We met on the first day of graduate school—but it was another five years before we ran into each other again—literally—since we collided while jogging around the university campus! After reconnecting, we started running together and realized that we had much more in common than just our names. We both studied science and were excited to use our skills to help find cures to disease. We love adventure— whether exploring new cultures abroad, or through new recipes in the kitchen. At home, our favorite thing to do is spend afternoons on our porch and socialize with our family and friends over home-cooked meals and tasty desserts.
On our second official date, we talked about our dreams for the future and that having a family some day was important to us. Now, ten years later, we are prepared and excited to become first-time daddies together. We frequently babysit Phil’s young nieces in our home where we have had the pleasure to teach them how to play tennis, draw animals in pencil and bake cupcakes for their parents.
We both love the outdoors—running, biking, swimming, especially hiking in the Sierras. We are so excited to share with our child watching the first rays come over snowcapped peaks, hearing the forest birds chirp, smelling the blooming meadows in Spring, and bringing us all closer to nature. We can imagine playing a game of Frisbee with our child on the beach, splashing around in the ocean or exploring starfish in tide pools. We are thrilled to introduce our child to the wonders of nature and explore its boundless beauty as he or she grows up.
Ever since we bought our Spanish style home in 2015, we have been working to make it our own. We have spent many weekends swinging hammers, bolting beams and painting doors. Outside, Phil has made the back yard into a garden where we grow our own vegetables. Filip is an experienced beekeeper, and makes wildflower honey that we share with friends and family. We love to eat al fresco on our terrace. It has all come together, and now we have a cozy home and a mini-farm ready to make a nurturing environment for our child.
Redwood City is nestled between redwood forests and the shores of San Francisco Bay. There’s a Spanish immersion elementary school two blocks from our house, hand pushed ice-cream carts ringing the bells for kids, as well as occasional bouncy-castles for all the kids playing on our block. We are walking distance to the main city park and the public library. We both volunteer for an organization that plants and prunes trees in the city. It is a great chance to connect with neighbors and keep our city green. We feel lucky to be in such a wonderful place to raise our family.
ABOUT FILIP, by PHIL
I knew Filip was special the first moment I met him, and I still feel lucky every day that I get to spend my life with him. He has an enthusiasm for life that he shares with everyone around him. He is joyful, silly, kind and gentle. These qualities bring everyone closer to him, but especially children. His love of life and positive spirit make him a walking child-magnet. Filip is the person at a BBQ that has a troupe of toddlers trailing behind him within 15 minutes, excited to play ball and have fun.
Filip was born in Serbia (Eastern Europe) before he moved to Canada as a young teenager with his parents and older sister. After high school, Filip moved to New Jersey for college and then Stanford to study engineering. He now manages a team in a start-up company that develops scientific instruments to read DNA. While we visit his family often in Canada, his sister is very keen to fly down and offer her help as an auntie.
Filip has an amazing range of talents and he is good at pretty much everything he does! He is a gifted musician who plays violin and guitar. He is an accomplished triathlete who completed an IronMan competition. He is also an incredible artist whose paintings decorate our walls, and his stained glass window graces the entrance to our home. He speaks three languages fluently (English, Serbian, and Spanish). He is excited to share his creativity with our child, to nourish his or her gifts and interests.
ABOUT PHIL, by FILIP
What I love about Phil is that he is such a good listener and a communicator. As a middle child in his family he played the peacemaker growing up. He is one of those people who always know what to say to help a situation, whether it’s comforting a friend, encouraging a relative or diffusing a heated argument. His heart has an enormous capacity to feel for others, and I am very thankful to have such an understanding and thoughtful partner.
Phil grew up in a large Portuguese family in Massachusetts with an older brother, a younger sister, and a whole lot of cousins. It’s one of those multi-generational households where old-world tradition meets American life; grandparents play cards while children run around playing football. His family has warmly welcomed me into their fold.
After graduating from Stanford University, Phil became an accomplished biologist. He has worked on developing treatments for heart disease and formulating new drug therapies to cure breast cancer. He is now a chief scientist working on a new lung cancer therapy. At home, Phil tends to tomatoes, beans, herbs, figs and oranges in our home garden. He has supernatural abilities in the kitchen, honed by years of cooking with his Portuguese mother and grandmother, and looks forward to teaching our child these skills as a way of bringing our family together at the dinner table while honoring our traditions and history.