Dear Birth Parents:
Thank you for reading our letter. It cannot be easy and we recognize the amazing opportunity you are giving us. Your decision has been a difficult but courageous one and we thank you.
We would like to introduce you to our family; Jason and Carmen. We were introduced via email in 2001 by a mutual friend. Carmen was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jason was living in
Denver, Colorado. After a few months of email and phone conversations, we finally met in Denver and have been together ever since.
We moved to Cincinnati from Denver in 2002 because of Jason’s job. We were married in Cincinnati at Ault Park Pavilion in 2003. We have been married almost 15 years and we are waiting the arrival of our first child through adoption. In 2004, we bought our house in a city neighborhood. It’s an old house built in 1907, very cozy and has a lot of character. It has a backyard and a front porch with a swing. On the 2nd floor we are preparing a room especially for the baby we hope will be joining us soon. Complete with a new quilt made by Carmen’s 99 year-old grandmother.
Our favorite thing is our annual trip to Michigan. Every year we drive up to the Petoskey/Little Traverse Bay Area where we rent a condo for a week and just explore the area. One of our favorite hobbies is hiking, whether in Michigan or places in Southwest Ohio. In addition to the scenic trails of Michigan, we have done a lot of urban hikes in Cincinnati to further explore our city. We also enjoy doing weekend road-trips nearby just to get out of the city.
We live in a neighborhood that is very diverse and also great for kids. Within walking distance we have a family owned toy store, two independent children’s book store, one of the oldest ice cream parlors in the city, and a city park with a pool. In the summertime, our neighborhood also has a monthly flea market, a nearby farmer’s market and art shows. In fact, we just picked up a toy chest at the flea market this summer.
Holidays are very special to us. Thanksgiving is the big holiday in our household. Every year we have a crowd of people that show for Carmen’s Thanksgiving feast. Carmen’s family comes in from Iowa and Jason likes to invite anyone who needs a place to go at his college. Christmas is quieter for us compared to Thanksgiving. This is the holiday we keep just for us. We always stay in Cincinnati for Christmas. Our goal is to make sure our child waits for Santa Claus in their own bed and appreciates being home for Christmas.
From Carmen: I was born in Iowa and grew up on a farm. I am the oldest of 4 children; I have two sisters and a brother. They are all married and I have four nephews. When I was 10 years old I started playing the saxophone. I won many awards for my playing and was playing in college bands before I graduated from high school. I received a full scholarship to study music at DePaul University in Chicago. I study classical music and jazz. Once I graduated college, I continued to play professionally; on stage, on the radio and on recordings. I had my own band for a couple of years.
My college degree trained me to work in a Recording Studio. After college I worked as an assistant to a music producer, was an assistant for a video production company and then started working in the multimedia department at Encyclopedia Britannica. That’s where I became interested in computers and eventually made the decision to go back to school to get a graduate degree in Computer Science.
After we moved to Cincinnati, with Jason’s support, I fulfilled my dream to start my own company. I now run a tech company here in Cincinnati which has been in business for 10 years. Since my company is no longer young, my schedule has a lot more flexibility. It is now the perfect time to become a mom and focus on our family.
From Jason: I was born in Denver but have spent most of my life not living in Colorado. My father worked for the federal government, which resulted in us moving several times. Consequently, I have lived on the east and west coast, along with the shores of Lake Erie. I am the oldest of two children; my kid sister and her boyfriend live in the east. I spent most of my childhood growing up in south-central Washington State. We spent our summers camping and hiking in the Cascade Mountains. Spring breaks were spent along the Oregon/Washington coasts and visiting my mother’s sisters and their families. Dad balanced out our expose to mom’s family by cooking up recipes he remembered or got from his Italian mother and grandmother. The weekends in our house were filled with the smells of Italian and Slovakian dishes, along with frantic calls back to Cleveland as dad scrambled to figure out substitutes for ingredients we could not find in the remote Northwest. When I was sixteen my father was reassigned to Denver, fulfilling my parents’ desires to come back to a state they regarded as home. When I graduated from high school I received a partial scholarship to attend the University of Colorado, Denver. I paid the remainder of my tuition by working as a page editor for the student newspaper, office assistant, and weekend parking lot attendant. I finished college in three years and went off to graduate school.
I have always been interested in history, even as a child. My parents took my sister and me to museums and historical places whenever possible on our vacations. When I decided to pursue
my graduate degrees, history was the logical and natural choice. What did catch everyone by surprise, including myself, was where I went to get my graduate degrees. Instead of staying out
west, I went east to my father’s hometown, Cleveland. And yes, I now cheer for both the Broncos and the Browns during football season.
Besides earning my graduate degrees, my time in Cleveland gave me the opportunity to experience and know my father’s extended family. My father comes from a large Italian-
Slovakian family with deep roots in Cleveland. Due to the distances and cost, my sister and I had only a few opportunities when growing up to meet our Cleveland relatives. My time in
graduate school allowed me to experience Northeast Ohio and get to know my large, sometimes frustrating, family. When I graduated with my degrees in 2000, I never would have
predicted I would end up back in Ohio in two years, nor that I would remain here for the next sixteen. But, I cannot imagine living in any other state now. Nor can I think of a place I would
rather start the next phase of our family.
We are very excited about building our family through adoption. Jason has many adopted cousins and we have always planned to adopt a child since we first talked about becoming a
family and having children. Our only exceptions for our children are that they are healthy and happy. We are open to whoever they are and whatever they become.
We are open to continuing to communicate with you if you are open to that. As the child grows and begins to ask about their story and where they came from, we will be open with them and
support their desire to learn more about their birth family.
Thank you for considering us.
Carmen and Jason