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”.
Holidays & Celebrations...
Spending time with family is something that means the world to us… and we were lucky enough to find in one another two people who genuinely loves surrounding themselves with their family. We have many wonderful opportunities to celebrate. Our matriarch on Robert’s side- Ann is the queen when it comes to Christmas. She creates a home that is filled with joy, laughter, gratitude, generosity and a whole lot of showering her family with love. We spend Christmas Eve by attending a 4pm Mass and then 30-40 of our family members gather at her home for a festive meal and grab bag gift exchange. Ann’s Sister Rita serves as Mrs. Claus decked out in a completely ornate costume and orchestrates a joyous production -- creating poems for any new members or friends joining the exchange for the first time. Once everyone leaves and the kids go to sleep, we help Ann prepare for Christmas morning… setting up “Santa’s Gifts” for all of the grandchildren and making sure the home is ready for an early arrival of our ten nieces and nephews.
Christmas morning- the 4 Siblings and respective In-laws and nieces and nephews convene at Ann’s for a Steak & Egg Breakfast and the unveiling of Santa’s bounty. We spend the entire day together, swapping locales to Robert’s brother and sister in-law Tom & Jacqui’s home for a delicious Christmas Evening meal of Lasagna and fresh caught Fish (by Tom) and an evening of various games and swapping of stories. We can’t wait to have a child of our to celebrate the joy of this holiday with us.
Thanksgiving is a holiday which we rotate between Long Island and Cleveland and regardless of where we are… it is filled with similar traditions. We all gather Thanksgiving morning to watch the parade eating bagels and pastries with our morning coffee. We yearn to have a child to share the excitement of the parade and floats with. When the parade ends, we have a light lunch of salami, provolone and mozzarella, a tradition that Robert’s Dad Mike cultivated many years ago. Whether in Cleveland or Long Island, Robert makes his Grandmother Rose’s Italian Stuffing- an original take on stuffing filled with Ricotta, Mozzarella, Basil, Salami and is utter deliciousness. Jeremy on the other hand, is always cultivating new recipes -- creating a spin on the classics. Last year, his chocolate pecan and walnut crusted pumpkin pie was a huge success. The day is always filled with taking time to verbalize all the things for which we are grateful and honor the blessings that we have in our lives.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (especially since Robert’s Dad, Mike is of Irish Descent)-- we join Tom, his brother, for a party that he holds at his office in Long Island which is in a prime location to watch the town’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Decked in our green outfits, we eat shepherd's pie, corned beef and cabbage, wings and Robert’s Mom Ann always makes her butter spritz Irish Clover cookies covered in a sweet green sprinkle dusting
Forever kids at heart-- we love to don playful costumes for Halloween and pass out candy to the many kids in our apartment building. All the tenants in the building sign up at the front desk so that the children know which homes to approach for a trick or treat. Additionally there’s always various activities in our lobby for the kids to participate in when done scavenging for candy. Robert tends to favor a more traditional costume, while Jeremy tends to like to wear costumes that have some type of pun associated with them. Last year, for his students at school, he wore a Pen around his Neck with a sign that said “Stronger” on it, and carried a toy foam sword at his side with a sign labeled “Weaker.” Students were tasked with guessing the outfit, with some very astute students realizing the costume was: “The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword.” This year, dressed in a tuxedo and name tags saying "I'm sorry", Jeremy created another costume puzzle with only a few guessing he was a: "A Formal Apology" We can’t wait to help our child choose his/her Halloween costume.
Typically we take 2 vacations throughout the year. In the winter we love to take a vacation to AZ where the weather is warm and we have family and friends.
The second annual trip we take is to a resort area in the Poconos. Robert’s father Mike built a house up there and their family has been going there for the same summer week for over 50 years. In July, 30-40 family members descend upon the Pennsylvania resort and spend a week playing games, boating and kayaking in the lake, swimming in the pool, seeing shows and comedians, eating way too much food and taking advantage of the countless other activities that the resort offers.
