We are Levi and Cherry. Thank you for taking a look at our letter and we hope you will be able to get a sense of us and the home we plan to share with your baby – a home full of laughter and board games, napping with cats and couch cuddles with our dog and boundless love and joy. You are so incredibly brave for making this decision and whatever you choose to do, please know that we are rooting for you!
We met in graduate school as PhD students at MIT. What started out as friendship in the laboratory soon evolved into something much more, much better, and much more fulfilling. We realized we shared many of the same values and had many mutual interests. The more we spent time with each other, the more we want to spend time with each other. Within a matter of a few months, we knew that we were meant to be together.
One such mutual interest is gardening. Cherry grew up in a metropolitan city in a high rise apartment building and always wanted to get her hands dirty and learn how to grow flowers. Levi, on the other hand, grew up in his grandmother’s beautiful flower garden, full of hydrangeas and geraniums. After we moved to Atlanta and bought our house in a neighborhood with lots of young families in the suburbs, we started a big flower garden full of rose bushes in the sun and rhododendrons in the shade. We enjoy tending to flowers and growing vegetables in the backyard together. Not everything grows well, but we learn from each plant that doesn’t grow and together try out new fertilizers and new plants.
Our garden surrounds our five-bedroom house that we share with our two cats named Rhodi and Dapi, after two fluorescent dyes commonly used to study cells in the human body, and one dog named Astro after a type of cell in the brain that Levi now studies in Alzheimer’s disease. With all these animals, there is always something interesting in the house – Astro thinking that he is a cat and jumping on our lap demanding belly rubs or nose kisses – Rhodi coming in from outside to tell Dapi all about her explorations, since Dapi doesn’t like going outside. We love the simple joys of watching them evolve as part of our family.
Other than spending time with our four-legged family members, we also enjoy immensely all of the time we spend with our families and especially playing with our nephews whenever we get together. This past Christmas, we built a model car and a bird house with the boys and we are very proud to say that they may be budding engineers! We also love hosting our families and friends with A LOT OF FOOD! We have been cooking and hosting Thanksgiving together for as long as we have been together. The feast is a variation of Levi’s grandma’s Thanksgiving menu and we hope to carry that on for as long as we can! We must be doing grandma proud as there was one year that we had so many people joining us we had to go out to buy tables and chairs before Thanksgiving. At our Thanksgiving dinners, we are joined by our families and a lot of friends who live too far to go home for a four-day weekend. Bringing friends and families together is incredibly important to us and we consider ourselves very lucky to have them in our lives.
We are also incredibly lucky to have found each other. The author of The Little Prince once wrote “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” This sums up our relationship well. We share everything with each other and communicate with an open heart and mind, transforming from two separate individuals into one undefeatable team. The deep connection and unity has helped us overcome the ups and downs of the infertility treatment as well as to make the big decisions, such as moving to Atlanta from Boston and pursuing adoption. We also gain strength from serving others. We have together volunteered as tutors for teenagers and playspace leaders for homeless toddlers as we both so strongly believe that we have to do our part to share what we can with the world to make it a little better.
About Cherry by Levi
Cherry is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. She is always happy, always cares for others, and absolutely loves cats. I think Cherry’s ability to empathize with people she has never met is one of her most amazing qualities. When we first started dating, I learned that she had co-founded a non-profit to help orphaned children with HIV in China. She had learned about the crisis going on there and couldn’t believe that no one was helping. Her first instinct was to find out what she could do to help. Recently, she knew that people leaving Florida to escape the hurricane this season would need a place to stay. Without a moment’s hesitation, she suggested that we should offer our house to anyone who might need a place. If there is a task that needs to be done or help that needs to be given, Cherry is always the first person to offer help. I know that Cherry will teach these qualities to our children.
Cherry is a researcher at a biomedical device company. She loves using science and engineering to help people. She always tells me that she doesn’t think of herself as a mentor, but I know she cares deeply about her employees and wants to help them learn on the job and develop their own careers. Her employees are fiercely loyal because she is always encouraging and always pushes them and herself to strive further.
At home, Cherry loves to create new things. She has recently become an avid baker, which is surprising because she doesn’t like to follow recipes. Last year, she decided to grow tomatoes for the first time, but didn’t know which kind would be the best, so while it was still frosting outside, we ended up growing 36 tomato plants in our spare bedroom of all different varieties. We always talk about ways to change or improve our yard and we love planting new flowers. Cherry is always thinking of new ideas for businesses, always with the idea of filling a need and helping others. I hope that someday we can start one of them. In all of these new things that Cherry tries, it doesn’t bother her for a moment that she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She thrives from trying new things. I am certain that our children will learn this same passion.
Cherry grew up in Taiwan until she was 16, when she moved to California for boarding school. Until she was 16, she grew up in a high-rise in the middle of Taipei, surrounded by a busy life with lots of the most amazing food and friendly people surrounding her. Cherry was a hard worker while she was growing up, much like now, but I have heard that she also liked to cause a little trouble, including leading a student’s strike in middle school when she didn’t like her teacher. In many ways, Cherry’s personality mirrors the best qualities of both of her parents. Cherry’s dad is a professor and is a very kind and thoughtful person. Her mom is strong-willed and, like Cherry, she thinks it is important to promptly take action when any issue comes up.
About Levi by Cherry
I can still vividly remember that day when we first started dating and Levi proudly told me that when he was 16, someone told him that he was a young man with an old soul. Every additional day I spend with him, I gain ever more appreciation of this fact. He is the most considerate, caring and thoughtful person I know. Levi lives and breathes by the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and is always looking out for others to make sure their needs are addressed and their concerns are heard.
Levi is a professor and he loves mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. For one of his classes, he chooses to have office hours in the evening the day before homework is due, knowing that that’s when the students are actually working on their homework. He is always thinking of ways to allow his students to grow into successful scientists and engineers.
In his free time, Levi and I love to play board games with friends and Levi also likes to play chess online with his uncle. He doesn’t always win and he often says that he enjoys losing the game because that gives him a better opportunity to learn how to be better next time. I can imagine him sitting a crying child down and teaching him/her how to learn from losing. That’s a lesson I suppose so many of us can take a refresher course on. Other than that, Levi also enjoys woodworking, homage to his father’s incredible skills as a cabinet and furniture builder. He built a set of cornhole boards and some shelves for the kitchen. We are also planning on building a pantry for our kitchen.
Growing up in his dad’s shop and his grandpa’s garage in Coos Bay, Oregon, Levi learned basic construction and Ham radio operations when he was a young boy. Without much material means but with lots of encouragement from his dad, Levi started a business building bird houses when he was 7 years old. He was home schooled until he went to college at 14 years old. This unique upbringing distilled in Levi a sense of resilience and persistence that I hope to pass on to our children.
What we hope to offer a child
We vow to offer a loving home where s/he can grow and thrive into his/her own person and to instill a sense of responsibility and the importance of generosity and kindness. Imagining the child growing up with his/her cousins and other children in the neighborhood playing and rolling in the grass in the backyard brings such a joy to our hearts. We value education, curiosity and yearning for learning. Thus, we will provide the financial resources and the mental support for college and graduate school education for our child when s/he is ready.
Thoughts on Adoption
Thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about us and we hope this gives you a flavor of who we are and what kind of parents we will be. We welcome as much or as little communication as you would like to have with the child, when you think the time is right for you and the child. We promise to provide unconditional love to your child and treat him/her as our own. Again, thank you for reading this letter. Best of luck with everything you are going through and wish us luck!
If you would like to learn more about us or arrange an initial phone call, please call Cindy at A Loving Alternative at (800) 556-5635 at any time.
Cherry and Levi