Amanda & Andy
We want to thank you for taking the time to read about us. When thinking about our family please always know and remember that we respect you as a person. Respect to us means taking other people’s feelings, choices, and thoughts into consideration. We have been together for 18 years and we built our relationship on the principle of respect. Now, we extend that to you.
We really do sympathize with your position. While we do not know your story or your reasons (those are yours to tell), I, Amanda, am a woman first. I was raised by a single mom who had to stay in a physically and emotionally abusive situation until I was in second grade – that is when she had enough money to leave my dad. So we are serious when we say we respect others, especially women, and all we go through.
While you are reading through our book, we know you have a huge decision in front of you. Making decisions is difficult, layer on the stress, and things can get even more complicated. We hope that as you get to know us through these pages, you will find some peace in all that you are going through. We also hope you get to laugh a little when you read this as we try not to take ourselves too seriously.
Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts. No matter what you decide, we want you to go with your heart. Do what feels good for YOU. We hope that will be the first part of getting to know us.
With love and gratitude,
Amanda & Andy
The Random Part
We are not going to lie… the steps in the adoption process can feel awkward and tough at times, but for us, the choice feels right. The truth is, we probably talked with every agency in the state of New York over the past two years, and in the end, Hudson Hearts felt like the adoption agency most like us. They have been there for us through every step of the process and even gave us advice on how to put our book together. But there is one part of what we want to share with you that doesn’t really fit and so we have been calling this our random part. But in our opinion, the random part should be read first because this really explains all of it. In a way, our adoption story starts here.
I, Amanda, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 5. I am so lucky that there are medications that keep this under control for me. In fact, the doctors call it a hidden disability because thanks to medicine, I don’t have symptoms.
When I was 14 years old, my doctor told me that because of the medications, it will not be a typical road to pregnancy. I guess not totally surprising, at the time, I didn’t pay much attention to what he was saying. If it didn’t have to do with the next day at school, it didn’t really matter much to me. Especially the topic of family planning! But I did remember what the doctor said when I met Andy…
Andy and I met in college. We fell in love quickly and hard. I think we both knew we were the one for each other pretty early on. One morning, we were laying around just fantasizing about spending the rest of our lives together – where we would live, what our dream house looked like, how many kids we wanted, etc. It did not take long for the memory of that doctor’s appointment to kick in. I was 20 at the time and all I really knew was that it would not be safe for me to get pregnant. I also knew that I had to tell Andy. My toes were curled so tight with nerves and then I just blurted it out and told Andy that I would not be able to have biological children.
Without a moment of hesitation, Andy said, “I’m cool with that. Adoption is a great plan. We will figure it out when the time comes. All I want is for my babies to have you as their mom. You love so hard, you will be the best mother one day.”. The truth is, I have loved him, even more, every moment since and that was back in 2005!
So as you can see, adoption has always been on our minds and part of our path. To us, it just feels like the most natural way for us to build our family and we are honored that you are taking the time to read our story.
Our Adoption Story
So now you know what brought us here, to you. To sum it up, the medications that keep Amanda safe are not safe for an unborn baby. We are so grateful that your body can be a safe place and although we don’t know your situation or the circumstances that have brought you here, we imagine that you are not feeling ready to parent your baby. We have been thinking about this a lot and it really feels like a yin-yang situation. We are looking for the yin to our yang and we think you are looking for the same as you try to find the right family for your baby.
We know that the decision you are making is not an easy one. We cannot imagine what you must be going through. Please know that we will always be honest with you and with ourselves. We want nothing more than for you to get a clear picture of the kind of parents we will be and the kind of family we dream of having one day.
We believe that as parents, we have an obligation to raise a child who loves themselves, laughs every day, feels safe in their own home, and who is one day confident to make decisions for themselves. We want your baby to thrive in this world. We want your baby to always feel safe, loved and respected. We will teach them to love themselves and to feel confident in all they do. And we want them to always be around laughter (I especially enjoy pranking Andy!).
Our Promise to YOU
As your baby grows into a child, a teenager, and then an adult, we will always be there to support them, no matter what curveballs life throws their way. Your child will grow up being respected for who they are and will always be loved unconditionally.
