Writing this letter to you, it’s hard to know what to say.
On the one hand, we want you to know that we are thinking of you. That we are picturing you reading this while having to make a BIG life decision: choosing a family for your child!
On the other hand, we want you to know who we are. And why we find ourselves writing this letter to you. We want you to know that we are fun and caring people who love each other so much. And that our decision to start a family is simply because we want to share our love and help it grow into something bigger than us. We want you to know that we tried to start a family the biological way. But when it didn’t feel right for us anymore, we remembered this isn’t the only way.
We imagine there are a lot of things to consider when choosing a family for your child. But at the end of the day, it’s just gotta feel right…
What are the chances that we could be family?
With all our love,
Geoff & Robyn
We were both born and raised in Toronto and have lived together in the city’s downtown west end since 2008. We actually grew up ten minutes away from one another and went to the same summer camp but did not meet until many years later… As the story goes, in 2007, Robyn was working at the front desk of the Jewish Community Centre (JCC) where Geoff used to work out. It was early days of Facebook and Robyn sent a message through a mutual friend that she was interested in Geoff. On the day Geoff received this helpful tip, he was faced with a very important decision: ask Robyn out or stop working out at the JCC. Luckily, Geoff was also interested in Robyn and asked her out later that day.
Within 30 minutes of their first date, Robyn knew she was going to marry Geoff. It was love at first sight. According to Robyn, everything about Geoff, from his values, to his sense of humour, to his general way of being were a perfect match.
As a couple, we are very supportive of one another and also like to laugh a lot and cuddle with our dog, Mooshi. We love each other deeply and invest the time and energy needed to have a strong relationship. We both work hard at our jobs but when the day is done, so is our work, and we are very ready to be parents. We value our downtime and getting away to our favourite places. We often take hikes outside the city and spend a week each summer on Manitoulin Island. We have also made it a tradition that every five years we to take a road trip through magical New Mexico – the place we went on our honeymoon.
As a kid, I was a bit on the quiet side and decided early on to carve my own path in life. In terms of family heritage, I am first generation Canadian. My mom speaks Spanish and English and was born in Tangiers, Morocco, and my dad is the son of Holocaust survivors from Poland. I grew up in a lower-middle class family, where money was tight, and as result home life could be tense at times. My parents stayed married for 37 years before eventually splitting up.
I attended a specialised arts public high school where I could nurture my love of drawing, painting, and dance and fit in a little bit easier. This led me to a bachelor of fine arts with a focus on design and art history in Halifax. A core value instilled in me from a young age was the importance of taking care of myself. I left home at 18 and worked 3 jobs to pay my way through university and live independently. I worked for several years as a graphic designer doing layouts for retail flyers and in the non-profit sector before going back to school to complete a masters degree in urban planning. After grinding my way through many less than ideal jobs, I am now lucky to work at the City of Toronto in a fantastic (and unionized/secure) job, and I still draw in my sketchbook when the mood strikes.
(As told by Geoff) If you asked one of Robyn’s friends to describe her, they’d probably say she is a smart, sensitive and caring person with a silly (and sometimes dirty!) sense of humour. Robyn is the kind of person who fights for what she believes in. If something does not feel right to her, Robyn makes a change. If something is working for her, she sets out to make it better.
Things Robyn loves and gets her energy from:
As a kid I was a bit of a trouble-maker but also quite sensitive too. My experience growing up was a mix of things. I enjoyed the privilege of being raised in a well-off family, including going to summer camp and attending private school. At the same, I also experienced times of challenge. In grade 11, I transferred to a mostly Jewish high school where I met some of my best friends to this day. After high school I went west to the University of Victoria, B.C. where I focused most of my time playing in bands (I also completed a degree in Anthropology). After school, I travelled, worked in restaurants, and did the musician thing while living in Vancouver. However, when pressures of early adulthood started to weigh on me I decided to move back home and I am grateful to my parents for always being there when it really counted.
Back in Toronto I started volunteering and working in the non-proft sector, which is where I found my calling. In 2010, I returned to school, first completing a bachelor in social work (part-time at nights), and then a masters degree, before landing my dream job as a youth and family counsellor.
(As told by Robyn) Geoff is the best husband you could ask for. He is so caring and communicative, immensely talented (and I wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t true) silly, supportive, and pretty cute. He is very easy to talk to, and his kindness and openness make everyone in the room comfortable. His family also provides us with a certain level of financial security which I must say is extremely comforting.
