We’ve Happily Been Together for 12 Years
We met in 2011 when we were both in Chicago - Michael was finishing his undergraduate theater major and Johnny was starting his graduate degree in directing theater at the same school. The lockers that we were assigned were right next to each other! Johnny cast Michael in a play he was directing, The Normal Heart, and within a few weeks, we were spending all of our time together. We compared recipes, argued about music, went to see plays and movies, and started reading the same books. By the time the play closed, we had already become best friends, and pretty quickly our relationship shifted from friends to boyfriends. When Johnny finished graduate school in 2013, we moved to New York City, where Johnny had lived from 2000-2010. In 2016, after dating for five years, we got married in August (on the hottest day of the year!) just a few blocks from our home in Brooklyn. The ceremony started at 6pm and the party didn’t end until 2am!
Our family also includes a rescue dog named Piper. She is a chihuahua-terrier mix and was rescued from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. She’s a sweet dog who loves all children. Taking Piper hiking is one of our favorite things to do in the summer, and we’re looking forward to doing that soon with a baby on one of our backs and a diaper bag on the other!
We Both Love Kids
A few years ago, we talked seriously about whether we were ready to start the family that we always dreamed of. We both always wanted children, and we really examined what our lives would be like if we made our dream come true. We knew it would be the biggest commitment of both of our lives, and the more we talked about it, the more we realized how excited we were about starting our family now and making a child the center of our world.
We are both passionate people who care deeply about the world around us. We talk for hours about music, books, food, travel, art, psychology, and so many other things. What we realized when we decided to adopt is that we want to share these passions with a young person and help them grow to love these things - and new things! - as much as we do.
Over the past year, whenever we ride a roller coaster, or put on a great album, or cook a meal, or go on a pretty drive, or watch a Disney movie (we watch a lot of Disney movies), we think about what it will be like to do these things with a child and how special it will be to get to share these things we love so much with a little person.
Family is Very Important to Both of Us
We’re very lucky to both come from supportive families who encouraged us to go after our dreams. Although our lives have been filled with challenges, what we know for sure is that we can tackle any challenge together. When we got married, we both spoke in our vows about how when you get married, “I becomes we.” We live our lives as a unit, and we can’t wait to bring our child into that unit.
We plan on raising our child with unlimited love, support, and care. We both know that once our baby comes home, our entire lives will shift, and every minute of every day will include nurturing our child’s well-being. We hope to raise a child that is curious, independent, and ethical. We will lead by setting a good example and we will prioritize taking care of others and teaching our child to take care of him or herself. We know that a child needs both freedom to explore the world and structure to guide them, and we are ready to provide both.
We can’t wait to introduce our child to the things we love most. Johnny loves Disney World, amusement parks, and roller coasters, and can’t wait for the first time he gets to walk into EPCOT with his son or daughter. Michael is the biggest Harry Potter fan on earth and has a plan to give our child the next volume in the series every year on their birthday. But we also know our child will want to explore new things and find their own path. We plan to expose our child to as many different activities as possible so that he or she can discover their own interests and talents. Should our child show an interest or talent that we are not familiar with, we will educate ourselves and encourage him or her. We’re excited to try new things along with our kid. Close to us in Brooklyn there are places for rock climbing, fencing, kayaking, archery, ballet, and so many other activities. Even though none of these are interests we’ve pursued up to this point, we’re excited to let our child choose their own path and support them.
We Are So Ready to Become Fathers Together
We both have established careers so that we can be completely involved dads. Johnny is a College Professor of Theater and Michael is a psychologist with a PhD. We both have very flexible hours.
Michael works as a psychologist providing therapy to veterans. Helping those who have served our country is one of the most meaningful parts of Michael’s life and something he feels honored to do every day.
Johnny’s job allows the family lots of opportunities to travel to conferences and events, which is great, because travel is one of our favorite things to do as a couple and is something we are so excited to share with our child. Johnny’s job has been teaching for almost 20 years, and he is excited for all he will get to teach his child!
Johnny teaches theater, so the arts are a very big part of our lives. One of our favorite activities is to go to the theater - we do this as much as we can! We can’t wait to take our child to their first Broadway musical! We also love going to museums and galleries and we’re huge bookworms. A lot of our nights end up with us both lying on the couch reading books with Piper curled up between us. Sharing a love of reading with a child is one of the things we are most excited to do as parents.
Our home is in a family friendly neighborhood in Brooklyn. There are families with young children and strollers wherever you go. We have lived in the same neighborhood for 9 years. Our neighborhood is a diverse, family-oriented place, filled with many different kinds of families and people. We have close friends with kids throughout Brooklyn. Our favorite thing to do in our neighborhood is spend time in a large, gorgeous park, which is just a few blocks away. Taking our dog and a picnic to the park in the spring fills much of our time. We join up with friends and sit in the sun, sharing snacks and playing games. A lot of the friends we hang out with have kids of their own, and we are so excited to bring a baby along to this outing. Near the park is a farmer's market, so when we’re done at the park, we go to pick out whatever fruits and vegetables look the tastiest to us, keep Piper from eating all the crumbs on the ground, and spend the walk home planning out what meal we’re going to cook that night for dinner. We also have a place outside of the city, where Johnny teaches a few days a week during part of the year.
