Keith & Montserratprofile id #27374
Keith & Montserrat
are hopeful adoptive parents from Dist. of Columbia waiting to adopt a baby.
If you are pregnant and considering placing your child for adoption, please read the following Dear Birthmother Letter.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT ARE OUR HOPES AND PLANS FOR OUR CHILDREN
Dear birth mother. We are a loving couple, Montserrat and Keith, living in DC. We would like to begin by thanking you for considering us as potential adoptive parents for your child or children. We know this is a heartfelt decision for you, among the most important of your life, and we are grateful and honored. It is momentous for us as well, as we hope to make the child or children we adopt the center of our lives. We are pursuing adoption for two reasons. As with many couples, we are interested in adopting because nature has not favored us with children despite many years of trying. But even if it had, we have both always been interested in adopting, because our work has exposed us to so many children around the world in search of homes. We have always wanted two children to love, to care for, to share with, and to watch grow into vibrant young men and women, and to share with them our many blessings and our joys.
We have been together and very much in love for fifteen years. We are a professional couple who live in Washington, D.C. Montse is a doctor by training and Keith a lawyer. We now both work in an international organization (part of the United Nations system) that builds health and education systems in poor countries. We have been wanting and anticipating children so much that we have lived frugally for many years to set money aside for their upbringing and education.
Children do not come with instruction manuals. We have learned from our exposure to our friends’ children that every child is a universe unto himself or herself, and that there are very few ironclad rules of child-rearing. We believe parents should help children to become their own best selves. We have been struck at how each child brings his or her own personality into the world, even from a very early age, and our goal would be simply to help them to become good people and develop the skills to follow their dreams. We believe that children need and deserve unconditional love, parental encouragement, a safe and nurturing environment that encompasses both natural and social experiences, enough routine to give them security, and enough age-appropriate freedom to discover who they are and who they would like to become. We would provide them with skills, experiences, and opportunities. We would try to imbue them what we consider core values in life: empathy, respect for self and others, optimism, kindness, and self-discipline. A child’s mind is a fertile garden where wondrous things can flourish. We would expose them to a wide variety of experience to help ignite their imagination and choose their own special future. We would emphasize imaginative and interactive play rather than feeding an addiction to technology. We both love travel, nature, the movies, music, and the arts, and would begin exposing our children to all of these from an early age, as our parents did for us. We would spend weekends at our house in the mountains of Virginia with our godchildren and the many friends who pass through to visit. We also enjoy sports—biking, hiking, swimming, tennis—and would teach our children whatever of these appealed to them. Keith is an avid photographer, Montse an accomplished cook and gardener. And we both cherish humor, and would create a home where laughter would be a daily part of life.
As our parents did with us, we would put a strong emphasis on school, and on developing whatever talents our children have. We would patiently support them in their schoolwork (Keith is a part-time college teacher), and keep close tabs on their friends and social circles. And although we have been blessed with comfortable incomes and many of the creature comforts of life, we would raise our children to take nothing for granted and to be self-sufficient.
We hope this helped you to know us a bit better. If you want to Send us a message
we will deligted. To learn more about us please keep on reading
WHO WE ARE: MONTSE
We have been together and very much in love for fifteen years. We are a professional couple who live in Washington, D.C. Montse is a doctor by training and Keith a lawyer. We now both work in an international organization (part of the United Nations system) that builds health and education systems in poor countries. We have been wanting and anticipating children so much that we have lived frugally for many years to set money aside for their upbringing and education. Let us introduce ourselves:
Montse: I came from Spain to the United States over sixteen years ago, fell in love with Keith and never looked back. I come from a loving family of five, in which I’m the eldest of three children (I have a younger brother and a “baby” sister). I was born in the wine-producing area of Spain, where my mother was a schoolteacher for underprivileged children and my father an official with the postal service. Our family put great emphasis on spending time together, spending many weekends walking in the mountains and learning to love nature, which I have carried on through my life. As in most Spanish families, meals were a full-family affair, prepared and eaten together, and a time for discussion and family bonding. Because we lived in fairly small cities, we were even able to go home almost every day from school for lunch. One of the enduring memories of every lunch was my mother sharing and acting out the stories of the children in her class, which enlivened our conversations and gave us a glimpse into how other families lived. My parents had high expectations of all their children and encouraged each of us to make the most of their talents. From an early age, my father helped each of us with homework and both parents watched closely our progress in public school. They stimulated reading and other creative pursuits and limited the time we spent on television. In the Spanish tradition, our house was always open, with a steady flow of friends and neighbors passing through on evenings and weekends, and frequent short trips and holidays together. We lived comfortably but frugally, as my parents were committed to supporting a full education for each of us, and to ensure we could enjoy our sacred month-long summer vacation together each year. And like most Spaniards, I grew up in a house redolent with the aromas of fresh food cooking, and developed a lifelong love of cooking with fresh ingredients. Like all families, we had our share of problems and conflict, but these taught me the fine art of living well with others, and it was on the whole a very happy childhood.
