Dear Expectant Parent(s),
Hello, we are Courtney and Mike! Thank you for taking the time to read our story and learn more about us as prospective parents.
Let us introduce ourselves and tell you our “meet cute.” Over a decade ago, we met while working together. We grew a friendship, bonding over sports, restaurants, and travel. We would talk endlessly about the annual college basketball tournament, discuss the latest restaurant openings, and compare our travels.
It was a slow process, but we started to spend more time together, eventually ending up getting our lives tangled together. We spent the next decade traveling together around the globe, staying in remote places while we trekked the Andes, Himalayas, and Mount Kilimanjaro. We tasted street food in the Middle East and Bangkok and rode camels in Morocco.
We bought a place together, and within a couple of years, our daughter, Amirah, was born. We have spent the last five years embracing our new normal of discovering places near and far through the eyes of our child. It has been the best experience thus far, and we continue to spend our time exploring new foods, embarking on new adventures, and spending time with loved ones.
We are committed to each other and the family. We continue to have date nights and carve out time for each other. We believe a happy couple means a happy family. Mike makes Courtney coffee each morning, which is a lovely way to start the day. Courtney often makes his favorite meals for dinner and ensures his treats are always stocked in the pantry. We do the little things, which makes all the difference.
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where I spent the first few years of my life. My dad was offered a job in America, and our family moved to the New York area. We were unsure how long we were going to stay, but it became clear that Lebanon was not safe, and we ended up staying in the U.S. indefinitely.
I am the middle child, with an older sister and younger brother. I spent summers in the Lebanese countryside with my extended family, but mainly my memories are wrapped up in moments with my late aunt, whom I deeply adored.
I was an avid reader as a child, and I enjoyed getting lost in books. I spent my high school years playing football and running track, along with being a member of the “mathletes.” I finished at the top of my class and went off to an Ivy League school, where I majored in biology and set myself on the path to becoming a surgeon.
I got married right after I graduated and started a family. I have two grown children who are off to college, creating lives for themselves. Eventually, that marriage ended, but not without trying. Eventually, I found Courtney, which has been the best thing that’s happened to me. Experiencing life with her has been amazing, and being a father is, by far, my greatest joy.
I was born and raised in Ohio, where I lived until I left for college at age 18. Most of my family was nearby, and I spent most holidays with my extended family. I remember many backyard summer picnics and Christmas dinners at my grandparents’ houses. It was a great place to grow up, and I had a warm and supportive family. My parents are my rock, and I have an older sister whom I adore.
I spent most of my youth in a variety of sports. I played softball (I was the catcher), volleyball, and basketball, and ran track. There are still a few track and basketball records that I hold to this day, which is crazy to think! I was All-State in volleyball, basketball, and track in high school. I graduated in the top ten in my class and went off to play basketball at college.
I was injured numerous times and transferred to another college, where I ended up on the Varsity Rowing team. I majored in nutrition, and after college backpacked through Europe with one of my best friends. I went to grad school and earned a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. After I graduated and before I started my career, I went back to Europe to backpack one last time with a friend.
Eventually, I met Mike, and our story began. It has been an adventure ever since. Currently, I spend my time cooking (which I love), spending time in nature, doing yoga, completing jigsaw puzzles, and hosting friends.
Amirah is a very happy five-year-old girl. She loves playing with her friends, of which she has many, and being goofy as much as possible. She loves to read and is always leafing through a stack of books when she has moments of free time. She is an active little girl; she loves swimming, climbing, gymnastics, and racing. She will often help her mom in the kitchen with meals, and she can be found doing art in the art room making new creations. She loves telling jokes and is curious about the world and how things work. She loves attending her preschool, where she spends lots of time in nature, finding nature treasures, and hiking in the woods.
Amirah loves to visit her cousins and especially enjoys flying on the plane to get there. She loves animals and can’t wait to get a dog at some point. She gives the best hugs and kisses in the world and can snuggle better than anyone we know. She is a true delight and can’t wait to be a big sister. She can’t wait to read to them and teach them so many different tricks. She has so much love to give.
