Intro

About

Erica

Age: 38

Ethnicity: White

Religion: None

Chris

Age: 40

Ethnicity: White

Religion: None

Preferences for a child

Age: Newborn to 1 year of age

Gender: Either

Race/Ethnicity: All

Special Needs: Open to discussion

Basic Info
Erica

Age: 38

Ethnicity: White

Religion: None

Chris

Age: 40

Ethnicity: White

Religion: None

Work & Education
Erica

Education: Bachelor's Degree

Profession: IT Manager

Chris

Education: Some College

Profession: QA Manager

Post-Adoption Relationship

Semi Open (open to an in-person visit before adoption placement, phone, email, sharing pic/letters after placement

Environment

Country: USA

State: Massachusetts

Parent Relationship: Married

Parent Neighborhood: Suburban

Parent Years Together: 5 to 10 years

Parent Residency: House

Parent Pets: 2 French Bulldogs, 1 Cat

Children At Home: No children

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual parents

Preferences for a child

Age: Newborn to 1 year of age

Gender: Either

Multiple Children: Twins, Triplets or more

Race/Ethnicity: All

Special Needs: Open to discussion

Certification Adoption.Org Logo

Gladney Center for Adoption verified this family completed an adoption homestudy including: background checks, character references, official interviews, required training, home inspection, financial review, etc. and are approved for adoption.

Photos

Letter

Hi There
Dear Expectant Parent,

We hope that no matter the path you take, you are surrounded by those you love and have the support you need.


Thank you for your interest in getting to know us. We will do our best through the words and pictures in this book to show you that the two of us are truly something special. We hope that by its end you’ll come away feeling like a part of our family and can see us as part of your story as well. The choice you are facing right now is inconceivable. We can’t imagine the difficulty of your situation, but we recognize its magnitude, and we respect and admire you for considering adoption for your child. Your bravery and selflessness are without equal. If you decide that adoption will provide the best life for your child, be confident in knowing that the family you choose will be the right one for them. We hope that no matter the path you take, you are surrounded by those you love and have the s...

Thank you for your interest in getting to know us. We will do our best through the words and pictures in this book to show you that the two of us are truly something special. We hope that by its end you’ll come away feeling like a part of our family and can see us as part of your story as well. The choice you are facing right now is inconceivable. We can’t imagine the difficulty of your situation, but we recognize its magnitude, and we respect and admire you for considering adoption for your child. Your bravery and selflessness are without equal. If you decide that adoption will provide the best life for your child, be confident in knowing that the family you choose will be the right one for them. We hope that no matter the path you take, you are surrounded by those you love and have the support you need. If you choose our family to parent your child, we will dedicate our lives to enriching theirs, showing them love each and every day, and doing everything in our power to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.

Our Why

At its core, family is love. The more, the merrier!


Our Wedding
Soon after marriage we began to think about starting our family. Our dream was to have children; to watch them grow and play, to guide and teach and learn from them. To share our love. We tried to have a child on our own, but after years without success and several rounds of IVF it became clear that there was a different plan for us. We have many people close to us whose families had opened their hearts to them as infants, and we are so grateful to have them in our lives. We knew we wanted adoption to be part of our family story too. When our extended families get together, it crosses genetic lines and bridges biological gaps. Friends and neighbors are intermingled at holidays, barbecues, and birthday parties. At its core, family is love. The more, the merrier! We feel incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a loving group of people and simply cannot wait to share the love our family has to offer.
Our Story

We were drawn to each other’s sense of humor, adventure, and outgoing spontaneity.


Paris Trip!
We met in early 2008 while working at the Apple Store. The magnetism was immediate. We were drawn to each other’s sense of humor, adventure, and outgoing spontaneity. As our friendship blossomed, it became increasingly rare to find us apart. Even during periods of time where we were in separate relationships, we often double dated. So the only surprise when we began seeing each other in 2013 was that it hadn’t happened sooner. The next four years were one endless adventure. We shared a love of traveling, and when we weren’t on one trip, we were planning the next. In 2016, while crossing Paris off of our list of destination cities, Chris proposed to Erica on the steps of Sacré-Coeur Basilica. We were married the following July in the presence of our many friends and extensive families.
Our Promises

You can be confident in knowing that our family is a strong safety net, and your child will never know a fear of falling.


