Our Life Together
We first met in 2000 when Susan lived across the street from the firehouse where Dennis was working. Susan made sure her dog had plenty of exercise, as she walked him past the firehouse over and over again. She became friendly with all of the firemen, but there was a particular “spark” with Dennis. It was a great way to meet as we talked a lot and got to know each other before we even went on our first date. We married 2 ½ years laterand we feel lucky to have joined our lives together. Now, as parents, our lives have been enriched beyond what we could imagine.
Alice is an absolute joy! She has an amazing sense of humor and the most tender of hearts. Even with a two year old’s vocabulary, her comedic timing is impeccable and she knows when to belly laugh to make the joke teller feel good. Her smile is ever present and is one of the many reasons she gets along with everyone she meets. When she wakes up each moring, her first words are “where’s yi yo?” Yi yo is how she refers to her friends. She’s eager to get a jump on the day and meet her friends to visit the park. She cares deeply for others’ well-being and demonstrates the same gentleness and nurturing with the family dog and her toy “babies”. We can only imagine how much she will adore the experience of being a big sister – she has so much love to share!
We expose Alice to her Mexican heritage through books, events, travel, and relationships. We celebrate it as a family and raise her to be proud of her culture. In fact, when she turns 3, we plan to all take Spanish lessons together as a family. In the meantime, she benefits from daily exposure to Spanish-speaking neighbors while she is beginning to learn to talk. We truly look forward to showing our next child all the wonderful things about his or her nationality as well.
More than anything, we love making memories as a family. Whether we’re at the zoo, the beach, Cubs’ games, traveling, or just in the comfort of our own home, experiencing life through Alice's eyes is so much fun. We were delighted and amused this summer when she galloped around the beach in a state of utter joy, waving and shouting hi to every passerby.
We live in an incredible northwest Chicago neighborhood with many young families. It is so great for the kids to have so many playmates close by. (latest count is 28 kids ages 6 and under and 3 doors down is another Cradle baby) We think our community is a wonderful place to raise children because of the number of young kids and growing families, the parks, the proximity to downtown Chicago, and an elementary school with an outstanding reputation.
Our jobs afford us the luxury of spending a lot of quality time together. Dennis works for the Chicago Fire Department and his schedule allows him to be home 3-4 full days a week. Susan is fortunate to work from home, so with no commute there is no rushing out the door in the morning. Mornings are leisurely and fun-filled, enjoying breakfast and playtime together. Right now Susan works full time, but she will switch to part-time when we welcome a second child into our family.
As parents, we believe an open heart and an open mind are essential in having a loving, accepting home. We are receptive to whatever adoptive path best fits you and we are open to all the possible ways a family is joined together. Alice's birthmother chose a closed adoption, as she was not ready for an open relationship. We would love it if one day she would change her mind, but we respect and understand her decision. We are so grateful to her for blessing us with such an amazing gift.
Susan on Dennis
I love being married to Dennis. I appreciate so many things about him but especially how loved he makes me feel every day and how much he believes in me. Thoughtfully, he pays attention to details and does little things to make me smile. My favorite thing about him is his selflessness - he is the “go-to” guy in the neighborhood, doing everything he can to help those he cares about. His friendship is cherished by everyone whose life he touches. He is an amazing father - attentive, gentle, loving, inspiring and amusingly silly. Alice lights up when he walks in the room.
Dennis on Susan
I tell people that I am the luckiest guy in the world. On the day that I met her, I couldn’t wait to see her again (even if she felt she had to keep walking the dog by the firehouse to get my attention). I feel blessed to be married to my best friend. Susan is smart and has a great sense of humor. She enjoys the simple pleasures in life, such as making great meals for our family taking Alice to swim classes and music classes. She is very physically active and has a lot of energy. She is a great mom. She loves to read books and sing songs to Alice. She is so in love with our little girl.
Thank you for letting us share our story. Hopefully, we have given you a good snapshot of our family. We are very excited about adopting a second time. We are honored that you have taken the time to learn about us and wish you the best in finding the ideal match for you and your child. We look forward to learning about you and your story.