Category Archives: Adoption

The Grass is Greener …

The grass is always greener on the other side.  Or is it?  So many people spend their lives believing if something were different they would be happier.  If I had a — spouse, child, different job, different appearance, etc –, I would be happy.  But would you?

As we enter into our sixth month of the wait, I sit her contemplating happiness.  I want to make sure I (and Darin) am (is) happy with life now.  Our happiness cannot depend on us having a child.  That is too much responsibility for a child.  We need to be happy individually and together in order to be the best parents for our future children.

So as we approach Thanksgiving, I take inventory of my life and realize how fortunate and truly happy I am with the life I live.  I am married to the love of my life and my best friend.  I have a father and daughter who are always with me and watch over me and my family.  I have a loving and supportive family who is always there for each other.  I have friends who have stuck with me through thick and thin.  I have a job that allows me to work when and where I want.  I have a body that, while far from perfect, serves me well and is healthy.  I live in a place where food, water, and electricity are taken for granted and the biggest problem we face is waiting in traffic to get to the new outlet mall.  I have a faith that guides me in my darkest hour.  I have traveled the world and been introduced to many inspiring cultures. I am blessed!

Rather than buying into “the grass is greener on the other side,” I choose to subscribe to the belief that “the grass is greener where you water it.”  I choose to water my grass by being thankful and mindful of all of the blessing in my life.  I challenge you to do the same.

The Power Of A Click… & A Request

What a difference the internet has made…

For thousands of years, mankind has been hunting and gathering for food, developing unique solutions for locating, preparing, serving, and storing it.  Today, one mouse click at will have your entire grocery list selected by a cheerful team member, placed into color-coded bins, loaded onto a climate-controlled truck and delivered to your kitchen counter.

The power of a click…

In 1860, news of Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address took almost 8 days to reach California, via the Pony Express.  Today, hundreds of news updates are shared instantaneously worldwide and Twitter receives upwards of 7,000 messages per second.

The power of a click…

Just 30 years ago, if we wanted to tell someone that we “liked” something, it was done via letter or telephone call.  Today, more than 3 Billion “Likes” are registered every single day on Facebook.

The power of a click…

Technology has changed a lot of things and we are hoping to harness that power to help share our story.

“Viral” Growth Happens So Fast
About a week ago, we shared the news of the completion of our Foster Parent Certification and the official start of our adoption “Wait” period.  In less than 2 hours, 50 people “Liked” that post on Facebook, 10 provided comments, and the story was shared with more than 500 people via friends of friends of friends in a matter of minutes!

Our goal is to get our journey, our message, and our desire to become adoptive parents shared with as many people as possible.

A Request
Our request is simple…  We are simply asking for you to take one moment and click…

  • Click “Like” on our “The Next Journey” Facebook posts, if you enjoy what you read…
  • Click “Tweet” and pass along our links to your contacts via Twitter…
  • Click “Share” on a picture, a story, or a link, and tell others on your Facebook walls about us, who we are, and how they might be able to help us on our journey…
  • Click “Send” on an email to friends, family, colleagues, and your contacts sharing information about our interest in becoming adoptive parents and how they can help…

If you need some help with the wording, here is one possible option:
(Feel free to cut and paste, or contact us with any questions!)


Our friends Darin & Natalie have recently been approved to pursue Domestic Infant Adoption after selecting a local adoption agency, filling out the necessary paperwork, attending adoption-related classes, and completing an extensive home study and assessment process.  The next step on their journey is to be matched with someone who is looking to make an adoption plan for their child.

Read about their story here:
Join them online at:
Or just pass along this information to your contacts to help get them spread the word.

Thank you in advance for any support you can provide!

Each and every day, we “Like” pictures of cute kittens and videos of crazy wedding proposals.  We “Share” recipes for peach cobbler and Pinterest pins for everything under the sun.  We “Send” email forwards to everyone on our contact lists to tell wildly varying accounts of “how to avoid a speed trap” or “laws that were made in 1840 that prohibit tying your horse to a tree” or “how the last/current/next government is going to save/ruin your life”.

We’re simply asking for a click to help us become a family again.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for reading, for continuing to be a part of our journey, and if you are willing, to help us share our story with as many people as possible.

