Hello!

Thank you for taking the time to read our letter and learn more about us. We’re an active, educated, outdoorsy, dog-loving couple hoping to share our life with an adopted child. We’re so grateful that you would consider us as you make this difficult decision. We can’t fully understand what you’re going through, but want to offer you and your child our utmost love and support.

We recognize that this will be a meaningful and challenging aspect of your life. You’ve chosen to bring a child into the world and only want the best for them. We understand how important this is and promise we will do everything to give this child the best life possible. We look forward to bringing you into our lives in whatever ways feel right to you. We want to work with you to develop an open adoption plan that addresses the needs and desires of everyone involved.

Adoption and Parenting

Backyard piggy-back races with our nieces

We regard adoption as an incredibly meaningful way to complete our family. After several years of fertility treatments, we see adoption as an opportunity to experience a love unlike any we have known before. We have adventures to share, knowledge to pass on, a safe and happy home, and a vibrant and welcoming extended family and community.

We’ve been blessed to spend a lot of quality time with our five wonderful nieces and nephews on family vacations and visits. Spending time with our siblings and their kids of all ages has made us appreciate how much joy and fun children can bring to our life, while also making us realize that they require a lot of hard work and patience.

As parents, we want our children to learn honesty, perseverance, inquisitiveness, compassion, environmental stewardship, and respect for others regardless of where they come from, whom they love, or what they believe. A child in our home would be loved and supported unconditionally, and would learn to contribute to the family and the world in rewarding and meaningful ways. We believe that modeling good behavior and reinforcing positive actions is a more effective way to discipline children than taking punitive measures.

We will always try to take a measured and fair approach when a child misbehaves. We want to encourage our child to recognize what they’ve done wrong and how to correct it. We are strongly against corporal punishment, and will never intentionally harm our child.

About Us

We first met at Dartmouth College in 1999. Nira was a freshman and Ben a junior. Nira was headed out for a run with a mutual acquaintance when we were briefly introduced. Our first meeting left a mark on Ben, but we remained just friends for a couple years before we started dating, regularly going on hiking trips and bouldering in the climbing gym together. We dated for about 8 months, but then broke up and drifted apart. After graduating we followed our own separate paths for the next seven years. In 2009 we were reunited in Utah on a climbing trip with friends and immediately hit it off. Nira was committed to a two- year post-doctoral fellowship at Utah State in Logan, while Ben was working at a personalized medicine company in Salt Lake City.  We would take turns driving 90 minutes each weekend to visit each other. We’d spend these weekends together at each other’s homes hiking, climbing, and skiing in the canyons around Logan and Salt Lake. In 2011, Nira finished her postdoc and moved in with Ben in Salt Lake, where she started physical therapy graduate school. We married in July 2014 in a mountain meadow with our family and friends above Solitude Mountain Resort, and have lived together in Salt Lake City ever since.Just married!

Nira teaching our niece how to do a safety check before climbing.

We are both passionate, inquisitive and successful professionals. Nira is a full time physical therapist in an outpatient orthopedic clinic in Salt Lake City. She takes a lot of pride in her work and cares deeply about the patients she treats and the quality of services she provides. She appreciates being able to have a tangible, positive impact on the daily lives of her patients. Prior to becoming a physical therapist, she worked as a university instructor and researcher in the environmental sciences, investigating the impacts of river restoration and other human activities on stream ecology and stream health. Outside of work she enjoys climbing, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, gardening, and cooking.

Ben and our niece exploring a sandstone cave in central Utah.

Ben currently works for a start-up company in Salt Lake City discovering new treatments for rare genetic diseases. He works with laboratory automation and robotics to perform complex molecular and cellular biology experiments. Born and raised in Iowa and upstate New York, he enjoys mountain biking, skiing, hiking and climbing in his free time.