Being the eldest, I felt I had to be the best at everything, although I am pleased to say that life has since taught me to be more realistic in my expectations. When I was 12, my parents moved near Barcelona, an area of Spain where people speak a different language. This sparked a lifelong passion for languages and learning about different people and cultures. My parents’ jobs, and the end of the Franco dictatorship, instilled in us a strong sense of social and civic commitment, which later led me to become a medical doctor. I went to medical school out of a passion for getting to know people and help them in concrete and immediate ways. But early in school I realized that a traditional, ultra-competitive hospital was not how I wanted to spend my years. I preferred to combine my medical training, language skills, and love of adventure to work in poor countries where I could make a substantial difference. I specialized in tropical medicine and then went to work for five years at the age of 24 with Doctors Without Borders in war zones in East Africa and Southeast Asia. I started as a physician and later became responsible for a team of doctors and nurses. Holding so many children in my arms made me realize how much I wanted one day to hold and raise children of my own. Working with so many orphans also interested me adopting children, even if I bore a child of my own.
During my work there, I found that helping individuals one at a time was very personally rewarding. But after awhile, I came to see that unless the larger underlying conditions of poverty and poor health care were improved, people would remain forever vulnerable. That led me later to study public health so I could work more directly on those underlying conditions. When I was offered a job in an organization that worked internationally, I hesitated at leaving my patient work behind, but decided I could make a greater difference this way. I moved to Washington to work at the World Bank, where I have spent the past fifteen years working in improving health conditions for women and children in some of the world’s poorest countries in Africa and Latin America. Shortly after joining the World Bank, I met Keith, and we have been together ever since.
WHO WE ARE: KEITH
I grew up in Minnesota, the only child of two working parents. My father was a kind, funny, and loving man, who had the courage to marry a professional woman decades before that was socially acceptable. He traveled for a living, always bringing back stories and gadgets to entertain me, and often took the family along on his trips, which gave me an early love of travel. My mother was the living embodiment of the American Dream. Her father had moved to the U.S. from Lebanon and never learned to read or write much, but she ended up a celebrated university professor who taught for 50 rewarding years. They were very different in temperament. Dad was social, outdoorsy, and moved through life with a bulletproof ebullience, while mom was bookish, more private and reflective. This showed me how differences could strengthen a relationship, and I inherited a bit of each of them into my own character. Since both loved their careers and worked a great deal at home, I learned from observing them how rewarding good work could be. Since they had grown up in the 1930s, while I grew up the 1960s, they helped me make sense of the turbulence of those times and awaken in me early a desire to work in social affairs. I was a typical only child, spoiled for love and attention, but also subject to high expectations. My parents put great emphasis on school, and while they gave me absolute freedom of career choice, they insisted that I apply myself to whatever I chose. I studied hard, enjoyed a tight circle of loyal friends (who are still close 40 years later), and learned to love the outdoors in all seasons in Minnesota’s crazy climate. Dad took me fishing and camping, I began biking young, and like most Minnesotans, spent my short summers playing in local lakes. Lacking siblings, I learned early on to be self-sufficient, but also to treasure friendships. Mom cooked Lebanese food, taught me to write and speak with ease, and told eye-widening stories of her family’s struggles in poverty during the Depression. I also had the pain and privilege of watching her endure and overcome decades of discrimination in the workplace, which gave me a lifelong commitment to equality and fair treatment. Indeed, the most important thing I took from my youth was the equality between my parents; while only Mom knew how to cook, Dad did his full share of other housework, supported her career to the hilt, and modeled a modern marriage long before such a thing existed.
