Sarah and Danny’s Adoption

IMG_6100Hi! We are Danny and Sarah (and Elphie) and we feel very passionately about growing our family through open, domestic adoption. Thank you so much for looking at our adoption page. We hope that, as an expectant parent, you find what you are looking for–whether that is with us, someone else or yourself–we hope you find it.

 

Why Adoption?

We chose adoption as a way to build our family for many reasons. Sarah has always felt passionately about adopting. In fact, she told her family at a young age that adoption was most likely in her future. Both of us feel strongly about opening our hearts to a child. We are not hung up on needing that child to look like us in order for us to love him/her.

Seeing our friends, Chad and Baron, go through the adoption process, become parents and develop the strongest of bonds with their son, Uriah, has made it abundantly clear that adoption is a beautiful way to make a family. Chad and Danny have been best friends since college but our adoption journeys continue to bring us closer together. When they adopted Uriah, Chad and Baron asked Danny to be his godfather. Our child will always have Chad, Baron and Uriah in his/her life. They will serve as one of many resources for our child when he/she has questions about his/her identity and adoption. photo-2

Another great resource for our child when he/she has cultural questions, should we adopt transracially, is our brother-in-law and nephews who are African-American. Phil, Phil, Jr. and Nathan live close by in the suburbs of Chicago. Their wife and mother—Danny’s sister—recently passed away unexpectedly. Padma was one of the biggest supporters for our adoption. Whenever we saw her, she would ask us all about the process and how soon we would have a child. We learned of her passing the same week that we found out our homestudy had been approved. This unthinkable loss devastated our family, yet we have grown so much closer to Phil, Phil, Jr., and Nathan through this pain. Our future child will have them as cousins and uncle. We are both so sad that our child will never know Padma, but she is a huge part of our adoption story. Our child will certainly know of her and her love for him/her even before he/she was a part of our family.

 

Danny

I have lived in Illinois all of my life; I was born in Elmhurst, grew up in Glendale Heights and then Naperville, went to college in Champaign-Urbana, and have spent all of my adult life living in Chicago. As much as I enjoy travel and appreciate so many of the great cities the world has to offer, I truly love Chicago and look forward to continuing to experience this city in new ways with a child.

IMG_1011I spent a lot of my childhood with my family on road trips. We spent a lot of time in our true 80s-style station wagon visiting various parts of the country. I vividly remember sitting in rear, backwards-facing seats watching the sights and trying to get trucks to honk their horns. While I doubt we will have a station wagon, I look forward to creating similar memories as we take our own family road trips. In fact, it was on a road trip, stopped at Mount Rushmore, that Sarah and I realized how much we both wished we had a child to share the experience with. That was the moment we decided to grow our family through adoption.

We recently shared in the joys of adoption with my best friend, Chad, and his husband, Baron, who adopted their son Uriah through The Cradle. They recently asked me to be Uriah’s Godfather and I am thrilled with this new experience. Uriah, Chad and Baron will be a huge part of our child’s life. Uriah and our child will always have each other as adoption buddies.

Being an uncle to my nephews, Nathan and Phil Jr., has given me a glimpse of the happiness that fatherhood will bring. My family is quite diverse—my brother-in-law is African-American, so my nephews are half Indian and half Black. They will be two of the best resources for our family’s transracial adoption. Even though they will be older cousins to our child (Phil Jr. is 18 and starting college), both Nathan and Phil Jr. are excited for another kid to join the family.

I went to college at the University of Illinois and then went on to get my MBA. I now work at a hospital on the management side. I feel very lucky to have a successful career and a job that I enjoy going to every day. But I also recognize that work is a means to provide for my family. It is a high priority for me to create a good balance that will provide our child with security and stability but above all love.

Speaking of love, Sarah is the love of my life and we have had so much fun together! I learn so much from her each and every day and I am a better person because she is in my life. I cannot wait for us to continue our growth as people as we transition from a couple to a family. We balance each other in so many ways that I know we will be great teammates as parents.

 

Sarah

Even though I grew up in small town Iowa, I always knew I was a city girl at heart. However, living in New York City, I missed some of the charms of Midwestern life. For me, Chicago is the perfect mix of the two, not to mention it is where I reconnected with Danny.

IMG_0448We first met in 2008 at a theater conference in New Harmony, IN. Even though we hit it off right away, we didn’t pursue anything because we lived in different cities. When I came to Chicago for a short-term job in 2010, we reconnected. Instantly, we knew that ours was the real thing, so I decided to stay in Chicago.They say “when you know, you know” and that is exactly what happened with us. I’ve never had a relationship where I felt more loved, trusted and respected. We talk a lot about the fun things we want to do with our child (games, sports, camping, museums) as well as the ways we will handle difficult situations and discipline. He is my partner and my soul mate and I cannot imagine a better person to spend the rest of my life and raise a family with.

