Melissa + Ned
We are fun-loving & love-loving hopeful parents-to-be who live near the shore & can't wait to share adventures with our whole family. We've discussed adoption ever since we first met and are so excited to be here in this journey with you; we know you have so much to consider in your decision, and we are so impressed by your strength & ready to honor your hopes.
Pet parents to a senior Boston Terrier, we met in a running group and now spend time with friends, family, and each other as much as possible, laughing, making experiences, and building a life. We can't wait to widen our circle, share our love with a child, and potentially become a part of your story.
We met in Hoboken, NJ, in early 2016, in a local running group. Melissa joined the group as she was recently living alone in a new area, and Ned was a great runner always training for something. Ned was one of the faster runners, while Melissa was slower, so naturally, we really actually started talking at the bar where everyone finished the run.
Right away, Ned reminded Melissa of home. Ned was drawn to Melissa's personality too and after a few months mustered the courage to ask her on a date.
We've been together since then, and have both agreed that we've never felt more like we have a true partner, and never laughed more with one other person. We've worked on our communication & showing up for each other over the past 7 years together, and we feel so prepared to tackle life and build an adopted family together.
Two years ago, we were married in the backyard of our previous house, which had a large outdoor space and woods-it was so beautiful and special to have such a personal wedding with those we love. Now, we live right near Ned's hometown, close to his parents and brothers' families. We're so ready and excited to build our family with the support and access to this big, loving team nearby.
Meet Melissa (by Ned):
Melissa never ceases to amaze me. She is the warmest, kindest person I know and I consistently find myself laughing out loud at her quick wit. Melissa really listens to you when you speak and because of that she has created incredible bonds with the important people in her life.
I first met Melissa after a group run. I noticed her as she was speaking with a group and making everyone laugh. I knew right away I wanted to be part of the conversation as she added so much life to the group. Before Melissa joined I rarely hung out after runs but after speaking with her that first night I found reasons to hang out after going forward.
What made me so interested in Melissa is how smart, funny and focused she is. This is evident not just with family but work as well. She works in advertising and leads teams on multiple accounts. Melissa is the biggest supporter and protector for people that report into her, going out of her way to ensure their efforts are recognized and rewarded. It's this dedication to the people in her life that I find most attractive about Melissa and why I know she will be an amazing mother.
Melissa is even more in tune with her father, sister, friends from St. Louis and NYC. Along with regular trips to see everyone, Melissa keeps in touch with friends no matter where they are or what the situation is. With her sister on the West Coast and friends living overseas she is always working out when they can get on the phone. Melissa is always there, and the consistency that she keeps makes those relationships so strong and fun.
What you will notice meeting Melissa is she truly cares. She has a warm smile, listens to what you say and has an appropriate response (whether a quick joke or a needed hug). She is also the smartest person I know, reads voraciously, and is the best adventure partner. She makes me a better person and there is no better partner to do life with.
Meet Ned (by Melissa):
Ned is my favorite person in the world, and if you met him, I am sure you'd immediately warm to him, too. This is because Ned loves people-he wants everyone around him to be happy, and he wants to contribute to their happiness. Ned is unique (to me) in that he gets his energy from other people. Sometimes I need to recharge, so it's nice knowing Ned is there to make sure we get out and see people we love. One of the first things I learned is that his family is incredibly important, and he always makes time to keep up with them.
Ned is also big into physical wellness. He was a big runner when we met, and he still ensures that he focuses on working out almost every day. He has so much enthusiasm and energy for getting out & moving, that with him, I have also climbed mountains I never planned on, and ran an ultra trail race with him last year. I love that he cares so much about wellness and makes it a priority, and am confident that he & our children (and me) will stay mobile, active, and energetic for a long time!
Ned is also one of the funniest people I've ever met. He immediately made me comfortable the first time we spoke, and had me laughing at ridiculous comments. I have never laughed more, and together, we can be our true selves. I just have the absolute best time hanging out with Ned.
Ned works in business development (no surprise he's wonderful at working with strangers, he's so friendly). He began his career in sports journalism, and met some very interesting people along the way. While I think he's wonderful at his job, Ned is so much more than that; I am so grateful to be with such a warm, funny, friendly person for life-and I hope you get to meet him soon, too!
We live in New Jersey near the coast, right outside Ned's hometown, one mile from the beach. We moved to be closer to friends and family; having a family is the most important thing to us for the last few years and we believe it takes a village to raise a child. That village includes Ned's family nearby, along with the other local couples and families we are friends with.
We love our house because it is near all the people we love. We are also such big fans of the area we live in. Schools, basketball courts, parks, and ball fields are all within walking distance. The beach and bay are short drives and our neighbors bike outside and walk their dogs daily. The park nearby has outdoor showings of children's movies in the summer that we can't wait to bring our child to. Whatever a child enjoys doing will be encouraged in our family and they'll have the chance to explore here.
