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Norma and Steve

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1: Hi, we are so happy that you are reading our book and thank you so much for doing so. Steve and I realize how serious and important this difficult decision must be for you. We know that there is a lot of love and thought going into it. We truly admire your strength and courage. Steve and I would love for you to consider us. We put this book together for you with the hope that by getting to know us, you will be comforted in knowing that your child would be raised in a warm and loving home. We welcome your child with open arms and hearts should you choose us. We are incredibly grateful to you and we would love to get to know you too. We truly hope that this is the beginning of a very meaningful relationship. | Norma and Steve

2: My name is Norma and my husband is Steve. We have been married for 4 wonderful years and have been trying to conceive a baby. We feel so blessed in having found each other and hope that very soon we can be a family. We know that we will be wonderful, responsible, fun and loving parents. We have a lot of love in our hearts and we would love to share it with your child. | December 2011

3: Aruba 2007 | Capri, Italy 2012 | Seaport 2007 | Greece 2008

4: Boston, 2009 John Adam's House | With Eli my cousin Teresa's son | Baltimore 2009

5: How we met: Our story began Memorial weekend in 2003. We met in a summer house in New Jersey. The house had a lot of people in it so we all split into different weekends. As soon as I met Steve, I knew that I wanted to get to know him better. I felt very drawn to him. We were on different weekends and saw each other maybe 3 times in all. One day we took the train back into Manhattan and got to know each other a little better. It was not until two years later that we saw each other at a friend's party and briefly talked. In early December 2006 we ran into each other at a mutual friends' birthday party. This time we talked a lot and I mentioned that I was going to a Christmas party in two weeks given by an organization that we both knew. Steve showed up at the Christmas party and we had so much fun dancing all night long. By the end of the evening he asked me for my number. We went out on our first date the following Saturday the 23rd of December.

6: Our first date was at a nice steakhouse. After dinner Steve gave me a red rose and black sweater because he said I dropped the one I had at the Christmas party so many times. I thought it was a very sweet and thoughtful gesture and said a lot about his character and his interest in me. We have been together ever since! We got engaged in April of 2008 after a helicopter ride over Manhattan and we married in September of that year. Our ceremony was at the church where Norma went to grammar school. Our beautiful reception was in downtown Manhattan in a venue overseeing the Marina. It was the weekend of Hurricane Hannah but we still had a fun wedding with family and friends! The next day we left to our honeymoon in Greece. | Norma and Steve wedding day!

7: Engagement Photo | nephews Evan and Ryan Christmas 2012 | Museum Jan. 2013

8: Mexico 2012 | Steve and I are passionate about life and are happy, positive people. We have a peaceful, fun and loving marriage. We enjoy watching movies, traveling, going to different museums/exhibits, trying different cuisines and visiting different baseball stadiums throughout the country. We also enjoy volunteering at the shelter. Luckily, we share the same family values, are both close to our parents and siblings and had great childhoods. We believe that this helps us out in our marriage and will definitely help in raising a family. Steve and I both work in the financial industry. I am an administrative assistant and event planner for my group and Steve is a successful Assistant Vice President. We do not however believe that our jobs or possessions define us. Balance is a way of life for us. It is most important that we spend time together as a family once we are blessed to adopt and that I be a stay home mom. I am so excited about realizing that dream and feel fortunate and blessed that Steve has a great career and I will be able to be a full-time mom! | Our Relationship:

9: With Will our friends Amy & John's son | Santa Monica 2010 | Steve acting silly!

10: Norma: My Childhood I am a native New Yorker and have beautiful childhood memories. My parents were (and still are) very caring, loving and supportive of me. I have one brother named Armando who is 3 years younger. We have a very close and loving relationship. My mom Blanca is of Mexican and Italian descent and was a stay at home mom. She often baby sat to save money. She is a loving, smart woman and a wonderful cook. She is talkative, has a lot of energy and is fun. She is great with kids and would love to be a grandma. My dad Rogelio is of Mexican and Spanish descent. He was the worker and provider of the family. He is a quiet, smart, very giving, loving and patient man. He worked in the hotel industry for 30 years. Sometimes we would go to his office which was a few floors above the Grand Ballroom and watched some big parties. That was so much fun! | Norma 2 years old

11: Norma 7 years old | Growing up on Sundays, we would sometimes go bike riding in Central park or ice-skating in Rockefeller Center. We often had family picnics in the park or go to the beach with our cousins and friends on the weekends. | Our niece Scarlette

12: 3 years old | 6 years old | Steve: My Childhood I was born in New Jersey to two wonderful parents, MaryAnn and George who have always provided for me. I feel very fortunate to have such great parental role models. My dad's family has been in the U.S. for many generations. He is of Scottish and Czech heritage. My mom is both Irish and Danish. I have two older siblings Mike and JeanAnn. We all live close to each other and celebrate the holidays and special occasions together. My brother Mike and his wife Adele have two wonderful boys, Ryan who is 15 and Evan who is 13. They enjoy playing football and catch with Uncle Steve. I am always interested in finding out which bands and music they listen to on their iPods and what’s going on in school and with their friends. We also catch up on sports as they are big football fans.

