TAMMY AND MICHAEL
We’re Tammy and Michael. We teach at Purdue, and we have lived in West Lafayette, Indiana for more than 12 years.
We both have mixed backgrounds. Michael is Sicilian and Lithuanian. Tammy is Korean, Native American, and French Canadian. We’re both mixed up hybrids—unlikely ingredients brought together by love. We’re not perfect; we have bad days when we lose patience or when we want to hide from our responsibilities. We are human and flawed. Most of the time we are happy, and we look forward to being parents.
This is just a glimpse of our lives, and we hope to share more with you.
We met when we were students at Texas Tech, and we’ve been married more than 17 years. Our first date (according to Michael) was to see the re-released Star Wars movies. Our first date (according to Tammy) was going to the International Food Festival. We both insist we’re right. When Tammy first met Michael, she wondered why anyone would travel so far for school. And why he would wear long sleeves in the Texas heat. When Michael met Tammy, he was immediately attracted to her. She was clueless for months and months while he did everything and anything to get her attention. All our friends cheered when we finally started dating.
What We Like to Do Together
- We love traveling, and we’re fortunate to have visited many places around the world. We enjoy bringing groups of students to Scotland for study abroad.
- We go to the Farmer’s Market every week and chat with the farmers. We like making dinner together with things we found at the market.
- We read many different things. We “fight” over who gets to read the newest book from Ian Rankin, our favorite Scottish mystery writer.
- We both love music and seeing our favorite bands in concert.
- We play Scrabble on Facebook. Sometimes we’re sitting in the same room, on our computers, playing Scrabble, which is really silly. But we also play when we’re in different places, and it makes us feel closer and more connected.
Our Home and Community
West Lafayette is a growing, diverse college town. It takes us five minutes to drive to work, and we walk when the weather is nice. We get to enjoy many family-friendly activities, sports like football and basketball, and events like Purdue’s annual Bug Bowl.
We live in a comfortable, ranch style home. Our neighborhood is quiet but in the middle of things, and we’re lucky to have a backyard with a ravine and woods. It’s almost like a state park because we have so much wildlife: birds like cardinals and woodpeckers, deer, and even groundhogs.
We are surrounded by supportive friends, and we’re grateful to be in a community that is full of love. We know our neighbors, and we watch out for one another. Our neighbors and friends were quick to spring into action when we lost our baby Matthew. Tammy’s sister flew out immediately to help with errands and to be a comforting presence. Colleagues, friends, church members, and neighbors cooked several weeks’ worth of meals. These same families and individuals shared our pain then, and they share our excitement and hope in growing our family through adoption.
We’re members of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in West Lafayette. It is a church full of students and families. We attend weekly services, and we participate in Good Shepherd’s book group and outreach projects.
Our extended families live in Texas and New Jersey. Tammy’s Dad still lives in Killeen; Tammy’s Mom passed away 12 years ago. Tammy’s sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece live in the Houston suburbs. We visit at least once a year, and we talk to them or FaceTime with them often. Michael’s parents just retired and moved to New Jersey, and we see them once or twice a year. His brother, sister-in-law, and nephews also live in New Jersey.
We don’t have huge families or rich families, but we have loving families, and although we are spread out on the East Coast and Gulf Coast and Midwest, we are part of each other’s lives and are always there for each other.
We value education, and we’ve learned so much about adoption and openness. We want your child–our child–to be proud of who they are, where they come from, and their culture. We want them to feel safe and secure asking questions and knowing that we will do everything we can to honor their history and birth family.
Opportunity, Education, and Parenting
We are blessed to have stable careers and live in a town with excellent schools. We travel for work and pleasure, and have helped our students create rich, rewarding lives for themselves. We will provide the support, guidance, and stability a child needs to become a confident, resilient adult.
We’re lucky to have great benefits with Purdue, including plenty of parental leave and vacation time. Michael doesn’t teach in the summer, and we both have flexible schedules and understanding bosses. We look forward to participating in our child’s activities, picking them up from school, and even taking time off when our child is sick. Many of our colleagues have children, so our workplace is used to adjusting.
- My dad was in the Army, and I have lived in Germany and Korea, where I was born. My family settled in Texas after being stationed there many times.
- I am the oldest. My sister is 5 years younger.
- My mom is Korean, and my dad is French Canadian and Chippewa Indian. I am registered with the Sault Ste. Marie tribe in northern Michigan.
- I am the first of my family to go to college.
- I love cooking, making jams and pickles, hiking, live music, reading, and traveling.
5 Facts about Tammy as told by Michael
- Tammy is the most loyal friend anyone can have. She can keep a secret.
- She will go out of her way to find the right gift for someone.
- Tammy has a powerful memory. Mention something once and she remembers.
- Tammy has an incredible sense of taste. When I bite into an apple, I taste apple. She can talk about differences and similarities, how fresh or crisp, how sweet or tart.
- When we visit different cities, Tammy always wants to go to the aquarium. She is still upset that we visited Monterrey, California and did not visit the aquarium.
- I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up on Long Island.
- I am the oldest. My brother is 5½ years younger.
- My Dad taught math in high school for many years.
- My mom was a nurse and then taught nursing.
- I went to college in New York City, and then lived in upstate New York before moving to Lubbock, Texas.
5 Facts about Michael as told by Tammy
- Michael has a small patch of hair that is lighter than the rest of his hair. In summer, that patch gets blonde, and the rest stays brown.
- He can stare at hummingbirds for hours. Really. I got sunburned when we spent more than two hours watching hummingbirds in California.
- His favorite color is purple, and I find myself wearing lots of purple just for him.
- He wears a knit hat to bed when he’s cold during the winter.
- Michael does voices like Grover, Yoda, British accents, and he can often pick out the actor doing voiceovers in commercials.