Thank you!
Thank you for taking some time to read through our profile and getting to know us. We hope you see us as a kind and fun-loving couple, with strong family bonds and devoted support system. If you choose us to raise and nurture your child, please know that theirs will be a home full of life, happiness, and unconditional love. We promise to provide a safe and secure environment, and to protect them from physical and emotional harm. They will know their story and as much of yours as you would like them to. Above all else, our pledge to you is the peace of mind in knowing your child will understand your sacrifice and be forever grateful to you for it. Together, we will make it our mission to inspire creativity and wonder, to encourage their passions, and help them define who they are and what they want to be. We will foster in them a sense of self-worth, and promote confidence, compassion, and instill a strong moral compass. We aspire, as parents, to open doors to intellectual growth through arts and sciences, to enrich their childhood with activities in sports and nature, and to give them every opportunity to build friendships along the way. We strive to raise a responsible, ethical, and self-sufficient individual. A person who loves themself and others. A contributing member of the community, and society at large. Lastly, we promise to have fun with them. To laugh and cry with them. To cherish every moment. We look forward to filling their lives with wonderful experiences and beautiful memories. We promise to always be present, and vow to put their best interests ahead of all else. We know parenthood will not always be easy, but we will do our best to handle life’s challenges with grace. You can be confident in knowing that our family is a strong safety net, and your child will never know a fear of falling.
Post-Adoption Relationship

Semi Open (open to an in-person visit before adoption placement, phone, email, sharing pic/letters after placement

Certification Adoption.Org Logo

Gladney Center for Adoption verified this family completed an adoption home study including: background checks, character references, official interviews, required training, home inspection, financial review, etc. and are approved for adoption.

Recommendations

Kyle Kowalsky (Close Friend)

I have known Chris and Erica since being hired to work with them both in retail in the fall of the 2008 and became fast friends with them both. Beyond being full time coworkers, sharing shifts and pranks, we often hung outside of work, sharing meals, drinks, and road trips across both state and country lines. Past the original job that introduced us all, we kept each other in touch for future opportunities, getting one another jobs at offices beyond our retail jobs. I have considered both close as family and in 2017 I had the honor of being Chris' best man at his wedding. Each day spent with them--separately and together--is an adventure. Exciting, fun, full of laughter and light. While I have already put my reputation on the line when referring them for friendships and job referrals, I take a specific honor in recommending them for adoption. As an adoptee myself, my positive experience and worldview is the result of endless selflessness and kindness in my two parents, who show this love to everyone they encounter, not just me, as though they were sent to the world to help others. It is a litmus test I would base any prospective adoptive parents against, and Chris and Erica pass this with ease.

Kyle Kowalsky Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Maggie H.

Family Friend

It's hard to sum up Erica and Chris in one word, or a short sentence. They have over the last 10 years; Erica has been my best friend, both have been my support system and my go-to for any type of advice. They are not judgmental and are always the first to say, "What can I do?". I cannot imagine them not sharing love for anyone in need. To see them grow as parents, will be nothing short of amazing, and any child placed in their care will not only have amazing parents, but an amazing extended family as well. Both Chris and Erica have amazing families that are so loving and caring. Trust me, we are all lucky to have them in our lives!

Maggie H. Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Kyle Kowalsky

Close Friend

I have known Chris and Erica since being hired to work with them both in retail in the fall of the 2008 and became fast friends with them both. Beyond being full time coworkers, sharing shifts and pranks, we often hung outside of work, sharing meals, drinks, and road trips across both state and country lines. Past the original job that introduced us all, we kept each other in touch for future opportunities, getting one another jobs at offices beyond our retail jobs. I have considered both close as family and in 2017 I had the honor of being Chris' best man at his wedding. Each day spent with them--separately and together--is an adventure. Exciting, fun, full of laughter and light. While I have already put my reputation on the line when referring them for friendships and job referrals, I take a specific honor in recommending them for adoption. As an adoptee myself, my positive experience and worldview is the result of endless selflessness and kindness in my two parents, who show this love to everyone they encounter, not just me, as though they were sent to the world to help others. It is a litmus test I would base any prospective adoptive parents against, and Chris and Erica pass this with ease.

