Mica & Nicholas’s Adoption Journey

Adoption is a journey. In these features, we give hopeful adoptive families the space to share what they’ve learned, what they’ve struggled with, and what keeps them going. We’re so happy to introduce you to Mica & Nicholas.

Tell us about yourself and how you made your way to PairTree?

Hi! We are Nick and Mica. Nick grew up in Michigan, Mica grew up in Wisconsin, and we both ended up living in Chicago. Even though we aren’t living in our original hometowns, we are fortunate to have a big circle of longtime friends who live in Chicago, including friends from high school. 10 years ago, Nick’s friend from high school met Mica’s friend from high school, and asked her on a first date. They each invited a few friends to come along – including the both of us. The date took place immediately after Nick and his friends had played their regular Friday night flag football game in the park. That means the guys showed up for the date in gym shorts and tennis shoes & the girls were dressed up and in heels 🙂 Our friends didn’t stay together after that night – but we did.

Since the night we met on someone else’s first date, our life has been filled with incredible friends and family, successful careers, giving back to causes we care about, and, of course, our sweet australian shepherd, Maddy. Our years together have been built on support, mutual-respect, and a lot of fun. We are a family where trust and comfort is a constant, but we know our family is not complete.

We began the journey to expand our family years ago, and spent quite some time working with fertility doctors. Pretty early on in the journey, we started considering adoption. Mica has always had a strong intuition that we would adopt someday, and we both truly believe that this would be a beautiful way to build our family.

We spend a lot of time walking Maddy at the nearby beach or local park, but a few times a year we take a longer trip to a unique nature trail or state park!

What has surprised you about this process – good and/or bad?

We have been appreciative and impressed with how thoughtful and thorough the people we’ve encountered and learned from in the adoption community have been throughout this process. There are a lot of very dedicated individuals — whether they work or volunteer in the adoption community or they are birth or adoptive parents or adopted children. They are such giving and big-hearted people, and they want to help in this process for the good of the children, birth parents, and hopeful adoptive parents.

Finishing the home study was not a brief transaction, it was both a long and carefully thought out learning experience — and a very in-depth vetting process — so the social worker could proudly sign our home study and feel proud and excited for us to welcome a baby.

Also, the learning doesn’t end while you are waiting to match or even once you’re matched, we been happily surprised by how this community values ongoing learning and understanding and growing.

Out to dinner at a favorite restaurant in Florida

What do you think is misunderstood about adoption?

We think there’s a lot of misunderstanding around adoption. We have not yet experienced adoption, so there are probably many things that we still don’t know and can’t really know until we learn in real time. But here is what we do know already. We are being considered for an honor. We hope everyone will someday fully understand the selfless love it takes for a birth parent to go down this often bittersweet path. For us, we know that regardless of the level of openness that is chosen, we will always tell a child the story of their birth mother. There are many things that are meaningful to a birth parent and make you who you are, and these things will forever be part of the child you bring into this world.

While there are a lot of misunderstanding and some unknowns, we are confident that we have the right empathy, understanding, communication skills, and commitment to navigate any challenges that lie head and/or help clear up any misconceptions now or in the future.

Florida for the holidays

Who are your biggest supporters? Who can you always turn to?

We are so fortunate to have the most loving, supportive, fun, wise, and easy going family and friends. It’s reassuring to know you have people to be there with you in the good and fun times, but also when you are experiencing hard news or setbacks (which we all experience).

Mica’s sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces live only 10 minutes away, and they are a huge part of our lives. When we’re all getting ice cream, home cooking together, or playing in the park – we think about the love and fulfillment a child would have in our family. Mica’s parents are close by (Wisconsin), so we see them every few weeks. Every summer, we all spend a week at a lake house with a pool, and then another week at a kid’s water park and mini golf resort.
Nick’s parents and brothers are in Florida. We make regular trips to visit everyone in Florida, where we drive golf carts around their community, go to the beach and pool, and play lots of board games and cards.

We also have what we call “framily’ – which is an amazing circle of friends who see often. All of our friends have young kids (or babies on the way), and we are frequently planning fun get-togethers with the families. We think it would be very meaningful and memorable for a child to grow up with all of their ‘bonus cousins’ from the framily.

There is a big, loving group of family and friends that are there for us and who cannot wait to welcome another family member.

Celebrating a friend’s wedding in Washington, DC.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

How about a top 5?

(1) “It will all be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end”
(2) “Progress is not linear”
(3) “Nothing is more important than empathy for another person’s suffering. Not a career, not wealth, not intelligence or status. We have to feel for another if we’re going to survive with dignity.”
(4) “The small rhythms of peace you are finding here matter more than you know”
(5) “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier”

I don’t know if you would call these mantras, but our north stars in life that really guide who we are and what we do are: family, kindness, humanity, gratitude and joy.

How often do you cry? (Seriously…)

We don’t cry often at our own lives and experiences, but we do get emotional a lot when hearing or experiencing about other people’s challenges or victories. I think most of Mica’s tears came from seeing an inspiring story on social media of someone helping another or standing up for someone who needed help, watching a sad ending of a TV show, or a friend going through a hard time.

Last weekend, Nick was driving, and saw a dog loose, running across the street. He pulled over, and helped the owner run to try and catch it. After running to catch it for about 5 minutes, they finally caught up with the dog who had been rescued by some other pedestrians. They said the dog had been hit, but was doing OK. Nick offered to drive the owner and the dog to their vet immediately. When he got home, and re-told the story of the hurt dog, he started to cry.

What you are most proud of – so far – in this process?

As we continue to wait or experience setbacks, this process shows you new levels of patience of perseverance you didn’t even know you had inside of you. But I think a tough process can shine a light on people’s true characters, and I feel proud that navigating this has shown our best selves. We are easygoing, but determined. We are eager learners, but also happy teachers to friends who are just beginning the process. No matter how much time has passed, we have remained incredibly committed because we believe in and trust the process.

We feel deep in our souls that we would give a baby a happy, healthy, and extraordinary life filled with love, unconditional support, a great education, strong role models, an adoring extended family, and much more. I think remembering through all the hard times the reason we are doing this – for the child – has anchored us. And for that, we are proud.

What scares you the most about this process — and why?

It is probably hard to feel like you really get to know someone from a short profile (and have all of your questions answered), so we hope we share our story in a way where a birth parent feels like they get us and can really picture who we are and the love we have to share with a child. I guess there is fear that we might never get ‘seen’ or understood by a birth mom, and never chosen. But by nature, and by choice, we are hopeful and optimistic people.

If you had a magic wand, what would you like to change most about this process?

I know this process for birth parents can be beautiful and meaningful, and sometimes, there is a real sense of peace and calm about finding the right match and connection, but the road is also often incredibly heartbreaking and difficult and painful and uncertain. I wish I could take the pain away from everyone who hurts on this beautiful but difficult path.

Our wish for all birth moms who read this is really that we hope that in the midst of it all, whether it’s from us or another family, that you get to feel the reassurance, trust and security that you deserve.

Click here to learn more about Mica & Nicholas. They’d love to hear from you!

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