April 18th, 2019
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Mark and Melissa

Hello! We are Mark & Melissa.

Dear Birth Mother: We are so grateful to you for your courageous decision to choose adoption. We have tried unsuccessfully to have a baby for years, so we are both thrilled at the prospect of being able to make you and your baby a part of our loving family. We hope to help your baby thrive and grow into a thoughtful, amazing person who lives every day to get the most out of life. Thank you for your  kindness and strength.

About Us, by Melissa: We met through online dating. Our first date was at the coffee shop across from my yoga studio. Mark seemed really nervous, and he chatted on and on about his family, his first cousins, his second cousins, etc. In spite of his jitters, he also seemed totally genuine, which is pretty rare among guys in LA. When Mark walked me back to my car, I noticed one of the middle buttons on his shirt was unbuttoned, while the others were buttoned. So, I leaned in and fixed it. In that moment, I sensed that Mark felt calm and receptive. So, we went on a second date and never looked back. We have been a complementary, dynamic couple ever since. We love to travel the world together and locally! We to go to concerts, movies, museums, lectures, and sporting events. As a couple, we love to learn, whether that’s taking a guided tour of the Coliseum in Rome, taking a ceramics class near home, or listening to podcasts driving around Southern California. We want to expose our future child to learning adventures, too, and will be happy to help him or her pursue whatever their interests are. We also enjoy playing sports. Melissa plays beach volleyball and tennis. Mark plays soccer. We both practice yoga. We are eager to see what kinds of activities our child enjoys and to help them engage in those activities as much as they want.Meet Melissa

About Melissa: I grew up in Los Angeles where I played volleyball and basketball in high school, practiced the clarinet, wrote poetry and studied a lot. I went to Stanford University for college and also for a Master’s degree in English. I still write poetry and music. In fact, I’m publishing my first book of poetry soon. After Stanford, I graduated from UCLA Law School, and I now have my own law firm in Beverly Hills where I write contracts for creative people. Since I work for myself, I have a flexible schedule. I am able to work from home 3-4 days per week and have a short commute to my office. In my spare time, I record the songs I write with professional musicians and vocalists, play competitive tennis and take photos of people, landscapes and wildlife. I love scuba diving and especially underwater photography. I look forward to sharing these with my future child and to cheering my future child on in whatever sports or creative arts he or she might want to pursue.

By Mark: Melissa is a loving, accomplished, and creative person. She is inspirational in the multitude of things she is good at: writing songs and poetry as well as playing tennis and being an experienced professional who runs her own high profile law firm. Melissa also adores kids, and they love her. I have seen her win the affection of kids within minutes, playing peek-a-boo or just getting down on the floor with them and talking to them about how they feel and what they are doing, whether it’s finger painting or doing a puzzle. Melissa is a strong, smart, talented woman who will bring to our future child a world of interesting things, a really big heart and genuine enthusiasm for parenting.

Fun Facts About Melissa:

  • Used to be a fashion model and has been on stage with Sting in London
  • Has lived in Milan, Paris, Munich, London, New York, Miami, Palo Alto and Los Angeles
  • Could be called a “cat whisperer” because she is so good at bringing out the best in cats • Loves dressing up for Halloween, especially in scary costumes because she’s not scary in real life
  • Can still recite the first poem she wrote when she was five years old
  • Loves honey – she special orders avocado honey from a ranch in Santa Barbara

Meet Mark

About Mark: I was born in Florida but I grew up in South America and Puerto Rico in a really close-knit family with my parents and two younger siblings. It was an idyllic childhood. I discovered soccer, learned Spanish, traveled to interesting places, and was exposed to diverse cultures, people and food. I went to Harvard and have a PhD in mathematics from South Carolina. I currently teach at a small college here in LA. I love my job because I get to create courses that put an interesting spin on math (like combining math with soccer or math with movies), and I am able to help many of our students become the first person in their family to finish college. I get lots of time off during summers and holidays, and I am able to choose my teaching schedule, so that I can also spend quality time with my family. I’m a big kid at heart. I still love Star Wars, soccer (playing, watching, podcasting), puzzles and games (like Sudoku or trivia) and reading fiction and fantasy (like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones). I can’t wait to read to my future child, help them with their homework and coach their soccer or other sports team.

