We are Leah and Andrew – a fun loving, passionate, and dedicated couple who has known since early in life we wanted to be parents; we have never wanted to define ourselves as anything other than “Mom” and “Dad”. When we bought our house, our car, and picked our careers it was always with the thought of creating enough space and time for our future children.
We can’t imagine what you are going through, but as we have gone through the adoption process, our respect and admiration for you, and all women considering adoption, has grown and continues to grow. We hope our different journeys connect and bring us all mutual comfort and happiness. Even if our paths don’t cross, we wish you all the happiness in the world. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our letter and getting to know us.
We are genuinely positive people and a happy couple. We firmly believe life is too short to dwell on the negative; we navigate life’s twists and turns and focus on love, support, family, friends, and fun.
We met at our first job out of college. Our desks were beside one another and we quickly became friends, spending most weekends together. We were the first people we called to vent about work or to celebrate life events. Even though we were close, we didn’t start dating until Leah returned from living in Argentina (more on that later). Five years after we first met, we went on our first date and three years later we were married.
Since we were friends before dating, our relationship has always been rooted in mutual support and respect. Our values are the same and we have both made life decisions which put our families first, including the idea of our eventual children. Both of us grew up with single mothers who were smart with money and we agree on the value of a dollar. We prefer to spend our money on experiences rather than material items. We love traveling and our favorite vacations include anything outdoors – hiking, camping, skiing, and wildlife sightseeing. As a child, Leah’s family vacations were spent camping at a local horse park. So, for our third anniversary, Andrew found a campground to spend the weekend so Leah could have a taste of her childhood. Andrew’s childhood vacations were spent learning how to ski, swim, and sail. Since then, Andrew has taught Leah to ski, showing endless patience.
Family is a driving factor in our lives, in particular our three nieces. Playing with these girls makes us so excited to have a family of our own. We are the silly couple the girls (and any other kids) grab to play. Andrew is known for playing monster and chasing all the kids, then having them turn and climb all over him. Leah is the dance party starter. If there is music, the girls and Leah are moving.
We love exploring our Chicago neighborhood. Our two-story condo is in a diverse, family-friendly neighborhood 10 minutes from downtown Chicago. With Roxy (our 14-year-old Jack Russell Terrier), we go to farmer’s markets, street festivals, local shops, and restaurants. We are surrounded by countless parks and playgrounds and hundreds of strollers. We try to take advantage of everything Chicago has to offer, including running along the lake and going to concerts and plays. As a couple we stay extremely active; neither of us are good at sitting around for long.
We both work in banking and our jobs are demanding, but we have great flexibility to come and go as needed, as long as the work gets done. If we need to take care of a sick child or go on a school field trip, we have the flexibility to do so.
About Leah by Andrew
I am constantly in awe of Leah and she has so much to give our family. Our child will surely get a good home, absolute love and affection, and a healthy and active lifestyle. Unique to Leah, she will give our children a foundation of creative thinking, persistence and determination, encouraging our children to be opinionated, involved, and confident as he or she pursues his or her dreams.
The best way to describe Leah is through life examples:
Caring, nurturing and family oriented: Leah is Aunt Leah. Every time we see our nieces they are sprinting to the door to give Aunt Leah a hug. Every night, they go to her first to read a bedtime story. Every time they want to play, Aunt Leah is the first to get her arm pulled across the room to play. Even Roxy runs up to Leah first when she walks in the house.
Smart and tenacious: Leah and I met while working in a highly demanding workplace. She would outwork and outhustle everyone. Additionally, while working these demanding hours, she ran the Chicago Marathon every year. I would often call her an “alien” because I had no idea how she could do all that she did (robot wasn’t fitting because she has way too much of a personality to be referred to as a robot).
Independent and adventurous: Three years into her first job, Leah decided it wasn’t the career she wanted, so she quit and moved to Argentina with no friends, no job, and no place to live. After two weeks, she found a job, made great friends, and lived there for nearly a year. Leah also studied abroad in Spain. When most students headed home after the program, Leah stayed in Spain and nannied for a Spanish family, gaining another unique perspective on different cultures and Spanish life.
After having a child Leah plans to continue to work. However, if life becomes too busy or stressful, we have the financial security to live off my salary. Leah’s number one priority will always be our family.
About Andrew by Leah
Everyone who meets Andrew cannot help but immediately feel comfortable. Somehow, he can find a common ground with anyone and will ask a million questions to learn more about that person, because he is genuinely interested in others.
Andrew is the voice of reason in the family. I strive to have his ability to be calm in stressful situations and I hope our children learn how to roll with the punches like Andrew. Whenever I am stressed, he stops me and says, “there is always time for a hug.” He makes me appreciate the little moments during the day and keeps me grounded.
During one of the earliest conversations I had with Andrew, he told me he will make career choices to put family first. In the 11 years I have known him, that mindset has not changed. Also, since I first met him, he has had plans for the experiences he wants to have with his children. He wants to play the guitar for them, teach them how to ski, play basketball with them and take them to concerts. Kids are drawn to Andrew – he’s by far the favorite uncle. The second he sees any kids, he is on the floor horse playing with them.
Andrew was born to be a dad (bad jokes and all) and I am so lucky to have him as partner in life and parenthood. He has an uncanny ability to let little irritations roll off his back. With the issues that matter, however, he will stand up and fight for what’s right and be an inspiring role model for our children.
What we will offer our children
Living in Chicago, there’s no shortage of resources and activities for children. We have parks, fields for sports, museums, and countless educational resources. We also have a network of local friends and family to support us as we embark on this exciting next chapter.
Education is a top priority of ours and we will make sure our children are given the best education possible. However, it is equally important to us they realize not everyone is as fortunate and we will make sure our kids are exposed to diversity – racially and economically. We currently live in a diverse neighborhood and it is important to us to continue to do so. Leah studied Spanish in college and it is our hope to send our kids to a dual language school and if Leah continues to work, we would search for a daycare or nanny who speaks Spanish.
Spirituality, morals, and ethics are the backbone of who we are. While neither of us are currently practicing an organized religion, Leah was raised Catholic and attended a Catholic elementary school. Andrew’s parents instilled in him a deep appreciation for all religions and spirituality. We will make sure our children are exposed to positive role models and are taught the difference between right and wrong.
From an early age we will expose our children to different music, sports, art forms, and people. We want them to be comfortable being themselves and to find their passion in life. The most exciting part about being a parent is that we have no idea who they will grow up to be. Our role is to give them a wide range of opportunities and to love and support them unconditionally so they find the things that make them happy.
About our Families
We are both lucky to have extremely supportive families. Leah’s family mostly lives in Kentucky and Andrew’s family is in Florida.
Leah has two sisters and three nieces. Her extended family is massive with 50 first cousins. Both her mom and dad’s families get together every Christmas and on average there are 60 people at each party.
Andrew’s family is the opposite. He has four cousins on his dad’s side and none on his mom’s. The people who raised him include his parents, his maternal grandparents, his uncle, and his uncle’s husband. Eventually his mom, uncle, and uncle’s husband will move to where we settle. The “Turnbull Commune” is coming!
Thoughts on adoption
We will work with you to create a post birth relationship which feels comfortable. We are open to calls, visits, and sharing photos. We understand your desired level of interaction and your feelings may change over time, and we will be flexible to accommodate you.
As an adoptee, our child will not have a family tree, but an orchard. There is no such thing as too much love, so we welcome all the love you are able to offer.
If you would like to learn more about us or to arrange an initial phone call, please call Cindy (anytime) at A Loving Alternative (800) 556-5635.