Duncan and Melissa
Hi, we are Duncan and Melissa.
We are each looking forward to many things as parents. Jumping in puddles, exploring our curiosity and imaginations in the backyard, baking cookies three different ways just to see which one is best, making up songs as we go about our day, snuggling before bed to read a book together. These everyday pleasures are the things Melissa looks forward to as a parent. Duncan looks forward to the adventures, both little and big; discovering toes, hiking in the mountains, piggy-back rides through imaginary jungles, learning to ride bikes, tea parties with royalty and exploring the world in general. Even Subo, our pup, looks forward to having a new little member of our family to watch over, sniff from head to toe, and help clean up after messy meals.
As a teacher in a close-knit community, Melissa’s close relationships with many of her students has strengthened her desire to have her own child. Duncan, a mechanical engineer, has also felt his parenting urge increase as he has grown older. Holding a friend’s young baby against his chest was a turning point. Together, we are keen to be parents: to nurture and guide a little person through their discovery of themselves and the world as they grow up.
We first met in 2011 and have been together ever since. We bonded through our shared worldview and common values of honesty, proactive communication, and community focus—values that have sustained and enriched us. We hope to employ these values to build strong relationships with our child’s birth family. Making our child’s birth family a part of our family is especially important to us because, while our immediate families are fairly small, we place a high value on community. We want to surround our child with as much love and family as we can. We also know it will benefit our child immensely to know where they came from, and to be connected to their biological roots. Our child’s best interest and healthy development will be a guidepost for our decision making.
While our home base is in Seattle, Washington, we have ties all over the country. Both of our families moved a fair amount while we were children. Duncan’s family has strong ties to the southeast, temporarily found harbor in Michigan before settling in the Seattle area—though his parents currently live abroad. Melissa’s family started in Idaho and eventually settled in Olympia. Both of us hope to provide our own child with a more stable home base so they can develop a stronger sense of community with neighbors, and classmates than we were able to do.
Though we intend to have a consistent home base, we also hope to spend some part of each year adventuring in some way. Duncan inherited a love of adventure from his maternal grandfather, Prakash Chand, an immigrant from India. Though Prakash died before Duncan was a year old, Duncan shares many traits with his grandfather. Prakash was an innovator and calculated risk taker who helped his family by leaving his home country to expand the opportunities available to all of them. Like his grandfather, Duncan is a calculated risk taker who is willing to try new things in order to improve his future. Melissa’s interest in travel and trying new things comes from her grandmother, Catherine, who’s adventurous spirit lead to her repeatedly traveling across the United States and Great Britain with her six children in tow, using a different mode of transportation each time as a way of expanding their experiences. Honoring our family histories, we plan to continue traveling to new places and seeking new experiences as part of our family traditions and the history we want to share with our child.
Most of all, we all look forward to letting our expanded family get to know us in more authentic ways than can happen through just these letters and picture books!