Thank you for taking the time to read our story and get to know us. It’s hard to draw a portrait of who we are in 1500 words but we hope this page gives you an idea of why we would be great fathers. We know in our hearts there is a baby out there waiting to be born into our family, and every day we hope their mother will find us. Maybe that mother is you. Thank you for giving us a chance to find out.
We met nine years ago, thousands of miles away, in the United Arab Emirates. Tai, who was born and raised in Vancouver, had moved to Abu Dhabi to develop artistic programs for the emirate, after spending ten years working in New York City. And Mani, who was born and raised in Cape Town, had moved to Dubai to grow his global career in advertising.
As fate would have it, we made friends with the same people, Line and Chris, who knew we would hit it off. They conspired to introduce us at a Norwegian National Day party hosted by Line, who is Norwegian, at her home. We liked each other but we lived in two different cities, an hour apart, so we didn’t make plans right away. Things got serious a few months later when Tai invited Mani to his birthday. We ended up talking for hours over dinner and long into the night. It may sound odd, but we talked about fatherhood on our first date. That’s just where we both were in our lives. We knew it would take years to start a family and we weren’t willing to date without a solid chance our partner could be the one. Looking back, we each admit that we knew that first night, that we had met the one with whom we would share all of life’s adventures to come.
We got married two years later in South Africa, surrounded by family and friends. It was a magical wedding that brought our loved ones together for the first time. In 2016, we left the UAE and moved to Toronto, a city we were drawn to for its diversity, safety, proximity to nature, and rich cultural life. We soon found great jobs. Tai now works as a curator for an art non-profit and teaches at the university, and Mani works as a Senior Strategist for a global advertising firm. In the last few years, we’ve also educated ourselves and prepared for open adoption. Earlier this year we bought a house in a neighbourhood we adore, with plenty of room for our family to grow. We feel blessed to be surrounded by loved ones at home, at work, and in our community. Everything is in place for the next chapter to begin, and we’re excited to welcome a child into our lives.
MANI BY TAI
Mani is an amazingly creative and sensitive person. He studied art in university and, to this day, he is always making things. He loves to get his hands dirty, whether it’s in the garden, his garage-workshop, or in the kitchen. He’s a wonderful cook, who is always inventing new dishes or planning lavish dinner parties for me, our friends, and our family.
Mani is extremely sensitive, thoughtful, and creative. Growing up gay in a conservative part of the world, he learned early how to stand up for himself. He’s grown into a man that is fiercely loyal and dedicated to his family and friends. He is not afraid to stand-up for his beliefs. He doesn’t like bullies and will always stick up for himself and those he loves. Mani is always willing to face a new challenge head-on, which makes him the best partner a boy could wish for. Whether it’s buying a home, planning a vacation, incorporating a new work-out, or learning a mindfulness technique – Mani dives right in. He keeps us always and forever moving forward.
TAI BY MANI
Tai is an incredibly intelligent, sensitive, and considerate person. He has an endless curiosity for how the world works and he loves to read and write. A book is never far from his hand along with his notepad. He has the ability to see creativity and beauty in everything. He is a critical thinker who believes the world can always be better. He is the best life partner I could have asked for. His intelligence is what drew me to him – he has advanced degrees in art history and curating – as well as his dashing good looks. His ability to view the world with wonder and his appreciation for undiscovered beauty is infectious.
Growing up in a mixed Filipino-French Canadian family, and as the youngest of three brothers and a sister, Tai taught me the power of family. His siblings are drawn to him and often turn to him for advice. His father passed away several years ago, and his love for his mother is unwavering. It’s something I deeply respect. What I most adore in Tai is his old soul. He always chooses a peaceful resolution over confrontation. He is my rock and the pillar of our family. Tai’s curiosity allows us to discover new things every single day. He opens-up our world to new and wonderful people, ideas, and things, and he makes life a big adventure at every turn.
We love our home because it has everything we dreamed of for our family. It has plenty of space for kids, with three spacious bedrooms, an interconnected living room, dining room and kitchen for cooking, reading, games and family time, and a big beautiful garden for kids to play hide-and-seek, host princess tea parties, or have imaginary adventures.
We live between Bloor West Village and The Junction, two family-friendly neighbourhoods within walking distance of parks, community centres, pharmacies, schools, and libraries. We are a ten-minute drive to the hospital, and a ten-minute walk to some of the best schools in the city. We live in a safe and caring community, full of kids riding bikes, playing in parks, and back alleys. Our neighbours have become friends and everyone on our block watches out for each other and each other’s kids.
Most importantly, we live in a community that reflects our values. Having traveled the world, we love learning about new cultures. And we are surrounded by diversity, where people of different ages, as well as cultural and economic backgrounds, live alongside each other and share a mindset of mutual care, generosity, and respect.
CHARLIE, OUR FEARLESS HOUND
Charlie joined our family two years ago, when he was only three months old. He’s grown into a fun-loving dog, who is always up for an adventure if he’s not dragging us head-first into one himself. He loves to run and play in the park and he becomes instant friends with everyone he meets. Charlie is great with children, big and small, and knows when to be gentle. People are always stopping him on the street to pet him, marvel at his long ears, and lavish him with treats. His favorite thing is cuddles from people who love him dearly.
We believe in raising independent, caring, and happy children. We were both raised with strong role models, and we want to be the same for our kids, modeling all the behaviours we hope to see in them. We believe in honesty, mutual respect, and honouring each other’s differences. We believe in strengthening our capacities to adapt, learn, and grow. Most important, we believe in supporting young people’s dreams and aspirations, and making sure that they feel safe, happy, and loved at all times.
We have an expansive idea of family, from dozens of aunts, uncles and cousins across Canada, South Africa, the Philippines, and the USA, to our chosen family of friends around the world. Everyone whom we hold near and dear, knows our adoption plans and they are all excited to meet and welcome them into our lives. Children will never feel alone in our family, and will always have a friend to play with or someone to look out for them.
We know the choices you’ve made and continue to make take strength and courage, and we have tremendous respect for your decision to consider open adoption. Meeting you will be one of the most important days of our lives. Your story is very important to us, and we hope we have the opportunity to learn more about you, and you us, as we move forward together in this process.
As the birth-mother in our child’s life, trust that you will forever be a part of their bigger story. We want to build a relationship with you that respects your needs and desires. And, for now, we humbly ask that you consider us so that together, we can write the next chapter of this important journey together.