August 17th, 2017
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Maria and Eugene

FUN FACTS!

  • Favorite Hobby

    Maria: Writing

    Eugene: Dancing

  • Favorite Food

    Maria: Osso Buco

    Eugene: Ice Cream

  • Favorite Holiday

    Maria: Christmas

    Eugene: July 4th

  • Favorite Movie

    Maria: Radio

    Eugene: Mamma Mia!

  • Favorite Animal

    Maria: Cat

    Eugene: Zebra

  • Favorite Vacation

    Maria: Ischia, Italy

    Eugene: Costa Rica

  • Favorite Actor

    Maria: Meryl Streep

    Eugene: Fred Astaire

  • Favorite TV Show

    Maria: Speechless

    Eugene: Big Bang Theory

  • Favorite Band/Singer

    Maria: Beatles

    Eugene: Rush

Dear Birth Mother,

Buon Giorno! Kumusta! We are Maria and Eugene! We live in beautiful Altadena, CA, just few minutes north of Pasadena (famous for the New Year’s Day Rose Parade). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves. We want to take you on an adventure our favorite thing to do—through pictures of our life together. While we can only imagine the myriad of emotions you are experiencing in this time, we hope by doing this, you will ultimately have an idea of the kind of life we want to give your child and feel pride because you had the love and courage to make the decision to place your baby with us in a large and welcoming family that shares the unconditional love you hold for your child.

The Beginning….

We met through the wonders of modern technology: online at eharmony.com. On our first date we went for dinner and a show. Little did we know that would foretell the highlights of our future together—food and theater.  In that first year, Maria shared her love of cooking and Eugene his love of theater. We also discovered our mutual interest in travel with trips to San Luis Obispo, Florida and Texas in that first year. One year to the day we met, Eugene proposed. Since then, we continue to share different interests in art, traditions, culture and food. Married for over 10 years, but each year is an adventure in discovering more about each other, our community, and travels around the U.S. and often the world. After our first year of marriage we wanted to start a family. We felt between ourselves and our families we had a lot of love and great experiences to share and we wanted to do that by raising a child. Truthfully we tried to have a child for maybe just a year or two. Adoption had always been in the back of our minds. We always felt that we and our families could love a child no matter how they came to us. The decision to grow our family through adoption made us excited to step into the next chapter in our journey to start a family.

FUN FACTS ABOUT US:

  • Maria grew up speaking Italian and English.
  • Eugene and Maria went to Costa Rica for their Honeymoon.
  • Maria lived on a kibbutz in Israel during college for a month
  • Eugene has gone sky-diving and wake-boarding.
  • Eugene spent the “fake” millennium in the Philippines.
  • Maria has studied Hebrew and ASL.
  • Maria’s family has an awesome beach house in southern Italy.

 

About Eugene, by Maria

What struck me early in our relationship about Eugene is he is the most sincere person I know. Everything he does, he does wholeheartedly—whether it is work related or just giving someone a hand. I am constantly amazed by the breadth of his interests. He is very inquisitive and can’t wait to foster a sense of curiosity in our future child—whether it is for the arts, social causes or the outdoors. Despite all his interests I know Eugene’s first love is dance and music. His face just lights up when he hears his favorite music or gets on the dance floor. He is really looking forward to sharing that with a child. I have so much fun laughing with him and we always find a way to see the funny side of the most ordinary things together. We are so looking forward to sharing laughter with your child.

Eugene’s Fun Minutia

  • Favorite Food
    • Ice Cream
  • Person I most admire
    • Fred Astaire
  • Places I’ve Lived
    • California, New York, Florida
  • Favorite Music
    • Anything by Rush, Sting, Sondheim
  • Hobbies
    • Dancing, Yoga, Music, Theater, Travel

 

More About Eugene, by Eugene

The arts are my passion! Seeing an empty space transformed into a magical wonderland.  From what you see on stage in a theatre or a gallery to the moment the audience walks in and the joy of experiencing something that is totally different from the day-to-day—Nothing beats it! I can’t picture doing anything else. This is my career and my hobby. I’ve worn many different artistic hats like directing and producing for many different theatres and opera companies that has taken me across the country from New York to Texas to Florida and to where I grew up in Los Angeles.

So much to see and do! I can’t wait to see the expression on your child’s face the first time they see a play or a concert. I hope your child loves to dance and sing along with the radio as much as I do. My parents immersed me in different cultures and traditions and gave me the gift of curiosity.  I want to share this gift with your child as we explore our community like hiking in the mountains or walking along the beach or just hoping in the car or taking mass transit to check out something unique or different. And I have to admit it, I love listening to NPR and staying informed. Marketplace, This American Life, Tiny Desk Concerts, and Radio Lab are some of my favorite programs.

About Maria, by Eugene

Maria is my partner in life and I would not change anything about her. She has a big heart, affectionate, a generous spirit, and has a quirky sense of humor. Maria is an amazing cook and enjoys eating different kinds of foods from her native Italian to introducing her dishes from my Filipino culture. Although shy around new people, Maria can be quite outgoing around her closest friends and family. She is independent, has great inner strength, and is very passionate about her different interests. Every year she raises money and walks for the Hydrocephalus Association, and writes for The Mighty, a website for people with disabilities. When I saw her teaching her students and how they react and respond to her interactive lessons, I just knew she that she will be an awesome mom.