We are biased, but we feel so at home and comfortable here. The house itself is beautifully sunlit and open. A family room leads to a large dining area connected to our open kitchen (which overlooks the backyard). We have another living room area past that perfect for relaxing family time. There are skylights throughout the house that allow natural light in at all times, and it feels cheerful in any weather.
Melissa adopted Captain in early 2016, just months before Melissa & Ned met-so Ned & Captain have been best pals for almost the exact same amount of time too. Captain grew up in a Spanish-speaking household before Melissa adopted him, so he is a bilingual pup!
It likely goes without saying that we just love Captain to pieces. At the age of 15, he still keeps us busy, requesting games of fetch non-stop. He lost an eye in foster care before we met him, and went fully blind about two years ago, but no matter what the doctors say, Captain has continued his relentless pursuit of squeaky toys. We're convinced he has even more energy these days, and the only change has been his preferred toy for fetch (one slightly easier to pick up).
Captain is an excellent traveler, and has joined us on multiple adventures, including our honeymoon on the Oregon coast. At Captain's age, he's had a few different health issues (Cushings, heart), so we are no strangers to trips to the doctor, trouble-shooting, and even diapers lately-but he continues to thrive, and we'd have it no other way: we are so fulfilled with this crazy little kiss-hungry pup. We hope to give Captain a playmate, and ultimately have a household with both children & dogs.
Family is extremely important to us. Ned grew up as the middle of three boys and Melissa the youngest of two girls. Ned talks to his brothers and parents often, and has always made an effort, even when we didn't live close, to travel in for family events. His family is so supportive, always available if we need anything. Melissa keeps close contact with her family too, and though they're further, and a smaller team, they always celebrate special moments and find time to visit.
Melissa's father is in St. Louis and her sister in Portland. We've been out to Portland a handful of times to visit and she's made the trek to the east a few times as well. We also make sure to get out to St. Louis at least once a year to see Melissa's father and perhaps catch a Cardinals game. Ned's parents and older brother older brother's family all live within thirty minutes. Ned's younger brother, Tim, lives with his wife Saheli and baby son, Nishu, about 45 minutes away. The whole family is able to get together usually at least once a month, and living here, we now have a large internal support system.
In the 3 months since moving, we were able to attend a niece's ballet, cheer on another niece's softball team, and celebrate 3 family birthdays and our nephew's baptism. It will be the same for our child as well; they will always have loving adopted aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins cheering for them in bleachers, theater seat, or whatever they choose to pursue.
One of the biggest parts of our relationship is our shared love and value of community - not just family, but also core groups of friends we can rely on and turn to. We have grown as both children and adults with groups of friends we feel so lucky to have in our life. We try to celebrate and see these friend groups as often as able, knowing that sometimes it's a matter of setting intentional time aside for each, now that we're starting families and aren't all in the same place.
We love to be active together! Both of us still run, Ned most competitively. He's run in 20 trail runs & marathons, and last September, as a birthday gift to Ned, Melissa signed both of us up for an ultra trail race, Melissa running 18 miles and Ned running 30 ! (It was amazing to do together, but Melissa is allllll done with races for now).
Melissa grew up active in theater: dancing, singing, and acting, both in school and community productions. She has also always been an avid reader-when she first moved to NYC, she even worked in book publishing.
Ned has always been into sports, and played baseball in college (we bonded early over our love of baseball, Mets & Cardinals). Now, he's big into hiking and climbing and truly just exploring the outdoor world.
When it comes to adventures outside our town, we love to travel when we can. We've been to Belize, Greece, St. Lucia, Savannah, Colorado, Texas, the Oregon Coast, and most recently, the Shenandoah Valley together, to relax, explore, see new things, and take it all in. While we're ready for travel to look different, we absolutely want to be able to expose our child to new scenes, to travel, and to adventure, however they enjoy it, as well.
Our Promise to You:
Thank you for taking the time to get to know us. We want to consider your hopes for this process as well. However the ideal scenario looks to you, we are open, as we know this is complex and believe in mutual respect and collaboration. We know we are not perfect, and we continuously work on our relationships and selves; we promise to give that same dedication to any child in our home, and to this process, continually checking in to understand how our actions are resonating and evaluate what is most meaningful for the whole family dynamic.
We promise too that we will give this child every opportunity to spark and grab hold of their passion: our move to this area was intentional, to be where they can explore nature, sports, studies, arts, anything-all available and in close reach. We are here to encourage them, support them, and be their guides in life. We also wanted to be near friends we consider family and real family. We want to give a child a built-in support network of adopted parents, grandparents, cousins, and friends that will support them, along with an extended network of family further away, and those we love who've moved away.
And we want you, if comfortable, to be a part of that journey. Thank you again. We know you'll make the right decision for you, and if we feel right, then we honestly can not wait to start the journey.