Nira has a practical and empathic approach to personal relationships and is an excellent communicator. She does a great job striking compromises with family members and coming up with positive solutions to interpersonal questions and problems. Ben can be alternately serious and light-hearted depending on the situation. He believes honesty is always the best policy. He is generally thoughtful, logical, hardworking, and devoted. He takes pride in managing the maintenance and upkeep of our rental house, while also working hard to ensure his growing company is consistently pushing the boundaries of science.

Mountain biking above the beaches of the North Shore on O’ahu.

We are both hard-working, thoughtful, open-minded individuals, and together we help remind each other to take pleasure in the simple joys of life – friends, family, food, and outdoor fun.  As individuals, we have different perspectives and intelligences that complement and motivate each other. As a couple, we share chores efficiently and pleasantly, each of us doing the activities that we are most particular about and/or enjoy doing the most; Ben always does the laundry, Nira the dishes. We make important decisions together as a team and openly share our thoughts, fears, and hopes. We also talk about our finances and make important financial decisions as a team. One of the greatest strengths of our marriage is our ability to talk things through, to approach challenging situations calmly and logically and to arrive at a optimal solution. Sometimes it may take a day or two, but we always seem to come to an agreement and a solid plan. We are both good at ultimately acknowledging when we’re wrong and validating the other’s perspective. We see this strength and openness in communication carry-over to our interactions with our nieces and nephews, which helps make it easy for us to interact firmly and positively with children of all ages.

Our Home

Mountain biking in the canyons near our Salt Lake City home.

We live in a comfortable home on a quarter acre lot in the foothills above Salt Lake City. Our fenced backyard includes a large lawn, vegetable garden, fruit trees, decks and a tree-swing. In the evenings, we enjoy poking through the overgrown vegetable garden looking for zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil or kale to add to our dinner, and listening to the crickets chirp and the chickens clucking next door. We love to grill fish, chicken and vegetables on the deck and watch the sunset.

Our home is a short walk away from a park and playground with views of the mountains. We frequently take our dogs Khola and Maple there to play Frisbee and soccer. We also love to hike, run, or bike the trails nearby and further afield to climb and mountain bike together.

Our house has a large yard in a nice neighborhood.

Our Family

Celebrating our wedding with members of our extended family

Visiting with members of Ben’s family in the backyard of our old house.

We’ve developed many of our beliefs and ideas about parenting from our experiences with our own families. We both had generally positive childhoods and good relationships with our parents and siblings. Growing up, our parents always showed us and our siblings a great deal of love, support, trust, and respect. Love in our families was expressed verbally every day, and physically through hugs, kisses, and shoulder rubs. More meaningfully, our parents showed us love by giving significant time and money to take us on fun vacations, to camp, music lessons, museums, sporting events, and practices. Almost every night we cooked and ate dinner together despite busy schedules.

We both have very positive relationships with our families. Since the rest of our family members live far away, we make an effort to visit each other several times a year. We both speak with our parents on the phone weekly and with our siblings every few weeks. For the past few years, we’ve participated in a larger family gathering that included members of both our families. Our siblings have made an effort to keep us involved in their children’s lives. We send packages on birthdays, spend time playing and talking with them when we visit, and FaceTime with them regularly. Despite living so far away, our families have done a good job of staying connected and involved in each other’s lives.

Nira and two of our nieces making a pyramid.

We’ve been blessed to spend a lot of quality time with our five wonderful nieces and nephews (ages 3-12) on family vacations and visits. Although we live many states apart, we make an effort to visit one another several times a year. While visiting, we help our siblings by watching their children while they get away for some much-deserved child-free time. We’ve gotten them dressed, changed diapers, wiped bums, read bedtime stories, prepared snacks and meals, played with Legos, built sand castles, and supervised nap time. We take our older nieces swimming, climbing, and bike riding, and talk to them about school and friends and other issues on their mind.

We are so grateful to you for considering us as you make this difficult decision. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know us. We’re excited to get to know you too. Please reach out if you have any questions! We hope to hear from you soon.

Love,

Nira and Ben

  

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To learn more about Ben & Nira contact CSS at liesl@cssutah.org
or call/text 801-656-8527.