To Someone Special,
Hi there, my name is Donagh (pronounced Dunnock). I really appreciate you taking the time to read my letter!
I am originally from Ireland. I was born in Dublin (which is the capital and largest city in Ireland), and grew up there. I lived there until I finished law school when I was 21. Since then, I have lived in a few different countries, and have been in the United States for the last 9 years. I became a US citizen 2 years ago, as well as retaining my Irish passport, so my family and I will be free to live and work both in America and all over Europe!
I spent my 20s and 30s focused on my career, but now I want to start a family of my own. I am absolutely ready to raise my own family. My sister, Sharon, adopted her daughter Estelle, in 2005 (from Philadelphia, PA); and my younger brother Conor has 2 kids of his own. I think there’s a saying that once the first child in a new generation comes, the others quickly follow, and I am no exception! I have so much fun with my nephews and nieces, and I have seen the joy they bring to my siblings and parents (who revel in their role as grandparents). I believe I have a great deal of love and energy to give a child of my own, and am excited about the prospect! I am single, but I have a wide support system of friends and family, both here in NYC, and further afield.
Overall, I would say I am a kind, empathetic, centered and intelligent person. I am loving and focused on the needs of others. I am also fun-loving, and believe life should be enjoyed to the fullest! It doesn’t necessarily have to be about material things… the best times I have had in my life have simply involved spending time with my friends and family, just sharing experiences, which typically involve a lot of laughter. I have also been extremely curious about the world, and open to experiences and cultures. I would say my friends come to me when they need advice, or to discuss something that is on their mind. I am a trusted friend, and seen as a source of kindness and strength. I have also been fortunate in my career, and am financially well-established.
I live in a large apartment in New York City, on the east side of Manhattan, with my dog Henry. Henry is sleeping on my feet as I write this! I adopted him from a rescue shelter on my first Christmas in New York, and he has been with me ever since! We go to the park every day, and it would be great to bring baby with us too, to enjoy the fun.
The neighborhood is called StuyTown, and it is a little oasis in the city. It is very quiet, with lots of trees. There are a huge number of families here, and there are 15 different playgrounds, right here in the complex. There are a bunch of kids’ activities organized throughout the year, including trick or treating, art classes and lots of play dates.
I have a lot of hobbies. I go to yoga twice a week… I am terrible at it! but it is helping me to become a bit more physically flexible. It is important to me to stay physically fit, so I do that through going to the gym, biking and hiking, usually with a few friends. Unusually for an NYC resident, I cook my own dinner 4-5 nights a week, and I love to cook for friends. I love Indian food, and cook that regularly… my friends all appreciate the curries I make. I also like baking, and usually make a cake or two most weekends. I go to a museum or do other cultural things at least twice a week, and am a member of the Whitney, MoMA and Metropolitan museums… so I go to each of those regularly. I have a wide circle of friends, all over the world, many of whom have been friends for 20 years or more… we all see each other regularly, and although it may be a year since we last physically met, it is like no time has passed when we meet up again! We pick up exactly where we left off.
I am a big traveler… it is one of my biggest passions. I have been to 107 countries, and have lived in 6. I speak English, Irish, French, Spanish and some German, and I love learning all about different cultures… primarily through food and music. My favorite countries are Spain, Greece and Italy; and I try to visit one of these once a year (usually in combination with one of my trips home to Ireland to see my family). My most memorable vacations further afield have been to Ecuador, Tanzania and Tonga - primarily because of the amazing wildlife and natural environments in these countries.
I am excited to bring baby on all of these trips, and visiting both familiar and new places together, and over time, rediscovering places and learning new experiences through my child’s eyes.
My family all still live in Ireland… my mom and dad live in the same house I grew up in, just outside Dublin. My siblings live within 7 miles. I go to Ireland 3-4 times a year to see them all. They are all extremely excited about the prospect of me becoming a father! My sister, Sharon, and her daughter, Estelle, live right in the center of Dublin city, across the road from St Stephen’s Green, which is a beautiful park. My younger brother Conor, lives on a giant farm, just outside Lucan (the town where my parents live), which is 7 miles outside Dublin. He lives there with his partner Magda (who is from Poland, originally), and their children Etain and Cillian. The farm has several horses, and is very peaceful, surrounded by forests and a river. I am godfather to both Estelle and Cillian. My older brother Patrick lives in a village called Celbridge, around 5 miles from Lucan. He suffered accidental brain damage when he was born, so he requires specialist care, and lives in a facility where he can receive the care he needs. Spending time with Patrick is very important to me, and I have a very strong bond with him (and the rest of my family). I also have a large group of friends in Dublin.
My career has transitioned over the years. Originally, I worked as an attorney, but I didn’t really love it, and I felt stifled, as law is not the most creative of professions. So I transitioned into business roles, focused on music and video. I had a very successful career with this, having global management positions with Google/YouTube, SoundCloud and other large businesses. Google brought me to the US to run their worldwide television business, which is how I ended up living in America. The US government granted me a green card, as an immigrant with extraordinary abilities in the field of business, and after 5 years, I became a citizen. Now, I work for myself, and partner with companies on projects where I can lend expertise. This means my schedule is very flexible, and I can devote as much time and energy as I need to my family. I believe this is absolutely essential, especially in the early days.
I can’t wait to go out and about with my baby, and show them my life in New York. I am realistic about the early days, which I imagine will revolve around us both bonding, sleeping and eating, and going out for strolls around the neighborhood. As soon as baby is ready, we can explore further and further. My gym has a pool, with dedicated baby swim sessions, as well as a bunch of classes and activities, so we plan on being regular attendees. My philosophy very much is that baby and I do stuff together, so I plan on trips to the local shops and supermarket together; visits to the dog park with Henry and his friends; going to the farmers’ market in Union Square to buy groceries, and visiting lots of museums together. I also am planning lots of new recipes to try out! There is a kids’ club right here in StuyTown, and a variety of pre-kindergarten options, so as baby grows, there will be plenty of social activities too for him or her to develop, and make friends of their own.
I believe in open adoption. Openness is important to me as - like everything, with this adoption - my child’s needs are what matter the most. I therefore believe it’s important for the child to understand his or her complete life story, and have a sense of connection to where they came from.
I can’t say I know exactly what you are experiencing, but I can truly empathize with any anxiety you may be feeling, as you consider adoption for your baby. I can only tell you that, were I lucky enough to adopt your child, I would absolutely treasure him or her, and devote myself to giving them the happiest, healthiest life I can. Hopefully, this book will give you some sense of who I am, and I hope we can learn a lot more about each other!
Thank you so much again for taking the time to read about me. I hope this book gives you an introduction to me, and a sense of who I am. I am excited about learning more about you, and the journey ahead!