Who I Am
I was a little boy with big ideas and even bigger dreams. I wanted a good education, a good job, to travel the world, to see things, to have experiences, and to somehow make the world a better place. I was a dreamer and my biggest dream of all was to be a dad.
I’m lucky. I’ve lived out most of my dreams.
I graduated from Ohio State University and went on to study at two New York schools: Columbia University and the Fashion Institute of Technology. I am the well-educated man my younger self dreamed I would grow to be.
I’ve worked hard. I value hard work and independence and because I do I am also as professionally accomplished as that young boy would have hoped.
I became the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Diversity Initiatives at New York University where I’ve grown into the man I dreamed of being as a little boy.
My students mean the world to me and I have forged meaningful relationships with many of them. So often these relationships extend beyond the four years students spend within the walls of the university. I love my job and I feel it engages that part of me which longs to nurture and be a parent.
In my position I build relationships and connections, mentor students, create safe spaces, and help students process difficult feelings. My childhood self would be proud to know that I do regular speaking engagements about the power of love and giving.
I like to believe I am doing my part to help make the world, my little corner of the world anyway, a better, warmer, safer, more accepting place to live where all kinds of people can thrive.
Through my job I’ve been able to travel the world. I’ve experienced other cultures and been given the gift of serving communities worldwide.
I have also been blessed with many beautiful and loving friends who are an extended family to me and will be the same to my child. I love spending free time and weekends with friends. I especially love having friends and their families to my home for meals and shared time together.
I love cooking and music and my cat, Ashley, and visiting my brother and his family on the West Coast.
Indeed, my life is blessed but there is one dream left to dream. I have always known that I would be a father. I believe adoption is the path for me and another way for me to make a change.
You see, growing up in Cleveland I spent some time in the foster system after my parents split. Family was a big part of my life and I was raised by my mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother. My uncle became a sort of second father to me after my parents’ separation.
It was difficult at times growing up in a tumultuous home and being away from my biological parents but I grew to understand the reasons for it. I loved my parents and in some intuitive way, I knew they could not adequately care for me. They had things of their own that they had to grapple with and I was very grateful to the people who showed up to give me what they could not—security and guidance.
My grandmother, my uncle, the foster families gave me safety in those times and one of the things that strengthened my desire to be a father and got me through was imagining a time when I could do the same for a child.
I want to provide a safe and loving home for a child and support to a woman who, like my own mother, is struggling. I am ready to accept a child into my life and I hope that my background will make me a stronger, more empathetic parent.
I want us to spend time together during your pregnancy so I can get to know you. I want to be able to tell your child about this time of planning you and I shared and I want you to get to know me and to feel you can truly trust me to carry out the plans we make together.
Many of my closest friends started out as colleges. I suppose that makes sense—I am attracted to people with similar passions and goals. A few years ago I became close with a co-worker with whom I shared an interest in social justice and education. When she left the office to explore another love of hers, art, we remained close and stayed in touch. Recently, she gifted me a few of her paintings to hang in my office. I love them. They are a reminder of our friendship and of the beauty that comes from passion and effort.
I was so fortunate to have peaceful holidays shared with some of my closest friends, my chosen family.
For Thanksgiving a group of dear friends and my eight-year-old nephew Cole traveled with me out to Montauk where we spent the holiday cooking and giving thanks for all the blessings in our life. We curled up around the fire and watched videos and on Friday we hit the town for brunch and shopping.
I took Cole out for his birthday in New York City and we wore matching red sneakers and saw Stomp!
My good friends Todd and Hector have a tradition of bringing out Santa hats every year when we drop by their house in Brooklyn for a Christmas visit. This year was no exception, as you can see from the pictures.
I enjoyed a fun and peaceful start to the New Year reflecting on the gifts I have been given and my hopes for the future. I hope 2017 is a year of growth in which I can share my teaching and continue on my path toward becoming the best person, and the best parent, I can be.