We are Jason and Chika from Toronto. We are ready to give our unconditional love to a child and expand our family through the miracle of adoption! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. Even though we do not know you yet, we have a great amount of respect and admiration for you. We cannot truly understand everything you are going through but please know we offer our sincere support and thoughts. Jason himself was adopted and knows a little of what the experience is like from the child’s perspective. But we know we can only try to understand the decisions that lie ahead for you. It is obvious the plan you are making is being made out of love, courage and selflessness and that you are trying to make the best decision for this child. We hope by looking at our photos and reading about our lives you will find comfort in knowing how much we want to share our lives with a child.
Chika and Jason met in Tokyo, where Chika is from, when Jason was living there for work. We got married in 2004, and settled in Toronto. We tried for years to have children and, after several rounds of IVF, had one daughter, Hanna. She is our pride and joy – she is now 6 years old, happy and healthy, and would love a younger brother or sister more than anything. Unfortunately, we have been told that it will be impossible for us to have more children on our own.
Chika works downtown in Toronto for a company that runs a power station. She works in the head office doing accounting and finance work. Jason is a lawyer who works for a bank doing compliance, basically making sure customers and their money are kept safe. We live on a quiet street in a house north of the Danforth neighbourhood in Toronto. Hanna goes to a good public school two blocks away, and one of us walks her to and from school every day.
We both work Monday to Friday, and Hanna goes to school the same days and time. We are both home for dinner every night and we spend evenings and weekends together. Occasionally, Jason has to work late, but not very often. We drive or take the subway, and we like to keep life simple – going to the park, the library, the bakery or ice cream store or apple picking are our favourite family activities. Hanna goes to a tutor for Japanese language on Saturdays where she learns a lot and sees many friends. She also likes gymnastics, running, drawing pictures and reading books. She has a pet hamster named ‘Hammy’, and two fish.
Jason’s parents and two older brothers all live in Ottawa, so we visit them several times a year. Hanna enjoys seeing her grandparents and four older cousins (all girls!). Chika’s family all lives in Tokyo, so we take a big family vacation there each year. We try to see the family, enjoy the great food and shopping in Japan, and we usually do something special like go to Disneyland.
We live in our own two-story house with four bedrooms and a finished basement. Hanna has her own room, and so would a child that joins our family through adoption. We were very lucky when we got our house that it was recently renovated so, while it was originally build in the 1960s, everything looks brand new. We have a long driveway, garage and a fenced backyard where Hanna loves to play, by herself or with friends. We have a garden and front yard too.
The area north of the Danforth is changing in recent years, with many new families moving in. A 2-minute walk away is the East York village with small shops, restaurants, a bakery and a Starbucks. We sometimes walk there on the weekend as a family for a treat. There are many parks, skating rinks, splash pads, pools and nature trails in our neighbourhood. There is a good elementary, middle and high school all within walking distance from our house.
We are very lucky that everything is so close, so we don’t spend too much time commuting or in the car most of the time. We do travel outside the city for fun sometimes, such as going apple picking or to Niagara Falls.
Chika grew up in Tokyo, Japan with her mother, father, younger sister and younger brother. Her parents owned and ran a kimono (traditional clothing) store. She and her sister and brother walked to local schools, and had many friends in their quiet neighbourhood, Itabashi. There is a lovely canal that goes through this part of town, lined with cherry blossoms that bloom in the spring. It’s a short train ride into the centre of Tokyo.
Chika went to Toyo College, where she learned English. She worked for both Japanese and American banks after college, and lived in England for some time. In her 20s, Chika liked running marathons and travelling to other countries with friends or family. She’s naturally good at sports and learning languages.
These days, Chika still likes exercising at the gym, reading, gardening and playing with Hanna. She calls her family every weekend in Japan.
Jason was adopted himself, and grew up in the west end of Ottawa with his father, step-mother and two older brothers. His parents split up when he was little and he lived with his father, but visited his mother and her new husband every second weekend. He never felt strange or different as a child of adoption, and felt his childhood was ‘normal’.
Jason had vision problems as a kid and had thick glasses, limiting his ability to play sports. He became a bit of a bookworm and loved to draw pictures. At age 16 he finally got contact lenses, and started mountain biking, swimming and running. Jason went to university in Ottawa and loved every minute of it – the learning new things, meeting new people, and volunteering with the mental health crisis centre. He also hosted international students from all over the world, including Japan. One of his roommates suggested he travel to Japan after graduation for work, and that’s what he did!
After Chika and Jason got married, they moved back to Toronto so he could go to law school. Times were a little tough financially and we lived in a tiny apartment. Luckingly, Jason got a good job as a new lawyer and we eventually could move into a house.
These days, Jason spends most of his free time with Hanna and Chika. He also likes reading, hiking and getting outside.
We understand that you will want to check in and know how the child is doing. We are comfortable with an open adoption where we agree on how much contact to have, whether to send pictures or letters, and how often to meet. Accepting that there need to be some boundaries, we expect to be relaxed and informal.