Although we were not wealthy and I had gone to a public school, when I graduated I was lucky enough to get into Yale. Leaving the cozy comfort of the Midwest for the sharp elbows of the East Coast was difficult, and I grew up fast in those first years at college. But I quickly came to love the opportunity it offered and the remarkable group of friends I made (who are also still close). After graduation, I spent a year traveling across China and Europe, where I marveled at how different people were everywhere, and yet how similar. Like many people in my class, I then went to law school, for the rather silly reason that many of my friends were doing it. But like Montse, I quickly realized I wanted to do more than make money for a living, and I didn’t care for the cutthroat world of law practice, so I hastily enrolled in a graduate school for international relations. From there I joined the World Bank, where for the past 22 years I have had the privilege of working on topics such as environmental protection in the Amazon, HIV/AIDS in Africa, and health and education in Latin America. One day many years ago, a beautiful brunette showed up in our department and my life would never be the same.
HOW WE MET AND WHO WE ARE TOGETHER
We met at work. Mutual friends had alerted each of us to the other, but since we worked in the same department, we had to play things safe at the beginning. However, Montse’s dark eyes and Keith’s infectious humor made the attraction impossible to resist. Fittingly, an impromptu date at a Spanish restaurant on the day of Spain’s national holiday (Columbus Day here) sealed the deal. From early on, it was clear we wanted to be together over the long haul. By then we were at a mature stage (in our mid-30s) where we both knew what we wanted from a romantic partner: passion, adventure, commitment, mutual respect, the ability to remain ourselves within a couple, yet to be better together than we were individually (as “two halves of an orange.”) Coming from strong and similar families as the oldest children of working mothers, we felt a deep affinity with each other, and we have built on the best of both of our own families in making our own home. We were lucky enough to get to know each other’s parents before our fathers died, to spend summer vacations together watching our wonderful nephew grow for the past decade, and to live a life full of friends. Living together has been a wonderful adventure. We have shared nearly everything: our work, our friends, our families, our dreams, our travels. We have also traveled much of the world together, in Africa, Europe, Japan, and out west.
Our personalities are similar in the most important fundamentals: values, empathy, commitment to family and friends, career interests, an expansive sense of life, a love of humor, etc. But we also balance and complement each other in equally important ways. As a good friend of ours once remarked, “A relationship is a mirror—it shows you who you are, for good and bad alike.” This has helped each of us to become far more together than we could be alone. Montse’s sense of adventure and spontaneity has helped light a fire under Keith, who can be slow to embrace change. Keith’s innate ebullience and optimism help offset Montse’s occasional tendency to Spanish “darkness.” Best of all, we are each aware of our own weaknesses, and count on the other to call us on them when we lose sight of ourselves.
We also realized early on that we are at our best when things are at their worst. In our few true crises as a couple, each of us set aside the hard feelings of the moment to preserve and strengthen our relationship. We would really listen to each other, and then truly change whatever we had to to move ahead together. This, maybe even more than our good times, showed us how deep our commitment ran and how we would always put the family first. For us, couplehood is about helping each other to grow and prosper as people. We would treat parenthood the same way.
We live in the center of town, in a vibrant neighborhood near a parks, restaurants, theaters, and bookstores. We work hard, but have reached the stage in our careers where we neither need nor want to put work before family. We see friends a couple of nights a week, and often go to the theater, to movies, or to hear music. But we are beyond the age where we feel the need to be out all the time, and equally enjoy being at home in each other’s company, reading, cooking, or working on home projects. Many weekends we spend at our shared country house in Virginia. In the summer, especially, it becomes a sort of center of gravity of our lives, where we host friends many weekends, go hiking in the lovely Shenandoah Valley or take our godchildren to the petting zoo or swimming hole, and spend long lazy evenings barbecuing and relaxing on the deck. When we stay in Washington, we often bike around the city’s wonderful trails on weekends, visit one of the city’s countless museums, and have dinner with friends. We also stay in frequent touch with friends and family around the world, visit our families at Christmas and during the summer, take group vacations with friends every couple of years, and try to visit at least one new place every year. We hope to live overseas for awhile sometime soon, which our jobs would make possible and rewarding.
In short, we have been happy together for all our years, and only regret that nature has not brought us children. We have built our lives around each other and our many friends, who broaden our horizons and bring us great joy. Most of them have children, of all shapes and colors, ranging from newborns (just this year) to those about to embark on college. We have been actively involved in all those children’s lives. We have spent especially extensive time with our nephew (Montse’s sister’s son, who is now 16), and our two godchildren, who are 6 and 8. We take a vacation every summer with our nephew, and chose to buy a weekend house with our closest friends so we could spend more time with our godchildren. We very much want children now so they can grow together in this nurturing circle.