We are Stephanie and David. Thank you for considering us as parents for your baby. We are thrilled to be expanding our family through adoption. Our family of five is anxiously awaiting a new arrival. We feel the excitement pulsing through our home when we mention welcoming a baby.
If we are the right parents for your baby, we will give everything we have to deserve the trust you have given us. We will aspire to parallel the courage and selflessness you have shown and we will raise your child to know your love for him/her and the respect we have for you.
Our life together
Our story begins in Utah 16 years ago, when some mutual friends suggested we meet each other—4 years later they read a poem about love and friendship at our wedding ceremony! At the time, we were both training to be doctors, and we loved spending time together skiing, talking, and even studying. During years of training, we were able to support each other; Dave even went to the hospital one morning at 5:00 AM to help Stephanie see a challenging patient. When our educations were complete, our days got a lot simpler and we were able to focus on our new priorities— enter the kids!
If we think about what makes our relationship work now, we would say that there are two big things that keep us together. The first is that we have the same sense of humor. It’s no wonder so many couples say this—it is really what has gotten us through the hardest times. The second is that we balance each other out. Dave is calm and thoughtful and kind; Stephanie is caring and energetic, believing nothing is impossible.
When people hear we are a two-physician family with 3 children, they ask us how many nannies we have, imagining both of us working crazy schedules. However, that’s not the way we’ve done it. We have each taken breaks in our careers to be home with our kids. Dave went to a part-time schedule while Stephanie finished her training, and then Stephanie spent years entirely at home and has worked on a very part-time basis since then. For example, she’s worked an average of 8 hours/week for the past 7 years. What we really want to say is that raising our family is our priority. Although being a doctor is certainly a rewarding career in itself, at this stage in our lives we are also fortunate that our careers have brought us flexibility. This flexibility allows us to have the time to strive to be the parents we really want to be.
Although we have struggled with pregnancies, we are thrilled to have 3 children: Zachary (10), Alexander “Xander” (8) and Genevieve “Vivi” (5). We have always wanted a 4th child, and we began to consider adoption as we saw others’ joy building their families through adoption. There are 4 adopted children on our street and one baby was adopted last year by a family who is part of our community cooperative nursery school.
I was born in upstate New York, but spent most of my childhood in Utah, where my parents moved with me and my younger brother for “a year of skiing” when I was 6. Needless to say, the year turned into many years and I grew up skiing in the winter, swimming in the summer and playing “family football” in our backyard—my mom would always try to hide the football under her shirt.
I left Utah to attend college at the University of Notre Dame and then lived in both San Francisco and Europe after my graduation. I later decided to apply to medical school, and I’m now a dermatologist (skin doctor) at the University of Utah.
Everyday I think being a mother makes be a better doctor and being a doctor makes me a better mother. My job has offered me amazing flexibility, and I plan to take a significant amount of time off with the arrival of the baby. After that, I have arranged to work only one day/week—leaving me free to spend most of my time caring for our family.
About Stephanie, by Dave:
Stephanie is a dynamo. She is very energetic and when she sets her mind to something, she can get it done, almost regardless of what it is. She is a caring and devoted mother and loves to spend time volunteering in the kids’ classes at school, helping them with homework and imaginary play. Stephanie is the accelerator in our family and I am the one who has to put on the brakes.
I grew up in Denver, Colorado. When I think about my childhood, I am grateful for the stability my parents were able to provide me and my sister; I also value my friends. I met my best friend in kindergarten and we are still best friends today. Stephanie was surprised to see that we even talk on the phone! Maintaining friendships is still very important to me. A few years ago, two childhood friends and I took a week-long bicycle ride across Colorado together.
I studied psychology at Colorado College, went to medical school at the University of Colorado and then finished my medical training in Minnesota and Utah. During that time, I was also able to be a ski instructor at Vail and save some money to travel around the world for 6 months with a friend. My kids like to think I participated in the original “Amazing Race”, but that’s not exactly true. My favorite spot was New Zealand.
Now, I work as a pulmonologist (lung doctor). I like to play tennis and, at this point, my kids will still allow me to partner with them in the summer parent/child tennis tournament. I do realize I need to keep working on my game if I want this to continue.
For me, a perfect day would be to ski with our family, eat at the kids’ favorite fondue restaurant and then watch a family movie in our bedroom.
