We are Shara and Brian – a happy couple who believes our lives will be even fuller if we can create a supportive, fun, and loving environment for a child. We know that parenthood will bring challenges, along with joy, and we are prepared to accept these as part of the richness of life.
You are making an enormous decision. We hope this letter can give you a sense of who we are and what type of parents we’ll work to become.
We met like many people in our generation – on Match.com! Our first real date was at a restaurant where we shared fish tacos, laughs, and an obvious connection. It was clear that first night that both of us were energetic people with a passion for the little things in life. Fish tacos being only the beginning.
As a couple, we are truly good together. Sometimes that means cooking while listening to our favorite music. Sometimes it means having a hard conversation. Sometimes, we laugh until we cry because we think the same things are so funny. Sometimes all three of these happen at the same time.
Before we met, Shara was already trying to adopt a baby on her own, so we took our relationship slow, knowing that this was the priority. Over time, as we grew to have enormous respect for each other’s unique capabilities, it had become clear we were going to be together forever and were already a family – a child would make our family even fuller. So we decided to adopt together. We live in a quaint beach neighborhood where we remodeled a three-bedroom home into a cozy modern style with lots of colors that make everyone happy. In our yard, we grow vegetables to use in our cooking. Within 10 minutes we can walk to the beach, the market, restaurants and friend’s and family’s homes where we have dinners and watch movies.
We love our home, but also the outdoors, where you’ll find us bike riding, walking and hiking, snorkeling or camping. Our truck has a camper shell that turns into a giant tent. We often camp at natural hot springs, next to beautiful beaches, and in pine forests. During these trips, we swim with whale sharks (the largest sharks in the world, but they have no teeth!), find clams for an amazing dinner, and snorkel among hundreds of beautiful fish.
Exploration has brought us to many places in Europe as well. We are incredibly fortunate to have recently traveled to Paris with Shara’s parents. The best part was spending time together and doing amazing things like learning the history of the city, taking a cooking class, and biking through the parks. We are already planning our next trip!
Our extended family members are an active and important part of our life. Shara’s parents live two minutes away from us and their home is beautiful, with canyon and ocean views, an enormous gourmet kitchen, and outdoor areas for grilling and gathering around the fireplace. All of our friends and coworkers love them both too – so we all spend a lot of time together! Her father still works as a doctor part-time and her mother passionately volunteers mentoring students. They will be a huge help when we have a baby. They are beyond excited because this will be their first grandchild!
Brian’s father and stepmother live in Florida. When we visit we love to go to nearby parks to see wildlife (including alligators!). Brian’s father was also a doctor and medical researcher who recently retired so that he and his wife can enjoy fishing! They also like to visit us and we enjoy San Diego together.
Each of us has a sister that lives on the east coast – one in Virginia and one in Washington DC. They would both love to be aunts! Our cousins live in Arizona – including four little ones – and they love to visit us and take care of the dogs. They would love to have another cousin in their mix!
Our many friends, who we consider to be part of our extended family, have dinners together, celebrate each person’s birthday, travel, and help each other whenever needed. All the children play together.
Two of our beloved family members come in the form of small dogs – Jack Russel Terriers named Puka and Pavlov – who love babies and children – giving kisses and being incredibly gentle. Puka is fat and we think she looks like a little pig and Pavlov is skinny and looks like a little fox.
About Shara by Brian
When I first learned that sixteen years ago, Shara started her own nonprofit organization to provide underserved young people with science experiences, I was impressed. But I was blown away when I found out that these young people get to college and ultimately have careers in science and environmental fields because of the work she does. I saw that I wasn’t the only one who admired her, but so did many others. I found out that Shara has been honored several times including receiving an award from The White House and meeting President Obama in the Oval Office (and she recently won the 2016 CNN Hero Award!). But Shara doesn’t brag, so I had to learn this as I got to know her. I brag for her because she is truly remarkable and she inspires me and so many other people.
I fell in love with her, because while she’s intelligent and goes after what she believes in, she’s also a person who is ALWAYS happy and loving. Her energy is contagious. I found I couldn’t quit smiling – and I still can’t.
