Hello from New York City!
Both born and raised in New York City, we have been together since 2010, married since 2012, and parenting since 2019. We met through a close mutual friend and very quickly learned that we share a love of good food, of travel, of staying connected to community, and of fighting for justice. We have built a family together over the last number of years that includes blood relatives as well as loving relationships with dear friends and chosen family. We live in Brooklyn with our spirited daughter Esperanza (Espe) and our gentle senior Chihuahua-Sheltie mix Kaylee, and we spend time with many different peers, children, and elders who make up our circle of loved ones.
We are already adoptive parents through FIA, and we also have a number of other adopted kids in our lives — two of our godchildren joined our extended family through adoption and we also have several close friends who are adult adoptees with whom we have regularly discussed their adoption experience. And we have many friends as part of our chosen family who are adoptive parents and have built their families through all different kinds of adoption.
When we can carve out adult time we do volunteer work and also enjoy downtime watching movies, cooking, organizing our home, and tending to our garden. We all have so much fun together and laugh a lot, and we are also able to maintain time for our separate interests, such as listening to podcasts, yoga, and reading novels (Dana), and playing music, writing, and making pizza (Kathleen).
Parenting Espe together has been a tremendous responsibility and a true delight, and we are so grateful to be in this process to become parents together again. She keeps us busy and active and we go to local cultural events and on adventures as a family as much as possible.
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—as written by Kathleen
“Dana has a sharp and expansive mind that she uses to think about people, justice, and the world. She cares deeply and connects with people everywhere she goes, and doesn’t just settle for easy answers about things.
With Dana, it all comes down to relationships and genuine connections with people. She knows and maintains relationships with people from all chapters of her life, so it’s not unusual in any given week for her to be in touch with someone she’s known for 30 years, 10 years, and someone she’s getting to know. She’ll think about how to connect them with a new person or resource, or check in about what’s going on in their lives where they might need a listening ear.
I learn a lot from her ability to think about people, and how to pay attention to little and big ways to help the people we love. She is an attentive and fun mom, bringing all her relationship skills into her rapport with our first child. Her work as a nonprofit events planner and fundraiser is a good match, since she loves bringing people together so they can enjoy each other, eat well, and figure out how to build resources to make the world a better place.
And she finds time for fun, often involving cute animals, music, or going somewhere new in New York City!”
—as written by Dana
“Kathleen is brilliant, kind, and thoughtful. She is a deeply skilled listener, a loyal friend, and an amazing parent who is both incredibly playful and silly as well as a rigorous and curious learner alongside our daughter Espe.
Kathleen loves her work on communications for social change and is an incredible storyteller, trainer, and innovator who has made a difference in all the organizations she’s worked with over the years. She’s a lifelong learner — a consumer of books with a particular interest in astrology, neuroscience, and history — and she has an inspiring commitment to transformation and to always staying hopeful even when she faces something challenging. Where I sometimes focus on overthinking unnecessary details, she is great at holding out perspective on the big picture, and she always expertly reminds me to focus on what really matters in any given situation. She also has a clever and quirky sense of humor that helps her connect with neighbors, chat with strangers, and see the best in everyone she meets.
Kathleen looks for ways to be supportive to everyone she cares about even when it’s inconvenient. I learn from her every day and she makes me a better person, and I am so excited to keep growing our lives and to further grow our family together.”
We adopted Espe through Friends in Adoption when she was born in 2019 and she has been a tremendous joy in our lives ever since! We have been so incredibly grateful to learn from her and for the gift of being her parents and can’t wait to become parents again and for all that comes along with getting to welcome another family member through adoption.
Esperanza is very social, talking up a storm with other children and grown ups, and currently loves swinging, climbing, running, dancing, drawing, listening to music, and reading her board books about dinosaurs — as well as watching Disney movies. She is interested in animals, flowers, and gets very excited about growing her rock collection, building towers with blocks, and making new colors and creations with her play-doh. She is learning to count and to ride a tricycle and she is a cooperative child who helps with preparing food in the kitchen.
Her favorite foods are cucumbers, avocados, and pasta. She likes to try playing drums and keyboards as well as ride the bus to childcare. We are raising her with Spanish in addition to English, and she is an all around fully engaged, affectionate, and happy child who shows her feelings and communicates her needs and wants freely.
We are confident that Espe will be a wonderful big sister to any child we bring into our home through this second adoption journey.
