Andrew & Tiana
We met in 2011 on a blind date. Andrew’s friend saw Tiana on the subway after a party and told her that she’d left before Andrew got the chance to say hello. By our third date, Andrew revealed that he had a two-and-a-half year-old son named Santino whom he visited often in Michigan. Six months later, when Tiana told Andrew that she eventually wanted to build a family through adoption, he told her that she’d be an amazing mother because she would be so loving toward any child. We officially tied the knot in the summer of 2018. Now, after 10 years of being together and reflecting on what it means to form a family through adoption, we are embarking on our first adoption journey.
We’re fortunate to have a close relationship with Santino, his mom, and her husband. We have worked hard to build that bond with our “blended” family and we’re hopeful that when we adopt a child, we can also work toward a strong and respectful relationship with the child’s birth family so that she or he can experience as much love as possible. Our parenting approach is to always to honor all parts of a child’s being — both their individuality as well as their connections to their birth family and ancestors — so they can proudly claim all aspects of who they are.
We are both driven to make positive changes in the world through our careers: Tiana worked in affordable housing for 7 years, but recently decided to go back to school to become a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. She hopes to be able to facilitate healing for people’s bodies, hearts, and minds through future work with clients and community organizations. Andrew has spent more than a decade making healthy food more affordable and sustainable. We’re dedicated to our work but we have flexible schedules and are lucky to work from home most of the time. To stay balanced, Andrew reads and goes running in a nearby park. Tiana finds her peace drawing, writing, and being around nature. She also loves hanging out with friends and her many cousins who live in and around NYC.
We’re pretty independent and sometimes we take a day for ourselves to recharge. Andrew enjoys taking walks, getting dessert (his favorite is key lime pie), and watching sports with friends. Tiana prefers to sit with a newspaper or good book, go to museums and art shows, and sometimes goes dancing with friends (she loves hip hop, dancehall, and 90’s R&B).
We recently moved out of our apartment in NYC to get a bit more space in Montclair, NJ. We chose Montclair for its diversity, walkable downtown, good food spots, and closeness to our NYC family, friends and jobs. We sometimes take short road trips to visit family and friends and when we can, we take longer trips abroad. Every few years, we go to Jamaica, where Tiana was born, to visit her family. We also took Santino on his first trip abroad to South Africa and Botswana in 2018 for a friend’s wedding. We’d count ourselves lucky if we could take our future children on trips that let them experience life from a different, non-U.S.A. perspective.