reason. We believe in doing the best we can with the gifts that we have been given. We believe that our diverse upbringings have shaped us into the strong, successful people that we are today, and we want to make sure that our children are raised with an awareness and knowledge of the cultures around them! We value family, education, an active lifestyle, and always trying new things. We very much believe you have chosen to read our letter for a reason.

If you would like to know more about who we are, please contact us at markplusdiane@yahoo.com – or call The Children’s Home at 412-441-4884.

We look forward to meeting you!

Our Photos