Kaylee is an adorable and mild mannered Chihuahua-Sheltie mix who loves playing with squeaky toys and toilet paper rolls, eating lamb treats, and napping in the sun. She is well-trained and loves people of all ages, especially if they give her treats for doing tricks. She has proven to be great with Espe, who is entertained by hugging her and also sometimes pulling her tail and grabbing her ears. Kaylee is a non-human member of our family, and she is looking forward to adding another child to our pack. She has lived in both Oregon and New York City and is a traveler who has often joined us on car trips. In addition, Kaylee enjoys long walks, sniffing other dogs, and watching the cooking shows on the Food Network!
Both of us have prioritized building deep and formative relationships over the course of our lives and we are lucky to have a wide group of blood family and friends who are chosen family, both locally and in cities all across the country! Before the pandemic, we visited and traveled with friends and loved hosting family and friends for meals, birthday celebrations, movie nights, and holiday observances in our home — and we have returned to these activities little by little as it has seemed safe to do so. We can’t wait to be fully able to host gatherings and parties but we’ve been grateful to be lucky enough to have a backyard for outdoor socializing and to live in a borough full of parks and playgrounds as well as beaches and boardwalks, zoos, and public gardens.
Many of our dearest friends and relatives have children of their own — including several who are adoptees — and they have been so excited to love and get to know Esperanza and are thrilled at the prospect of welcoming any child we adopt through this current process into their lives and into our community. They have been deeply committed to staying supportive of us as parents and have connected their children to our daughter as playmates and pals, and will do so with our next child as well. We each have dear lifelong friends — from our respective childhoods and teenage years growing up here in New York City, from Dana’s time living in San Francisco and Kathleen’s many years living in Portland, Oregon, from each of our professional and volunteer work lives, and from our faith and activist communities, as well as more connections built through various activities during our years together as a couple.
Unfortunately, Kathleen and Dana’s parents are no longer living, but we have a number of grandparent figures in our child’s life who will of course add any child we adopt next as a grandchild as well. We are close with Dana’s Aunt Lois, who lives between Phoenix, Arizona, and Long Island, New York, and with Kathleen’s Aunt Raquel, who lives in Houston, Texas and with whom we enjoy summer adventures and road trips when she comes to town. We also have a number of family friends who are surrogate aunts and grandmas to Esperanza and would be to her sibling as well. In addition, Kathleen has several godchildren who she has been close with since birth — some of whom are adoptees and who consider our daughter a cousin. These young people and adults are completely ready to welcome the future child we adopt into the fold of our extended family.
We always strive to make our home here in Brooklyn as warm and welcoming as possible. We have art and bright colors and plants as part of our decor, lots of natural light, and have a relaxed approach to keeping our space both tidy and comfortable. We are lucky to have room for an outdoor garden where we grow flowers, fruits, and vegetables, and we live near the water so we see touches of nature that one might not have access to in other parts of the city — such as swans, egrets, and other seabirds.
Since becoming parents, we have also set up our home and backyard spaces with lots of opportunities for safe and rambunctious play — with a slide and splash pad outside and a climbing structure in our living room/den area.
Additionally, we own a house in Portland, Oregon, that we maintain and rent out. Kathleen travels there approximately two times a year (albeit with an interruption to this routine during the height of the pandemic) to arrange repairs, connect with the tenants, and visit with friends and family.
We love having friends around our dining room table or having a quiet family night on the couch with a home-cooked meal and a movie, snuggling with the dog. We also have plenty of space for visitors — and as it is safe to do so again, beloved friends and family from out of town will start coming to stay while visiting NYC again. We are also fortunate to have kind neighbors. We can’t wait to share our house with another child and to bring even more playfulness, energy, and joy to our home.
Thank you so much for spending some time with us getting to know our family, friends, home, and community. We are excited to provide a loving and supportive home that honors curiosity, creativity, and play should you choose to work with us on an adoption plan. We are confident that you’ll make the best decision and we wish you all good things going forward.
Dana, Kathleen, & Esperanza
We may be reached through our adoption agency, Friends in Adoption and will gladly answer any questions that you may have for us.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption for your unborn baby (or if you are considering placing an already born child), please know that Friends in Adoption (FIA), is kind, caring, friendly, understanding, and ethical. They are a nonprofit organization offering free adoption information for pregnant women considering adoption, without ever putting any pressure on you to make a decision.
Should you decide on adoption, FIA will provide you with the choices you have in creating an adoption plan that fits YOU and your needs. FIA will offer you great resources such as free counseling and free legal assistance. They will also support you with medical and living expenses, as the law allows.
All inquiries are confidential.
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