Having been repeat vacationers offers various perks. The 30 family members all have the opportunity to dine together every night in an area we call “the staircase lounge”, a little nook off of the main resort dining room. It allows us a time to connect all together and recap about the adventures of the day. It is a magical week and the entire family looks forward to it throughout the year. Because the family owns the house, it also affords us the opportunity to take a quick weekend trip here and there, often bringing up a group of friends, and escaping the city and sharing with our nearest and dearest a glimpse of one of our favorite places on earth. We look forward to having our child participate in these adventures.
Friends & Family...
We feel lucky that Robert’s family is so close in proximity to us and that we can take a quick weekend trip to visit Long Island or even pop out there for a day for a special occasion. But we feel doubly lucky that we have an army of friends that live in the New York area. We’re fortunate that we live in a wonderful area near two parks and close to the theatre district (a major destination point for many of our friends.) Because of the close proximity we get a lot of friends stopping over often and we are frequently hosting a game night or an awards show viewing party.
With Robert having grown up in New York and working in the theatre -- New York City is filled with countless childhood friends and work colleagues turned into dear friends. We have so many actor friends and our life is always filled with lots of laughs and excitement. Our friend Nicole, who lives in Brooklyn, just adopted her daughter Juliet and has named us the guardians. We cannot think of a higher honor. Our friends Russ and Brandon, who adopted their little girl Ava, are right over the bridge in New Jersey and we’ve loved watching how fun-loving and sassy Ava has become through the years. Even our best friends Jenny and Jim, who live in Maryland with their three children, come visit and we all get together and have the best time. We are forever known as Uncle Robert and Uncle Jeremy. We also have plenty of friends, like our close pal Bernadette, who brings her dogs over to play with our first baby, our Maltese Charlie.
Why we want a child...
For as long as we can remember-- we knew that we wanted to be parents. On our third date we discussed that this was a life plan because we wanted to make sure that, as we entered a potential long-term relationship, that our life goals were aligned. We both were instilled with the belief that family is one of the most important bedrocks of our lives. We have parents who helped shape our values, challenged us, and encouraged us to develop into independent, generous, and loving people. We look back in awe at their work-- raising a brood of children who all have unique and distinct personalities-- but have an underlying commonality.
How we plan to raise a child...
We are excited at the opportunity to raise a child, but know that it is an extraordinary responsibility. We plan to make sure that your child knows that they are loved, and promise that they will hear the words “I love you” every day. We will make sure that they are given hugs and kisses and will create a home where they can become whoever they want to be. We will make sure that they laugh every day and always maintain a playful and joyous spirit. Even in the most trying times, they will know how it is to lead with joy and love and that that way of being is one of the most powerful and infectious qualities that we hold near and dear to our hearts.
We will be a part of making sure that your child becomes a kind, compassionate, generous and genuine person who can do anything and accomplish anything that they want. We will support their dreams and passions, offer them opportunities to discover, and challenge them to think critically and develop independent and personal goals and values. We will make sure your child knows that during the hardest and most challenging times, they have parents who will always be there to support them, guide them, listen to them, and help them wade through any of life’s difficulties. We will make sure your child is exposed to a wide range of cultures and learn about people that are different from them while honoring their personal heritage. We will make sure that they know that the most important thing in our lives is our connection to our family and that will include their birth family. We will work tirelessly to make sure that your child knows that they are the greatest gift of our lives and we will forever be grateful.
We are so thankful you’ve taken some time to get know a little about us and are considering us as prospective adoptive parents. We’re incredibly excited about this next chapter in our lives and that chapter includes getting to know you. We want your child to know where they come from and for us to be able to instill in them a sense of the history, heritage, and culture of their birth family. We would love if you wanted to speak with us more!
We have a toll free number you can reach us on at 1 (888) 234-1299
We look forward to hearing from you!
Whatever your decision, we wish you peace and serenity.
With our love,
Robert & Jeremy
And if you have any questions you can always feel free to contact our lawyer,
Suzanne Nichols at her toll free number 1-800-255-1415.
She is happy to speak with you and answer any of your questions.