We’re Robert and Jeremy and we’re humbled that you’re taking the time to get to know more about who we are and considering us as adoptive parents of your child. We cannot begin to imagine the careful thought and deliberation that you are making and we want you to know that we are grateful for the care and thoughtfulness upon which you are taking. We truly value the awesome responsibility that it is to bring a child into this world and we appreciate you taking the time to get to know us so that we can give you a sense of who we are.
“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there's no need at all to understand what's happening, because everything happens within you.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Who We Are
We're fiercely devoted to family and have found in each other a partner who recognizes the immense power of unconditional love.
We grew up very differently, Jeremy in Ohio and Robert in New York but the values that our parents instilled in us have powerful similarities. Jeremy is one of three siblings and Robert is one of four, but our parents tailored their parenting to our specific needs and personalities. What was constant was their belief that we could become independent, thoughtful and generous adults who would contribute greatly to the world.
Our families taught us the importance of hard work, determination, learning from failures, and using those lessons to pursue our dreams. We were encouraged to embrace our passions and our families helped us in transforming them into fulfilling and meaningful careers.
We look back in awe at our parents' work—raising a brood of children who all have unique and distinct personalities, but also share an underlying value system and a commitment to generating kindness in the world. We are excited to pass on that love and kindness to a new generation, and shape a young person who can confidently navigate and claim their valuable place in the world.
Everyone who knows us can feel that we have created a home full of love. They know that we have kind spirits and playful sensibilities. Our marriage is built on mutual respect, trust and honesty. And we are eager to expand our family because we have so much more love to give.
Life growing up for Jeremy...
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and was surrounded by a family that instilled in me an appreciation for unconditional love and family traditions. I was born the day before my mother Nancy’s own birthday and she has always called me the “greatest birthday present that she could ever receive.” In fact, my father Richard had cooked his famous “Onion Soup” for a holiday dinner party the night before and my mom initially thought her labor was simply indigestion. Quickly enough she nudged my dad to get her to the hospital because it was, indeed, not the soup.
I am the oldest of three, my younger brother Danny is two-and-a-half years younger than me, and my sister Abbey is two-and-a-half years younger than him. From an early age, we were taught the importance of family togetherness. Every Wednesday evening, my immediate family including my Grandma Jackie, Grandpa Marvin, Aunt Laurie and Uncle Bobby would have dinner at a local deli. We were regulars, and to this day, the staff recalls when I was a toddler scurrying around the restaurant, cheerfully smiling and greeting neighboring customers. On Friday evenings, we would all convene at my Grandma Jackie and Grandpa Marvin’s house with extended great aunts and uncles, and for several years, my Great Grandpa Norman. He would bring us little token gifts each Friday, not only showering us with these little presents, but a sense that coming together as a family was the most important gift. We hope to be able to recreate similar experiences for your child.
We’d often spend Sundays with my mom’s family Grandma Mimi and Grandpa Paul. During our younger years these gatherings would include my Great Grandma Ruth, Great Grandpa Sam, my Uncle Dick and Aunt Cathy and cousins Alison and Suzanne. While the different sides of the family had very different energies and personalities, both sides, placed our happiness, education, and care at their forefront.
My brother Danny and my sister Abbey and I are all very different from one another. My parents made sure that each of our interests and talents were celebrated. We weren’t raised uniformly, they tailored their parenting to our specific needs and personalities. What was constants, was a belief in us that we could become independent, thoughtful and generous adults that would contribute greatly to the world.
I didn’t always have the easiest time growing up as a gay child, often feeling out of place or as if I didn’t match up to many of the other boys my age. However, my parents accepted and loved me ferociously and helped empower me with a sense of security in my identity and self-worth. My parents taught me the importance of hard work, determination, and learning from and embracing your failures, and using those lessons to pursue our dreams. I hope to impart these same values to our child. My father Richard is a photographer and by example, I watched how he turned his childhood passion for picture-taking, into a sustainable career that supported his wife and three children. I have tried to and will continue to live my life emulating that passion and practicality for my husband and our expanding family.