13: My sister JeanAnn and her husband Alan have a beautiful daughter named Scarlette who is 6. She enjoys arts and crafts and ballet. Her uncle Steve has helped her many times leap across the living room floor to showcase her dancing/ballet skills to the entire family. My family was very close growing up and I have many fond memories. Family vacations were spent by the ocean in Long Beach Island in New Jersey and horseback riding in Upstate New York. | Niece Scarlette, Steve, Norma,

14: My thoughts on Steve: My husband Steve is a wonderful, sweet, loving and intelligent man. I'm in love with him and cannot picture my life without him. He is my best friend. Many times people have told me whether it is by looking at his picture or after talking to him, that you can see in his eyes that he is a wonderful, kind soul. I love when we walk by a pet shop and he has to go in and look at the pets. I am so proud to be his wife and enjoy his company. He makes me laugh and believes in living life to the fullest. | Venice, Italy | Steve and nephew Eli

15: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico | I'm confident that he'll be a great dad who will provide the material things in life and the necessary guidance for children to grow up and be happy and confident individuals. I know he will give a lot of love and support to your child just as he does to me! Steve enjoys many sports and loves children. I can picture him helping your child learn to bike, scuba, play baseball, and martial arts to name a few. | Greece 2008

16: with Arya my friend Jaynita's daughter | My wife Norma is beautiful in every way. She is my world and gives me strength in all that I do. I am constantly inspired by her ability to understand the needs of others, her faith in God and her deep passion for life. Her loving family is dear to her. This foundation has given her direction. She is loving, open-minded and deeply committed. Norma loves exercising, dancing and is a great cook. She enjoys tapping into her mom's recipe book to serve healthy and delicious meals. Thankfully, I have a huge appetite! She also enjoys volunteering to Baby Buggy and other organizations through her company's foundation. | My thoughts on Norma:

17: Norma shares my love of travel and curious nature. Our quest to see different countries and cultures has enriched us both and. I could not ask for a better travel partner. Since starting on an adoption she has researched it through workshops and books. Her thorough approach affirms her strong desire to be a mom. She will be a great and loving mom. Your gift of life will help fulfill our dream and make us parents. | In Athens | Nephew Eli

18: Our Family and Friends... | friends Li and Glenn with their adopted son Tobi | friends Ranjeet, Jaynita and Arya at Arya's 3rd birthday | our friend Amy, nephew Eli and Amy's son Will

19: Scarlette's 6th birthday | Steve and I are blessed to have wonderful friends and family who have children. We try to see them as often as possible. We especially love when Scarlette our 6 year old niece visits and sleeps over! We have a lot of fun cooking mac and cheese and baking cookies. We also enjoy going to Central Park and riding the carousel with her. On other occasions we take her to the children's museum which she loves and afterwards we go to Shake Shack and eat burgers. We are all very sad when she has to leave. | Eli our nephew, Tia Titina & Tio Guanchi

20: When our friends Robin and Terry come in to see a play or go out to dinner in the city we babysit for their kids Ariana and Lucas. We enjoy taking them to the petting zoo and helping them feed the animals. It is so sweet to watch their faces light up! In the summer we go to our friend's Ken and Amy's shore house and enjoy going to the beach with their daughters Kaitlin and Kelsey. We like building castles with the girls and taking them to the local ice cream shop. | Kelsey (Ken and Amy's daughter) Summer 2012 | nephew Ryan's 13th birthday

21: We live in the city near two wonderful, big parks in a beautiful condo complex. Our neighborhood has a lot of children in it. We enjoy going to the parks for picnics, concerts, to walk, to bike and when Steve plays softball. Our condo faces the back and is very spacious and quiet. We have a perfect bedroom which will be the nursery. When people come to visit they often say they like the energy and feel of our place. The ceilings are high and the layout is good which makes it look even more spacious. We also have a community center in our complex which hosts our annual Halloween party for the kids. It is often also used for family, birthday and holiday parties. | Our Home | Teddy Bear for the baby | Arianna (Robin & Terry's daughter)

