Martine & Jacob
Dear Birth Mom,
Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know our family. Through these pages, we have tried to give you a picture of who we really are and what our lives are like today. While nothing in this world is perfect, we are incredibly lucky to have a happy, loving, and secure family life. We know in our hearts that we have more room and more love to welcome your baby into our family and we promise to give them every opportunity to thrive. We hope that after reading this book, you feel the same way!
Please know that if you choose us and want to make an adoption plan together, your comfort and trust in us and in this process is what matters most. We promise to not only provide all that we can for your baby but also to respect your wishes, every step of the way. We are here if you would like to talk, learn more about us or ask us any questions!
With love and gratitude,
Martine, Jacob, Ronan and Lyra
Our Adoption Story & Promise to You
We met when we were both in college – Martine was studying early childhood development and teaching at a childcare center, and Jacob was studying music and business. One of the first things we talked about was our shared love of children and early on in our relationship, we had talked about growing our family biologically and through adoption. Fast forward 17 (wow!) years later and we now have two children whom we love and adore but we feel that our family is not quite finished!
You are probably wondering what kind of parents we are and understandably so! Together we have worked hard to be thoughtful in how we approach parenting our children, and Martine’s studies in early childhood development have been a good foundation for us. Of course, it would be nice if there was a simple formula to follow – a step-by-step guide to produce happy and healthy children who each grow up to be successful adults! But life is complicated, each child is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success in life. We believe that our job as parents is to be loving and supportive, to help guide and nurture, to provide structure, and to serve as the voice of experience for our children. Ultimately children are their own people who will grow up to lead their own lives and make their own decisions. Our job is not to set them down a specific path, but to love them unconditionally and to create an environment where your child can learn the life skills they need to find their way through the world.
We are coming to this adoption journey with very open minds. We do not have a picture in our heads of who your child will be, what they will look like, what they will be interested in, etc. Your child could be of a different ethnicity than us, have some medical challenges that we will need to navigate, or just end up having a very different personality or interests than us or our other children! Our responsibility is to be open to whatever comes and to meet the needs of your child with love, kindness, and respect. What we do know for sure is that we are committed to welcoming your baby into a life filled with unconditional love, no matter what.
We met and started dating when we were both in college. We lived close to each other in Boston for a few years, then bounced back and forth between the tri-state area and Boston a couple of times before settling in Westchester County. Here are a few snapshots from back then!
- After college, Jacob worked at a winery in California, and we both drove across the country there and back in our 2008 Honda Civic. We saw Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Canyon!
- After living together in Connecticut, we moved back to Boston so that Jacob could attend graduate school. We were so happy to be living closer to Martine’s family in one of our favorite cities. It was a pretty small space but we worked hard to make it our own.
- We were married in Boston while Jacob was finishing up grad school. Our wedding was in the Boston Public Library, where Martine’s mother had written most of her PhD thesis!
Ronan was born in 2014 and Lyra arrived in 2018. Both immediately stole our hearts the moment they arrived and now we love our life as a family of four. During the week, we like to keep things pretty consistent when it comes to our schedule. Jacob makes the kids breakfast and reads to them. Martine helps the kids get ready and takes them to school. Weekday evenings are usually filled with after-school activities and a bit of homework for Ronan.
We really look forward to the weekends when we can just relax and unwind together. Usually, you can find us heading into the city to check out the latest museum exhibits and we also enjoy going to the local farm to visit the animals or go for a hike. Sunday mornings usually start with swim lessons for the kids, followed by French toast and family brunch! Then, at night, we have family movie night which sometimes means a few episodes of the kids’ favorite show (these days, that is “Go Dog Go”).
written with love by Jacob
EI fell in love with Martine when we were just two kids in college. We have come a long way since then! Through the years, Martine has been my best friend and the most loyal and caring woman I have ever known. And now that we are parents, I can also tell you that she is the most amazing mother who has an endless supply of love and patience to go around!
Martine has been involved with young children from the time she was in high school where she worked in daycare centers and as a teacher, right through college where she earned her degree in early childhood education. To this day, she loves seeing how kids develop in those earliest years of life! Watching her with Ronan and Lyra is one of my favorite things to do – seeing her patiently talk with them about their feelings and emotions and teaching them to be good and kind people in this world gives me hope for our future (and theirs!).
