Hi, we are so excited to be able to share a bit of who we are with you. We’re over the moon with gratitude for this opportunity!
Dear Birth Mother...
We are Nili and Esrael, or NZ and Es as we are often affectionately called. We met three and half years ago at an advertising agency in Amsterdam. Nili working as a producer and Esrael joining as a creative director a for short freelancing stint, on the same project!
Nili sensed some chemistry and tried channel her best flirting skills, but she was a bit rusty. We credit their romance to the workings of a Koosh ball (the stories diverge a bit here, but we agree the Koosh ball was a drawing force). It was a classic school yard crush and then we got all the feels and three and a half years later overjoyed about the prospect of growing our little family.
In the early months we were long distance and spent a lot of time on the phone or traversing the globe for an exotic place to meet. We found ourselves rendezvousing in London, Spain, New York and Holland. And then, the pandemic hit, and since everyone was going to be grounded for the foreseeable, we felt like it was the right time to close the geographical gap. Esrael moved over to Amsterdam and we’ve been living together in a Dutch fairytale ever since.
In September 2020 our big boy Larry was born and we became a family of three. He’s the most beautiful dog and he’s taught us so much about how to love and teach and be vulnerable to the things we can’t control. It’s been such a rewarding experience, but one that has helped us build the foundation for what’s to come. He is named after all the memorable Larry’s of the world, for us most days that’s Larry David!
About Esrael, by Nili
I first noticed Esrael in the halls of the office we were working out of at the time.
He was wearing a Tupac plaid flannel, which obviously caught my eye because he’s British and I was certain he didn’t know Tupac like I know Tupac. It was his style, his confidence and his infectious smile that drew me in. Before I knew it I was acting like a schoolgirl around him. My first impression was he was going to challenge me in ways that may be uncomfortable. And, that was true then and remains true to this day. His glass is always half full, he sees the good in people and in situations – and, it’s contagious.
His English accent is obviously swoon worthy and makes everything sound so important, even when he’s just taking the piss. But, it’s how he says ‘adorable’ that really makes my heart swoon. He loves making people feel special and he somehow always finds the right and most genuine compliments to bestow. It’s one of his superpowers, making friends or strangers feel warm and fuzzy. He’s very much the yin to my yang. Constantly encouraging me to break my comfort zone and live in the beauty discomfort can provide.
He loves learning. Anything really. He is disciplined and thoughtful about learning new things and applies all of himself. He’s dedicated to health, wellness and nutrition. His commitment is infectious, and together we are on a journey to stay strong and be healthy to bring our best selves. That doesn’t mean he still doesn’t have a bit of a sweet tooth. He loves a good ‘treat’ but his mouth truly waters for Baklava. And I encourage it because I just love hearing him say Baklava. The way he says it is just as sweet as how it tastes.
He is the creative engine in our home. Always coming up with creative ideas and problem solving, or randomly brainstorming fun stories and movie ideas that keep me entertained. His brain is always working, and if you’re lucky enough to be around it’s doesn’t disappoint.
Mostly I love his calmness and ease that balances me when I need it most. He is always supportive and loves unconditionally.
Esrael's Fun Facts
- Learned to swim as an adult
- Car and fast-thing enthusiast
- Desert lover, especially Baklava
- Enjoys a good round of mini golf
- Aspiring chef!
About Nili, by Esrael
Nili has always been an enigma, with an impenetrable big smile that reminds me of the animated glowing smiles that come right out of a Pixar movie. I first encountered her cheeky smile once I turned to look for what had just hit me in the head. There she was smiling as if she had nothing and everything to do with it at the same time. I couldn't know what was going to happen next, but I was intrigued and her smile had me.
After that initial flirty run-in (which admittedly was a bit sloppy, but I’m not complaining) she never stops keeping me on my toes. I learn the most interesting and random things that always entertain. From her passion on new technologies (she’s a recent crypto and blockchain info seeker) to old fun facts (her knowledge on 90s basketball is surreal) she is constantly challenging me with new tidbits. She has an insatiable hunger for books and truly devours them. When we first met I was convinced she powered through a book a week – I tried to keep track over the course of a month but quickly couldn’t keep up. She’ll share stories from her readings (non-fiction or fiction) and I feel like I’ve been transported into the books with her. It’s inspiring to be along on the ride, and she makes it a fun one!
