S: ellen & humberto
FC: ellen & humberto
1: Dear Birthparent(s), We are excited and honored that you are taking the time to read our story to get to know us and to consider us as the adoptive family for your precious child. You are a special and courageous person to consider adoption for your baby. While we realize this portfolio can only provide a window into our lives, we are excited to meet with you so that you can get to know us better, and we look forward to getting to know you. We are comfortable with an open adoption where we stay in contact with arranged meetings, pictures, and letters. Whatever the outcome, we wish you all the best, sincerely from our hearts.
2: laugh | love | friends | Clockwise, left to right: Our hike down to the Grand Canyon; White-water rafting the Pacuare "thunder" River in Costa Rica; Hanging with the Presidents at Mount Rushmore.
3: Our names are Ellen and Humberto and we have been married for over 5 years. Our lives together started 6 years ago when we were both doing our medical training. We had a rather short courtship...it was as if we knew each other for a long time...we were married within 11 months. Here are our stories. Ellen on Humberto: It took me over 30 years of my life to have met my life-time partner, Humberto. It was not too long into our courtship when I knew that he was the person for me: I had caught a stomach bug and he drove to my home in the middle of the night to take care of me (I am the worst patient). Humberto has a brilliant mind. I admire the fact that he moved to a foreign country, away from his family and friends, to pursuit his career and a better life. He has a love and appreciation for family. Even being far from his family, he maintains a close relationship with his mom, sister, and nephew. His nephew adores him. As a husband he is very loving and supportive. He encourages me to pursue my interests and develop my talents. He makes me laugh every day. He is my very best friend and I enjoy dating and spending time with him.
4: laugh | smile | friends | Left to right: Hiking in 3 ft of water in Utah; After a canoe ride in Devil's Lake, Wisconsin; Awed by the glacier in Alaska.
5: Humberto on Ellen: I had been attracted to Ellen's smile, laughter and aura of happiness even before she noticed. When we first met I used to go home and think about her. Eventually I found the courage to call her and some months later we got married. Suddenly and luckily I became her husband and her parents became also my parents. Ellen is a family person. She cares very much for our parents Perfecto, Erlinda and Luz and our brothers Virgilio, Gisselle and Gina. By now I know her happy and also distressed and she knows me that way too. She taught me about nature and I became a fan. We enjoy each other’s company, we have a solid relationship, and plan to grow old together. Ellen enjoys the company of kids and that is why she chose to be a pediatrician. She interacts with kids and they smile, play and behave as when they are with somebody who they trust.
6: Left to right: Ellen's Goddaughter helping Humberto feel better after stepping on reef; Ellen playing with our friend's' kids; Humberto and his nephew attempt synchronized diving; Ellen and our nephew carb-loading with peanuts before Humberto's triathlon.
7: We have always known that we would like to start a family and share our lives and love with children. The possibility of adoption was always present in our minds, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to do so. Ellen’s parents fostered three beautiful girls, now young women, when she and her brother were grown and out of the home. She witnessed their trials of parenting, yet the fulfillment it gave her parents to be able to share their love and home with them. The girls continue to call Ellen’s parents “mom and dad,” they communicate regularly, and they attend their weddings, graduations, and births of their children. Through this experience, Ellen realized the strong lifetime connection that had been made. As a couple, we understand that adoption is a lifetime commitment and we promise to maintain that commitment forever.
8: Humberto was born and raised in Panama City, Panama. His parents were good role models of love, stability, work and provided a safe environment. He saw all qualities of both his parents while growing up. He went to medical school in Panama and then worked for the Panama government for 2 years. Then he decided to pursue his career in the United States. He works as a primary care physician in one of the general hospitals in Chicago. Humberto loves to play and watch sports. His favorite sport is soccer. He enjoys running and finished the Chicago Marathon in 2009. He participates in triathlons every summer and snowboards with Ellen in the winter.
9: Clockwise left to right: Dinner with Humberto's family in Panama; Humberto with his mom, sister, and nephew in Panama; Humberto enjoying the beach in Panama with his sister and her family.
10: Clockwise left to right: Ellen with mom during medical school graduation party; Ellen with dad on one of his visits to Chicago; Ellen and her family on her brother's wedding day.
11: Ellen was born in the Philippines, and raised in Hawai’i since the age of 2 years. She grew up in a little country town on the east side of O’ahu. Hawai’i, being a true melting pot, Ellen grew up learning and appreciating a variety of cultures. She speaks her parent’s native tongue, Filipino; she dances the Hawaiian hula; she has cooking recipes from the Philippines, Japan, China, and Korea. Both of her parents worked very hard and taught Ellen work ethic. They provided unconditional love and stability, and taught their children to have confidence and self-respect. Ellen’s parents were loving, but strict. She has grown to appreciate how her parents protected and guided her. With their love and support, Ellen completed her schooling. She is a doctor for children with cancer and blood disorders. Ellen loves surfing and snowboarding. She also participates in triathlons in the summer. She cheers for Humberto during his running races.