Life growing up for Robert...
I grew up in Islip, Long Island and have never known a day I was not loved. My mother is one of 11 children from an Italian family and my father is one of 4. I have endless amounts of nieces and nephews and cousins and aunts and uncles. I was born later in my parent’s life, so I am the forever “baby” of the family. I have two brothers, Michael and Tommy, and a sister, Cindy, all of whom I adore. We’re very tight knit and spend as much time as we possibly can together. I love my mom so fiercely and we could not be closer. She’s my rock, my sounding board, my best friend (besides my husband of course), and my conscience. She is the person I strive to be every day. My father and mother installed such incredible family and moral values in us.
My father and mother installed such incredible family and moral values in us. We lost my dad in 1999, and although you never quite get over the loss, he created such an incredible foundation for our family unit and his presence is so profoundly felt every moment of every day, from anything as simple as a song or a tv show he loved, to our house in the Poconos that he built with my mom for all of us. He said to her when the house was finished
“This will be our legacy”
He was an extraordinary man.
As I previously stated, I am the youngest of four. Michael and Tommy are 11 and 12 years older than me, and Cindy is 5 years older. They love me so fiercely and are so supportive of me. Family is everything to Jeremy and I.
Ever since I can remember, we would have Sunday Italians dinners either at our house, or at my godparent’s house, Aunt Rita, Aunt Lucille, and Uncle Bob, or We Three, as we call them, which was the central point of our family. All the cousins would go over there on Sunday, we’d sit at a long table extending through the living room into the family room, because there were so many of us, and Aunt Lucille would cook us all stuffed shells and meatballs for dinner.
I still remember so clearly the picture of her and my mother in their Italian housecoats stirring sauce (or gravy as we would say) over the stove as we kids ran around them. My cousin Craig and I would get to We Three’s early and play Star Wars by their door all afternoon. It’s an amazing memory. It’s memories like this that Jeremy and I both have with our families that we hope to create with our child.
Every single person embraced and celebrated Jeremy when I finally introduced him and he instantly part of the family. As my brother said in his best man toast at our wedding, “Before I met Jeremy, I thought, how’s he gonna be? But then I thought, if Robert likes him, he must be ok”. Still brings a lump to my throat. And when I told my mom that I was gay, and all that I’d been through emotionally, she said to me, “You’ve suffered enough”. I cannot be more thankful for the love they have shown to Jeremy and I throughout the years. It’s exactly what family is all about.
How we met...
Before Plenty of Fish, OK Cupid, and even eHarmony, a little website called Match.com brought us together. We both had dated but had yet to meet that person with whom we completely clicked. In early May 2008, Robert sent a virtual wink to Jeremy and began our online chatter. After a few weeks of enjoying the back and forth virtual banter, we decided for coffee at a Starbucks in Manhattan. Robert made plans with his friend Matthew so that he had a built-in escape if needed. Jeremy said to his co-worker that he intended to only go out for one quick cup of coffee and then back to Brooklyn for a good night sleep. We were pleasantly surprised upon meeting at the ease and effortlessness of our conversation. We felt like we were talking to an old friend, coupled with a bit of a nervous excitement at the prospect of having found “a match”.
On the trip back to Brooklyn, Jeremy called his oldest friend Scott and said that he had the best first date that he had ever had. At the same time, Robert was telling Matthew the same thing. We quickly set up another date to an outing at the theatre (a shared passion of ours). And quickly we began seeing each other multiple nights a week. It didn’t take long to know that they had found their soul mate. Within three months, Robert was meeting Jeremy’s family on a family vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and by the end of the year; we had decided to move in together. For both of us, we had met our best friend and soul mate and embarked on building a life together.
How we work....