Kyle Kowalsky Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Brianna Noyes

Friend

Erica and Chris will be incredible parents. You'd be hard pressed to find two people more loyal or dedicated to their families and the people they love. Fun, committed, compassionate, adventurous, considerate, and empathetic - Erica and Chris are the epitome of what anyone would seek in parents. I could not be more grateful for their friendship and to have them in my life.

Brianna Noyes Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Todd Lovell

Friends

I came to know Erica through work almost 10 years ago and Chris a little after that. We quickly became good friends and have remained so. I can attest to their kind and loving nature both with children and pets. They are reliable and trustworthy, and always follow through on their commitments. In addition, their creative spirit and dedication to their home life to would continue to make a wonderful loving environment. I have no doubt that they would be caring and responsible parents. I wholeheartedly recommend Chris and Erica, and I am confident they will make wonderful parents.

Todd Lovell Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Reliable, Creative

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Barbara Susan

Ericas’s mom-in-law, Christopher’’s mom

This past year, when Chris and Erica shared with us the fact that they have been trying since 2018 to have a child, I was gobsmacked. I thought back to the many times I had hinted about future grandchildren, unknowingly adding to their distress. Through it all, Christopher and Erica showed true grace and grit, trying to shield us from the knowledge of the emotional and financial strain they had been going through for the last five years. They kept the faith, and didn’t want us to lose hope, so they quietly endured. That is why I know they will be great parents-they both put the needs of others ahead of their own. I am not surprised- Christopher has always been the one to come through for anyone in crisis. Many years ago, when Christopher was a teenager, he attempted to save the life of a stranger who had set herself on fire. The victim’s family publicly thanked my son for his efforts, and I keep that newspaper clipping in my Bible. I am so proud to be his mom. I know that his selflessness and compassion will help him navigate the trials and tribulations of parenthood. Erica will be a great mom, as well. She has the patience, determination and endurance to get push through any task. The word “no” doesn’t exist for her . When Christopher was diagnosed with a gluten and dairy allergy, Erica, an accomplished gourmet cook, reformulated all her recipes to exclude the allergens. Her home -made pasta, breads and cakes, indeed, all her daily gluten, dairy free meals, are a testament to her love, devotion and concern for the health and well-being for Christopher . Both Erica and Christopher have shown us in so many ways that what is most important to them is their love of family. They are both free and generous of their time . My husband, Paul, was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago, and Christopher has been a lifeline, giving up weekends to travel to Connecticut to complete projects and yard work. Erica has the same selflessness. One of the gifts I most treasure is a beautiful, hand-crafted leather handbag Erica made for me. Knowing the care Erica took in selecting the leather, lining, thread, and the hours she spent meticulously hand-stitching the hand bag, this gift is so very precious because every time I carry this bag I feel the love created it. Christopher and Erica are true partners, supporting each other through career changes, demanding hobbies, home renovations, raising their puppies, and now the challenge of becoming parents. Through it all they have always made family the top priority, and that will never change.

Barbara Susan Endorsed loyal, Creative, compassionate, Reliable, Friendly, Hard-working, Family-oriented

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Lino Cugini

Family

To whom it may concern, I have known Erica for the last 19 years and Chris for past 10 years or so. Erica is my sister’s stepdaughter and this is how I first came to know her back in 2003. When I first met Erica she was only 17, but it was evident that she was mature well beyond her years. She has always shown great kindness and patience when dealing with any type of situation be it caring for her nephews or dealing with everyday calamities. When it comes to her nephews, she is always quick to play a game with them or read them a bedtime story. I have also observed Erica and Chris with their two adorable French bulldogs (Bruce & Breakfast) and the love, compassion, and care that they give to those loving creatures is a testament to the type of loving people they are themselves. As a parent for the past 26 years, I have come to understand that children need to develop and experience compassion. Kids need love, understanding, and comforting. Regardless of whether you feel they're right or wrong, their feelings, just like anyone's, deserve validation. For as long as I have known Chris, he has always demonstrated a genuine sense of compassion, respect, and understanding for others. He is someone who takes the time to get to know people. He is kind, considerate, empathetic, and is open to other points of view. He is genuinely a very caring and compassionate person at heart. From observing the way Erica and Chris interact with their nephews, their families, to their pets, and people in general, I know that they would both be excellent parents. They are both kind, compassionate, genuine, and reliable people who are always there to lend a helping hand. They have a solid marriage, are committed to each other, and are financially able to provide a wonderful life to a child. In closing, I am not personally aware of anything in their character or history that should prevent them from being successful adoptive parents. I wholeheartedly give my recommendation of Erica and Chris to adopt a child.

