Dear Expecting Parent,
We have been thinking about you for a long time and have been praying you are feeling loved and are being supported and well cared for by those around you. We are sending our love to you, wherever you may be. We will never truly understand all the decisions, thoughts and emotions you must be processing right now. You are extremely brave, and courageous in ways we can’t fully comprehend. We marvel at the depth of character required to express the kind of unconditional love you are displaying for your child by considering an adoption plan . We admire you and are humbled to think you might take the next steps of this journey with us.
We ‘re committed to our role in an open adoption. We believe that maintaining connections with one’s original family is foundational for the health and wholeness of any person. We hope to share updates and stories, pictures and life events in such a way that this precious child knows she or he has lots of people united in showering him or her in love. We will at all times honor and acknowledge the irreplaceable role you will always have in his or her life.
Our families taught us to attempt, above all else, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. We hope to share this simple yet challenging life-long aspiration with our children and can’t wait to discover along with them who they are as they grow and become themselves. We’ve learned that family is not defined primarily by biology but is formed through a commitment to care for one another in all the joys and challenges of existence. We are eager to embrace an open adoption relationship with you and to raise a resilient child who is surrounded by a dedicated community and is nurtured with the love of all kinds of family.
We met in Jon’s hometown in Western NY, 17 years ago. Cate had recently moved there to attend college and Jon had just earned his degree. Our first date was a home-cooked meal and an 8 hour conversation. We were nearly inseparable from then on. Cate knew Jon was a keeper when he agreed to help take her two kitties to the vet a week after we started dating! We got married in 2003 and agreed to make our lives together an adventure.
We spent our early married years enjoying good food, live music, theater, and fascinating people–and sharing all the fun of New York with friends from all over the world whom we welcomed to our Brooklyn apartment. Jon found a job with a tech start up and we moved to East Africa in 2016 . When we moved here from NYC, we were craving open spaces, trees, and a slower pace of life. We got all of the above. Now we have a comfortable home with a massive yard and plenty of room inside, too, for a child to stretch out and grow.
We consider ourselves profoundly lucky to live on a continent and in a region so rich in culture, history and natural beauty. It is also a privilege to be alive in an era of direct flights and Whatsapp so we can easily stay connected to our friends and family in the US and return there regularly for visits.
The things we enjoy doing together the very most are laughing, talking and traveling.
Whether it is for a spontaneous dance party in the living room or a multimedia dialogue on the strengths and weaknesses of US foreign policy, we enjoy each other’s company.We believe in rigorous curiosity and sincere inquiry – we try to remember to always take those principles on the road with us when we visit and live in new places and meet new people.We have been known to compose comical songs for one another on a dreary day and we find it is more fun to experience life together.
We are fortunate to be auntie and uncle to our 6 nieces and nephews and to the children of many dear friends. We can’t wait to welcome our child to the great big, international family we are blessed to call our own.
We have always agreed that we want to grow our family through adoption.
We both love children and are eager to share this enormous, fascinating, complicated world with them.
Jon grew up in Western New York. Both of his parents are retired educators and they love their 3 J’s: Joel, Julia & Jon. With most of his family still living in NY we visit various parts of the state often. He graduated from a Christian liberal-arts college with a degree in Political Science & Writing where he also studied abroad in London. The same year he married Cate he moved to NYC and began a 10+ year career in advertising. In 2015 he took a huge cross-cultural leap by accepting a position to lead a fast-growing tech company in East Africa. He is dedicated to the mission of providing meaningful work to undeserved communities around the world.
Cate grew up all over the place! In her heart, “home” is Nigeria, where she moved when she was 11 and stayed throughout high school.
Growing up overseas exposed Cate to many unique people, cultures and religions and gave her a deep heart for relating to people . Her upbringing was defined by service and the love of a diverse community. It has always been Cate’s dream to raise her kids in a similar manner – Cate and Jon agree their community in East Africa is perfect for giving kids the cultural exposure and nurture of a loving community.
Cate has a close, funny, brilliant family. Her parents are two of our best friends and we cherish their influence on our lives. Cate is tight with her 3 siblings, Michael, Erin & Meaghan. She cherishes all her friends and can’t wait for those we love to help us love on our kid!
Cate is passionate about how young people learn and spent 7 years tutoring and home schooling 4 young boys in NYC. She has also been freelance writing and producing documentary films in Africa since 2009.
With Love & Gratitude –
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us a bit. Our goal is to show you how many wonderful people in our lives are ready to embrace a child – one that our whole community has been preparing for along with us as we have waited to meet you. We were recently camping with a bunch of our friends when one of them turned and said, “You guys, look at all the aunts and uncles, cousins and friends WAITING to be your village and help you love and raise a child!”
We have enjoyed the years we’ve had just the two of us to see the world and grow together into the people we are, as individuals and as a couple. Now, we have switched gears and are focused on becoming parents. We are more than ready to be Mom and Dad.
Our community is oriented to and for children; there is room to play, fresh air to enjoy, family safaris, travel and camping to experience and, when the time comes, fantastic international schools with new friends from all over the world for our child to meet.
It has always been our dream to expand our family through adoption and we are excited that growing our family this way means having a relationship with the people who first loved our child and chose to give him or her life. We, along with our family and friends, are praying for you now and sending you our love as you navigate the decisions before you. You have our gratitude and our unending admiration and respect.
We look forward to meeting you and joining you in loving your baby.