Even though we are very connected by our professions in theatre-- the way in which we work looks quite different. Robert shines on the stage. He has worked as a professional actor for 25 years-- appearing on and off Broadway and throughout the entire country. He works tirelessly and finds enormous pride in the power of brightening up an audience’s day. He knows what a privilege it is to make another person smile, and feels blessed to get to do that on a daily basis. He has been fortunate to work with so many kind and talented people who have become very important chosen family members in our lives.
While Jeremy previously worked in the professional theatre world, he has turned his attention to using those skills to inspire and invigorate a younger generation through theatre education. As a high school theatre teacher, he uses theatre training for something bigger than merely performance. His teaching centers on fostering students’ self-confidence and self-worth through the practice and application of theatre. He strives to guide each student in discovering his or her unique and authentic voice and identity. His classroom is a space in which students can feel safe to explore and experiment and a place where everyone has the freedom to fail. He takes great pride in what he does and hopes to empower inquisitive, passionate, eager, tenacious, and generous students who will embark on their adult lives with an appreciation for the power of art, a nourished sense of identity and a love for unending discovery.
Some five years later, our wedding remains vividly etched in our memory and serves as a cornerstone of how we approach our marriage day in and day out. The celebration was quite a large affair as we were joined by family and friends who convened in Long Island honoring our commitment and supporting and loving us on that deeply meaningful occasion. While we both grew up with different family traditions and spiritual rituals, we chose to create a ceremony that honored both of our families- incorporating both traditional scripture and also interpolating songs, readings, and poems that had personal importance yet were related to the time honored prayers and rituals with which our families were accustomed. As we are both “theatre people”, the celebration was filled with many of our friends singing and captured a balance of having both a deep and genuine honesty and having a theatrical flair… encapsulating how we hope to live our lives.
Jeremy's thought on Robert...
No one makes me laugh like Robert does. Not a day goes by that he doesn’t brighten my life with levity and humor. After 10 years, he continues to make me belly-laugh to the point where I am gasping for air. But most importantly, he is the most decent and genuine human being I know. He sees the world with such optimism and has the most enormous generous heart that I have ever met. In his career as an actor he meets new cast members and crew on each production pretty constantly. He becomes well-loved by all who work with him because he exudes a sense of joy in what he does and care and interest in with whom he associates. He is deeply passionate about being part of a world that treats people with equality and love and feels deeply when he sees injustice, bigotry and hatred in our world. His compassion knows no limits. When I am in the room, I know that I am fully seen and heard by him. The respect and love that he gives me makes me think how truly lucky I am to trust someone who knows me so deeply. That isn’t to say that life is always rosy. We’ve had hardships, and losses, disappointments, and upsets… but through it all, there is no one else with whom I want to walk beside. He is my rock, my constant, my soul.
Robert's thought on Jeremy...
I have never met a kinder soul than Jeremy. He is someone who cares so deeply about a person’s feelings and is such a warm, incredible human being. He is more himself than anyone I’ve ever met. He’s so comfortable in his own skin, and is proud of the person he is, which makes everyone around him feel at ease and welcomed. His fashion sense is unparalleled. Wherever we go, someone is always commenting on how his shoes, watch, and glasses all match, and how fabulous he looks. None of this, though, even comes close to the person he is inside. Thoughtful and considerate, patient and strong. To see his relationship with my mother, it’s a happiness I could never put into words and fully do justice. He brightens up any room he’s in. While no marriage is perfect, in ten years, Jeremy and I have never resorted to insults or hurtful, demeaning words to each other. Every disagreement is met with compassion and understanding. As a teacher, he is invaluable. The children he has in class know how lucky they are to have Jeremy as their educator. Any time I go see a show he’s directed, the love and respect they have for him is palpable. It is truly impossible not to love Jeremy instantly. He’s one of the good guys. As I said in my vows to him, “I take an oath to be your soulmate. And not because I can’t live without you. But because I don’t want to live without you”.