We have been dreaming of becoming parents for so long. Your baby will always be our #1 priority. We will love and care for your baby as they grow up and will honor and respect them. We will also be their head cheerleaders, rooting for them in all they do.
We are so honored that you would even take the time to open our book and get to know us through these pages. We have thought a lot about the kind of parents we plan to be (everything from showing mutual respect to being consistent with schedules!) and we have never been more ready to welcome a baby into our lives.
Who are we? How do we spend our time? Simple answer: you can find us in our Subaru driving on an adventure toward the trees! We met at college in 2005, moved in together in 2009, and were married in 2014 so we have been lucky enough to explore life’s silly curiosities and passions together. On a typical Saturday morning, we will jump in the car (always with our dog, Arthur) and listen to a podcast during the drive. We mostly listen to comedians – laughter to start the car ride is part of our formula. Then we find a small town nearby so we can take Arthur for a walk in nature.
We usually end up in Connecticut, the suburbs of New Jersey, or the Hudson Valley. Basically, anywhere within a 2-hour radius of where we live. We also love shopping at vintage stores (well Amanda does!), finding a barn with snacks for sale and animals to pet, and then lunch at a diner. Andy’s favorite thing in the world to do is eat at a classic diner! I always joke that he invented “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” well before it was a show!
This is genuinely who we are. Amanda will have to stop to pee about 100 times, so our little road trips can end up taking a while! I guess you could say we are day trippers. If friends call us, they will start the call with, “Let me guess you’re in the car?”. We cannot wait to take your child along for the ride and the beautiful nature walks. We believe there is so much enjoyment in life when you just get in the car and go explore somewhere else with the people you love.
If we aren’t in the car, we spend the weekends close to home, in Brooklyn, at one of the parks on a local adventure – sometimes on the hunt for the best pizza, and other times just to go for a long walk. We also love taking Arthur to Prospect Park – early in the morning, dogs can be off leash and it is literally like a dog party. Arthur loves it!
written with love by Andy
Amanda can change the energy in a room the second she walks in. She can form an instant (and totally genuine) connection with just about anybody. She will always make you feel heard and loved and like there is nobody more important than you at that moment. Amanda is the most special person, and it is why I fell in love with her.
Amanda thinks with her heart, period. It is part of what makes us such a good team because the truth is, I tend to spend too much time thinking things through when Amanda’s gut reaction was right all along.
She laughs constantly and cries happy tears nearly as often. It doesn’t take much – it can simply be a commercial that has a puppy in it or seeing an elderly couple at a coffee shop together. If you know Amanda, then you really KNOW Amanda. She does not hold back, is never fake, and never feels the need to impress anyone. I truly admire that and am a bit envious if I am being honest. Her hugs are life-changing, her voice carries for miles, her smile is visible from space and her jokes are unbelievably corny.
All of this is stuffed into a petite, curly blonde-haired package which is perfect because it makes her easy to hug and squeeze which I want to do often. I should also point out that she is not the best cook, cannot carry a tune, and dare I say does not have great taste in music (though I realize this is completely a personal opinion!), LOL. But all of these qualities really make Amanda the most amazing human and she will no doubt be what shapes and holds our future family together for the rest of our lives.
Amanda is also incredibly strong (maybe not physically as I am often scolded for closing jars too tight) but she doesn’t really know that about herself. Amanda has gone through a lot in her life – her father was not present, and she and her younger sister were raised by a single mother who worked two jobs. She has also had to deal with being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 5 and adjust to life on medication starting at that age. She put herself through graduate school and always made it a priority to have a career and make sure that we will be able to support our family with the best life we can.
Amanda has a master’s degree, in both education and special education in early childhood. She taught in inclusive and self-contained classrooms in NYC public schools for 5 years. Amanda’s experience both professionally and personally with disabilities is a gift to us. She has the most real insight as to what a child needs.
