BC: Look forward to hearing from you
FC: A | Al | Alycee and Jennifer: A Brief Introduction to Us
1: We are “Alycee”and “Jennifer,” and both of us are so happy to have this moment to share with you as much about our lives as we can possibly share in only a few pages. Before we do, however, we want to say that although we can’t possibly understand how difficult this journey might be for you, we can at least let you know that – regardless of the path you ultimately choose – we wish for you nothing but the greatest well-being. | Family
2: "Lucky I'm in love with my best friend" | "Lucky I'm in love with my best friend"
3: The best thing about me is you. | Believe it or not, we met online when, during the summer of 2006, Alycee placed an ad looking for someone who loved the blues (she’s a huge blues fan). Jennifer answered and, after a few email exchanges, the two of us decided to meet. We hit it off immediately; we discovered that we both love all kinds of music, going to plays, bike riding, traveling, dancing, talking politics, and taking long walks. We also found that we both shared a love for family and for children, and talked about our desire to raise children someday. In 2008, we decided to “make it official” and we registered as domestic partners.
4: Alycee | I grew up in a community in Maryland that, was “the country.” We did not live far from farms and wooded areas. Looking back, I realize it was a great place to grow up; we played outdoors constantly and felt pretty safe. After graduating fro high school I attended college close to home. To this day, I am grateful for having had the opportunity to attend Howard University, a historically black college with primarily African American students and teachers, committed to creating better opportunities for our communities. It was a very prideful experience, one I am hoping that our children will have. After I graduated from Howard University, I moved to California in order to further my studies in literature and, eventually, law. | With my eldest nephew when he was starting to walk! | Spending time with two of my nephews when they were young | Celebration for graduation from Law school | We dressed up every Easter, was 7 | Hiking in Hawaii | Hiking in California
5: I love to read and I pretty much read everything (a friend of mine once commented that I even read cereal boxes), play guitar, write both fiction and non-fiction and, as a former basketball player, I love to watch basketball (I am, without a doubt, the LA Lakers’s number one fan). I also love to cook all kinds of food, from Soul Food to Indian cuisine, and will probably be the one whose food the children will brag about and miss when they get older (my nieces and nephews love when I cook)! I look forward to providing a loving home for children and teaching them all of the wonderful things I learned growing up, as well as providing them with experiences that will make them whole and loving people. | Practicing bongos after class | Caught in a silly moment when I was a professor | Enjoying a Blues festival
6: Alycee | First grandchild at high school graduation, our nephew Khari with his parents | Alycee looking for someone to play with her | Alycee's graduation from Law school | Hiking in California
7: Alycee being silly with younger brother | Alycee with mother, sister and sisters-in-law | Enjoying a Blues festival | Alycee with sister and brothers on family trip to Niagara Falls | Alycee lwith dear friend Priya | Alycee with mother and cousins
8: I have always had a great love of learning and consider it a gift and privilege to be a teacher and a lifetime learner. As a student I ended my formal education after receiving my PhD in Social Work and Sociology. I enjoyed my educational experiences immensely although sometimes I think I learned more outside of school than inside. | Jennifer | Defended dissertation for PhD | Graduated from Kindergarten | Dancing with cousins at family reunion | From our garden | Jennifer Ioves hiking!
