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Featured Family: David and Evi

Describe your childhood:
Evi: I have lived in sunny Southern California since I was six years old. My parents divorced when I was an infant, but my mother provided my sister and me with a childhood full of love and encouragement. My mother worked tirelessly to ensure my sister and I never went without necessities. My sister is nine years older than I am and I remember doing so many fun things with her, like dancing and singing, roller skating and bike riding, and going to the movies and the beach. She was and is one of my dearest friends. Because we didnít have much money to go out, my mother, sister, and I often played cards or Monopoly after dinner; on weekends weíd often go to the beach, the park, or at the public library. My mother was a devout Catholic and so I often attended church with her on Sundays, and I even attended parochial school as a child. David: I was born in and grew up in Suburban New Jersey with two older brothers and my mother and father. As I grew up, I learned my morals and my values by watching my parents, paying close attention to how they navigated the ups and downs of life. My mother was a nurse and was naturally caring and compassionate. She sacrificed for us by working nights and sleeping while we were at school. These things were not lost on me. Just as my mother did, my father worked hard to provide our family with food, shelter, health, and a modest amount of the good things. Although I was not really that good at them, I was always active in sports. My father coached my Little League baseball team and it was there, at a young age, that he taught me many lessons on character and integrity.

Tell us about your home?
Our home is serene, yet full of love and laughter. We love having friends and family over for barbecues and dinner (David is an excellent cook and I am a great baker). We take pride in our home and our family. David and I love the multicultural, inclusive vibe of the our neighborhood. There are always people out walking their dogs, riding their bikes, or jogging. Our home is three blocks from the water, so we often walk our dogs along the coast. We love that we can ride our bikes or walk to dinner and the movies, and like that we are friends with many of our neighbors. Moreover, we both always dreamed of owning an old craftsman home, and now we have one. David and I work well together when it comes to our home. I envision something and then he builds it. David completed many of the renovations and restorations in our home, and he takes great pride in that.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
Since we live walking distance to the beach, we often go on bike rides or take our dogs to the dog beach. We also enjoy going hiking with our dogs ,Shakespeare and Bukowski along the coast. When we can, we enjoy taking mini-vacations to San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and sometimes the Disneyland Resort.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have two loving and gentle dogs who are part of our family and hearts. Shakespeare is a ďgentle giant.Ē He weighs 90 pounds but thinks he is human and likes to be picked up and petted. Bukowski, however, is the opposite. He weighs 25 pounds but thinks he is a big dog who must protect his brother. They are very much part of our home and life.

What do you hope to teach your children?
We hope to teach our child to be a productive, authentic person who is responsible and aware of the impact one person can make on the life of others. For us, volunteering and giving to others is a vital part of life. Moreover, making informed decisions and thinking of the consequences of our actions is of great importance. Because Evi is a teacher for gifted high school students, we often talk about the importance of communication and awareness of the world at large with kids. No subject should be taboo so long as it is handled appropriately and intellectually. Since I, David, am in the film industry, I will promote a love and reverence for the arts. Creativity, respect, and intellectual curiosity will be of utmost importance.

Describe your neighborhood?
We live walking distance to the beach; thus, there are always lots of people walking and riding their bikes to local restaurants, museums, and the water. We love that we live in such a friendly and culturally diverse neighborhood. We are friends with many of our neighbors and often have them over for Davidís amazing dishes.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
We will often tell him or her that she helped us become a family and will always say she was the sole reason why we are here together as a family. We will tell our child that his or her birthmother made an extremely difficult, yet selfless, loving decision to allow us to raise her child. We will inculcate in him or her that putting a child up for adoption is an act of great courage and love.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
There are so many subjects and activities I am excited about and would love to share with my child. There is also so much I havenít experienced that my child might want to learn. I would do whatever activity brings interest, excitement, and wonderment into his or her life. One of my fondest memories as a child was a time my father took me to a nearby park and taught me to skip rocks on the water. I would love to have several moments with my child that will serve as fond memories for him or her.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
As a public school Magnet teacher, Evi knows that there are a plethora of Magnet public schools that are rigorous and cater to specific interests and fields of study. However, we have also discussed private schools and would consider many in our area. The most important thing to us both is finding a school which will encourage intellectual curiosity and prepare our child for college.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
My wife and I met when we were both in our lateóthirties, got married two years later, and tried tirelessly to conceive. When we realized we couldnít get pregnant, we consulted a highly-regarded infertility specialist who recommended IVF. Unfortunately IVF did not yield any results. We decided on adoption because having a family is something for which we both have longed.

What faith will you raise your child?
The two of us come from parents who practiced three different religions: Catholic, Episcopalian, and Judaism. While we do not formally practice any of the three, we both have found and believe in a non-denominational spirituality. We believe in Higher Power but do not follow the specific tenants of organized religion, instead, we place more value on maintaining a strong character, being morally correct, and living life with honesty and integrity. As such, our child will be raised in that light.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We hope to get to know all about her and develop a healthy, respectful relationship. We will definitely be as involved as she would allow us to be. I would like to learn all about heróher dreams, passions, likes and dislikes, regrets and triumphs. Iíd like to know these things because at some point I will share all of this information with her biological child. I would hope that she also becomes familiar with us and gets to know the type of people we are so she can rest assured of the childís well-being.