22: Halloween | Steve and I enjoy all holidays and one of our favorite is Halloween. Every year the celebration seems to get bigger and bigger. It is so much fun in our neighborhood. The kids spend the days knocking on our door collecting their candy. They look so cute and are dressed in a variety of costumes. Steve and I are always prepared and buy an assortment of candy. Sometimes we even dress up while we hand it out! The condo's annual Halloween party is a lot fun! We decorate the community room with balloons, pizza, cakes and cupcakes. We make sure to have our niece Scarlette come over to the party and she is often dressed as a princess. We also celebrate Halloween at our nephews' Ryan and Evan's house in New Jersey. That is fun because they invite their friends and the grownups dress up too. | Halloween 2009 with niece Scarlette

23: We love holidays and they are very special to us and to our families. We split them with both families. Christmas is our biggest holiday. Steve and I buy our tree from a vendor who sells trees from upstate New York. When we get home with our tree we play holiday music, drink eggnog and decorate it. This year we decorated it with a child’s motif in preparation for our adoption. Steve and I kick off the holiday season with a dinner that we have at an Italian family restaurant and its great fun! We invite his family and my brother and it is in early December. | nephew Ryan, niece Scarlette & nephew Evan Holiday dinner 2013

24: Christmas Eve is spent with my brother Armando and my cousins Teresa, David, Isabel, Miguel, Tia Titina and Tio Guanchi. Teresa and I have promised to keep our tradition of spending Christmas Eve together like we did growing up. This means one year she cooks and another year I cook. I usually make a yummy seafood dish. Usually it is shrimp in a Mexican sauce and I served it with rice and beans. My cousin Teresa brings a great cheese platter and my cousin Isabel brings a delicious dessert. We have a great time eating and exchanging gifts. This year we were blessed with having a new addition to our family and Christmas Eve which is Teresa and David’s beautiful son Eli! | Tio, Guanchi cousin Miguel, brother Armando, Tia Titina, cousins: Teresa & Isabel | nephew Eli's 1st Christmas and cousin Teresa

25: Christmas day is spent with Steve’s family in New Jersey at his brother Mike’s house. I usually bring a delicious chipotle sweet potato appetizer. It is fun because we have a great time eating a great meal and afterwards we open our gifts from our secret Santa. Thanksgiving we spend at his sister JeanAnn's celebrating it with a huge meal and Easter we celebrate at his parents'. We have an Easter egg hunt for the kids which they enjoy so much! JeanAnn and Alan have a huge yard do there are a lot of places to hide the eggs! | Steve, Norma, mom, sister JeanAnn, brother in-law Alan, dad & niece Scarlette | niece Scarlette and Norma Easter 2012

26: What we can offer your baby: Steve and I are down to earth, sensitive and kind people. We would love to offer your child a safe, financially secure, warm and fun loving home. We plan to bring up your child to be self-confident, happy, responsible, and to have compassion for others. We will also encourage your child to follow their dreams and cheer them on when following their education, favorite sports and hobbies. Parenting is something we are ready to experience and do not take lightly. We are committed to providing unconditional love and support. We look forward to so many happy times as a family and in welcoming your child to our extended family. Steve and I have wonderful memories of our childhood and are looking to create our own family memories with your baby. We have so much love to give and want to provide that to your child. We are blessed in having friends who have adopted and a cousin who has also adopted. They will be a great support group for your baby and us. They have already provided valuable encouragement and advice.

27: Our parting words to you: We are so excited about the possibility of making your precious child the center of our life and hope that this book has given you a glimpse of what that life would be like. We will be forever grateful for the trust you are placing on us, and will do everything we can to be sensitive and supportive as we embrace this journey together. We wish you courage in the days ahead and will pray for the decisions you will make for your child. We are willing to discuss various levels of openness that you may be comfortable with and promise to abide to whatever you need. Together, will we always celebrate life and we will always celebrate you. We would love to hear from you and to know more about you, what you want in your life and what you desire is for your child. We would like to tell you more about ourselves and answer any of your questions or concerns. Please feel free to contact us at our toll free number: 1 888 919 1604 or you can also contact our adoption attorney Suzanne Nichols. She is very easy to talk, can answer any of your questions or concerns about the adoption process and can help you find resources and support. Her toll free number is: 1-800-255-1415 Thank you for taking the time to getting to know us and many blessings. Norma and Steve

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