Lino Cugini Endorsed loyal, Creative, compassionate, Reliable, Friendly, Hard-working, Family-oriented

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Jessica Donovan

Sister

Chris and Erica are responsible, loyal, caring, funny and show an immense amount of love to their families. They will make wonderful parents.

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Jessica Kovach

Friend

I’ve known Erica and Chris for more than 12 years. We started as co-workers but have remained close friends as they’ve continued their careers. I’ve been lucky enough to witness their friendship turn into something more, ultimately as the married couple they are now. Their love for each other and their friends & family is unconditional. They’ve had their ups and downs like in any relationship, and because of their honest communication and intentional effort to have a healthy relationship, they have flourished. Erica and Chris discussed wanting a family early in their relationship; they wanted time to grow together and build a solid foundation before taking the next step. They are ready. I can't imagine the trauma of a miscarriage; it is heartbreaking to know they have had such an experience. They haven't given up. They are stronger as a couple. I honestly can't imagine two people who are more deserving of having a child. I love them and hope that they can grow as a family.

Jessica Kovach Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Dana Williams

Erica's aunt

Erica and Chris are both loving, compassionate and caring individuals as well as intelligent and successful professionals. They lead active lives and have two dogs and a cat. Erica grew up surrounded by children. As the oldest of three children, she would watch her siblings after school, while her parents worked and she would constantly babysit for a couple of the families in her neighborhood, as well as often babysitting my own children. Christopher at family gatherings, can often be seen on the floor playing with the younger children. His love for children is apparent. Erica and Chris have been married for a little over five years, created a stable, secure home and have dreamed of having their own family. Erica and Chris truly deserve to be parents, and any child would be lucky to have them as parents. It has been said, it takes a village to raise a child. Erica and Chris come from very large and close extended families who will offer one hundred percent of their love, support and assistance, in any way necessary.

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Afshan

Sister-in-law

There isn’t a generic way to describe Erica and Chris because they are a truly unique couple, a quality they exude through every aspect of their lives. Rather than writing about their kindness and love for family, which they possess deeply, I would rather highlight some of my favourite traits. They are naturally curious and wonderfully adventurous, attributes that will infinitely enrich their future child’s life. The house they’ve entirely renovated together is somewhere between a home and a family wonderland. Every room and corner has been carefully crafted to represent them or accommodate their guests and their fur babies. The combination of Chris’ love for music and Erica’s talent for every craft imaginable makes for every child’s dream home. Their hard work and professional knowledge of all-things tech adds the little bit of geek that awards every couple their parent badge. There isn’t an obstacle they haven’t learned to overcome in their lives; Erica and Chris are headstrong and relentless; no matter the curveball life throws at them, they always come out swinging. I wholeheartedly look forward to the day their perfectly crafted and always-anticipated yearly holiday card includes one little festive heart more.

Afshan Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Nicole DiZuzio

Cousin

Erica and Chris are two of the most passionate people I know whether it be a house project a craft or starting a family they give everything that they are to reach their goals. There’s no shortage of love and support in their house and throughout their extended families. Erica and Chris are always down to try new things, visit a new city and do something out of their comfort zone. Their relationship has flourished over the years through the best and worst times and there are no better people to take on this new journey of parenthood. They have always taken to kids of family and friends and I have no doubt they will fall easily into the roles of mom and dad and raise a beautiful munchkin of their own

Nicole DiZuzio Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Tiz Cugini

Mom

I have known Erica since she was 16 and I have known Chris since 2016. Let me begin by saying there is no such thing as the word stepparent in our family, we are a very close-knit family and spend a lot of time together. I whole heartedly endorsee these two individuals, they are hardworking, loving, caring and always there when you need them. They would make wonderful parents to a child they are terrific parent to their three pets as no detail goes unnoticed and their needs are always met.