We live in a suburban community rich in American history. A couple of years ago, we were searching for a new home, and when we walked into the space at the open house, we knew this was meant to be our home. It is set on conservation land with a view of the river. The backyard is a mix of wetlands, a river, and nature. We spend lots of nights around the fire pit with our friends.
The house is nestled on a dead-end street where it is quiet most days. This neighborhood is where our daughter learned how to ride her bike. We are within walking distance of the town center, where we often visit the local art galleries, coffee shops, or nearby playgrounds. We are very close to a historic pond where we can swim in the summer when the temperatures rise just enough to make the water inviting. We have local bike trails that we often use to bike to neighboring towns and playgrounds.
We moved here for the school systems, as we believe in a great education, but we found community. We often have local friends and neighbors over for gatherings, and we have plenty of high school students around to use as babysitters when we need a little break. This town is close enough to the big city that we often take the commuter rail into the city for the day. We love it here and will be in this space for a long time.
Amirah, loves talking to “Yaya” and “Papa,” Courtney’s parents, on Facetime daily. They live in Ohio and visit every couple of months now that they are retired. Courtney has a sister who is married with two little boys, ages eight and seven, both of whom are adopted. They live in Columbus, and we will fly to see them three or four times a year. One of those visits is always around the Christmas holiday.
Mike has twins from his previous marriage. They are almost through college and spend most of their time these days studying, making memories, and doing some traveling. His daughter just got back from a semester abroad in Scotland. His son plans to travel this summer. They visit around the holidays or during breaks in their busy schedules.
Mike has a brother and sister who both live in Connecticut. His sister has two grown children; one lives in the DC area, and the other in Denver. We don’t see them as often as we’d like as they are busy living life. Mike’s brother lives in Connecticut and is married with a stepdaughter. They spend time watching their grandson, who is three years old and full of energy.
Mike’s mother spends half the year in Beirut, Lebanon, and half with his sister in Connecticut. We visit around the holidays and enjoy eating the Lebanese feast his mom makes.
Amirah’s favorite thing to do these days is play outside with friends. She loves reading books, creating art, and watching “Stinky & Dirty”. She has lots of friends over for playdates; they love playing dress up and being goofy. She often helps make dinners and solve jigsaw puzzles. She loves all her stuffies and cuddles with them at night.
Mike loves to read about sports. He watches college and professional football and when he has a chance, some basketball and baseball. He enjoys watching the latest streaming series and old classic movies. He enjoys reading nonfiction and fiction books and meeting friends out for drinks. He enjoys playing with Amirah and chasing her around our house. In the summer, he loves to ride his bike, and he will go on nature walks and hikes around New England. He enjoys going out to dinners to enjoy a good meal and loves to travel and visit new places.
Courtney enjoys cooking, trying new recipes, and thumbing through cookbooks. She likes to get out of the house and explore new trails while birdwatching, finding new birds she hasn’t seen before, and learning new birdsongs. Courtney does yoga most days of the week and enjoys reading nonfiction books and listening to podcasts when out on a run. She likes visiting museums, trying new coffee shops, and slowly browsing through bookstores. She enjoys a cup of coffee every morning and a hot cup of tea at night. She loves meeting up with friends for a walk in the woods and daydreams about where they are going to travel next.
We are excited to bring a new child into this family. Amirah can’t wait to be a big sister and teach them everything. This child will be loved unconditionally and welcomed by all of our friends and family.
Everyone we have shared the news of our desire to adopt has been wonderful and supportive. We have a great community to bring this child up in. We want to show them the world, both big and small scale, relish the little things that life brings, and create a childhood that is rich in love and curiosity.
Courtney’s sister has two adoptive sons who are close to Amirah and to us. We just adore them. We think open adoption is a healthy way to ensure there’s no confusion about who they are or where they come from. We want to embrace honest dialogue and will never shy away from tough conversations.
We plan to use any resource possible to guide us through any trying times, and we are aware of local resources to help through the adoptive years. Thanks for reading about us. We can’t wait to grow our family!