By Melissa: Mark is loyal, honest and predictable in the best way possible. What you see is what you get. He is drama free, stable and steady. If he says he will do something, he does it. He has great follow through. He is also a great listener and tries really hard at whatever he does, from playing soccer to being a good math professor. I have seen Mark with heartfelt tears in his eyes when listening to a student’s commencement speech thanking Mark for helping him graduate, and when reading the college essay a Native American student of his wrote describing how empowered she feels by studying mathematics. Lastly, Mark has a soft, kind heart and is a sucker for Romantic Comedies. He cried more than I did during our wedding! He is a good, gentle man with more patience than anyone I know.

Fun Facts About Mark:

  • Has been to three FIFA World Cups (Germany, South Africa, Brazil)
  • Loves Star Wars and likes making playlists
  • Likes: pecan pie, flan, Southern sweet tea, and Thai iced tea, but claims not to have a sweet tooth
  • Collects coffee from all over the world, and he custom-makes espresso with it for our guests
  • Is a sock enthusiast
  • Is an LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) Season Ticket Holder and Original Member

Our Loving Families

Melissa comes from a small family and is close to her Dad and Stepmother. Melissa’s dad Tim is a retired college professor, and her stepmom, Dede, is a retired kindergarten teacher who has already offered to help Mark and Melissa with their future baby. She can’t wait, actually.  Mark comes from a large family and has two siblings, Laura and Robert. Robert lives in LA and will be a great resource as the “cool” uncle, and also as a babysitter. Mark’s Mom and Dad do not have any grandkids, so this will be their first. They are really excited about the idea of a grandchild.

Our Favorite Traditions:

  • We attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every summer, which is half Shakespeare and half contemporary plays. We also go to Europe every summer since Mark has the summers off.
  • Every Halloween we dress up. Since one of Melissa’s clients designs costumes, we wear her hand-painted lycra bodysuits and have dressed as super heroes, Game of Thrones characters, a fairy and a pirate and voodoo doll and Spartan warrior. It’s great fun, we usually do well in the costume contest, and we can’t wait to pick out costumes for next year.
  • Also, we spend Christmas with Mark’s family for at least two full weeks. We enjoy the time together playing board games, watching movies and short TV series, and even having cooking contests. We look forward to spending the holidays with Mark’s family which is a fun and also peaceful time during which we reflect on the past year.

 

About Our Cats, Henry and Winston:

“About our cat, Henry”: The “Lord Byron of Cats” is what Melissa calls him. He’s black and white, so he’s wearing tuxedo colors, and he is very dignified. He’s a total lap cat, so he loves snuggling up with us on the sofa when we watch TV, particularly Mark’s lap. His full name is Henry Wilbur Mouse. “Wilbur” like the pig from Charlotte’s Web, and “Mouse” came from the fact that for the first few days Melissa brought Henry home when he was just 6 weeks old, he was quiet as a mouse.

“About our other cat, Winston”: The “Babe Ruth of cats” is what Melissa calls him. He is super athletic and handsome. He is also too smart for his own good, so he sometimes gets rambunctious with Henry. He uses his paws to pickup his kibbles, and also to drink water. He is highly intelligent for a cat, and if he’s not getting enough attention, he will walk right up to you and tap you on the should and meow, as if to say “I’m here. You can pet me now”.Our Home and Closing Thoughts

Our Home and Community: We live in a family neighborhood in the middle of Los Angeles. We have a large backyard with a swing and fruit trees. Many people on the street have young children, including our neighbors who have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old and live on the bottom floor of our duplex. The neighborhood is safe and within walking distance to many parks, museums, restaurants and a swimming club. We are also close to The Grove, which has restaurants, movies, music and events for kids, as well as photos with Santa at Christmas.

One Last Thank You: Thank you for reading our profile and for taking the time to get to know us. We really appreciate you considering us to be the adoptive parents for your baby, and we promise you that we will put our future child first before everything else and give him or her our unconditional love. It’s so brave of you to make this decision, and words cannot express how grateful we are for the opportunity to forge a loving relationship with the precious new life that you bring into the world. We are eager to welcome your baby into our home and to share a first Halloween dressed in costume together!