Tiz Cugini Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Daniele Cellucci

Step-brother

I have known Erica for the last 20 years and was introduced to Chris several years before their marriage in 2017. They exemplify what it means to have a healthy marriage. Their teamwork and cohesiveness among one another are conveyed by the home improvement projects that they continually take on together. They have demonstrated an ability to responsibly nurture and care for their two dogs. Furthermore, their attention toward cleanliness and organization in their home give me the most confidence that they can provide a living space conducive to raising a child. Erica and Chris are goal-oriented and open-minded individuals who have an appetite for learning new skills and being well-informed about the state of the world. They also have strong self-learning abilities, stemming from their high proficiency in the technological industry. Finally, they have solid moral foundations when it comes to their decision-making and a tight-knit family that they can lean on anytime they are in need. Erica and Chris are a pleasure to be around. They have a light sense of humor and are a fun-loving couple. At home, they can often be found cooking home-made meals, engaging in crafting or exploring their love for music. I positively give my full endorsement to both Erica and Chris on their new endeavor of wanting to be become parents to an adopted child. I look forward to seeing them both become new parents as well as meeting their new addition to our family.

Daniele Cellucci Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Kari Meszaros-Phaneuf

Family Friend

Where or where do I start? I have known Erica for more than 25 years; I met her when I was asked to babysit for her younger siblings and we were able to bond over our love of ER and 90's boy bands. We developed a true, long-lasting friendship. I've considered Erica as part of my family for so long all three of my kids call her "Auntie" Erica. Erica started talking to be about Chris back in 2014; you know as the guy from Apple. When I first met Chris, I knew he was a perfect balance for Erica. Chris is one of those people who can sit down and have a conversation about anything. Chris and I share a love of music and it's needless to say we never run out of things to talk about. Chris now a fixture in all of mine and Erica's crazy adventures...running 5k's on a whim, doing inflatable obstacle courses, and random family outings to concerts. It is like Chris has always been there as part of the family and it's realistic to say that if he wasn't here something would be missing at all of our family gatherings. Erica and Chris (as well as their families) are the type of friends who will drop whatever they are doing and rush to your side when you need help. I mean, how many people can say they have a friend who volunteers to drive 2000 miles across the country with a very, very pregnant friend and her two dogs? Well, that's Erica...and not only did she do that for me, she also learned how to drive a manual transmission for the ride! Erica and Chris are amazing with my kids; I have never hesitated to leave my kids in their care. Both of them get down and play and talk to my kids like they are equals rather than an annoying little kid asking 1089 questions in a row. Erica is my oldest child's godmother and spent many, many hours helping me with him as he grew up. I hope you will take a moment to reach out to them and find out how amazing they are as people and how amazing they will be as parents.

Kari Meszaros-Phaneuf Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Charlene

Friend

To say Erica and Chris are a caring, compassionate, and playful couple is an understatement. I have known Erica for almost 20 years now and her dedication to family is unmatched. From emotional support, to physically helping others, to holidays, and vacations it is clear that family is a priority to both her and Chris (as well as their families). Despite challenges life may throw at them, they continue to live their lives through love. It would be a blessing for them to expand their family and further extend that love.

Charlene Endorsed Family-oriented, Hard-working, Friendly, Reliable, compassionate, Creative, loyal

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Sonja Rissland

Friend

I've known Chris and Erica for over 15 years. They're creative, loving, accepting, and family-oriented and would make wonderful parents. They also have a large extended family so their child would have a massive cheering section of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Their child would grow up surrounded by love, friendship, and good food.

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Pompeo Casale

Father of Erica

Obviously I have known Erica her entire life. I have watched her grow from an infant, to a child, to an adolescent, and her teen years and now her young adult years. Throughout each of these steps in her life she has maintained a grounded sense of family. She has excelled at work and her chosen hobbies. The only thing missing from her well round life is to become a parent. I beleive with all my heart, that given the enormous family support that she has, she will make an extraodinary parent.