Fun Maria Tidbits

  • Favorite Music
    • Beatles, The Eagles, U2, Gypsy Kings
  • Favorite Foods
    • From Italian to Filipino to anything in between. Currently in love with osso buco!
  • Places I’ve Lived
    • From small towns and large cities in California to Italy and Israel
  • People I admire
    • My mom, my maternal grandmother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Marlee Matlin
  • Hobbies
    • Reading, Writing, Travel, Yoga

 

More About Maria, by Maria

Maria was born and spent her first 8 years in Northern California as the youngest of a large family. Between her parents, 3 brothers and sister there was always someone to read to her so it’s no wonder she loves to read to this day. Her parents, as Italian immigrants made sure to instill in her an appreciation of their culture through food, learning the language and almost yearly trips to their small beach community in Italy to visit family and life long friends. When they moved to Southern California, they added frequent trips back to Northern California and across the US to visit family. Maria always loved kids and spent time during her childhood teaching her Italian cousins English. So being a teacher seemed the natural thing to do. Maria fell in love with being a Special Education teacher helping kids with disabilities to learn and more importantly to advocate for them and help them believe in themselves. As Maria and Eugene considered starting a family, teaching again proved to be the right choice because she could have a similar schedule to a child and be home when they were. She is eager to share her cooking—including childhood favorites–with a child. She knows that family reunions and trips to Italy will be extra special with a little one to share them with.

Our Home & Neighborhood Today

We live in a comfortable 3 bedroom house on a quiet street in Altadena, CA.  We love our back yard where we watch our cat Zinnia plays in the yard and runs up our prolific orange tree.  Our neighborhood is diverse and safe. We benefit from two local elementary schools in the area. Incredible hiking trails in the San Gabriel Mountains are a few minutes away along with a park and a community garden nearby to share with our future child.  Pasadena and its many family friendly cultural offerings are nearby waiting to be explored. We can’t wait for our child to experience the eclectic season of outdoor concerts in the summer, the fun and interactive Kidspace museum, and the majestic Rose Bowl! Beautiful California beaches and the ever famous Disneyland are all available by car and sure to be fun family day trips.

Meet Zinnia the Cat

We went to the Pasadena Humane Society three years ago to look at the cats. We had just bought our house and knew we wanted a cat to be in it. Zinnia was very quiet but observant. They told us she was about two years old. When we brought her home she proved to be very vocal and a bundle of energy. She loves to zip around the house and the yard. She wakes Eugene up in the morning to be fed and has cuddle time with Maria before she goes to work. She is now 5 years old and we love to watch her climb the orange tree and stalk the birds in the backyard. Despite her spiritedness we are always amazed when our friends with young children come over. She allows them to pet her and will even sit and listen as they talk to her. We know she will be gentle with a future child.

Our Family

Maria comes from a large Italian family. Her mom lives in nearby Los Angeles and she is excited that we are adding to the six other grandchildren through adoption. She is eager to have another grandchild to teach Italian and share her customs, traditions and many craft projects with. Maria’s three older brothers and one sister live all over: New Zealand, Brooklyn, Maryland and the San Francisco Bay Area. All of their families will welcome a new child into their homes on visits and will be pleased to have another young family member to play with at reunions.  When we are all get together, a lot of what we do revolves around food—cooking in the kitchen or exploring a new restaurant—and of course eating. Regardless, we always have fun! Maria enjoys spending time with all her nieces and nephews on these visits. We can’t wait to introduce your child to Maria’s extended family in Italy as well.  Eugene has cousins and family all over the U.S. from Honolulu to Portland, ME and beyond in the Philippines. Eugene’s mom lives nearby in Los Angeles.  She is excited to have her first grandchild, and is looking forward to sharing the beautiful customs and rituals of the Philippines. As a retired kindergarten teacher, she lights up when she sees young children!  We hope that introducing your child to such a diverse family—both geographically and culturally—will foster a love and appreciation of different cultures and adventure in your child that will include exploring their own background and heritage as well.

Favorite Family Traditions  

  • Cooking and eating together—especially at Christmas
  • Making strufoli—an Italian Christmas dessert–from scratch
  • Trips to see the Mountain Play—an outdoor theater event in Northern California
  • Singing the Turkey song “Gobble, Gobble Gobble, Fat Turkey, Fat Turkey” at Thanksgiving that his mom created as a teacher.
  • Annual Tree Trimming Potluck with our friends
  • Going to see our local Christmas Tree Lane—a neighborhood street glowing with Christmas Lights.

 

Experiences We want to Give Your Child

  • A sense of curiosity and an education that will open doors
  • The security of family ties and cultural traditions
  • The adventures and memories travel can bring
  • A sense of humor and appreciation for the little things in life
  • Love of books, music and the arts

We want your child to know and understand the special and beautiful way we became a family. Your child will know and appreciate your courage and strength. We are open to having as much communication and contact that would be comfortable to everyone. Thank you for reading about us as you make this very important, thoughtful decision for your child. We hope you will consider us as adoptive parents for your child. We hope you give us the chance to include your child in our life’s adventure.