I hope you can see why it was so easy for me to fall in love with Amanda and why I chose to spend the rest of my life with her. I know she will live every day, committed to being the best mom for your baby.
written with love by Amanda
Andy is my rock. I mean, he doesn’t look like The Rock, but he is just as strong in my opinion. He is a 6’1″, chill dude that is so intelligent, very humble, and has a great sense of humor. He sells cutting-edge technology for a living, and you would have no idea he deals with the executives of massive companies because he never seems stressed. You will never meet anyone else like him. He is hilarious, rational, and logical but with artistic curiosities. He loves music and comedy and was listening to podcasts before anyone even knew what they were. He also makes everyone around him feel good. We have been together for 18 years and I have yet to come across someone who he has wronged. He sees the forest for the trees. He is also an excellent cook whether it is a basic lasagna or international dishes, he makes the best food! In fact, the night we wrote this, he made Vietnamese sandwich buns!
He is also by nature a protector. He always looks out for those he loves and cares about and is the first to stand up to do the right thing. He doesn’t shy away from a project either. If he doesn’t know how to do something, he will take the time and learn. For example, we needed to replace a rotting 2-story wooden deck, and the cost to hire someone would have been way above our budget. We could have just torn it down, but instead, Andy spent hours watching YouTube videos and reading through dozens of articles explaining how to do the job on our own. My man was on a mission! In only two weekends, he basically built a beautiful deck by hand (and yes, there was some cursing and sunburns along the way!).
In his free time, Andy is really passionate about Jiu-Jitsu. He is very committed to it as he has seen not just physical benefits but mental clarity as well. I know he wants to be healthy and fit so that he can keep up with a little one!
I love Andy more than anything and it is a struggle to find the words to describe just how amazing I think he is. The reason Andy and I want to have a baby is that we have so much love for each other and need to grow this immense love into a family. He will truly be the most wonderful dad. I know he will do everything in his power to be a father your child looks up to.
Arthur is our 5-year-old lab mix. He is definitely a member of our family and brings us so much happiness. He is easygoing and is usually up for joining us on almost anything we do (including our day-tripping).
He is beyond gentle and is amazing with kids. He is so cuddly and everyone who spends time with Arthur says he is like a soft blanket!
Home Sweet Home
We live in a neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. It is a beautiful and quiet part of the city and since the day we arrived, we knew it was the perfect place to start our family. We love that our street is lined with beautiful old trees and we are only an 18-minute walk to the Brooklyn Bridge! Our style is simple. Arthur runs the show in terms of furniture, so most things are pet (and kid) friendly! Amanda tries to bring nature inside with plants. The walls are covered with art we have collected – nothing fancy, just pieces we have gathered over the years. There will be a separate nursery so your baby will have their own room.
It is extremely diverse here. There is nothing you cannot eat or do. Our neighborhood is a community, a village of so many different people. Everyone around us has been so supportive of us building our family through adoption and they cannot wait to welcome a new baby on the block.
We are not just surrounded by an amazing community but there are plenty of great schools and activities nearby as well. From art schools to coding schools, to every sport you can imagine (we have even found a skateboarding school!), we’ve got it! Also within just 20 minutes or so are the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Prospect Park Zoo, and incredible parks and playgrounds (complete with splash pads during the summer months)!
We are beyond excited to raise our family here!
Our Loved Ones
Our friends and family have been by our side since we first mentioned adoption. We will never forget when one of our friends told us it takes a village to raise just one child. When Covid hit in the spring of 2020, we were living in Massachusetts. Being away from family at that time was tough and so right in the thick of the pandemic, we moved back to Brooklyn so that we could be closer to family and friends. Amanda’s sisters Toni and Marissa are 20 minutes away and her mom is just 45 minutes from us. Most of our friends are in upstate NY, just a few podcast lengths from Brooklyn. We have a group of 3 married couples that we cherish. We spend summers with them and celebrate their children’s birthdays together.
A unique relationship we both share is that both Andy and I have childhood best friends, Shawn and Suzann, who were adopted! Suzann lives in my mother’s house and Shawn lives in California. We make it a point to see him and his family at least twice a year. Andy’s parents and younger brothers (Braden and Garrett) are in upstate New York where he grew up near Saratoga Springs. It is a beautiful town and we have spent so much time there over the years with family and friends that we decided to buy a townhouse there! We spend a lot of time there in the summer and fall. Andy’s family is a loud and fun bunch, and they are so excited about growing the family. Your child will be the first grandchild of his parents, so they are very much looking forward to spoiling them.
Our point is, family is the most important thing to us. We want a family, so we sacrificed to keep our village close to us. We want you to know that we will always put the best interests of our family above all of us.