Mike and Jenn

Hi! We’re Jenn, Mike, and Michael! Thank you for taking the time to read our letter. Whether you place your child with us, choose a different family, or make another choice altogether, we wish you the best as you make a difficult decision.

Jenn has known since she was a teenager that it would be impossible for her to get pregnant, so adoption has always been a part of our plan. In January 2013, we were thrilled to bring two-day-old Michael into our home. Michael’s adoption is fully open, and we are hoping our next child’s adoption will be fully open as well.

Jenn and Mike

Jenn grew up in New Jersey with her parents and two younger siblings. She has degrees in Math and Child Development and works part time as a private tutor. She sets her own hours and appreciates the flexibility of being self-employed. Jenn loves baking, crafts, reading, and music. Her favorite thing about being a mom is celebrating holidays and birthdays. She also loves reading to, singing with, and having silly conversations with Michael!

Mike spent most of his childhood outside Philadelphia, but has also lived in Venezuela, Ghana, and Japan. He speaks fluent (but slightly rusty) Spanish and some Japanese. He has a PhD in Computer Science and works as a Senior Software Engineer at Google. Mike enjoys cooking, painting, reading, and games of all types. His favorite things to do with Michael are cooking, reading, and going to the park. He also loves watching how Michael changes and grows over time.

We met when we were fifteen at an academic summer camp. We stayed friends after camp and eventually started dating. After eleven years of marriage, we’re still best friends who make

each other laugh. As a couple, some of our favorite things are food, games, and travel: we love to try new recipes and restaurants, play board games with each other and friends, and travel to new places!

Michael

Michael is a happy, energetic, and talkative toddler! He loves music, books, animals, imaginative play, and running around. His favorite toys are his trucks, trains, and other vehicles, and he loves playing in his toy kitchen or dressing up as a construction worker to “fix things.” He is very interested in babies and looking forward to being a big brother!

When Michael was born, we were both able to shift our work hours so that one of us was always home and we didn’t need outside childcare. As a baby, Michael attended Gymboree, music, and gymnastics classes. We also spent a lot of time reading, playing, singing, going for walks, and visiting friends.

Michael is now three and attends preschool five mornings a week. He still loves music and gymnastics classes, and also takes swim lessons. We often go on adventures with friends (pumpkin picking, the Pittsburgh Renfest, museums, etc). We also try to make sure that we occasionally have quieter weekends focusing on quality family time.

Extended Family

Family is very important to us. We take regular trips to visit our parents, Jenn’s siblings, and other relatives. We also love hosting family for Christmas, Michael’s birthday, and other occasions. Everyone has been supportive of our decision to adopt and can’t wait until we adopt our next child.

We have a wonderful relationship with Michael’s birthparents and siblings, and think of them as part of our family too. Michael adores his three biological siblings and is always excited to see them! In our PACA, we agreed to two visits a year, but have chosen to have significantly more. We have had our visits at a variety of places including playgrounds, the Children’s Museum, and Sandcastle. We’ve attended Michael’s siblings birthday parties and enjoyed meeting many of Michael’s biological relatives. In addition to visits, we keep in touch with Michael’s birthparents through texting and social media. (We realized not all birthparents want this level of contact and are willing to be flexible to work out something that works for everyone!)

We think it is very important for Michael to have a strong connection to his birthfamily. We asked Michael’s birthparents to choose a middle name for Michael, and they chose a name in honor of his biological great-great grandfather. We hope to continue this tradition and give our next child a middle name chosen by his or her birthparents.

Home, Friends, and Community

We live in a five bedroom Victorian in a safe, quiet neighborhood. Our enclosed backyard opens onto a large school field that’s great for games, sledding, or just running around! We’re within walking distance of the library, playground, and community pool. We get along well with our neighbors (including over 20 kids on our block!) and enjoy attending the annual block party, and other social gatherings. We share our home with two extremely friendly and snuggly cats, Annie and Hallie. (We are planning to adopt a puppy soon as well.)

We have a strong network of friends in Pittsburgh, and Michael has grown up with lots of playmates of a range of ages. He loves hanging out with the “big kids” and is very gentle toward and protective of the babies. We regularly have small groups of friends over for dinner, as well as large parties. Jenn is very active at her church, where she sings in the choir and has helped with the youth group.  Jenn and Michael attend church regularly and enjoy the strong sense of community. Many of the families at church were formed by adoption, and we love that Michael is growing up exposed to different kinds of families.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about us, and we’d love the opportunity to get to know you. You can contact us directly at jennandmikeadopt@gmail.com or through The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh, a respected, licensed adoption agency. They can be reached at (412) 441-4884 or 1(800) 961-7704 (ask to speak to a birthparent counselor). You can see more pictures and read more about us at http://jennandmikeadopt.wordpress.com.