Virginia & Nour

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Last Activity: 21 days ago

About Us

photo of adoptive family's story

Our Story

Virginia and I met in the summer of 2012 through mutual friends in a bar and found ourselves talking to each other all night. That first conversation was so natural, like we had known each other for years. We both felt an instant connection. We started dating a few months later and began our journey toward parenthood in the spring of 2017. After six months of trying naturally, we began working with several fertility clinics, both here and in Spain. Over the last five years, we, although Virginia did all the physical work, went through several cycles of Invitro Fertilization, including three miscarriages, one of which went to 11 weeks. After the tears, the cursing, the frustration and the heartache, our love for each other remains strong and our resolve to be parents has never wavered.

For Virginia, adoption was something she always felt strongly about, even before meeting Nour. For Nour, although adoption was not something he really thought about before meeting Virginia, the bottom line is that he adores children. He dotes on his sister’s children, as well as on the children of his friends. His passion, like Virginia too, is to be a parent. We come from families with wonderfully supportive and warm parents, and strong bonds with our siblings, cousins, and extended families.

We want to give all that back to our future child, by bringing him/her into our family. Your baby will be exposed to multiple languages: Spanish from Virginia’s family from Spain, English from Nour’s family in the US, with a sprinkling of Hebrew (grandmother/aunt), Urdu (grandfather), Danish (uncle) and Russian (cousins) that come from Nour’s many relatives. Your baby will know homes all over the world: homes in New York, Madrid and the beautiful island of Lanzarote, Spain (an island off the coast of Morocco where Virginia grew up). The only thing we know for certain about how we intend to raise your child is that it will come from a place of love, warmth, understanding, support, and security.

Our Home

photo of adoptive family's home We live in a spacious two-bedroom apartment in New York that is overlooking the East River, Williamsburg bridge and skyline of southern Manhattan. Our home comes with lots of natural light, green plants, a wall covered in books and pictures of family throughout. We often host our friends and family for meals. Our favorite spot to gather is the kitchen where there is always great conversation, lots of laughs, and of course, amazing food! Our location is right next to a small park along the river, in a neighborhood with many young families, restaurants and parks for children to play. The school system is top-notch, and children of all ages receive a wonderful education which is important to us. Living in NYC, just a 5-minute subway or bus ride over the bridge, affords us access to incredible museums, stores, and activities that are in abundance in this great city. There is so much for families to do in our safe and family friendly neighborhood.

Virginia Barber Rioja

adoptive family photo - Virginia Barber Rioja About Virginia, by Nour

When I met Virginia, it wasn’t just her beauty that drew me in, but her incredible kindness and brilliance. She has so much passion for everything she does, whether in her profession as a psychologist and professor, or supporting her family as a caring daughter, sister, wife, and friend. She is a published author, both of her own book and contributing to several textbooks in her field. Virginia is an avid reader and lover of nature. She enjoys yoga, dancing and running in her spare time. She thrives in all settings, whether socializing with friends or recharging in the solitude of our home. Virginia loves to learn and loves to give and support those in her life and her work. She will be no different as a mother.

Nour Shaikh

adoptive family photo - Nour Shaikh About Nour, by Virginia

It is difficult to talk about Nour without sounding like I am exaggerating his positive attributes, but to me, he is just perfect. I have never met anyone so kind, caring, and generous. Nour is several years younger than me, but when we met, he felt more mature than me. One of these ways was his clear conviction that being a parent was a priority for him. I have now had the opportunity to see him interact with many children (his niece and nephew, his friends’ children). He just absolutely enjoys being around children, taking care of them, playing, reading, joking…his patience is immense, and children just love him. Nour is also a very loved son and brother. But one thing that always impresses me about him is also how good of a friend he is. While I might go for periods of time without connecting with some friends, he is always attentive to this, always checking in with them regularly. And as my partner and husband…what can I say. I was truly concerned that the ups and downs of our fertility journey would negatively impact our relationship, but it made it stronger. His love is unconditional. He supports me in all my decisions. He has been an incredible source of relief as I process the grief of my dad’s passing. On a lighter note, he is a great cook, a perfectly organized homemaker, and a hard worker truly cherished by his supervisors and co-workers. He loves sports, watching movies, and playing soccer. I feel incredibly lucky to be his wife and I cannot wait to see him as a father.

Thank You for Visiting Our Adoption Profile

We want to thank you for considering us as adoptive parents for your child.

We truly appreciate your kindness and strength and look forward to hearing from you.


Virginia & Nour

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Virginia & Nour