Saira and Carl
We are Saira and Carl from Austin, Texas! We are 100% thrilled and ready to become parents through adoption! We both believe that the definition of family expands beyond biology and welcome this opportunity with open hearts. Thank you for being open to learning about us!
We’ve spent a long time trying to start our family. Doctors didn’t give us answers or solutions that felt like the right path for us. Neither of us have ever felt like there’s any difference between loving and raising a biological child or an adopted child, so it wasn’t a big leap. To us, family is who you choose to love unconditionally.
A decade ago, we both moved from opposite coasts to Austin for career opportunities; Carl from North Carolina and Saira from California. We both found ourselves looking for ways to be active and to make friends. We independently signed up for a local ultimate frisbee league, were randomly assigned to be on the same team, and discovered we had a lot in common. We quickly became friends, enjoying karaoke, trivia, and board games with our new community.
Pretty soon, we began dating and we started to plan our lives together by applying to graduate schools in the same cities. Carl proposed to Saira as a total surprise on a romantic picnic on a little island park in a nearby river, and he was only interrupted once by strange dogs running up to see what the excitement was about. We had two wedding ceremonies. Our Nikkah, a traditional Muslim wedding ceremony, was with the family and community Saira grew up with in California. And at our Texas wedding, Carl wore a custom-made kilt with his Scottish family’s ancient tartan.
About Saira by Saira: I grew up near Los Angeles with my two younger brothers. I come from a loving, biracial family. My mom, Maleka, is white and my dad, Imraan, is Pakistani. At family get-togethers, delicious American and Indian/Pakistani cooking is a really big deal—samosas, daal, shepherd’s pie, and more comfort food! I can’t keep count of my “cousins” because we call everyone “Aunty” and “Uncle”—even my dad’s oldest friends’ families with whom we usually spend Thanksgiving.
In addition to being a nerd who has always loved school, the highlight of my time in high school was being in the show choir. I went to college at U.C. Berkeley where I met my best friends for life in the university’s women’s a cappella singing group. In college, I also wanted to connect more with my Pakistani roots, so I took Hindi and Urdu, got my nose pierced, and watched a lot of Bollywood films.
Today, I’m a founding member of another a cappella group where we build songs with just our voices and without instruments. And I love my job as a product marketer at a tech company where I work from home several days a week and get unlimited paid time off, which is a huge benefit as we start our family.
Saira by Carl: Saira is the most dedicated, organized and driven person you’ll ever meet. There is just no challenge or obstacle that she isn’t willing to work through. That turns into a natural support of everyone around her. I know she’ll be supportive with our future child’s dreams. No matter what they want, Saira will be there for them. She’s also a great singer, gardener, and cook. Our home is filled with beauty, in some form or another, and I love her focus on creativity.
About Carl by Carl: I grew up in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I was raised by an incredible single mother who passed away suddenly when I was in college. She had a huge influence on who I am today – including a love for Jeopardy, my focus on the environment, and turning my career away from acting and towards social justice. Today I’m a legal aid attorney focusing on criminal defense and poverty-related issues like evictions.
My father, Derek, a retired commercial fisherman, sort-of-retired boat builder, and ordained Baptist deacon, has stayed a part of our life, and loves taking us out onto a boat to fish and talks nonstop about his adorable granddaughters. He’s influenced me in pretty obvious ways too—I have a woodshop in the garage and love making furniture and odds and ends for our home, friends, and relatives.
I’ve realized over the last couple of years that I just really like making things—in the shop, or baking, growing vegetables in the garden, even my legal work feels like that as I help clients tell their stories and protect themselves. I’m really looking forward to sharing all of that with our future child and just helping them continue to grow and question and appreciate life.
Carl by Saira: Carl makes sure we never take things too seriously. He is funny, smart, and great at getting people to enjoy themselves. I especially love that Carl chose to use his lawyer powers for good by starting a poverty law non-profit, helping people who are up against unfair systems or just down on their luck. He’s also committed to saving the world by recycling and making responsible, ethical decisions about where we source our food from that shows respect for the animal and environment. He makes me a better person and will be a fantastic role model for a child.
We live in a cul-de-sac in a diverse suburb just a few miles from downtown with a mix of young and old residents. When we walk Penny in the mornings, our neighbors say hello and wave. Less than a mile away, we also enjoy a nature path around a pond and a nearby cluster of local restaurants and stores, including a children’s science museum, playground, a farmer’s market, and grassy hills that are perfect for picnics and throwing frisbees when the weather is nice.
We live in a 3 bedroom, two-bathroom house with a nice open layout and a garage that Carl uses as his woodshop. We spend most of our time in the kitchen, dining, and living areas since they are one big space, which is nice because we can be around each other while doing different activities. We take pride in our home. On weekends, you can find us tackling hands-on home improvement projects. We’ve already built a vegetable garden box, decorated our living room with a rustic wooden accent wall, tiled the kitchen backsplash, and built industrial shelves out of pipes. We love decorating for Christmas and each year we expand our collection of decor a little bit.
Meet Our Pets: We’ve rescued two shelter pets: Our cat, Bagheera and our dog, Penny. Bagheera runs this neighborhood, answers to no one, and comes and goes as he pleases. He tries to act tough, but our vet wrote “Sweet Cat Alert!” on his file and he is a purring machine. Penny is medium-sized, loves doggy playdates, treats, and is obsessed with balls. We think she’s a mixed breed because she doesn’t look like any specific type of dog we know, and her tail is curiously short—no idea where she gets it. She is excited to come along for walks around a nearby pond in our neighborhood and looking forward to extra belly rubs once our child is ready to play with her.
Family and Friends
Our families live on opposite coasts, so we fly to see them several times a year. But our definition of family isn’t limited to biology; it includes the people we choose to love and cherish. Because of the distance to most of our relatives, we’ve formed a tight knit group of local Austin friends (mostly couples) to which over half a dozen babies were born this year and we can’t wait to become new parents surrounded by all these wise, loving people.
As adults, we look back on what our own parents have done for us and realize most of our successes in life aren’t ours alone. We were only able to take risks and become who we are today thanks to the financial and emotional safety nets and sacrifices our parents made for us. We’ve always known we wanted to become parents and raise a child in that same nurturing and supportive way.
We Promise To:
- Make sure they always hear “I love you,” every single day, constantly
- Read lots and lots of books while snuggling together
- Dress up in creative family themed Halloween costumes
- Get hands-on with school projects, science experiments, and extracurricular activities
- Encourage them to appreciate music, sing loudly, and explore any artistic talents and creative interests
- Be a safety net so they know they can always come to us when they make a mistake
- Prepare them for a future of happiness and big dreams
Thank you for considering us as you decide what is best for you and your child’s future. We would love to answer any questions and learn about you too!