Her wanderlust spirit has taken her to many parts of the world, and climbed mountains I can’t even pronounce. But I love the stories, her ambition and commitment to explore. When we travel together one of her favorite pastimes is hunting down the best caprese sandwiches in any given city. It’s a simple thing, but one she definitely has an opinion on!
One of my favorite things is her ability to prepare. She co-pilots our road trips as if she’s been certified. We travel with snacks on snacks and goodies that I never imagine necessary, and despite my persistence to travel light, I’m always grateful at the thought and preparation. She keeps our family ready for anything!
She teaches me the value of planning and how we can use our time wisely. But of course, I teach her the value of spontaneity and how not everything needs an agenda !
I would be remiss to not end with how she has perfected the best gluten free chocolate chip cookie in town. It’s a must try!
Nili's Fun Facts
- Handstand enthusiast
- Basketball head
- Born organiser
- Favorite season, Autumn!
- Loves a pizza party!
List of Favorites!
Nili: Dad’s falafel and Mom’s egg salad
Nili: Pistachio gelato
Esreal: Sweet sixteen, Sexy beast
Nili: Pretty woman
Esreal: Return of the Mack
Nili: Me and my girlfriend
Esreal: Baby blue
We’re expats and call Amsterdam home, for now. We bought a house in 2021 just outside of the city center.
It is an incredibly accessible city and nearly everything is bikeable, weather dependent of course (it rains a lot!).
We are fortunate to be just 12mins (bike!) from the center of town, but also footsteps from a serene woodsy park that we spend a lot of time in with Larry.
It’s a special little place that brings calm vibes and beautiful sunsets. A small country with everything we need very close by.
We are a short car ride to beaches, and even to Paris, Berlin or Lake Como if we fancy a long weekend roadtrip to another country. There are international schools very close and safe community filled parks and playgrounds.
It can be tough being away from the friends and family you grew up with, but the community in Amsterdam is vibrant and it never feels lacking. We feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by people from all over the world. Making our experiences here diverse and enriching! We can’t wait to grow our family here.
Our Friends and Family
Through our work and the sizable expat community we have managed to build an extended family away from home. Many of our friends have young children or are just starting families of their own. In such a small city it’s easy to spontaneously join friends for brunch or a movie or a swing in the park.
When we’re not spending time with our extended family in Amsterdam, we spend a lot of time on FaceTime and WhatsApp connecting with our loved ones in faraway places. Nili’s family lives mostly in LA, with her extended family in other parts of the country and in Israel (not to be confused with Esrael) too. She travels to LA multiple times a year to spend time with her parents, brother and her loud Jewish family. Her cousin is like a sister and we spend hours on the phone talking about everything under the sun. She has two boys and Nili has been watching them grow up since they were young (she was literally in the delivery room)!
At the age of ten Esrael immigrated to the UK with his mother. He grew up in London and assimilated to the big city and adapted to the new language quickly. The adjustment from one big city to another was challenging, but exciting to be in a new place. London became a true melting pot where he developed and cultivated relationships with people in the arts and creative field. These are friends he now calls his extended family that are a big part of his support system. The love of film has connected him to many people, friends and mentors alike that he remains very connected with.
Our promise is simple. We will love your child to the core. Accepting their whole being and supporting their journey through life.
We will grow with them, and admit when we don’t know something.
We will inspire play and vulnerability.
We will teach them kindness and empathy.
We will share our love for music, sing out-of-tune and encourage them to dance to their own beat.
We will bandage sores and use our healing powers to make the pain softer.
We will read books and jump on trampolines and make pancakes.
We will be the cheerleader, the coach and the teammate.
We will laugh when nothing and everything is funny.
We will teach them the world is more beautiful when we look out for our neighbors.
We will show them the richness that lies in the diversity of the world and the unique stories that everyone has to share.
We will learn, grow, travel and build together.
Our promises to them is forever to do what supports their journey the best.
But mostly we’ll hug, and share all the love we have to give.
We realize this is a decision that is extremely personal and isn’t taken lightly. It is so incredibly brave. We support you and the journey you have taken to get here. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us a bit.