Amanda and Aaron /adoption-family/amanda-and-aaron 1913

Amanda and Aaron

Hello!  We are Amanda, Aaron, & Olivia, and you are reading this because we are looking to go on a journey with you.  We have a story to tell, and we know you do too.  The wonderful thing about stories is that they can continue for as long as you'd like them to.  We will tell you a little bit about our story and why we want to adopt, and we invite you to ask us any questions you'd like!  We are very interested in your own story, because it has led you here, which means you may be part of our family in the future.  We know that this process can't be easy for you, and while we cannot take away some of the challenges you might face, we hope to experience them with you and support you in making a decision that feels right for you.  Thank you for taking the time to read about us and for having the courage, compassion, and care to get to this point with us!

Our Story

OUR STORY:

We met 14 years ago at a concert, which forever more solidified our shared connection to music.  We were friends for 3 years before dating, and then it wasn’t long before we got married.  We will be celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary this year!  Throughout our relationship we have enjoyed going on adventures together through travel, going to concerts, trying new foods and restaurants, doing seasonal activities (i.e. apple and pumpkin picking), being in nature (i.e. camping), playing games, and spending time connecting in our various communities of friends and family.

In 2014, our daughter, Olivia, came into our lives.  People describe her as outgoing, loving, hilarious, empathetic, musical, and a true connector.  She's the kind of kid who will say hello to people in elevators, and will stop playing for a moment to turn around and say to one of us "I love you".  She’s the kind of child who shows concern when someone is in need of help, and she also reminds us everyday that it’s okay if things aren’t “perfect”.  She loves to sing and can’t wait to sing to a baby brother or sister.  She truly is destined to be a big sister in every aspect of her personality.

We always knew that we wanted a big family together and were very lucky and grateful to have our daughter.  When we decided it was time to expand our family, we learned that due to complications from Olivia's birth Amanda could no longer carry children of our own. After considering the different options for growing our family, we came to the conclusion that adoption was the right path for us.  We have always believed that family goes beyond blood relatives.  This shared sentiment is the style of our family and we would welcome with open arms and open hearts a child into our family who has their own origin.  We have been impressed and in love with how quickly Olivia has understood what adoption is and how excited she is about it.  This has fully affirmed for us that adoption is the right path for us. We want you to know that we understand that the path to getting to this point is different for everyone, and we respect you and your needs in this process.

AMANDA:

I grew up in Philadelphia, PA, home of cheesesteaks, water ice, and hoagies!  I am the oldest of 3 siblings.  I moved to Chicago for graduate school 16 years ago, and love living here.  Almost all of my family still resides on the east coast (Philly, NYC, and Boston), so we like to visit whenever we can!  And they visit us in Chicago whenever they can.  My father is a musician and instilled a love of music in me from the time I was a child, which I use to connect with others, especially with Olivia. 

I work as a Clinical Psychologist at a group practice that I co-own with a very good friend.  We wanted to create a place for families to heal, grow, and connect from a variety of hard circumstances.  Growing up as a mixed-race girl has been helpful in shaping me to have an open-mind in my work and in my personal life.  I love surrounding myself with family and friends from diverse backgrounds and celebrating a variety of special holidays with them.  It’s important to me to make sure that people’s stories are fully understood in their context.  I want my kids to be socially conscious, and makes sure that there are books in the house that represent different groups of people from all walks of life.  I try to encourage the expression of love openly and fully, and I encourage kids to be silly and spontaneous whenever possible!

AARON:

I was born in Queens, NY, and I moved to Chicago when I was in high school.  People tell me that I still have a little bit of a New York accent!  My grandparents on my father’s side were both Holocaust survivors and met after World War II.  They emphasized closeness in the family because they knew all too well what could be lost under different circumstances.  This has always resonated with me throughout my life and it's important to me to pass along to my children.  My parents live nearby, as does my sister and her family.

I am a Civil Engineer and I have worked in the same job for my whole career so far!  I like my work, but I like to focus on activities outside of work with family as a priority.  Celebrations and gatherings with family and friends are very important to me.  Watching the women of my family cook delicious recipes helped inspire me to become the main cook in my own family with Amanda.  I think it's fun to teach kids about cooking, and I take Olivia grocery shopping with me every week!  I look forward to passing along this tradition to any future children we may raise.  Also, you can be sure that any child to come into our home will be given at least 15 cute or funny nicknames by me, as this is how I show my love.

OLIVIA'S FUN FACTS:

*I want to be a lion when I grow up.

*I’m the tallest 5-year-old in my preschool.

*I met Stevie Wonder at one of his concerts when I was 10 days old! (see photo section)

*I can’t wait to be a big sister, and I’ve already offered to feed the baby at night when they wake up.

*I have a vinyl record player and I’ve been working on a pretty fun record collection over the last 3 years.

