We met 10 years ago on a cold winter day in New York City. We had some friends in common through Michael's college and saw pictures of each other but have never met in person. Prior to our meeting we spoke on the phone for 24 hours straight! We spoke about our childhoods, hopes and dreams, our careers, family, friends and things we found funny. There was a lot of laughing! Nicole was home sick with a cold and Michael had a day off. All Nicole could talk about was a homemade chicken soup that her father Murray would give her as a child when she was sick. She reminisced about that soup throughout the conversation. Fast-forward a few days later to that cold night in January when we met in person. Mike was standing outside with a vat of homemade chicken soup with a red bow on top- he spent the whole day making it! At that moment Nicole knew this was a caring, hard working guy and also an excellent listener and cook! We went out for dessert and coffee and continued another long never-ending conversation that lasted for hours. There was a moment on that date that stuck out to Michael about Nicole’s character. As we said earlier we talked so long that the cafe was closing. We were one of two tables that were lingering and there was a little girl a few tables away sitting by herself playing. We came to realize that she was the child of someone who worked in the kitchen. Nicole invited her over (with her parents permission) and she sat down and drew a picture with her. Mike couldn't help but notice how much attention Nicole was showing to this girl's art, how she commented on the most specific details to highlight the child's strengths, and how the child beamed with pride and was gravitated to Nicole. Well, this was a first on a first date for both Nicole and Michael: Soup and a child to do art with! But when the night was over they both knew that that was the start of something special. Throughout that time we have continued to love, nurture and support one another in similar ways. Mike is a successful chef - showing his love through the art of creating healthy and nutritious food, Nicole is the most caring child therapist- helping children and families for the last two decades around challenges in their worlds.
We have now been together for a decade and married for 8 years. 8 years ago in March, we officially merged our families together. We had everyone we loved in one room. Our families and friends from the local and far flew in. We got married in a country club in Nicole’s hometown. The flowers were white and orange (Nicole's favorite color), Mike's mom crocheted gifts for everyone. It was the most incredible night with a ten piece band playing and all of our friends and family gathered together dancing the night away. We are lucky enough to have a home in the city as well as a summer home at the beach a couple of hours away. Both of our homes are in ideal communities to raise children in safe, family oriented and amazing school options as well as exposure to culture, the arts and some of nature's greatest beauty at the beach. We both work hard at our jobs as a child therapist and chef but we also enjoy and embrace our down time together. When we are not working you can usually find us completing projects around the house, taking road trips to the mountains or to our beach, going for dinner with friends and family or hosting a game night at our house- we look forward to sharing some of these activities with your child.Michael’s brother Kenny lives a few blocks away from us. So we spend a bunch of time with his daughters. They are our godchildren and we enjoy them so much. They love having sleepovers with us- usually a sleepover includes making taco night together, doing an arts and crafts project (we have made slime, collages, paintings and ceramics) and usually ends with a movie night. One of them plays competitive soccer so we go on Sunday afternoons when we can. We go for picnics in the park, movies, the library, for manicures and to museums around our city -they have come to school with Nicole. They can't wait for Uncle Mike and Aunt Nicole to have a new baby cousin and we can't wait to enjoy activities like these with your child. We have a gray cat named Earl who has lived with us since we brought him home 5 years ago. He has his own wardrobe and a room full of toys. He is truly part of our family. On Nicole’s side of the family we also have 6 more nieces and nephews who affectionately call us Aunt Nicky and Uncle Mikey. We see those nieces and nephews often as we have a family tradition to throw “ "Cousins parties” a couple of times a year. A different family member hosts a party where all the cousins and siblings get together- some examples of cousins parties in the past were holiday, pool, paint and cooking parties.It's a tradition we all look forward to where everyone is invited. Including all the family dogs! Similar to our nieces and nephews, we plan to expose your child to many different things but encourage them to pursue any hobbies and interest’s that he/ she has. Summer is for sure our favorite time of the year. We recently purchased a home in a small beach town. We have a pool in the backyard and the beautiful beach down the street. Nicole is off all summer long so she lives in our beach home for over two months and Michael takes his vacation time then as well. Mike’s brother’s kids come to stay for a week.Our favorite summer memory is spending time with them at the beach- collecting shells, jumping in the waves and building sand castles. They love practicing soccer in the backyard and having private cooking classes with their uncle Chef Mike. The rest of the summer the house is always full. Family and friends are always invited. Kids jumping on rafts in the pool, playing marco-polo, having swimming races and chicken fights, bbq-ing fresh fish that was caught locally or food from the farm. We go to the beach daily watching sunrises, swim and watching the sunset. It feels like a revolving door and a two-month period of pure joy with ocean breezes and so much love and we look forward to this time all year long. We also enjoy taking vacations as a family. Usually we visit the Caribbean at least 2 times a year. We love the Caribbean for its beautiful aqua oceans and laid-back feel. In addition to the Caribbean, Nicole’s parents have a second home on the beach in Florida so we are lucky enough to get to go there as well. Our Aunt Marie and Uncle Eric also live nearby to Nicole’s parents home. So together with their kids we enjoy boat rides, beach visits, card playing and family time. We believe that time in the sun spent with people you love is such an important part of self care and does good for the soul. Two holidays that are our favorites are thanksgiving and Christmas. Mike’s Aunt Nancy and Uncle Warren host a HUGE thanksgiving at their home. Every