Melissa & Mike /adoption-family/melissa-mike 1485

Melissa & Mike

Hi! We’re Mike, Melissa and Leo. We’re so glad you took the time to look at our profile. We hope this gives you a peak into our life as a family and the life we want to provide our future child. The three of us (plus our two terriers, Max and Wally) have had many adventures over the past three years and can’t wait to add another member to our fun-filled family!

Our Story

Our First Date

We met in 2000 at Marquette University, but it wasn’t until five years later that we really found each other. Brought together by a shared love of the Chicago Bears and The Office, we knew from the minute we started talking that we had a strong connection. But when it came to our first date Melissa was pretty nervous, so she decided to bring a friend along to help keep the conversation moving. Mike was also nervous and wanted to make sure he came off “mature” and “cool”, so he ordered a green tea. It was the one and only time Melissa has ever seen him drink tea. He doesn’t even like it! All of the nervousness melted away and from that day on we were together. We always remember how funny our first date was – Mike, Melissa, her friend and a green tea.

About Melissa

Melissa grew up as the youngest and only girl of her tightknit family, and counts her mom as one of her very best friends. She is the first person in her family to graduate college and is very proud of her 15 year career in fundraising.

Melissa is someone who loves to find something to celebrate every day. She likes to surprise people with baked treats and special visits. She likes to throw theme parties and decorate for every holiday imaginable. She spends months planning our family Halloween costume (most recently a lion, tiger and Chicago Bear). She just likes to make things a little more fun and a little fancier.

Becoming a mom has been the best experience Melissa has ever had. Her favorite part of every day is waking up and getting Leo ready for the day. He always welcomes her with a kiss and says, “Good morning, my mommy.” She’s very much looking forward to expanding our family and having another child to share the little joys of each day with.

About Mike

Mike is a fun loving, burger grilling, family man who is the proud owner of two little terriers. He is the oldest in his family of five and most definitely the typical protective big brother. He’s worked in the beer industry for the past five years and currently is a sales rep for a beer distributor – Wrigley Field is one of his clients which makes Cubs games extra fun!  

Mike is someone who is always looking out for the best interest of his friends and family. He truly cares about the people around him and is there when they need him – whether they need help moving or just need a hug – Mike is always there.

Mike and Leo are two peas in a pod. From pancake parties to making sidewalk chalk masterpieces, these two are always have a good time together. Watching Leo take on Mike’s caring and protective nature is really amazing and makes us so excited to add another child to our family. 

About Leo

How do we even start to describe the very best thing that ever happened to us?? He makes every day better. He makes mowing the lawn the most exciting part of the week. He makes watching Frozen over and over again almost enjoyable! He is very much a typical, wild two year old, but he’s also sweet and empathetic. He needs extra hugs during the sad parts of movies and always says bless you whenever anyone sneezes. He’s just the best.

Becoming Leo’s parents changed every part of lives in the best way possible. He brings us joy, makes us laugh and amazes us with the new things he discovers every day. Some of our favorite things to do are play in the backyard, go for walks around our neighborhood and enjoy our zoo membership! Leo loves reading books, coloring pictures and playing with his cars. He also loves building towers with his Legos! We're lucky to live so close to his cousins so we can switch off which backyard everyone is playing in :) Leo loves babies and can't wait to become a big brother.

Our Life

We live in a 1926 Cape Cod home in Chicago. We just bought our home last year and it’s been wonderful to see Leo (and the terriers) enjoy the fenced in backyard and ample play space. The neighborhood is mostly young families and is just down the street from our church and the school Leo and our future child will attend. The best part is we’re just 8 minutes (or three rounds of Baby Shark) away from Leo’s cousins, Clark and Vera!

If there’s one thing we love, it’s a holiday. Each October we have spooky movie marathons, jack-o-lantern carving night and Melissa bakes her delicious pumpkin cream cheese bread. Leo loves our annual trip to the pumpkin patch and is a big fan of the Great Pumpkin. When Christmas comes around, we take advantage of all the holiday activities Chicago has to offer. Visits to see Santa and his reindeer, Christmas lights at the zoo and of course our family Christmas celebrations. Leo is getting good at opening gifts, but really excels at eating Christmas cookies :) We can't wait to include our future child in our traditions and make many more holiday memories!

