Like a lot of couples these days, our story starts with a dating app. Michael saw Ashwin's profile first and immediately had a crush. He decided to play it cool with a casual "wink".
Luckily, Ashwin responded right away. We spent a few days chatting by text. When we got together for our first date, we felt an instant connection.
Fast-forward to our one-year anniversary. After a romantic dinner, we stopped for a nightcap at a historic restaurant. Unbeknownst to Ashwin, Michael was carrying an engagement ring in his pocket. Michael got down on one knee and proposed, and Ashwin said yes!
The COVID-19 pandemic made planning our wedding a little tricky. In the end, this helped us realize that we didn't care about a big ceremony - we just wanted to be married to each other. We had a beautiful "micro-wedding" in front of our closest friends.
As early as our 2nd or 3rd date, we started talking about how we both wanted children. We have a happy, full life together, but we are so excited to be dads. We are realistic that having kids will come with many surprises and challenges, but we are ready to take them on together!
We live in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in a diverse suburb. We bought this house because it offers an ideal layout for a young family - we have space for a nursery right next to our bedroom. Another of our favorite things about our house is the huge backyard. We've already picked out the ideal spot for a swing set.
Our street is quiet and very diverse. We like that a lot of our neighbors have young children (who will hopefully make good playmates one day). We are within walking distance from five local parks, and a short bike ride away from beautiful nature trails.
We share our house with an 11-year-old cat (Walter) and a 9-year-old dog (Nellie). They are both extremely snuggly. As you will see in our photos section, Walter is even open to snuggling a heat vent. When they've met kids before, they did a good job of being calm and gentle.
On the weekends, we love to visit our cabin in Wisconsin. Whether splashing around in a lake or playing in fresh snow, weekend trips “up north” would give our child a chance to spend time in nature.
From: Mumbai, India (moved to MN in 2014)
• Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering
• Doctorate in chemical engineering
• Research engineer
Ashwin's friends say he is:
• Very funny
• Intelligent and accomplished
• Confident and calm under pressure
• Close to his family
Ashwin’s top dad skills (according to Michael):
• "The fun one": Kids always think Ashwin is a ton of fun. When we're visiting our friends' kids, he quickly joins in on whatever game is underway - whether it's building a castle out of Magna-Tiles or making a fort out of couch cushions.
• "Best homework helper": Ashwin’s intelligence and work ethic allowed him to move to the U.S. and achieve his dreams. Whatever our child wants to pursue, I know Ashwin can help them achieve it! He is especially well qualified for science experiments in the kitchen and helping out with math homework.
• "Top chef": Ashwin is an amazing cook. Our child will get to eat healthy, delicious, home-cooked food every night of the week. I am sure all his/her friends will want to come over for dinner.
From: rural South Carolina (moved to MN in 2009)
• Bachelor's degree in English
• Master's degree in the study of law
• State government program manager
Michael's friends say he is:
• Warm and easy to talk to
• Passionate about public service
• Always busy with some kind of project
• Sponge for random facts, especially about nature
Michael’s top dad skills (according to Ashwin):
• "Best shoulder to cry on": Michael is one of the most caring and affectionate people I have ever known. He will do a great job comforting our child through any tough moment they face, whether it's a skinned knee or a teenage breakup.
• "Most likely to change a dirty diaper": Michael is just naturally very good with children. When we babysit for our friends' kids, he can always get them to cooperate with the less fun stuff (like brushing their teeth when it is time for bed). He has no fear of a dirty diaper!
• "Master planner": Michael is very organized and is also a great researcher / planner. I know he will not hesitate to put the hard work in to give our child a great life - from organizing an awesome birthday party to managing after-school activities.
Pictured: Uncle Michael with baby Kinsi