part of everyone's family is invited- cousins, sisters, in laws you name it! The ages of people in attendance are babies as small as a few months old to Great Grandpa Paul in his 90’s! There is food to feed an army always written on a menu that looks more like a typed book and memories that won't be forgotten. Nicole's favorite is Mike's grandmother's recipe for stuffing! Everyone goes around the table(s) and says something they are thankful for- it's the cutest to hear from our nieces and nephews who usually are thankful for a new toy they just got. In addition to our family’s Thanksgiving feast, we look forward to taking our child to the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC. This was a tradition for Michael’s family growing up. Being able to see the giant cartoon floats through the lens of an innocent child is one of the most magical experiences. Mike remembers the characters feeling like they came to life. The energy of the other New Yorkers watching made this a long lasting memory for him and he wants to pass this along to your child.Christmas is spent with Nicole's family-Christmas Eve is always made by our brother-in-law Louis who Italian and he makes it a night of the feast of the 7 fishes. We start off with all the kids opening gifts at the tree. Usually there are 30 of us - Paper everywhere and hugs all around. We then sit down for a 3-hour meal with seafood salad; homemade pastas he even makes fried shrimp in the garage and Nicole's favorite Great Grandma Rose’s marinated mushrooms! During the holiday season we go to see the giant tree in the city. NY is decorated like a fairy tale in the winter and it is so much fun to go ice-skating and drink hot cocoa on a cold winter's day. After viewing all of the decorations in the store windows. It is a real winter wonderland experience and watching kids take this in with a gleam in their eyes really makes you feel like dreams can come true.
Since we met we knew we wanted to become parents. After many heartbreaking losses we found out we are unable to have a child naturally, but this challenge has not diminished our desire to start a family. We have so much love to give and want to make our family complete. We feel it is a privilege and a gift from god to be able to raise a child. We believe that we will give our all to being parents and our child life and home full of happiness and love. We welcome the opportunity to parent and give our child support, encouragement, the gift of education, culture, travel and instill our values. There is nothing that we both value more than family. We have had many wonderful experiences in life both individually and as a couple. We have worked for many years and feel we are mature and responsible both emotionally and financially. There is nothing we want more than to open up our world to a child and we are excited about this new phase in our journey together. We hope that in reading this and looking at the special times we have shared gives you a greater sense of who we are. We know that if we are fortunate to adopt, we will love your baby unconditionally. It is our intention to express to you that our marriage is based on trust, love, support, encouragement and honesty. Our family will grow with those same values.We are honored that you have considered us as adoptive parents. We would really like to meet you. We want to hear more about who you are and your hopes and dreams for your child. We are available and ready to talk.
We are lucky enough to have a home in the city as well as a summer home at the beach a couple of hours away. Both of our homes are in ideal communities to raise children in safe, family oriented and amazing school options as well as exposure to culture, the arts and some of nature's greatest beauty at the beach.
Nicole’s thoughts on Mike: Michael, Mike, Mikey - He forever lives his life with integrity and humility. He does the right thing when nobody's watching. He never shows off, thinks or acts like he is better than anyone and shows everyone he meets the utmost respect. He is authentic- what you see is what you get, generous and fiercely loyal. He is quiet yet always listening which is evidenced by him always remembering the details. He is strong and tough but also soft and loving. He is committed and does everything with his 100 percent- he doesn't cut corners and make sure he always does things the best they can be done whether it's painting a deck, building a 1000 piece puzzle or cooking a meal. To me he is brilliant; graduated top of his class in high school and college always reading and learning and teaching me things I never knew he becomes the expert on anything we are embarking on and is diligent and responsible. He is a creative and talented chef who had the courage to leave a high paying corporate job to follow his dreams. He worked for countless hours in the top restaurants only to be able to do what he does now. He does his work with pride and dedication. He is an athlete that has ridden in bike marathons, played college soccer and won weightlifting competitions. Speaking of soccer, he is so passionate he has gone to 4 world cups all around the world! He surprises me when I least expect it: with a treasure hunt in the house, a special dinner or tickets to my favorite childhood Broadway show- Annie! He drops everything for me and for our family because that is what is important to him. We have gone through some really heartbreaking times together when we first tried to build our family but Michael was there holding my hand the whole way. Our wedding song was “ True Companion” by Marc Cohn and to me Michael is just that.
Mike thoughts on Nicole: Nicole and I met and it was very quickly that I knew this was the woman I was going to marry. Her warm disposition and huge smile really lights up rooms- she is sunshine. She is kind, caring, nurturing, inquisitive, funny, smart and creative. She is also silly which is evidenced by the many selfies she takes with funny faces! She is passionate about her work as a child therapist and a strong believer of social justice. Everyone who has met Nicole automatically is drawn to her- She has this incredible energy and I am in awe of her natural ability to connect with others. Nicole has friends that have spanned decades. Nicole is a born caregiver. She has a master’s degree in working with children; she has dedicated all her time and energy to helping others. I see the relationships she has formed with our many nieces and her students at school. Nicole deserves to be a Mother-she has shown so much strength and perseverance throughout our journey to become parents. Nicole does not give up. Ever. I know she will fight for our future child to have all their needs and wants met. She is determined, passionate and dedicated. She is one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met.