Our Parenting Plan

There’s so many special things we’re looking forward as we expand our family, but we’ve also put a lot of thought into how we want to raise our future child and what their day to day life will look like. Melissa is planning to take three months of maternity leave following the birth. After Melissa returns to work, our nanny, Anna, will come back. Anna has been Leo’s nanny since he was three months old. She is a warm and caring person who has been an amazing addition to our family! Melissa’s parents babysit on Mondays and Mike’s parents come to the house on Fridays. We feel very strongly about surrounding our children with plenty of family to love and nurture them.

Our Thoughts on Open Adoption

When we adopt our future child we know that we are also creating relationships with you and your family, and having an open line of communication between all of us is the most important part of making sure our child is happy and healthy.

Our relationship with Leo’s birth mom and her family is something we cherish. We text often and have visits about two or three times a year. We’ve been connected since the moment we met and keeping that connection alive is something we prioritize.

We are open to email updates and photos, as well as visits. We want to work with you on a plan that works best for all of us, but most importantly, we’re open to what you are comfortable with. We understand there may be times where we are communicating frequently and there may be other times that’s not something you’re feeling up to. We understand. It’s our promise that we will keep you involved and updated on our child’s life as long as you want to be. They will know you and they will know how much you love them. Always.


So that’s a little bit about us – Chicago Bears fans, professional Lego builders and terrier snugglers. The road to building our family has been filled with twists and turns, but we always remain grateful that we’ve gone through this journey hand-in-hand. Every day we get more and more excited about the life we will share with our future child and want you to know that we are 100% committed to providing him or her with a kind, warm and loving home.

We can’t imagine the range of emotions you’re feeling right now, but please know that we respect your courage and selflessness for considering adoption as an option for your family. It’s an incredible way to show love for your unborn child.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little bit about us. We wish you all the luck in the world!

Fun Facts

  • Majored in Musical Theatre in college. Her favorite role was Goldilocks!
  • Her favorite activity to do with Leo is to listen to records and have a dance party!
  • Loves spending time crafting, especially Christmas and Halloween decorations
  • Spent a year living in the Little Armenia neighborhood of Los Angeles
  • Makes some pretty famous 7-layer cookie bars
  • She is unstoppable at all board games
  • She will watch any Harry Potter movie, anytime it’s on tv, even though she’s seen them all a million times
  • She knows the words to every Disney princess song and sings them all the time (Leo often asks her to stop)
  • Her favorite childhood movie is Beauty and the Beast
  • Grew up in Chicago, New Jersey, England and Australia
  • Plays the guitar (and a bit of ukulele)
  • His favorite activity with Leo is playing in the backyard, especially when Leo gets his swimming pool out!
  • Met Weird Al Yankovic and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Bratwurst racing sausage
  • Is an expert griller – Buffalo wings are his specialty!
  • Has accepted that Melissa is unstoppable at all board games
  • Grew up with German Shepherds, but is now more of a terrier guy
  • Loves dressing up for Halloween. His favorite costume was when we were a lion, a tiger and a Chicago bear
  • His favorite childhood movie is Muppets Take Manhattan

"Melissa & Mike" Family Photos

  • Melissa loves Lady Gaga and Mike loves Melissa, so he took her to the Wrigley show
  • Melissa’s parents with all five grandkids (ages 2 to 28!)
  • Leo and his cousin love piano time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house
  • We loved having Leo’s birthmom over for a cookout!
  • Easter egg dying with the world’s cutest bunny
  • Easter mass with Mike’s parents
  • Who doesn’t love the opportunity to wear matching Hawaiian shirts??
  • Leo had such a good time on the lake that he needed a quick nap with Grandma
  • Every week, Leo and Wally watch Mike mow the lawn.
  • Leo didn’t want to run through the sprinkler, but instead insisted on being held above it.
  • Daniel Tiger was so excited to trick or treat
  • Too much turkey
  • Leo’s first Christmas and Melissa’s happiest Christmas
  • Leo and Max are inseparable and often use each other as pillows
  • Leo sharing an outside snack with the terriers
  • Big smiles as we think about welcoming a new baby!

Contact the Cradle

If you’re interested in learning about adoption for your baby, we can help. We’re available 24/7. All of your information is confidential.

To speak to someone now, call our 24-hour hotline: (800) 272-3534 or text us at (312) 800-1559 (answered 8:30am-8pm).

If you’d like us to contact you, please use the form below.

If you are looking to adopt a child, please schedule a call with an Adoptive Parent Counselor.

If you are an adopted person looking for information, please schedule an informational consultation with our post adoption department.

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