The power of a single click may change our lives forever.
Will it be yours?

Considering An Adoption Plan? This is Our Wish…

“My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish”
— Rascal Flatts

This has always been our wish for each other and our children. While we did not have time to fulfill this wish for our angel, we would be honored to spend the rest of our lives fulfilling it for you and your child.

About Darin (by Natalie) The first time I met Darin I knew I had to get to know him. As I got to know him (over the course of six years), I fell in love with him. Darin is the husband that holds me when I’m upset and dances around the room with me when I’m happy. He is the uncle who receives frequent video Skype calls from my niece and nephew asking for help with their math homework. He is the “Uncle Chicken Head,” as his niece calls him, that is always good for a whimsical story and a fit of giggles for “Princess Aubriana Olivia Bonafante,” which is his special name for her. He is the Godfather who used his own photos to create a personalized picture book of the A-Z of Australia and New Zealand animals for our godchildren. He is the brother who managed all of his sister’s finances growing up and advises all of his sisters (both biological and in-law) on financial matters. Darin is the son who called his mother every Wednesday night to keep her company while his Dad was at his weekly business meeting. He is the son-in-law who volunteered to take care of my father while my mom, sisters, and I all had to be out of town for work commitments … and we were only dating at this point. Darin is the nephew who drives 4 hours round-trip to set-up my aunt’s new computer. He is the friend who sees on Facebook that a sick pregnant friend is out of soup and, without being asked, goes shopping and drops by a bag full of groceries for her and her family. He is the gentleman who always gives up his seat for an elderly stranger. This is the man I am proud to call my husband.

About Natalie (by Darin) Natalie brings out the very best in me and those around her. Her smile is infectious and somehow can get me to laugh, even on the worst of days. She is the anchor of her family, offering her time, her knowledge, and her support whenever it is needed to her sisters, her mother, her aunts, and friends. Natalie is passionate about her family’s culture and heritage, learning the many traditions of generations past and is excited about sharing them with others. She is an active and engaged aunt, chaperoning field trips and school events for her niece and nephew. Natalie is also a strong supporter of the Shriners Hospitals for Children. She has always inspired me by facing her fears head on and has climbed waterfalls, gone ziplining, swam with sharks, and even survived a couple nights of camping, all in the name of “trying something new.” She’s a natural with kids, so at ease with them that I like to call her “The Baby Whisperer.” I can’t wait for her to have the opportunity to be a mom again. She is going to be an amazing parent, just as she has been an amazing wife, partner in life, and friend.

About Makena In March of 2009, we found out that we were expecting our first child. We were going to be parents! Thirty weeks later, the day after the baby shower, Natalie end up in the hospital and we found out we lost our precious daughter. Natalie delivered Makena Christine on her 32nd birthday and we spent an amazing 24 hours holding, rocking, and loving her. That one day with her was a gift beyond any we had ever received. At the end of that 24 hour period, we had to hand her over to the nurse and walk out of the hospital with empty arms, never to see her again. We have spent the last three years learning how to be the parents of an angel and are now ready to welcome another child into our lives. We know Makena is always with us and is going to be watching out for her future siblings.

About Us We met in 1996 at Santa Clara University. One of Darin’s high school math teachers is a good friend of Natalie’s family. This family friend asked Darin to “look out” for his “niece” as she was a freshman and Darin was a sophomore. We met and became friends but no sparks flew at that time. After graduation we maintained our friendship by taking sign language classes together and chatting online. In November of 2000, after Darin spent the summer in New England working at a children’s summer camp and Natalie had finished a 6 month “retirement” something clicked. We dated for about two years and Darin proposed in December 2002 on the beach in St. John. A dear friend married us in Mission Santa Clara in April 2004 surrounded by family and friends. The last eight years have been a rollercoaster of laughter and tears. Through it all we have walked the journey hand-in-hand supporting each other every step of the way.

We will ….
Support him in becoming all he wants to become
Help her dream big and keep her worries small
Carry his load so he can fly
Love her forever and like her for always

For More Information, Click Here for Natalie & Darin’s Adoption Page