What does "Family Life" mean to you?|
Spending time together, enjoying each other’s company; being a refuge in times of trouble; rooting for each other and laughing at ourselves. We make a huge deal out of the holidays such as Halloween, which is our favorite. Each year we try to make our spooky house better and more creative than the year before. Peter is more interested in the ghouls and Lisa is all about the lighting (candles, torches, orange and purple twinkling lights in trees, lanterns, and the indispensable skull and headstone lights!) Christmas is also a big deal in our home and every year we play Christmas music, tour the streets where they really decorate, go to the snow, and do things that deliver the message that Christmas is about spirituality, love, beauty, family and giving, not all about gifts.
Describe your childhood:
Peter: I was raised in a traditional intact family. I have an older brother. My parents were teachers and they always tried to provide everything they could for us. I attended public schools and lived in the same home from the age of 8 until I went on to college. My brother and I got along very well and spent most of our free time playing sports (baseball, basketball, football) on our street or at a nearby park until the sun went down. Because our parents were teachers we spent the entire summer together taking trips to placed such as Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Grand Canyon. We also spent time just exploring what California has to offer.
Lisa: I was raised in many different areas of California, because of my dad’s work. We moved a lot and I went to a number of different schools. It was challenging for a shy, non-athletic studious kid, but I learned to adapt to different kinds of people and by high school I had the most unusual collection of friends of anyone I knew. I have three sisters and a brother and my sisters are my best friends. One of my sisters lives in Colorado but the rest of my siblings all live in California.
Tell us about your home?
We live in a huge house with a massive yard and a pool. Our backyard has lots of room for a swing set, trampoline, and several tree houses! Oak trees are everywhere and we have wild bunnies in our yard all day, every day of the year. We live by a quiet Christian college and our neighbors the kinds you can ask to keep an eye on your house when you are away. We have tons of flowers in the front yard: roses, jasmine, honeysuckle, lilies, snapdragons, gladioli, freesia and daffodils, which are surrounded by fragrant rosemary and sage. We have great hiking in this neighborhood and magnificent sunsets of fiery coral.
When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
We enjoy taking trips up the beach, or to the mountains. Sometimes Natalie has a horse show and we attend those events. We also enjoy spending time with our extended families.
Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have an almost 2- year old cat named Yuki. He was pure white when he was a kitten, with vivid blue eyes. He now has gray fur on the top, white on his undercarriage and a striped raccoon tail. His is hysterical as he seems to think he is a dog. He plays fetch for several hours a day, and if we ignore him, he takes his ball to the top of the stairs, drops it down, fetches it, and repeats…over and over again!
What is your favorite food?
Peter: I enjoy typical American food such as hamburgers, grilled chicken and steaks. I also like pizza and Mexican and Persian food.
What do you hope to teach your children?
We want to teach our child the joy of living, about the importance and relevance of other people’s viewpoints, lifestyles and choices, and not to take anything for granted. We will emphasize self-expression through honesty and character in all things. We want our child to believe he or she can do and become what s/he dreams of and we want to support this little person in achieving that.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Peter: I use to play the harmonica and the guitar but haven’t in awhile.
Lisa: I took piano lessons as a child and tortured several teachers with my lack of aptitude.
Describe your neighborhood?
We live in a family oriented neighborhood near the mountains in Southern California. We chose this neighborhood for its excellent public schools, safety, beauty, excellent weather and numerous outdoor activities as well as being close to our families.
Share something about your spouse that only you know:
Adoptive Mom: She makes one heck of a chicken casserole and secretly loves the movie “Clueless.”
Adoptive Dad: He has a secret nickname for everyone we know.
Describe the last romantic thing you did together?
We went to Maui for a very belated honeymoon in April 2011 and spent nearly every minute together TRULY relaxing. Every day we swam in the ocean and Peter would grab onto Lisa’s big orange inner-tube and we’d float there and talk about the world, the future and cool baby names.
What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
That she was a strong, wise, and selfless person who was very brave and thought about the baby first and foremost.
It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
I want to take our child to the beach and show off the tide pools and build a sandcastle and play in the water and use lots of sun block!
Do you plan on sharing with your child what their birth parents were like?
Yes, we want our child to know how much their birthmother loved them and made such a brave decision.
What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
Public education because we believe that the public schools in California provide truly enriched learning environments. There is a particular charter school near our house that offers a multi-cultural approach to education which interests us.
How did you come to the decision of adoption?
Due to infertility we started to explore all the different options. Adoption made the most sense to us.
What faith will you raise your child?
We come from different religious backgrounds. Lisa’s family are Baha’is, which means they believe in all the manifestations of God (Buddha, Moses, Mohammad, Jesus, Krishna) came to us at the times in history when we needed them most, and delivered the same messages of love, forgiveness, charity, prayer and sacrifice. We will raise our child to examine all religions and to choose the one that is best for them, but to live a spiritual life yourself is the best gift you can give to yourself and the world.
How will you help your child accomplish their dreams?
By helping them to understand what their dream really is and then being there to support them through the process of achieving it. We understand that children have different dreams at different times in their lives and that our child’s dreams play an important role in their ability to establish a unique identity and to develop self-esteem.
What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
That is a decision that the birthmother will make and should she want a relationship with us we would like to develop a close and very supportive relationship with her through this difficult journey.
How did you meet?
We met where we both worked at a program for adults with mental illnesses, many of them homeless.
We both loved the clients and had deep and abiding respect for their struggles and their survival.
What was your relationship with your parents like?
We shared warm loving relationship with our parents and still remain very close to them.
What attracted you to each other?
Humor; we thought the same things were funny. Then we started to notice that we liked the same people. Peter is super smart and very athletic and Lisa really likes that about him. Lisa is very witty and charming and Peter enjoys that about her.
Please describe your personalities:
Peter is loving, playful, thoughtful and shy around strangers. Lisa is more outgoing, but doesn’t enjoy being the center of attention. She has a wicked sense of humor and is very insightful about people.
What are your hobbies (please share those you enjoy as individuals and those you enjoy as a couple):
Peter: Surfing, snowboarding, nature hikes.
Lisa: Reading, trying new crafts (crocheting, candle-making), and amateur photography. Baking!
Couple: We enjoy Dodgers baseball, Clippers basketball, movies and plays. We watch a lot of sports together and would love someday to go to all the Major League Baseball parks, especially the old classics like Fenway and Wrigley.
When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
I will thank God for giving you the strength to make the hardest decision in the world. You are my hero.
How will a child enrich your life?
They will enrich our life by the unbelievable joy of holding our precious baby in our arms and watching them grow and experience new things each day of their life and feeling good and strong and capable within him or herself. It will enrich us to help develop a person who will care about others and the environment and who will value spirituality and nature.
Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Peter has worked with the mentally ill and developed the interest while studying psychology.
Lisa has worked with mentally ill and homeless people and developed the interest during her graduate studies in clinical psychology.
What makes a birthmom special?
A birth mom is special because her main concern is the lifelong needs of her child and what is best for her child regardless of how much pain it causes her.