Posts

Our Traditions

When it comes to traditions, we’ve got them all. One of our favorites is a Christmas tradition that stems from our love of travel. Our first trip together was to Nashville for a friend’s wedding, and we stayed a few extra days to take in the city. While we were there we came across a Christmas ornament that we just had to buy. It is a Santa Clause wearing a cowboy hat and boots, and he’s swinging a lasso. It was silly and a fun way to commemorate the trip. From then on, we made it our mission to buy a Christmas ornament for every destination we travel to. When Christmas rolls around, we decorate the tree with all of the keepsakes we’ve collected and reminisce about the places we’ve been. Every year, Erica’s side of the family gets together for “Polenta Night.” A pot of polenta the size of a five-gallon bucket is simmering on the stove, and people take turns stirring until it is ready. When the time comes, the polenta is poured onto several large wood boards and topped with fresh sauce and Parmesan. The boards are brought out to the tables, and everyone gets a fork. We carve out our own sections on the board and eat and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. Erica’s family comes from Italy, and she and her siblings are the first to be born in this country. Her family arrived here with very little, and polenta was a common, inexpensive meal. The event is meant to commemorate and recognize the hardships of the past, and to be grateful for our friends, family, and where we are today. A large part of Chris’ side of the family comes from Hungary. Chris is also first generation American. His mother’s side escaped the country during the Hungarian revolution and were eventually accepted into the United States. Every year in August, his family celebrates this with a “Coming to America” party. There is lots of Hungarian food and games, and we all enjoy each other’s company. A few other traditions that stand out are a yearly extended-family beach vacation, a group outing to a large agricultural fair, and the entire extended family abruptly breaking into a synchronized dance at weddings. There are many, many more traditions our families share - too many to list! But each and every one of them is deeply meaningful to us, and we are excited to share them and establish new ones of our own.

Chris' Side Of The Family

Chris’ family lives a little further away, but still close enough for us to get together regularly. His parents, sister, brother-in-law, and all of his extended family are a 30-45 minute drive from us. His parents, Paul and Sue, love to bring the family together for dinners, games, cookouts, and parties. His sister, Jessica, is a nut for 90’s pop culture, which is not hard to catch glimpses of in her sense of fashion. She has a witty sense of humor that will keep you on your toes. Her husband, Mike, loves the outdoors and the two of them are avid campers. Chris’ mom is quirky and adores children. She works as a paraprofessional at Chris and Jessica’s childhood school. Having volunteered for many years at the local library, she is always on the lookout for books to give to others. Much like Erica’s Nonna, she will always try to feed you. It is a rule that you leave with leftovers. She can’t tell a joke to save her life, but his dad will have you doubling over with his quips and one-liners. He’s hilarious and has stories for days. A great handyman, he built the house they live in. He’s retired now, but keeps busy with projects around the house. When he’s not building something, he and a few of his lifelong friends write and record music together. Everyone is elated at the hope of our adoption and can’t wait to welcome a new little one into the family!

Erica's side of the Family

We are fortunate to have much of our family live close by. Most of Erica’s side of the family lives in and around our town. Her parents and brother are a quick five-minute drive, and her sister, brother-in-law, and two young nephews live on the other side of town. Much of her extended family live in neighboring towns. Tiziana and Pompeo, Erica’s parents, are happy, family-oriented people. Tiz, loves to host get-togethers, and dinners are frequent at their house. It’s always a crowd and we typically need two or three tables to fit everyone. Before every meal, Pomp insists expressing gratitude with a toast. Her younger sister, Amanda, is fun, loud, and outgoing. She loves to hold summertime cookouts, bringing in additional family from her husband’s side and lots of friends. The children love to play on their swing set while the adults play corn hole and card games. Erica’s Nonna, the matriarch of the family, will insist on feeding you. If you stop by her house for any reason, you’d better be hungry. She’s Italian through and through, and everything is made from scratch; sauce, pasta, sausages - if it’s coming from her, it’s authentic. This trait trickles down through the family. Erica, her sister, and cousins often spend weekends with Nonna Clarice, learning the “right” way to make meatballs or lasagna. We gather to celebrate birthdays and holidays of course, but more often than not we come together simply because we enjoy each other’s company. Every summer we travel as a group to a small resort in a beach town not too far from us. And for larger gatherings we commonly hold private events at the family’s favorite restaurant.