About Dave, by Stephanie:
Dave is an amazing listener. When I am worried or scared, he will talk with me for hours. He works in the intensive care unit and never complains when he is called into the hospital in the middle of the night. He cooks only waffles and homemade pizza and loves to read children’s books aloud.
Zachary, 10 years old, loves math, sports and statistics, but can still be convinced to play “whole family” with his little sister, Genevieve, and pretend he’s a dog. He also likes piano lessons and being a part of a different sporting team each season. He loves animals and defends all of our pets’ bad habits, “don’t tell her not to chew on the couch leg—she’s sharpening her teeth”.
Describing him as a brother, we would say he is patient and kind beyond measure. If we could, we would turn back the clock and treat our siblings the exact way Zachary treats Xander and Genevieve.
Xander, 8 years old, loves children of all ages. He’s the kid who will make friends with the other kids at a restaurant, while we are all waiting for our tables. Little children are mesmorized by his charm and his 4-year-old cousin won’t let go of him, literally. He is naturally drawn to theater and is now participating in his first play, Cinderella, as Prince Charming.
Genevieve, “Vivi” is 5 years old. When she isn’t playing with her brothers, she is making a spa in her bedroom, caring for her imaginary family or planning a “girls day” for her, grandma and mommy. She loves her preschool, her soccer team (coached by mommy) and listening to stories. She is joining Xander in Cinderella, playing Perla, the mouse.
Our family now includes a 3 year old dog, Cupcake, a 1 year old cat, Coco (who is actually a boy; don’t let the name fool you), and a hamster named Xandra (named by Xander). The most recent addition is a betta fish, “Junior Vivi”, who has even attended a day of preschool. Zachary loves to have Cupcake sleep in his bed, while Coco sleeps with Xander and we protect the fish and the hamster from the cat in another room.
We live in a classic tudor home in a 1930s neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah with huge trees canopying the street. We love to walk to the kids’ school, the grocery store and the park. Utah enjoys many, many sunny days each year, and we make the most of these by playing tennis and swimming at a local club, where we also try to learn to golf on the 9-hole course.
When people hear we live in Utah, they ask if we are Mormon. We aren’t. Stephanie is Catholic and Dave is Jewish. As a family, we celebrate many holidays and work to teach the children about the things that unify our religions and backgrounds—like the importance of community, kindness and believing in the good in the world. The next question is often something like, “if you aren’t Mormon, is it hard to grow up in Utah”? Fortunately, it isn’t. We live very near the University of Utah, which provides us a diverse community with many different religions and ethnicities. It’s a great place to be a kid, not only because there are lots of kids, but because the community values children in almost every arena.
Stephanie’s parents live nearby in Salt Lake (her mom lives only 4 blocks away). Her mom is a retired psychologist who now likes to cook, garden and paint with watercolors. As a grandma, these hobbies really come in handy. Stephanie also has a brother in Chicago, who has two children. Stephanie and her dad are both dermatologists at the University, so they have a lot in common. Stephanie’s dad recently decided he wants to spend time (and his savings) with all of us traveling. After Christmas this year, he took our family, and Stephanie’s brother’s and step-sister’s families to a beach for a week of sand castles and surfing. The best part was getting all of the cousins together, and it was also really nice to have relaxing dinners on the beach while the kids looked for hermit crabs.
Stephanie: My 102-year-old grandmother is very important in my life. When I wonder how to get through a tough time, I am reminded of her gentle persistence and kindness. She is also a collector of almost everything. She has a notebook, in which she kept track of the names of all of the contestants on The Price is Right for 10 years! Although she lives in rural New York, we make frequent trips to see her. Up until she was 98, she was traveling out to Utah, as well!
Dave has one sister who lives in Minneapolis and two young nieces. His parents live in Denver and we visit with them about every 2 months. His extended family has a traveling Thanksgiving dinner, which stops in a different family’s hometown each year. As part of this, a turkey fryer and boxes of art supplies are also moved from home to home. It’s nice to visit different parts of the country (dinners have been hosted in Los Angeles, New York, Colorado, Florida…), but it’s mostly a time we look forward to catching up (and more cousins)!
We are incredibly grateful you have taken the time to read about us. We hope our hearts shine through this letter and you have a sense of who we are. We promise to tell them the story of you, your love for them, and how this love created our family.
More than anything else, we want you to know, that no matter what lies ahead, we will put everything we have into offering your child the best possible life.
We want so much to welcome a child into our family that it’s hard to put the reasons into words—it’s just a part of us.
With love, hope and gratitude,
Stephanie & David