As I became close to Shara, I saw that her passion for work is really a passion for life and she brings the same energy to whatever she takes on. She thrives on being active and in nature. She enjoys yoga, hiking with her girlfriends, and paddle boarding. She is a strong, determined woman who I admire. When I hear her call my name, I am so happy to know I’m a part of her life.
As time goes on, I see young people look up to her and that they feel she is an important part of their lives too. But I also know Shara truly wants the experience of caring for her own child and knows how uniquely different that will be. I know in my heart she will be the best mother anyone could ever hope for and I want her to have this chance. I want to share in this with her.
About Brian by Shara
Brian has a joy of life, and when you are with him, it makes you joyous too. When I am down, he makes me laugh, when I am mad, he makes me laugh, and when I am happy, he makes me laugh even more. This is only the beginning of why I love him so much.
Brian is as loving and intelligent as he is strong. He is one of those people who is good at whatever he tackles. He is an expert big wave surfer, sailor, and a great cyclist. He has traveled to many places in search of exciting adventures. I saw how with his zest for sharing adventure, he will be a great guide as he shows his son or daughter how to be safe and love the water.
I adore how Brian believes we think and act better when we have greater understanding of other cultures. This is why he’s fluent in German, conversational in French, and is learning Spanish.
When I first learned that Brian’s adventurous career includes cliff rescues, driving boats through high seas, and providing emergency medical services, I thought he must love the excitement. But what I have learned over time is that what truly motivates him is caring for others. I see this in his job but most of all in the way he is a caretaker for me. He knows I don’t like to wake up in the morning so he brings coffee to my bedside, he writes me sweet texts even when I am just upstairs, he seems to always know what I need. I watch him do this for our parents and friends and I see that they love him deeply too.
Brian is also a natural teacher. He has taught courses on life saving and even led trainings for Navy Seals. I can so easily imagine him teaching our child everything from how to tie knots to how to approach a math problem!
When we were outside gardening one day he said, “See that storage shed, don’t you think it would make a great fort or playhouse?” It was just another reminder that sharing parenthood with him would be the most incredible experience. I know in my heart that the two of us will tackle adventures, create laughter, and share it one day with a child.
What we Plan to Provide
We have already accomplished a lot in our careers and have the time and resources to commit to raising our child. Because Brian has a very flexible schedule, he plans to reduce his work to part-time.
We will raise our child to be someone who values love, determination, openness, diversity, curiosity, and generosity. We are not religious people but are open to many ways of thinking and will enjoy celebrating the holidays with our child!
We believe a child should have a clear understanding of what is expected and then freedom to make decisions within that understanding. We want to encourage our child to discover what they value and find important. We have learned a lot about parenting from our own parents, our work, and reading books – but we know we have a lot more to learn ahead!
We live in a house that we bought in order to have the best environment for a child – excellent schools, beach, parks, sports fields, and a nature preserve all within walking distance.
We want our child to pursue their interests and to contribute to society and we plan to provide them with an excellent education in support of this. We already have the funds for college in place.
We feel we have a lot to offer a child, and we know that the experience of raising a child will make us better people.
Thoughts on Adoption
We believe it takes tremendous courage and insight for you to know you are not ready or in the best place to have a baby. This is an incredible decision for you to make, and to know you are doing the right thing for not just the child, but yourself and your future. It is important to us that you, the birth mother, receive the support you need so you can progress in life toward your goals, even if you don’t know what those are yet.
Our intent would be to let our child know that they are adopted and to learn as much as possible about you, their birth mother, and if possible, father. We hope that we can work with you to establish the type of communication that will make everyone feel the most support and happiness. We want our child to know that many, many people love them. We understand there are many types of families, and their structure or how they came to be, is less important than the love and support they provide.
We have tremendous respect for your decision and courage. We hope that you will see we will be truly wonderful parents doing the best that we possibly can. We may not be perfect, but we will always be full of love and happiness. We believe you will know when you find the right parents for your baby and we wish you great support, strength, and love during your journey.
If you would like to learn about us or to arrange an initial phone call, please call Cindy anytime at A Loving Alternative 800-556-5635.
With all our best,
Shara and Brian