Meet Erica - by Chris

It would be an understatement to say Erica enjoys crafting. This may be a common hobby for many, but Erica is on a different level. This isn’t your grandma’s glue and glitter. She makes the most intricate pop-up birthday cards, to epoxy tumblers, to leather handbags that rival the quality of anything you’d see in store. She has sold many of her crafts on Etsy, and has contributed to a number of family weddings with her creative skill. She is serious about crafting and the things she makes are beautiful. Family looks forward to receiving cards for special occasions, and gifts are often handmade. Some of my most cherished leather watch bands were made by her. She has an entire room dedicated to crafting, with meticulously organized bins, racks, and drawers, tools that no one has ever heard of, and machines that barely make sense. But she knows where everything is and is a master of each and every gadget. Erica also loves to cook. Taking cues from her Nonna, everything is made from scratch. Themed birthday cakes for her nephews complete with brightly colored fondant. Sunday morning pancakes with chocolate chips - because she knows I’m a child at heart (and at the breakfast table). You won’t find pasta from a box or sauce from a jar in our pantry. Erica’s meatloaf is family-famous and her lasagna is on par with her Nonna’s (although Nonna will tell you differently!) Erica loves baseball and one of her favorite pastimes is to catch a game. She’s right at home in the cheapest bleacher seats, shouting and cheering on her favorite team. At away games we may be the rival fans, but she’s loud and proud nonetheless, and she’ll befriend those around us despite our allegiances. She can turn the least desirable seats into the most envied location and has been the star of the Jumbotron on more than one occasion. She has a favorite team T-shirt that is more than a decade old, and despite my trying to replace it she just won’t give it up. Erica is loyal through and through. Not only to her T-shirt, but to her family and friends. The line between the two is non-existent, and she will bend over backwards for them. She is selfless and true to those she loves. She has a very tight-knit group of friends that dates back to her years in the city. Although they have moved, they have not gone their separate ways. There are miles between some and states between others, but they talk and text every single day, and will be there for each other at a moment’s notice. It isn’t an exaggeration that, on more than one occasion, they have been there for each other by means of a last-minute airplane ticket and an impromptu costume party. Erica is truly one of a kind and I am so lucky to have her in my life. She is loving, considerate, and generous. Her presence will light up a room. She gives so much of herself and will no doubt make an excellent mother. I can’t wait to see how she takes on and redefines that role.

Meet Chris - by Erica

Chris can often be found on weekends working on different projects around the house or woodworking. He loves to build picture frames and small pieces of furniture.Having gone to school for audio production and sound design, Chris also enjoys writing and recording his own music. He has a number of guitars and synthesizers and will spend hours playing and creating music. He carries a field recorder wherever he goes (even on vacations) and will often stop what he’s doing to record the sound of something that might otherwise go unnoticed. Many people have photos from their trips, but how many do you know that have a picture for their ears?Chris is a bit of a prankster and loves a good practical joke. An old roommate and very close friend of his, Jesse, knows this all too well. When Chris and I were dating I looked forward to April Fool’s Day, when Chris would attempt to pull off some elaborate stunt at Jesse’s expense. From sending him on a scavenger hunt to free his laptop from a toilet to which it had been locked, to filling his bedroom with hundreds of balloons while he was at work, it always coupled meticulous planning with lighthearted humor. To this day Chris continues to brainstorm his April Fool’s mischief, while Jesse takes the day off from work and hunkers down behind locked doors. The two of them are like brothers and have an unbreakable friendship. One of Chris’ favorite events is an annual agricultural fair. He has been going yearly since childhood and to this day will not leave until we see the butter sculpture. A highlight of the trip are the many farm animals and animal shows. He will make a point to say hello to every pig and sheep. An elephant gives rides to children, and it is this very same elephant he rode at five years old. Stopping to look at every booth is mandatory. We can’t miss any of the interesting food or unique crafts the vendors have to offer. There are rides, games, and music too. And of course the fair is a good excuse for a bit of junk food - there is no shortage of fried foods, from deep fried Oreos and ice cream, to funnel cakes and cheese curds. Chris is the most caring and loving person I know, and I could not imagine navigating life without him. He is hardworking and has a strong moral code, but is also playful, lighthearted, and funny. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He has the heart and curiosity of a child and finds magic in every moment. I know how excited he is for parenthood and to build a family, and I cannot wait to see what an amazing dad he will become.