Martine loves doing arts and crafts projects with Ronan and Lyra. From painting to drawing and really any other type of creating, that is what makes Martine the happiest. And she is most definitely not afraid to get messy with them!
Baking and cake decorating are hobbies that Martine has become very passionate about. It started with decorating cupcakes and since then, she has taken on more and more elaborate projects and now she makes cakes whenever she has a chance. I love that our kids get to watch their mom work to improve her skills and hear them encourage her along the way. And of course, her cakes have become my guilty pleasure – they are delicious!
written with love by Martine
Jacob is the most loving and devoted father to Ronan and Lyra and is so excited at the thought of being a father to 3! Jacob is kind, calm, and thoughtful. He gives Ronan and Lyra breakfast most mornings and likes to plan interesting and fun outings for us on the weekends. He likes to involve Ronan and Lyra in errands and chores around the house, and they have fun helping Daddy when he tries to squeeze a workout into his schedule. He loves to ask Ronan and Lyra questions that make them think or talk to them about the world, but he can also be very silly and loves to make them laugh A LOT! That could include making rhymes, jokes, or playing pretend. For years Ronan and Lyra loved to pretend they were sick, and Jacob would turn into Doctor Moctor and give them checkups where things would often turn silly. And when it comes to his parenting style, he is also an incredibly talented problem solver. He always comes up with creative ways to tackle whatever is in front of us and I am grateful that he is my partner in life.
Jacob is lucky to have a job he enjoys, working for a large family-owned company that was founded by his great-grandfather. He also works with a nonprofit organization whose focus is fundraising for women and girls across the world. I have so much respect for the time he puts into such an amazing cause.
In his free time, you will find Jacob playing music or working out. He studied music in college, thinking he would become a professional jazz guitar player. His love of music is still very much alive and he is now in the process of teaching himself to play piano. He is also very health-conscious. Jacob has run two marathons and an ultramarathon where he ran almost 40 miles at once! He exercises most days, alternating between running and weight lifting in our basement gym. He is also a great reader and can often be found reading a few books at one time!
All About Ronan
Ronan is our eight-year-old son. He is a thoughtful and curious kid with an old soul. His teachers lovingly refer to him as Old Man Ronan. He can sometimes seem very serious, but he also has a real silly streak! He loves to build with Legos, and has an extensive collection in his room. He carefully follows the directions and then changes it up and combines the sets to create something completely unique, all on his own! He adores animals, and cares about social justice and keeping plastic out of the oceans.
Ronan has always been a very cautious kid. As a toddler, he never strayed far from our side so we never worried about him running off, unlike his sister (LOL)! He has gotten much more comfortable with risks as he has gotten older and recently has even been trying to do some tricks and stunts on his bike. He especially loves rides and rollercoasters! Ronan is generally a shy kid, but he is not afraid to speak his mind when he feels strongly about something. He always has interesting ideas for new inventions, business ideas, and how to help the world.
We love Ronan so much – his creativity and wonderful personality will make him the best big brother. We already see that when he is with Lyra and it warms our hearts.
All About Lyra
Lyra (pronounced LIE-ruh) is our four-year-old daughter. She Is our little goofball! She always has a funny face to make when we take her picture and has been practicing new poses to try out. She is very nurturing, and is almost always pretending to take care of her stuffed animals and baby dolls (her kids, as she calls them!). She loves babies and is always excited when she sees a newborn!
Like most four year olds, Lyra can be very opinionated and stubborn, as well as independent. As a baby, she was quite the risk taker, climbing everything, including the stairs before she could even walk! Now she tends to be a bit more cautious, and always wants to be held by one of us when meeting new people. She will often look to Ronan as an example, and follows his lead. She has a big vocabulary but never talks in front of or to people she doesn’t know.
Her favorite things to do outside are swing, jump on our trampoline, and ride her bike. This summer, she started practicing riding her new big kid bike without training wheels!
We know Lyra will be the best big sister, she cannot wait to be a little helper.
Our Loved Ones
Both of us are very close with our parents and siblings. Most of Jacobs’s family lives in northern Virginia and most of Martine’s family lives in Boston. We always make visits and time with extended family a priority, whether it is to be together for the holidays, vacations, or sometimes for no particular reason at all!