Another thing that’s important to know about us as a family is that we love the beach! Johnny’s parents live next to the beach in Massachusetts and taking our dog on beach walks is one of our favorite things to do at any time of the year. We usually spend a week by the beach somewhere during the summer. When we’re in Massachusetts, we love to spend time on the beach with our nephews. They love inflatable water toys, and we’ve spent lots of time in the ocean with them on inner tubes and floaties. We can’t wait to teach our child how to swim!
Our Nephews are So Important to Us
Ever since we became a couple, we both take lots of pride in being uncles to Johnny and Luca. We love taking them to amusement parks, the beach, and arcades whenever we can. They were the ring-bearers at our wedding and led the audience in cheering for us when we said “I do.” They can’t wait for us to become parents so that they can teach our child activities they love!
In Brooklyn, we are surrounded by friends with kids! Abraham, Auggie, Henry, Henrik, Leia, Luella, Jarvis - these are just a few of the infants, toddlers, and young kids we spend lots of time with. In Seattle, Michael’s two best friends have newly born boys (Patrick and Simon) and we are looking forward to some day going on chosen-family Disney World vacations with them!
Christmas is family time.
Johnny’s side of our family has only one rule: on Christmas Eve, everyone gets together. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins - everyone gathers in the same town in Massachusetts where Johnny’s side of our family has celebrated Christmas for over 100 years. We eat a gigantic meal of lobster tails (because we’re from the coast of Massachusetts) and prime rib, track Santa’s journey online, watch a fire crackle, and wait as long as we can before we finally exchange gifts – usually hours after the meal began! The youngest child gets to hand out all the gifts under the Christmas tree, and our dream is to soon be the parents of that youngest child!
Back at home in Brooklyn, we always have our own Christmas tree in the house. We buy it the weekend after Thanksgiving and spend a cozy night inside decorating the tree with ornaments that we’ve collected from the places that we’ve traveled to, along with some ornaments from our childhood. Michael’s favorite one is an ornament that Johnny made when he was in the first grade, (he always makes sure to put it front and center on the tree). Michael always wants to get an eight-foot-tall tree; Johnny usually puts a six-foot limit on it. While we always love being invited to friends’ houses to decorate their trees, for us, tree-trimming has always been just about us. It’s a night we get to be just the two of us, completing a tradition that’s important to us. We listen to Bob Dylan’s Christmas album and usually bake cookies. We can’t wait to add a child to this so it can be just the three of us, and ultimately do more cookie baking to leave them out for Santa.
Another holiday that is a lot fun for us is Halloween. We always get dressed up and gather with our friends to be silly and celebrate the end of fall. Johnny has been celebrating Halloween with his best friend Christina’s for over 20 years - they met freshman year of college and have been best friends ever since. She even spoke at our wedding! Now Johnny and Michael always do a couple’s costume. Usually we come up with a few different costume ideas and have a fun night at home trying on different outfits and FaceTiming our friends to help us decide what the final costume will be. Sharing Halloween with our child is something we are looking forward to, and we already have some costume ideas for our first year, like a bee and beekeepers or pirates and a parrot.
One other holiday tradition we have is to celebrate our extended friends and family circle with dinner parties. We love having eight or ten people and their children over and cooking all day for them, and we usually celebrate our birthdays, anniversary, and other holidays with a dinner party. Michael’s signature dish usually involves his homemade bread; he makes focaccia, sourdough, pizza dough, as well as all other kinds of yummy baked treats. When Johnny cooks, it usually involves hours spent over a crock pot making soups and stews, just like his grandmother did when he was a kid. Teaching our child how to bake, cook, and appreciate a healthy diet (with lots of room for dessert!) is something that will be very important to us.
Life Before Johnny and Michael became ‘Johnny and Michael’
Johnny grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on the North Shore of Massachusetts. He was raised by his Mom (Rose Marie) and Dad (Michael) and a very big extended family - most of whom were teachers. It’s no surprise to anyone that Johnny grew up to be a college professor - teaching, learning, and books have always been his life. He grew up either with his nose in a book or swimming in the ocean where his family spent every summer. Going to church was also very important to Johnny’s family when he was a kid; his family has been going to the same parish for over a century. His immediate family is small; his extended family is big and getting bigger!
Michael was born all the way on the other side of the country and he grew up in Seattle, Washington. His Mom (Kathy) and Dad (Louis) were both in medicine and raised him with a strong commitment to taking care of others. His childhood was defined by lots and lots of travel - before college, he’d traveled to five continents with his parents and older sister (Briana). His family shares a love of cooking food from all the places they’ve visited. Michael has cousins throughout the country, as well as a big community of friends and family in Seattle, Chicago and New York. Growing up, Michael acted in theater, played the clarinet, and was reading books nonstop. A lot of the friends that he made in middle school and high school are still some of the closest people in his life!
Thanks for Reading!
We hope that reading this all has given you a sense about who we are, the things that are important to us, and the values that guide us as we wait to become parents. We would love to get to talk to you and learn more about what you are hoping for in your life and the life of your child. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text/call us at 347.441.0489.
If you have any questions about us or the legal process you may feel free to call our attorney, Suzanne Nichols. Suzanne is easy to speak with and happy to take your call. You may contact her at her tollfree number:347.630.8052.
No matter what decision you make, we are sending thoughts and wishes for a meaningful, loving life for you and your family.
Michael and Johnny
Please check back soon for updates.