Our Home

We live in a modest house in a rural, suburban neighborhood, with a large back yardand a small brook running through the front. We enjoy the privacy provided by thesurrounding trees, but we are close enough for conversation with our neighbors whenspending time outside. Our first few years here were spent making this home our own. We renovated every room from floor to ceiling, taking out walls and even rebuilding the staircase. Every room has its own character, painted with bright, vibrant colors. Our dads were happy to lend a helping hand, and taught us invaluable life lessons along the way. For example, a nail through a pipe on Christmas Eve will leave you with a mess on Christmas morning! Our mid-sized town is a short distance from the state’s capital city. It’s a terrific and safe suburban location with several parks, many restaurants, a hospital, supermarkets, and shopping. A bike and walking path runs through ours and into the neighboring towns. It cuts through forests and parks, runs along a lake, and has many picnic areas. It is great for a leisurely weekend walk. There are baseball, football, and soccer fields, and we love to cheer on our nephew, Ethan, at his youth football games. Go Hawks! The community is friendly and it’s common to run into friends and acquaintances when running errands or at the grocery store. We’re proud to be culturally diverse, and our schools put emphasis on representation through artwork, literature, and history. We love the restaurants in the area and are regulars at several. A diner in the center of town is a local favorite. After a visit or two they’ll know you by name. There is a popular drive-in close by, as well as a large entertainment center with bowling, mini golf, arcades, and much more. We love going to the nearby movie theater, and there’s a large shopping center about 15 minutes from us. We are far enough from the city to have privacy and a shared sense of community, but not so far that we don’t make regular trips. Having both lived there for many years, we have a great number of friends, favorite restaurants, and activities we frequently head in for. It is a great place for a date night, catching a baseball or basketball game, going to concerts, or to spend the day in the park. There are also many historical sites, museums, and an aquarium. We truly couldn’t be happier with our location. We are close to family and have all of the amenities we could ask for. We chose this location with family in mind, and can’t wait to make that a reality!

Our Pets

There are three members of our family that are excited for a sibling. Our cat, Killer, is a Himalayan with long white and grey fur. Don’t let her name fool you - she’s never been convicted! Her relationship with Erica predates Chris. Despite her intimidating name,she is just a talkative old lady. When she’s not asking for pets, she enjoys sleeping, and sleeping, and sleeping. We also have two French Bulldogs named Breakfast and Bruce. They both recently turned two but are not related. Their personalities could not be more different. Bruce loves to cuddle and would like nothing more than to eat and nap. He will lay down on anything soft and promptly call it a day. He will do anything for a treat and if you say the T word in front of him, he won’t let you forget it. Breakfast, on the other hand, never seems to run out of energy. For him, it’s playtime all the time. He loves to play fetch, do tricks, and play tug with his toys. He will dart across the lawn after a tennis ball as long as you let him, and when he comes in from a good session he smiles like he’s the happiest pup in the world.

Our Adventures

Travel is a huge part of our lives. Seeing new places and experiencing different cultures, food, and history are an outlet for our wonder. We love creating memories this way and when we return home, we choose our best photos from our trip and have a book, much like this one, printed to commemorate the experience. We have a decorative map on a wall in our house that allows us to place a pin on every country we’ve traveled to. We would love to one day run out of pins. When we aren’t traveling you’re likely to find us walking our pups along the bike path, cooking together, or just keeping each other company while running errands. We keep ourselves entertained and are always laughing. In the car, we’ll make up silly games, and we probably look like we’re nuts when acting out a scene from a movie while at a red light or singing along to songs on the radio in our most cartoonish voices. We are best friends and really just love to spend time together.

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