12: Our home: We live in a neighborhood in the south side of Chicago. It is a safe and calm neighborhood not far from the White Sox stadium. There is a park near-by, where people take their kids for a stroll and we see them using their kites on the top of the hill. Ellen has been trying to convince Humberto to go sledding down the hill during winter. We also take our bicycles to the lakefront where there is a beach house and a park near-by. We live in a multi-cultural community, which we feel will be a great place to raise our future child.
13: Our home: Center: Ellen's parents and Humberto's sister and nephew visit with us in Chicago.
14: happiness is.... | Clockwise left to right: With Ellen's brother and mom in front of the golden King Kamehameha statue; Within the locks of the Panama Canal; Celebrating Humberto's birthday in Panama; A visit to the Honolulu zoo with Ellen's parents; With Humberto's family in Panama.
15: We are lucky that we were born in cool and unique places. Our families are from Panama and Hawai’i, and we get to visit with them often. When we go to Panama and Hawai’i, we like to explore and travel those areas. We enjoy snorkeling, seeing the coral reef and trying to identify the tropical fish. We also enjoy bird-watching which requires stamina, patience and a great deal of luck. Our most recent trip we were able to see toucans and tons of hummingbirds (our favorite); we love to hike so we are usually trying to figure out how to visit the state or national parks. We dream when the time comes that we can visit these beautiful places and share these unique adventures with our future child. Our family comes to visit us in Chicago often and we are blessed with their company. Humberto, dad Pete and nephew Moises go to the baseball game while Ellen, mom Erlinda, mama Lucy and sister Gisselle go to the theatre. | ...family
16: We have truly been blessed with a loving network of family and friends of diverse backgrounds, our health, a cozy home, and resources that would provide a wonderful environment and a healthy upbringing for children. Although our families are geographically apart, they are excited and have been extremely supportive about our plan to grow our family through adoption, and they will be here to welcome our child’s arrival. Our parents are ready and looking forward to helping babysit our child. Humberto's mom will teach our child Spanish; Ellen's dad would like to teach our child how to care for bonsai plants; Ellen's mom will teach our Filipino/Hawaiian traditions. Humberto and Ellen have taken many classes and courses to be well-prepared for adoption, including transcultural adoption, barriers to adjustment, attachment, and child development.
17: Clockwise left to right: Lots of food and family when we visit Ellen's family in Hawai'i; Family reunion at Ellen's parents home; With Humberto's mom during his graduation from residency; With Ellen's family at her parent's home in Hawai'i.
18: OHANA means.....
20: We are a multicultural family. Humberto is Hispanic and Ellen is Asian/Pacific Islander. We welcome a child of any race or culture. We will create a nurturing family by developing in our child a sense of belonging in the family; by encouraging our child to be authentic and allow our child to reach his/her potential; by learning and honoring our child's heritage; by ensuring that our child feels valued to ensure security and self-confidence; and by loving him/her unconditionally. | friends | fun | love
21: Clockwise left to right: A visit to China town with Ellen's friends and their kids; Our Panama family in Chicago; Sharing our love with animals with Humberto's niece, nephew and mom; Ellen's family and foster sister in Hawai'i.
22: We also have a network of friends who are also adoptive families. Amy and Carter adopted Myles who is from Ethiopia, and Gigi and Bob adopted Evelyn who is from South Korea. Amy has been a great support and resource for Ellen. In some way we feel it would be very nice if our future adopted child befriends Myles and Evelyn. Kids tend to teach a lot to adults without talking to us. | A 2-year old's birthday party. Watching our friends' kids play.
23: We have a great deal of admiration for you and your love for this child in considering adoption. We realize that it takes an enormous amount of courage and generosity to be so selfless in your decision. We are excited to have the opportunity to grow our family through adoption. We are most comfortable with an open adoption where we stay in contact with arranged meetings, pictures and letters, but will respect the level of openness that you are most comfortable with. We will be good parents, and we will make our child’s interest the first priority. He/she will be safe with us. We know that this letter is just a glimpse into our lives, so we look forward to the possibility of meeting with you to get to know each other more. We wish you the best and hope you find peace in all of your decisions. Fondly, Humberto and Ellen | Greensands, Hawai'i.
24: Clockwise left to right: Zip-lining the Panama rainforest. Ellen surfing at Waikiki; With Ellen's family and foster sister; Family fun run with Humberto's sister and nephew.
25: Clockwise left to right: Snowboarding; Triathlon; Listening to the hummingbird wings; Hiking Mt. Haleakala.