How did you meet?
David and I serendipitously met at Barnes & Noble in 2009 and have been together ever since. I was in the memoir section looking for a book when David approached me and asked what my favorite book was. I said, The Catcher in the Rye. When he told me his favorite novel was The Grapes of Wrath, I looked him straight in the eye and said, ďI hate that book.Ē He smiled and said we should sit for coffee and discuss why. I found him very charming, so I agreed. We talked for a while over coffee and found we had a lot in common. Even though we got off to a great start and spoke on the phone daily after our initial meeting, he didnít ask me out on an official date for a month. At the time, we lived quite a ways apart, so he decided to come to my neighborhood. We went out to dinner, then a movie. It was the most relaxed and easy first date either of us had been on (perhaps because we really got to know each other via our daily phone conversations). In 2011 I moved into Davidís home. We lived together for 3 months before David proposed; we got married in 2012.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Evi: My mom was the most important person in my life. It was because of her that I developed into a hard-working, responsible, and determined woman. From my mother I learned one the most valuable lessons: whatever you put out into the world you will receive. I have lived my life with this mantra in mind, and often think of her when I must make important, life changing decisions. She encouraged and supported me when I was in college and often told me how proud of me she was. Because my parents divorced when I was an infant, I do not have a relationship with my father. David: My parents have always been supportive of me and my brothers. They worked hard to provide our family with health, happiness, and discipline. They were fair yet stern. Even though I might have thought differently as a kid, as an adult, I look back and admire the efforts they made and the values they upheld. As an adult, my relationship with my parents only got better. In the few years before my father passed, I realized that time really is short and that we must take advantage of the time we have. With that on my mind, I put even greater importance on my relationship with my mother.

What attracted you to each other?
From the moment we first spoke, we knew we had a lot in common. We both have a passion for literature and the arts. We both share a desire to continue learning. We both love to travel. We share the same outlook on politics and social issues. We share the same view on what it takes to be a responsible, productive, and valuable member of our society.

Please describe your personalities:
Evi: I am very outgoing and optimistic. I always try to make the best of every situation and inspire those around me to do the same. I am also very determined; if I want something, I donít stop until I accomplish it. I am not judgmental and never make assumptions about others. I am also very laid back and Iíve been told I make everyone feel comfortable. David: Many people have said I am shy but I think that I am just not that outgoing. Once we get to know each other you will see that I am funny, smart, and sensitive. I am loyal and will do whatever I can for my family and friends. I am a moral person and I do what is right because it is the right thing to do. I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist, but a realist. Life is full of challenges and risks and I choose approach these situations objectively. I am calm, consistent and stable.

What are your hobbies?
Evi: I enjoy traveling, bike riding, art, reading, baking, and lately Iíve taken up crafting. I enjoy going shopping, to dinner, or spa mani/pedi with my girlfriends. Although I am social, sometimes I enjoy shopping, or sitting at a coffee shop with a good book on my own. David: I enjoy photography and woodworking. I love to cook and bake bread. I even like doing the construction jobs my wife has me do around the house. I enjoy practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Both my wife and I love to travel and go to the theatre.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. We are complete because of you. Rest assured your child will be well-loved and taken care of.

How will a child enrich your life?
David and I have always dreamed of having a family. A child will fulfill our desire to share all of our love, guidance, and encouragement. We have had a great life on our own and now together, but cannot wait until our family is complete. We have so many things and experiences to share, and cannot wait to experience life as parents.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Evi: I put myself through school waiting tables and tending bar to become a teacher, and I would do it all over again. Teaching high school AP Literature and honors English is my passion, and I donít see myself leaving the classroom anytime soon. I love teens and like seeing them grow as thinkers and writers throughout the year. Moreover, I like listening to whatever is on their minds and offering them advice when necessary. Once my students graduate, many of them keep in touch with me via social media. Iíve gone to many of my former studentsí weddings, and baby showers. It always humbles me that so many of them still think of me during important times in their lives. David: I originally studied photography and was on my way to working as a professional photographer in NYC. During that time, a friend of mine was attending graduate school where he studied film. I began to shoot all of his and his classmates' films. I soon realized that I wanted to pursue film making. I applied to and was accepted into the American Film Institute. I moved to Los Angeles and finished the two year program. Soon after graduation, I found myself working in the set lighting department on major motion pictures and television shows. I currently work as an assistant chief lighting technician . My job consists of facilitating the creative vision of the filmmakers while staying within the financial budget set by the production company. It is rewarding and fulfilling to be the liaison between these two opposing forces and to be part of the creative process.

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