Ilana and Burt
We are Ilana & Burt and we are so happy you found us! We are a silly, fun loving family of three living by the beach in Southern California. Burt and I share a home with our 4 year old son Ben, our dog Donnie, and our two cats Monkey and Dweezil. We are filled with hope that you are the person we have been praying for and thank you deeply for taking the time to get to know us.
Meet Burt, written by Ilana
I met Burt at house party in the San Fernando Valley. I remember first thinking of Burt as this very cute, laid back guy who played harmonica, and I don’t know if my opinion of him has changed very much in the almost 15 years since then! He’s still the same guy who spends his life in old band t-shirts and flip flops and is always ready to break out a guitar and jam. I think my favorite quality about Burt is that he is without a doubt is the kindest person I’ve ever met. His kindness is genuine and humble and can be seen in the subtle way that he brings home stray animals, buys the most thoughtful Christmas gifts for family, and never turns down a request to help a friend move. Burt’s kindness shines brightly when he comes home after work and goes straight into an hour of LEGO building with Ben even though you know he must be tired after a long day. He does bath time and bedtime and packs lunches and goes on play dates. He is loving and kind and gentle as a father, as a husband, and as a man. He is a beautiful, kind person with a loving soul and I am so very lucky that he is mine.
Meet Ilana, written by Burt
Ilana and I met through mutual friends nearly 15 years ago, and after a few years of being close friends, I realized that she was the person I had been searching for. Luckily, I was able to convince her of that as well and we have been happily in love ever since. Looking back, it’s silly I hadn’t come to this conclusion sooner. She has every quality I value in a partner. She is a without a doubt the most compassionate and considerate person I have ever known, never missing an opportunity to support someone in need or help plan a friend’s special celebration. Coming from a large family, she holds those relationships very dear and never misses the chance to be with her family, driving all across Los Angeles to attend a family function – of which there are many, and are always a great time. As a special education teacher, she always goes above and beyond for her students and their families, often times staying up late developing new curriculum to help her students succeed or texting with their parents when they need help. Most importantly to me though, she is the most wonderful mother to our son. She is constantly setting up playdates at the park or at friend’s houses or inviting his friends to our house for dinner and movie nights filled with popcorn and pillow forts. She is loving and warm, gentle and kind, strong and selfless. She truly is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met and I am so happy she chose me to share in this journey through life.
Burt and I grew up in big beautiful, blended families with loving biological and step-parents, half siblings, step siblings, and live-in cousins. Although both of our parents divorced and remarried when we were young, our experience of family life has been a solid one, with parents and step parents who love each other and collaborate well and who have shown us what true love and friendship looks like. For us, adopting a child is just another way to continue building on our own beautiful family, which includes diversity, openness, and love.
Every single one of our parents are the kind of grandparents who sit on the floor and play make believe. They have special toys at their house just for their grandchildren and are thrilled beyond words at the prospect of us adopting a child. They are creative and loving, warm, and generous and we love them all very much. Our siblings, step, half or otherwise, are our brothers and sisters regardless of whether we share the same blood. We are a tight family and we believe our differences and unique experiences only make us stronger.
As wonderful as our parents and siblings are, our extended families are just as great! Although my side is mostly Mexican American and his side mostly White American, both of our families are proud to be multicultural and we celebrate the diverse backgrounds of our Filipino, African American, and Salvadoran family members. We have more cousins and second cousins and nieces and nephews than we can count, all living nearby in Los Angeles. We have an annual family reunion called the “Burrito Bake” down in Huntington Beach every summer and our family’s many Christmas parties are epic! For us, family means fun and the more the merrier!
Our Life Now
Our life now is filled with sandy playdates at the beach, long walks with the dog, family parties, and weekend vacations. My job as an elementary special education teacher allows me to have lots of time off in the afternoons, during the holidays, and during summer, and Burt’s job as a software engineer grants him a flexible schedule to work from home 1-2 days per week with unlimited vacation time.
On weekdays, we try to use that time to go to the park or meet friends for playdates after school, go out to dinner, or have family game night. Most nights, I cook dinner while Ben and Burt play in the living room. Our family favorite meals are BBQ’d pizza, homemade taquitos, pot pie, burgers, and anything I can throw in the crock pot. We keep a family garden in the backyard so anything we do to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into our meals is a win.
On weekends we are always making plans to play and connect with friends and family. Living by the beach means we always have sand toys and beach chairs in the trunk of our SUV, so when we don’t have plans we can drop everything and head to the beach on the spur of the moment. We regularly take long three or four day weekends to go camping all around Southern California and rent vacation homes several times a year. Whether it’s playing in the snow, splashing in the ocean, or climbing boulders in the desert, we’re a short drive from everything and we’re always ready for a fun adventure!
In the next chapter of our story, we hope to add to our family through adoption. Receiving the gift of adoption would bless our family and our lives beyond measure. We vow to love him or her unconditionally, from the deepest parts of our heart and soul. We promise to protect this child from harm, while giving them freedom to grow. We promise to teach this child how to live, while letting them forge their own path. And we promise to listen to this child, empowering them and supporting them for all of our days on this Earth.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about us. If you would like to get to know us further, please contact our attorney David J. Radis at 800-637-2882.
Ilana and Burt