9: I love being active. I especially love dancing, swimming, hiking and riding my bicycle, which I ride everywhere (including to work). People tease me and ask if I sleep with it under my pillow. I’m excited about possibility of going exploring with our child, being active with them, laughing with them and supporting them to engage their curiosity and pursue their interests with us and on their own. | Nico at 3 weeks | Samba dance performance | Jennifer and running partner after a road race. everyone was very serious so they decided to make it fun | Jennifer's father would design Halloween costumes for me, my sister and brother every year. IJennifer is the clown
10: Jennifer | Defended dissertation for PhD | Looking at flowers in the desert. Jennifer loves exploring outside | Jennifer has always been fascinated by astronauts. Her visit to space exhibit | Surprise visit to father for his birthday | Christy Love was Jennifer's hero as a kid; her as Christy for Halloween
11: Jennifer visiting Florida cousins | Enjoying time in Northern California | Friends and family at Jennifer's dissertation defense | Jens and Jennifer visiting Jennifer's mom. | Hanging out being silly with Solomon
12: A view of our Family | Alycee is the youngest daughter of Joan and Ambrose, and sister to Ingrid, Ambrose, Jr. and Spencer. She is also auntie to numerous nieces and nephews. Jennifer is the youngest daughter of Percy and Glenda, and sister to Kip and Anthony. We have chosen adoption not only because we love children and want to have them in our lives, in our home, in our backyard playing, but also because we come from loving, nurturing families that also love children. In fact, our families are all very excited that we have decided to adopt (both of our mothers are threatening to come live with us the first few months the baby comes home to us!). | Alycee's Parents | Jennifer's parents | Alycee and Jennifer at Jennifer's family reunion. They LOVE Alycee! | Alycee with parents and sister and brothers | Alycee and Jennifer with niece and nephews at graduation party
13: Alycee's sister and cousin with their families during a visit. We all have a great time! | Jennifer and father. We try to see each other every father's day and for each of our birthdays | Jennifer and sister in NYC Botanic Gardens. She always surprise with a cool adventure when I visit | Jennifer with siblings mother and grandfather | Jennifer, mother and sister | Alycee's eldest brother and family | Alycee's youngest brother and family
14: Some of our "California family" | Over the many years we have been in California, we have "adopted" several dear friends as sisters and brothers. We spend a lot of time with our friends, many of whom are parents of young children. In fact, four years ago we formed a group with other couples who cherish children and who were planning to create families of their own. We now have a network of sixteen parents with children whose ages range from one to four. They are all excited about our adoption plans. Since many of our friends have adopted children or are hoping to adopt, our child will have friends who will understand adoption as a positive experience. Our community is very youth friendly with parks, holiday parades, and fun events for children of all ages. | Good friends Alan and Jens over for Thanksgiving dinner | A hot day in the park with Elias, Christine and Zuri | Us with Solomon who came to our friend through adoption | Friends with their twin boys,daughter and one of their godfathers
15: "Friends are Flowers that Never Fade" | Nico is finally old enough for a sleepover at our house | Dana, Lillian and Emiliano | Cida, Pablo and Luca before Nico was born | Our good friend Gerald | Jennifer's dear friend and older "brother:"(n hat) Richard with his high school friend | Our dear friend Takai, Solomon's mother
16: We both love to travel, seeing the world and exploring new places is definitely something we’d love to share with our children and hope that they will enjoy discovering new places. | Adventure | North Africa | Egypt with Mom | Hiking in Panama
17: Between the two of us we have visited over 30 countries and studied three languages. All of our experiences have taught us that there are so many beautiful people in the world and even though we have many differences between us, we have many more things in common and there is so much we can learn from others. | Hiking on our trip to Hawaii | Rio de Janiero, Brazil | Taj Mahal, India
18: HOME | From our garden | We intend to provide any child we have the fortune to welcome to our family with much love, opportunity, fun and support. Both of us believe it is important for children to enjoy the pleasures of childhood and allowed to be kids. We believe what all children must have is love, nurturing, guidance and support. This is what is necessary for them to achieve important life goals. We’re both strong believers in education which includes academic and life experience. We know each child is unique and we will find the proper balance between strongly supporting our child; fighting for them when necessary, and giving them the tools to be independent when appropriate. Though we’ve not been parents ourselves yet, we have experience with children from infancy through teens. This experience has come through our association with nieces and nephews, children of friends and through our work, Jennifer has worked with youth 0-18 for the past 15 years. From this experience, we’ve learned young people need to know they have adult support all of the time. A young person also needs enough room to find their own way sometimes. We know we don’t have all the answers yet, any more than any parents,
19: yet we believe we’ll be really great parents, capable of adapting to changing needs as the child grows and encouraging them to follow their dreams. When we are blessed with a child, both Jennifer and Alycee will take the maximum leave time. We both believe bonding with our child would be important. Once the leave has expired, we will have an in-home care provider for part of the day. Jennifer will be in a position to negotiate a flexible work schedule so that she is able to work shorter weeks and be with our child at least one day during the week. When our child is old enough to attend pre-school, then Jennifer will think about returning to a regular work week. Eventually, Alycee may also have the flexibility to work from home when needed. We are very interested in adopting more than one child and will begin to seriously consider that option once our first child approaches the age of 2.5 years.