MORE ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY AND VALUES:

We live on the north-side of the city of Chicago.  We wholeheartedly plan to always live in the city and love everything Chicago has to offer!  We fully value the diversity of Chicago, including in our neighborhood.  Near our home are playgrounds, public pools, coffee shops, grocery stores, and good public schools.  We enjoy going for walks whenever we can (even if it's a little cold).  We also love family bike riding, and we're not too far away from the lake, which can make biking lots of fun!  Our home is a duplex apartment with 3 bedrooms that are all on the same floor.  A defining feature is a long wooden dining table which we use for projects and meals!  For childcare, we extend our love of community building further and hope to do a nanny-share, which is what we did with Olivia and her best friend when they were babies.  It’s a wonderful way to help babies and parents socialize and share resources.

THANK YOU:

We are so thankful that you have taken the time to read about our journey, our family and community, and our excitement to adopt a child to complete our family.  We know that this journey can be very difficult and we hope to be able to make things easier for you by being transparent and by being open to talking about any reservations or concerns you might have. We are here to answer questions you have about us and our adoption journey. 

We fully believe we can offer your child a warm and loving home.  We think you are very brave to have gotten to this point and we feel so much appreciation to you for considering our family to raise your child.  We look forward to speaking to you if and when you are ready.  Feel free to reach out to us anytime!

 

Fun Facts

Amanda
  • I love Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, especially “Half-Baked” (but any ice cream will do)
  • I am a big fan of Karaoke…and no I can’t pick a favorite song…but anything in the 80s and 90s is fun.
  • I can make an awesome campfire, and I love the smell the wood and the fire make.  Mmm!
  • I used to be a competitive swimmer.
  • I can sometimes be found crying at cheesy Rom-Com or TV show. 
  • I like to listen to the sound of waves crashing and tasting the salty air.  I am also terrified of the various creatures that I’m sure no one has discovered at the bottom of the ocean.
  • I'm a hugger...people, trees, pillows, everything.
  • I really love coffee, but I only drink Decaf.  I know, what’s the point, right?!  It’s just so warm and tasty.
  • I love making Venezuelan Arepas for breakfast on weekends (recipe passed down from my family). I love teaching kids how to make them, they love squishing the dough in their hands!
Aaron
  • I have run 3 marathons (All in Chicago)!  And I didn’t start running until I was 33 years old.
  • I love adventure: music, concerts, and the outdoors.  
  • Science Fiction is my jam.
  • I have worked at the same job for over 20 years as a Civil Engineer!  I help with roads and bridges.
  • I enjoy watching football and baseball, and I am working on getting Olivia excited about sports.
  • I once slept overnight in front of a theater to get Amanda tickets to see Hamilton.  And yes, it was worth it the wait!
  • I hyphenated my last name, just like Amanda did, when we got married so that any children we would have would have the same name as both of us.
  • Popcorn.  Lots of Popcorn.  Best way to my heart!
  • I’m teaching myself how to draw. I didn’t grow up focusing on art, but I love it now. I’m currently trying to perfect how to draw clouds.

"Amanda and Aaron" Family Photos

  • Aaron and Olivia on our “family bike” which has a great spot for a couple of kids on the back!
  • Aaron at the end of his 1st marathon.
  • Amanda and her father, Alberto, after one of his music performances.
  • Amanda with her father, brother, and uncle outside a restaurant in the Philly area.
  • One of Olivia’s Aunties, Jamile, giving Olivia another record for her collection.
  • The Queen of board games in the family, Amanda’s grandmother (Sunny), also known as GG.
  • We have been known to have some family themed costumes. Here is us as the family from the movie “Coco”!
  • Wearing traditional South Asian clothes for Auntie Ammara’s wedding.
  • Amanda’s cousins in NYC who are amazing athletes and are huge supports to our family. They are expecting a baby soon too!
  • Aunt Julie magically found a way for us to meet Stevie Wonder in Chicago when Olivia was 10 days old!
  • Amanda likes to be spontaneous as a mom! This is Amanda & Olivia out in the rain on a summer’s afternoon.
  • We love concerts and being outdoors. Here is Amanda and some of her close friends at a Ravinia show.
  • Just hanging out underwater in Mexico, on one of our first trips as a couple.
  • Aaron with his parents and sister at our wedding, right before the dancing began.

Contact the Cradle

If you’re interested in learning about adoption for your baby, we can help. We’re available 24/7. All of your information is confidential.

To speak to someone now, call our 24-hour hotline: (800) 272-3534 or text us at (312) 800-1559 (answered 8:30am-8pm).

If you’d like us to contact you, please use the form below.

If you are looking to adopt a child, please schedule a call with an Adoptive Parent Counselor.

If you are an adopted person looking for information, please schedule an informational consultation with our post adoption department.

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