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QUICK FACTS

Phone: 1-800-854-5320
we live in: Toronto, Ontario
Our neighbourhood: Urban
Other Children: No
Pets: No

Dear Expectant Parent(s),

Thank you for viewing our profile. We cannot begin to comprehend what you are feeling, but we are grateful for you and the life you are bringing into the world. Should our fates align, we will be supportive, understanding and open.

Our Story

We met 21 years ago while attending college. Although Ben had a crush on Amanda right from the start, we opted for a friendship instead. It wasn’t until 10 years later that Ben invited Amanda to a friend’s cottage and feelings shifted on a canoe at sunset. We’ve been married for 4 ½ years now and adoption has been a part of our conversation since day one. As we married in our late thirties, we were aware that birthing our own child might be challenging. So after two IUI’s and one IVF, we decided to turn our focus to adoption in order to build our family.

About Amanda

I was born and raised in Toronto and I am the eldest of two children. I am very close with my family and I had a great childhood. My mother (a beautiful artist) spent many days engaged in arts and crafts with me, and took my brother and I to a lot of live theatre. My father (an excellent carpenter) was a jokester and did everything he could to make us laugh. Beginning at the age of four, I took ballet and piano lessons and I later attended an arts high school (majoring in modern dance). I love education. As a result, I pursued three degrees. I’ve worked as a professional singer, dancer, and actor throughout Canada and the USA. I’ve released two albums and I’ve been an educator for 21 years. Friends would describe me as warm, empathetic, and outgoing. I’m very passionate and I have a big laugh. I’m always trying to better myself and my mom will tell you that I have more facial expressions than a cartoon character.

About Ben

I was born and raised in Ottawa, I’m the youngest of 11 cousins, including my older sister. My family has always been central in my life. Growing up, hockey was a big part of my childhood. Learning the game on the outdoor rinks in my neighborhood eventually lead to playing, refereeing and coaching. Music has been a constant throughout my life. Some of my earliest memories are of playing a plastic banjo while my dad would play guitar as part of a bedtime routine. That love of music and performing lead to an education and career in Music and Theatre. Today, I still play in several bands, often performing to raise money so underprivileged kids can get music lessons. I am also proud to regularly perform the national anthems at Blue Jays games in the Sky Dome. I am currently the Director of Music Programming for a custom music service company in Toronto. My friends would describe me as loyal, caring, adventurous and hardworking. I’m very affectionate and oddly happy around a bar-b-q.

Our Family

There are the “Italians” and the “Canadians.” Amanda’s family (the Italians) love to eat and laugh. Amanda is exceptionally close to her younger brother (who is a Naturopathic Doctor) and Amanda’s parents are retired TCDSB employees. Amanda has five cousins and they all have thriving families. We’re known for spirited discussions and hallway polka dancing! Ben’s roots are deeply Canadian. Meals, songs, debates, and sports are all best shared with family. Volunteer work has always been important in our family. Ben’s mother is a retired teacher and full time Granny to our niece and nephew. Ben’s father balances being a grandfather with his work as a financial planner.

Our Friends

Our friends are largely artists or performers and, as a result, we are a fun and silly crew. We make music together, a friend married us, and as we are both very social, we host meals as often as we can! We play euchre, go to cottages, have basement jam sessions, and backyard fires. In our social circle we also have successful entrepreneurs, teachers, parents, and environmentalists. They are our extended family and all on board for our adoption journey.

Our Home and Community

For the past 4 ½ years, we have lived in a detached, two-story, two-bedroom home in an urban community. We have a very large backyard surrounded by trees, and a large basement filled with instruments and open space. Our home is filled with family photos, old wood furnishings, and paintings done by family. It’s a warm and cozy vibe.

Our Family Cottage

It’s in Quebec and we visit at least once a summer. We share meals, play games, and have sing-a-longs by the fire. If we’re lucky, we get to see a full moon rise! Ben is more adventurous on the water (water skiing) but Amanda enjoys going out on the boat or lounging on the dock making hemp jewellery or reading a good novel.

Our Traditions 

They include Gingerbread Cookie-Making, Christmas’s in Ottawa, Cheesy Christmas Vinyl, Halloween Pumpkin Carving, Decadent Birthday Cake-Making, Canada Day Parades, Back Yard Fires, Hockey Play-Off Socials, and Waffle Sundays. I’m sure you’ve guessed that we LOVE celebrating Christmas and dressing up for Halloween.

Our Experience with Children

Amanda has been teaching children aged 2 ½ to adolescent’s aged 18 for twenty-one years. Amanda began as a camp councilor for 12 year-old girls, while staying in a two-month overnight camp. She teaches private voice and piano lessons, and has directed child musicals (such as The Wizard of Oz). Amanda developed and taught a Music Theatre program for pre-school children. Amanda has worked with children who have developmental disabilities, are on the autism spectrum, have intellectual delays, mental illness, and behavioural issues. As an Elementary Teacher, Amanda has taught Band, Voice, ESL, and Core Grade 6/7. As a performer, Amanda toured various Elementary Schools in Ontario educating students on Diabetes through music theatre. She also performed a variety of children’s theatre, such as Bunch ‘O Munsch, where she played 14 different Robert Munsch characters! Ben began babysitting the children of family friends when he was a teenager, and he has maintained relationships with some of those children to this day. One such child (now a grown man) has become an extension of Ben and Amanda’s family and, on occasion, will play gigs with them. Ben also coached both beginner and competitive hockey. One of the boys Ben coached is now playing in the NHL for the Dallas Stars. Ben has given private music lessons to children on both guitar and drums. Ben regularly attended a co-ed summer camp as a child, and, years later began working as a counselor at that same camp. As a counselor for boys aged 8, Ben lead camping trips, was a swimming and canoeing instructor, and eventually was the head counselor for the youngest boy cohort. Ben’s track record as a camp leader lead him to be recruited by a camp in the USA where he was the Junior Boys Leader, directed plays and musicals for the children, and helped re-write the camps leadership training program. We are both the proud aunt and uncle to our nephew (aged 7) and niece (aged 4). We love reading, singing, puzzling, making crafts, dancing, or playing make-believe.

Your child will have…

  • The freedom and encouragement to become the best version of themselves. We aim to guide, inspire, and love.
  • Two cheerleaders while they choose their own path. We will never force your child to share our views on religion or politics.
  • The freedom to choose their own leisure activities.
  • Consistency, honesty, and healthy boundaries. We do not believe in physical punishment. We stand for redirection, reflection, and productive “think- time” with learning opportunities.
  • A life book that shows respect for family, lineage, and culture. This will include your family as well as ours.
  • A pet dog!
  • Oscar-worthy story-telling.
  • Instruments and children’s music galore.
  • A puppet collection.
  • Living room dance parties.

Our Views on Adoption

We believe that an open adoption is in the best interests of your child. We will view our potential relationship in the same way one of our normal friendships might evolve: we are open to beginning as acquaintances, move toward a friendship, and (as we treat our current friends) understand there is a possibility that you may become a part of our extended family. We are comfortable with the following:

  • E-mail updates with photo exchanges
  • In-person visits at a location convenient to both families
  • The birth mother (or birth family) choosing the middle name of the child
  • Despite the terms of our agreement, we will never prevent your child from reaching out to you

We understand the complexities that may emerge between a birth parent and adoptive family. As such, we believe in ongoing, open and honest dialogue.

Thank you…

For considering us as prospective parents and should you call, you will find a warm voice on the other end.

Lots of love,

Amanda and Ben