Things Geoff loves and gets his energy from:
A friend of the family once described Robyn and Geoff as a “no bullshit couple”. Which we think means that we are who we are and we’ve got nothing to hide.
We are both honest people who believe in working hard and being persistent to get where you want to go. We like to experience new places and cultures and keep our eyes open to the world around us. Politically we lean left. We know that we possess a certain privilege and believe in justice and equity for people and the planet. We set aside money for the future and for the things we love, including trips overseas and getaways in between. We both consider ourselves good listeners and people who keep good friends close.
In terms of religion, we are both Jewish however we rarely attend synagogue. We light the Shabbat candles on Friday nights when we can, and are more aligned with the cultural, spiritual and community-minded nature of what being Jewish means.
When it comes to being parents, we are ready and know we will bring all these parts of ourselves to the table. We plan to incorporate your child’s birth culture into our lives. We will be empathetic, patient, and loving, and when we need to be, we will be firm and structured too. We will definitely want to share our love for arts and culture but will also be open-minded to whatever your child’s interest might grow into. We know we will encourage your child to get outside just as much as we encourage quiet time and time to laugh and sing and dance.
Most of all, we know we will love your child the only way we know how – with everything we’ve got.
We consider ourselves lucky to have a house in downtown Toronto surrounded by neighbours from different cultures, as well as good schools, community centres, galleries, music venues, parks, and libraries. Home for us means having friends and family over for holidays and hang-outs. It means having our nieces and nephews over for sleep-overs, taking them skating, trick or treating, and doing random stop-by’s too.
We also wanted to show you our house and some of the rooms in it. For the first 10 years living in our place, we lived on the second floor apartment and rented out the main floor and basement. About three years ago we re-designed and renovated the space, taking over the main floor as well. Our home is a bright, warm space with an extra bedroom ready to go.
Basically all of our family lives in Toronto. This means we are able to come together for holidays and get togethers with our parents, siblings, nieces and nephews for random dinners and outings on the weekends. Geoff’s family has a cottage in Muskoka where we spend time together swimming, playing games, making camp fires, and enjoying meals around the big dining room table. Geoff’s parents go to Florida in the winter and we go there when we can too, and would love to bring your child along swimming at the pool and beach.
Both of us keep a small yet tight group of friends. We really value our friendships and put effort into them. For Geoff, this might mean going out for a few beers on a weekend or going on a annual summer canoe trip. For Robyn, this might mean going out for a walk or dinner with a couple girlfriends to catch up on the latest life updates or just connecting one-on-one for a phone chat.
And lastly we come to Mooshi, a.k.a the Burger Baby, Meesh, Mersh, and the Cuddle Queen. Mooshi is a Whoodle. She is a mix of a Wheaten Terrier and a Miniature Poodle (hypoallergenic) and she loves to play, cuddle, chase balls and just be cute in general. She is great with kids and super soft (you won’t believe it!) and gets a lot of love from everyone in the family. If truth be told, it’s hard to describe the depth of emotional richness that Mooshi has brought to our lives. If we were to adopt your child, we have no doubt that they would have a great friend in Mooshi too!
When we made the decision that we were going to adopt there was no hesitation or awkward questions from our families – everyone was supportive, happy for us and excited to welcome a new child to the family. Robyn has been open about the fact that she has wanted to adopt since she was a teenager. As well, Geoff’s first cousins, John and Noel, were adopted, and despite being taller than everyone, they have always been part of the family.
If we adopt your child, we would talk to them about their adoption story and birth family to make sure they are confident and proud of who they are and where they come from.
We know that having a relationship with you will help foster your child’s development, sense of self and identity and we welcome openess with you and your family/families through visits, emails, sharing photos, and seeing eachother on video calls throughout the year. We also understand that you may be unsure about openness and we respect your wishes either way.
There is a picture of us on a boat in our profile that was taken on the top deck of the Chi-Cheemaun ferry that goes from Tobermory to Manitoulin Island on Lake Huron in Ontario. Several summers ago we boarded this ship and fell in love with the place.
The ritual of getting away from the city and spending time to reflect, connect, and explore says a lot about the kind life we have created together: when we find things we love we weave them into our lives. Facing the tough times along with the good is all part of the experience we believe. And this is the philosophy we would bring to parenting your child.
No matter what you decide, we want you to know that we wish the best for you.
We will love your child fiercely, and wish you safe and easy travels on your journey ahead.
With all our love,
Geoff & Robyn