I think about our future with a child and it makes me appreciate the childhood my sister and I had. Sports, family game nights and home movie-making made for great memories. Yet the city has a lot of offer culturally that I did not have—museums and theater, to name a couple. How a small town girl from Iowa came to love theater so much, I’ll never know. But that’s me and I am so excited to bring my child up in the theater community. Combining my small town experience with the benefits of city living, that’s how I see Danny and myself building our family lifestyle.

Now, I work part time as a theater administrator. I write grants and coordinate an after-school theater program for underserved Chicago Public High School students. During my spare time, I stay active by biking, walking our energetic Goldendoodle (Elphaba, named for the lead character in one of our favorite musicals, Wicked) and going to the pool whenever I can. I am pretty into my health because I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, a condition that can impact my joints. Promoting physical health in my family is so important to me because of my experience with RA.Adding a child to our family will certainly bring new and exciting activities to our lives and I just can’t wait!

 

Family and Friends

Our baby will have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family. On Sarah’s side, he/she will even have a Great Grandma! Danny’s family lives close by in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago, and Sarah’s family lives a short drive away in Iowa. We often make roadtrips back to the small town she grew up in to see her family—this will only increase with an addition to our family.

IMG_0002We experienced so many different and excited reactions when we shared the news that we would adopt. People eagerly asked questions about how long it would take, how old the child would be and how the relationship with the birth family would work. They have all embraced the idea of open adoption and are excited that the child will be a baby. They cannot wait to start bonding with him/her at an early age.

From traveling to Michigan for summer holidays on the beach to laughing around a table full of potluck food and word games, our close friend group also plays a large role in our lives. They’ve already started volunteering to be the cool aunt, funny uncle, tutor, spiritual advisor and friend to our child. We call our Chicago group “The Wild Bunch” not because we are crazy partiers (though that may have been true some years ago) but because we are artists and teachers who would rather take a hike or read a book than watch TV (though there is some of that too). Our Wild Bunch also has photochildren who can’t wait for other kids to join the family. Right now, we are “Aunt Sarah and Uncle Danny” to 9 kids to whom we are not actually related.

 

Life and Parenting

Don’t live to work, work to live—our motto for life. While both of us do work hard, we like to enjoy our time outside of the office. Both of us love to travel. Even though Sarah hates flying, we’ve been to China, Mexico and Europe together, not to mention road trips and weekend getaways. We hope to instill this love of travel and learning about other places and cultures in our child. And hopefully he/she won’t inherit Sarah’s fear of flying.

While travel is special and fun, it is not a part of our every day lives. Here in Chicago, we spend a lot of time with friends and family.Danny enjoys reading, playing tennis and running with Elphie. Sarah spends her time reading plays, biking and exploring Chicago’s many neighborhoods (aka shopping). We embrace one another’s hobbies and encourage one another to live actively—a child will certainly add even more fun actiphoto-3vities to our lives!

As new parents, we will take time off of work to bond with our child. Sarah plans to take a full 12-week maternity leave. Danny will take a shorter paternity leave and then steadily go back to work, first part time and then full time at his job as a hospital administrator. Sarah works part time at a theater company as both a grant writer and an educator. She runs an after-school program that introduces theater to Chicago Public High School students. Working with high school students and teaching them theater gives her so much joy and she can’t wait to share those kinds of experiences with a child, even at a young age. Her part time work will allow her to be home at least two days per week with baby. On the days when both of us work, Baron, who is a stay-at-home dad, will care for our child.IMG_1464

Our philosophy on parenting includes rewards, positive reinforcements and consequences as well as recognizing when our child has reached his/her stimulation threshold. We will both work hard to ensure that our family has open communication and close relationships as well as a commitment to fun activities. Sarah comes from a family of collectors so our child will likely have some sort of collection be it basketball cards, horse figures or American Girl Dolls (all things Sarah still has in her parents’ basement). We will always encourage academics and reading. In fact, we will probably have to read Harry Potter as a whole family because both of us desperately want to re-read it with our child. And we will both tell our child his/her adoption story. We want this journey, ours and yours, to always be a part of his/her narrative, from the beginning. In fact, we will probably even share this profile book with him/her (at an appropriate age, of course).

We’ve learned a lot from observing Chad and Baron’s relationship with their birth mother. We have been lucky enough to spend time with her at Uriah’s baptism and first birthday party. We hope to have a similar open relationship but want to respect your needs. Whatever that might be, let’s talk and figure it out.

 

If you would like to contact us, please use the form in About/Contact tab at the top of the page or reach out to our agency, The Cradle. Thank you again for reading our profile!

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One thought on “Sarah and Danny’s Adoption

  1. […] Sarah and Danny’s Adoption […]

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