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Casino Night

Saturday
June 22
7pm - 10pm

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Tracy and Mike (and Leo)

 
Dear Expectant Mother,
We are Tracy, Mike and Leo.  We know adoption is a difficult life decision and requires a deep level of trust and strength as you look for the right home for your child.  Please know that our family will love and cherish a child.
 
We met 17 years ago when Tracy challenged Michael to an arcade game (and won).  We now have been married for 11 happy years, and were lucky enough to adopt Leo five years ago.  We are looking forward to expanding our family and to give love to another incredible child.  Leo is beyond excited about having a baby in the family and has already pledged to share his toys.  
 
About Our Family
We live in Oak Park, Illinois, close to Mike’s sister and her family (including fun cousins) and three minutes from Tracy’s parents (Nana makes great chicken soup). On a typical Friday summer night, our home is the gathering spot. Mike’s sister’s family often joins us. Our nieces, ages 2, 4 and 10, are always racing with Leo in the backyard, laughing and making mischief. All the children in the family are biracial.  The group can also include Tracy’s brother and wife, her parents, or our dear friends whose children will be our children’s lifelong friends.
 
On summer weekends, we’ll either be at home--going to the farmer’s market, exploring local playgrounds, playing on the swing set in the backyard--or at our family cabin in Indiana just an hour outside of Chicago. 
 
We spend time swimming, kayaking, digging in the sand, trying to catch frogs or turtles, and in the late afternoons Leo loves to spend hours fishing. The basement is set up for kids--with toys, paint, blocks, trains and more--perfect for our friends and family who visit. At night, we play games and read books.   
 
In the winter, we are sledding, visiting museums around town or doing some combination of science, art and building projects at our house. Leo is quite the artist and engineer--always figuring out how to take things apart and experimenting with how to create and build something new. 
 
Leo is very close to Tracy’s parents. He loves math projects with his Nana and making jokes, wrestling and fishing with his Papa. Mike’s mom visits often from Iowa and she and Leo have special time together building giant Lego structures. We also take annual family trips to Florida and Bonaire, a small island where we go scuba diving. The entire family is eagerly waiting to embrace our next child.
 
About Mike
Mike is a civil rights lawyer. He represents people who feel the weight of injustice on them—whether racial, economic, or social. Most of his cases are those who were treated unfairly or discriminated against by their employers. He gets called when someone has a problem and works hard to find a fair solution. 
 
Mike is the cook of the family and loves to make everyone’s favorite food (the kids also know who to ask for a treat). He always does the most thoughtful and unexpected thing to make others happy.  He’s also quite funny in his own special way-- we’re always laughing at his bad jokes.
 
He loves to read the newspaper every morning on his way into work on the train (after his coffee!), and talks about the Bulls with his friends. He also enjoys gardening, playing basketball, exploring in forests or running into the waves at Lake Michigan with Leo.  He can’t wait to have a second child be part of the fun.
 
About Tracy
Tracy works with nonprofit organizations whose missions are to have a better world. She helps them figure out how to spread their stories through news outlets, television shows and social media. Tracy’s office is based at home, so she easily gets Leo to and from school.  
 
Tracy is the glue of the family -- she makes sure things get done.  Everyone relies on her support and her judgment. It’s not unusual for her to get frequent calls from people who need her advice -- personal or professional. Tracy has a remarkable capacity to care about everybody and everything.  And our family is richer because of it. It runs through everything she does in her work, her life, and her relationships.  She looks forward to sharing her love with another child. Tracy loves to read, watch bad reality television, plan adventures for the weekends, and play games with the family.  
 
 
About Leo 
Leo joined our family five and a half years ago. We were lucky to both be at the hospital with his birth mother and Tracy was in the room when he was born. He was named after Mike’s grandfather and his birth mother’s brother. Leo has a smile that lights up a room and always has everyone laughing. In addition to his love of building with Legos and doing art projects, he also enjoys science experiments that blow things up, exploring nature, dancing to Motown, and learning about animals.  He also likes to sneak in video games when he can!  At bedtime, we read him books and listen to stories on podcast.
 
He loves baseball in the backyard. He’s always trying to shoot hoops with his dad and uncles. He tried and quit karate, but loves his swimming lessons.  He recently started kindergarten, and is also taking a cooking class.  He’ll be a wonderful big brother.
 
Our Values
It’s important to us that our family is connected to our children’s cultures and families. We have ongoing communication with Leo’s birth mother and see her as much as she is comfortable. We recently connected with others in Leo’s birth family. He has cousins, uncles, aunts and a grandmother that are now forever part of his life.  And we couldn’t be happier.  As Leo says, “I don’t have two families, I have one big family.” 
 
Please email us directly at tracyandmikeACFB@gmail.com.  You can also learn more about us through our adoption counselor, Maggie Benz, by calling 800-869-1005, texting 847-366-6343 or emailing maggie@centerforfamily.com.
With Love,
Tracy, Mike and Leo
 

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