Several of our family members have direct experience with adoption. Jacob’s maternal grandmother passed away when his mother and her siblings were young, and when his grandfather remarried, his wife adopted the kids. Also, Jacob’s aunt married a widower who had children with his late wife. Jacob’s aunt adopted his kids and is very close with all of them. Without exception, our entire family is extremely supportive of our plans to adopt and we know that your child will be treated the same as all of the other kids in our family. Because love forms in our hearts and is not based on biology.
Home Sweet Home
Before COVID hit, we had been thinking about buying a bigger house but there did not seem to be any reason to rush into that. Enter March 2020 and all that changed! After spending a few months under the same roof 24/7, we began our search for the perfect home. In 2021, we moved into the house we now live in and we are so lucky to have found our forever home.
We live in a wonderful suburban area of New York. We really do have the best of both worlds – it is quiet enough out here but we are also close enough to New York City, the Hudson River and even the mountain areas nearby.
We now have enough space for 3 kids to have their own bedrooms and all of the bedrooms are on the same level. Your baby’s bedroom is already so comfortable and has a lot of natural light and a beautiful view looking out onto our backyard. We have set up the same crib that Ronan and Lyra slept in when they were babies. Our house sits on quite a bit of land so there is also lots of room for the kids to run and play (we have a treehouse, a swing set, and a trampoline, which the kids love jumping on!). Behind our house, it is not uncommon to spot deer and other wildlife – we love to keep an eye out for the baby deer that wander around!
Downstairs, we have an area where the kids can do their crafts and play with their toys and Jacob has his home office above the garage. But the place you will find us hanging out the most together is the kitchen. It is the place we gather not just to eat our meals but where we talk and catch up on our days and really just hang out together.
We are so happy that we bought this house and we are beyond excited to raise your child here too. We chose this house because we always felt it would be perfect for a family of 5.
Holidays & Traditions
Our family never misses an opportunity to come together – whether it is for a holiday or a birthday, we love being together. While neither of us is particularly religious, we do celebrate most of the major holidays of both the Christian and Jewish faiths.
Both of our moms are Jewish and so it is nice to be able to bring both traditions into our lives. We usually alternate between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year with each of our families. We really love Christmas time. Shortly after Thanksgiving, we put up lights around the house and an inflatable Santa in the front yard, which the kids just love! We have a tall ceiling in the sunroom, so we put up and decorate a large tree by the window where it can be seen from the outside. Over the last few years, we have made a new tradition for Christmas Eve dinner – we make waffles using food coloring to turn the waffles green or red for Christmas.
Then we put out some snacks for Santa and his reindeer and Ronan and Lyra help us write a note to Santa. Once they are asleep, we put out the stockings and gifts, take bites of the snacks, and write a note to them from Santa. We suspect that deep down they know that Santa Claus isn’t real, but they both still like to pretend that he is! The next morning, we open gifts and then usually drive to see family that afternoon or the next day.
We usually spend Passover with Martine’s family. We drive to Boston, spend a few days exploring the city (which we both love), and spending time with family before doing the holiday dinner. COVID has gotten in the way the last couple of years, but we are excited to try again this year!
Easter is our fun spring holiday. The Easter Bunny comes and leaves a treasure hunt with clues for the kids to find eggs with treats inside, all leading to a basket at the end with some new toys, candies, or spring activities. We also have celebrated St. Patrick’s Day the last two years. Leprechauns like to visit us and leave evidence of their mischief. Ronan and Lyra like to set up traps to try to catch them, but they haven’t been successful yet.
Another fun time of year for us is summer when we always spend July 4th with Jacob’s family. They have a beach house in a small town in Delaware – you will find us enjoying the sand and the ocean, playing games, and hanging out at the local amusement park. The fireworks over the boardwalk are Ronan’s favorite (but Lyra finds it too loud so one of us usually hangs back at the house with her!).
Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for taking the time to read this book and learn about our family. We are so lucky to have a happy, loving, and secure life and we really hope that you might get some comfort if you can picture your little one as part of our family.
As you think about your options, we want you to know three things. First, we know this is YOUR choice to make, and we will have respect for whatever that choice is. Second, if you would like to make an adoption plan with us, it is important to us that you feel supported and respected leading up to and after your baby’s birth. Finally, please know that if you would like to make your adoption plan with our family, your child will be treasured and loved unconditionally, always and no matter what.