Calla & Tara

Dear Expectant Mother,

Hello, we’re Calla and Tara from the San Francisco Bay Area. We both come from diverse families with half-siblings, adopted, and multiracial kids, so we know an adopted child will fit right in. We’ve always hoped to adopt and are excited to welcome a new member into our diverse, fun, and loving family.

Thank you for considering us as prospective parents for your child. We value and respect your needs and choices and admire the decision you’re making. In this letter, we’d like to tell you a bit about ourselves, our lives, and our values and hope to learn more about you.

Our Life Together

Tara works as an engineering manager in the tech industry, while Calla teaches and consults at a large university. We have been in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2016, when we moved here for Tara’s job. We met in Seattle fourteen years ago and have been married for seven years. In that time, we’ve been through thick and thin and come out stronger as a couple. Our other family member is our cat, Independence, a sweet little guy who mostly lives up to his name but can be quite affectionate too.

Traveling is our favorite thing to do together. We’ve travelled all around the U.S. and internationally (and Tara has also lived Germany and Japan). We look forward to traveling with our child, starting with trips to national parks, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Disneyland, and as they get older, internationally. Because traveling has expanded our view of the world and ourselves, we hope to share this experience with our child. We hope to give him or her childhood memories of swimming off the beautiful Amalfi coast in Italy and eating gingerbread or bratwurst at the Christmas markets in Germany.

Music is also a large part of our lives. Tara has played music for most of her life, so we see a lot of shows and listen to a lot of music. Music is often playing in our house, especially while we’re cooking or having friends over for game nights or brunch on weekends.

We cook at home a lot, but most of our food traditions are during the holidays. At Thanksgiving, Tara makes food that she grew up eating, like ham with collard greens, candied yams, and macaroni and cheese. Calla goes a bit baking crazy with sugar cookies, homemade chocolates, and her aunt’s chocolate fruit cake. Calla’s baking and the smell of a live pine tree makes the whole house smell like Christmas.

We also look forward to helping our child explore sports, hiking, and camping. Tara grew up playing and coaching soccer and has been into snowboarding and cycling. Calla loves to be outdoors walking or hiking, or just for a picnic.

Tara & her dad

Tara & her dad

About Tara, by Calla

Sometimes when trying to find Tara in a crowded event, I stop to listen for her laugh (she has the most beautiful laugh). I’ll most likely find her talking with someone and making them laugh. Tara makes friends easily, and I think that’s because she accepts herself and is very accepting of others.

Tara grew up near Philadelphia in a very close family. Her parents divorced when she was growing up, but did an amazing job of presenting a united front to Tara and her brother, even when living on different coasts. It’s striking how alike Tara and her parents are—she can be measured and focused like her mother and yet spontaneous and bold like her dad.

Tara has an incredible curiosity and drive to learn. She’s a self-taught musician and played semi-professionally for a number of years (she sings, and plays drums and guitar). She’s also a self-taught software engineer, snowboarder, and photographer. You couldn’t ask for a better role model for fearlessly learning a new skill. Or, for a better teacher. She’s just as enthusiastic and patient at teaching what she knows as she is in learning it.

Calla with her friend’s daughter, who is named after her

Calla with her friend’s daughter, who is named after her

About Calla by Tara

The thing I love most about Calla is her smile. It is so genuine and kind. I can talk to her about anything, and I have tremendous respect for her. She is someone who deeply values all life, but especially animals (she grew up in northern Utah with lots of pets, including horses, rabbits, even a sheep!). She is also passionate about helping others. She’s worked with teens and young adults who were homeless or in foster care and tutored first graders in learning to read better.

When she was a kid, Calla loved going for long walks with her grandma, exploring whatever they found interesting like tree roots, flowers, plants, etc. She still goes for long walks almost every day, rain or shine. When we travel to new places, we like to walk around and explore.

Learning is a calling for Calla. As the first person in her family to go to college, she worked full-time starting in high school and put herself through two undergraduate and two graduate degrees, including a PhD. She is proud of her educational achievements, but her hard work and financial struggles when she was younger have given her a natural ability to connect with all kinds of people.

She now consults with professors and teaches courses on teaching. Calla has a combination of passion and skill to really make her students “see” what she’s trying to teach them. I’ve watched her enthrall entire rooms of people. She’ll bring the same passion to helping our child learn—from helping them with homework to college applications.

Our Families

Tara has a large, close-knit family. Her father is one of nine children, so she has many aunts, uncles and cousins who mostly live in the Northeast and South. Thanksgiving dinners on the East Coast are often 40 people deep. Tara’s older brother has three children. Tara keeps in touch with the 16-year-old with texts and Snapchats. Tara’s mom is excited to pass on her love of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder to our child, as she did to Tara. Her dad looks forward to sharing his love of reading, exploration and travel with a little one.

In Calla’s family, she is closest to her sister and likes to joke that they have “twin issues” even though they’re two years apart (with birthdays one week apart, they grew up sharing the same birthday party). Her sister is super excited to read lots of books to her new niece or nephew.

Our family also includes many long-time close friends and their children. Our family and friends are 100% supportive of our plan to adopt and excited to be a part of our child’s life.

Our home

Our home

Our Home & Community

We live just south of San Francisco, which is close enough to easily meet friends in the City but far enough to live in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood. Our house is surrounded by trees and flowers. Calla works from home and often spots deer and hummingbirds in our front yard. We have a large, private, fenced-in backyard circled by tall, flowering trees with a deck and lots of grass. It’s a perfect play area for kids.

Our neighborhood is the kind of place where people leave their front doors and garages open all day on warm days. Someone is always walking their dog or working in their yard. Kids play outside and bike around the neighborhood on their own. Several city parks are just down the street with large playgrounds and our favorite, lots of swing sets.

Our Values

We’ve learned that our different personalities work together because we share so many of the same values. Important values that we want to share with our child include:

Laughter & Kindness. Our family is closer and stronger when we laugh together and are kind to each other.

Learning & Exploration. Cultivating our child’s curiosity, creativity, and talents will help them build confidence and a strong sense of identity.

Questioning Authority. As Tara’s nana always taught her: “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.”

Self-sufficiency and Resilience. Learning how to deal with difficulties, stay confident in the face of challenges, and take care of oneself when needed, are necessary skills for living a good life.

Respect & Compassion. Learning respect and compassion for others goes hand-in-hand with learning to have respect and compassion for themselves.

Community. Our community has given us each a strong sense of identity and belonging. We plan to provide our child with a strong sense of self, purpose, and belonging in our family and community.

Thank You

We can be reached toll free at 1-800-539-8182 or by email at Please reach out to us through our wonderful adoption attorneys, Karin Stoeckenius and Holly Wotherspoon at 1-800-U-Adopt-US (1-800-823-6788) or email them at You can also visit their website at

With Gratitude,

Calla & Tara