Sean & Shannon
Greetings from Shannon and Sean
Dear birth mother,
Thank you for clicking on our photo and opening your heart to us. You are a brave woman. We know that the decisions you are facing require a leap of trust and faith, and we are honored to share this snapshot of our lives with you.
We have been married for more than seven years now, and always planned to grow our family both biologically and through adoption. As you will learn later, Shannon was adopted as a newborn, and her convictions toward paying this act of love forward are shared by Sean. Together we are eager to build our family, share our love with a child, and participate in the miracle of adoption.
How our story begins. . .
We met in the summer of 2006 at a Starbucks in Providence, Rhode Island. Shannon was new in town, and Sean had lived in New England for years. As it turned out, we were both doctors at the same medical school, both working on our own research on that Saturday afternoon. We worked at different hospitals, and had it not been for our thirst for both learning and coffee, our paths would not have crossed.
Our match was made in the geekiest of heavens, and we soon learned we shared more than careers in medicine. We love exploring new places and cherishing familiar ones. We share a common faith and value system. We love our families, we love to laugh, and we love the Beatles.
We were married five years later, surrounded by friends and family in the 300-year-old Trinity Church of Newport, Rhode Island. We’ve shared many adventures, and yet we know the best is yet to come.
Fun facts about us:
• We are serious college football fans (with loyalties to the Stanford Cardinal, Florida Gators and Washington Huskies, in no particular order).
• We love learning and appreciate education (we have seven degrees between the two of us).
• The Bay Area has made us “foodies.”
• We both grew up in seaside towns and feel at home near the ocean.
• We love music, theater, movies, traveling and adventure.
• We were once shipwrecked (just the two of us!) on a beach in the British Virgin Islands. (It’ll be a while before Shannon gets on a boat alone with Sean again)
I was born to a 15-year old girl in May of 1976 and was adopted by my family in August of that year. We celebrate both birthdays. My parents shared my adoption story with me at an early age, and I always understood it to be an important part of my identity, a source of security, and a reason for gratitude.
I have had a blessed life. I enjoyed school and was involved in activities like dance, gymnastics, baton twirling, violin and musical theater.
After high school I spent many years in education and training (16 to be exact) to become a gynecologic oncologist, which means I am a cancer surgeon for women with things like ovarian and cervical cancer. I love my job and am honored to care for women during such challenging times in their lives. I also enjoy teaching young doctors in training.
My career is rewarding, but I cannot wait to become a mother and make my family with Sean complete.
Thanks to my adoptive family, I have always known adoption to be an act of love from the birth mother. In adulthood, as I trained as an OB/GYN and cared for birth mothers as my patients, I was humbled to witness their strength, grace and bravery. You are a hero in someone’s story, and I pray you hold that in your heart forever.
Fun facts about me:
• My favorite foods are fried chicken and Oreo cookies. But I almost never eat them and have learned to enjoy vegetables!
• I can open a doorknob with my toes.
• I was Little Miss Majorette of Florida when I was 10 years old.
• I love Christmas, and make sure our tree is lit and our halls are decked with spirit.
• I enjoy reading, creative writing, long walks in beautiful places and dancing.
How Sean describes Shannon…
Shannon is a beautiful person inside and out. She is kind, graceful, smart, and strong. She always turns heads when she enters a room because — in addition to being lovely — she has a spirited determination and confidence about her that is captivating. She is a brilliant surgeon and a graceful dancer, a fun-loving companion, and my best friend.
She cares deeply for her patients and humanity. When we had the great fires in Sonoma, she loaded up our car with every blanket and towel from our closet, bought groceries, and drove us two hours to deliver them to the displaced victims. She frequently brings food to the homeless. Her patients, her family, her many friends, and I love this extraordinary woman.
She was meant to be a mother, and any child would be lucky to call her “mom.”
I grew up in Seattle and my parents, my sister and I spent our summers on Vashon Island. My childhood is filled with memories of my dad playing the banjo while we all sang around a beach fire with aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. I loved every sport that I played (football, basketball, soccer, track and more!), but my favorite memories are salmon fishing with my dad and kind and gentle talks with my mom.
I decided I wanted to be a doctor when I was 14 years old and pursued that dream growing up. I volunteered in our hospital and worked hard in college to get into medical school. For my training I have lived in Seattle, New Hampshire, Boston, Providence, and even Oxford, England. I became a family doctor because I love kids and enjoy taking care of the entire family.
My life is rich with memories of joy growing up with parents who loved me, and I am grateful. They were always there for me, helped me through good times and bad, never missed a soccer game or track meet, gave me encouragement, and loved me unconditionally. So, I have always wanted to be a dad because I want to pass on the same love, joy, and wonder to a child that I was so fortunate to have growing up. Wherever we are, home is where our family is. And I want to share that home with a child.
With God’s grace, I hope to be a great dad. I’m not perfect, but I will always be there for my kid(s). And I can’t think of a higher, more important calling for Shannon and me than to raise children and help them to be happy and strong and grow with confidence and purpose.
Fun facts about me:
• I am a cartoon artist.
• I have met a former U.S. president, a former secretary of state, and five surgeons general.
• I love pizza, hot dogs, real dogs, football, fishing, sailing, skiing, and the beach!
• I have run five marathons for Teen Cancer America, a charity for teens and young adults with cancer.
• I rowed competitively in a crew and was my college President at Oxford.
How Shannon describes Sean…
Sean is the guy who stands when a lady leaves the table, opens doors for the elderly (or anyone with a stroller), shakes the hand of soldiers in uniform, thanks veterans for their service and every now and then, anonymously picks up the tab for strangers. He brings me fresh flowers every week, just because. He is the kindest, deepest soul I know, and when he asks anyone how they are, he genuinely wants to know the answer.
Sean is outgoing but humble, with a brilliant scientific mind, a heart of gold and love of God and humanity. To see him interact with children, and the joy that lights up his face, is to know he deserves to be a dad. To know him as I do, is to know our children will be blessed to have him as a father.
Our families and our home
Our families are very important to us. Sean’s parents live in Arizona, and Shannon’s parents live in Florida, and we have collected many frequent flyer miles visiting both places. Both sets of future grandparents are playful and active, full of love, sass, and life experience, all having been married well over 50 years.
They have been amazing parents and role models to us, and we simply can’t wait to share them with our child.
We have extended family in six different states, and dream of hosting them all for Christmas in our home with our growing family.
We currently live in Palo Alto, California, where the tree lined streets lead you to countless parks. Our home is in a family-oriented neighborhood just a few blocks from Stanford University and the heart of Silicon Valley.
We have easy access to healthy food, outdoor activity and nationally recognized schools. While we love the energy of this town, we know we won’t live here forever. With family and friends across the continental US, there are many places that already feel like home, and our lives could take us to any part of the country with an academic medical center.
Wherever our growing family takes root, we will ensure our children are surrounded by the love and support of family and have the education they need to meet their goals (and dreams!)
Before You Go
Thank you for the time you have taken to learn about us. We have shown you times of happiness and laughter here, and we are eager to share this love, joy and adventure with a child.
We are also human and are not perfect. We have loved each other in times of heartache and failure and promise to do the same with a child.
We know that you are facing a challenging road with difficult decisions ahead. And we want you to know that we have infinite love in our hearts and profound gratitude for you and the life you are bringing to this world. Please know that, wherever you are and whatever you choose, you are in our prayers.
Shannon & Sean