PairTree

Shahida & Justin

Photograph of adoptive Family

Shahida

Jester

Gender:

Female

State:

Washington

Religion:

Islam

Education:

Ph.D. or higher

Profession:

Research Scientist

Political Affiliation:

Very Liberal

Justin

Caregiver

Gender:

Male

State:

Washington

Religion:

Spiritual

Education:

Bachelor’s Degree

Profession:

Real Estate Broker

Political Affiliation:

Lean Left

Hello!

We are so excited that you've decided to learn more about us! We live on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington with our 6yo son, Ian, and grandparents nearby. There is no shortage of amazing things to do as a family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Our favorite activities include crabbing, camping, and tidepooling. We also love to travel because we value meeting people from other parts of the world. We are a multi-cultural, multi-religious family with Malaysian (Shahida) and Basque (Justin) roots. We believe that diversity is our strength because it creates opportunities to learn from one another. We support and hold space for each other's traditions, so Ian benefits from multiple cultures. We are raising him to honor Muslim and Catholic customs and see no conflict in teaching him both perspectives. The story of how we met: In 2014, we met in a jazz bar in New Orleans while on separate vacations, despite both living in Seattle at the time. By the end of the weekend, we knew we each had found someone special! We continued dating when we returned home and got married in New Orleans one year later. To this day, the city hold a magical place in our hearts. A year after getting married, we welcomed Ian into our lives. Ian is a caring, thoughtful little guy who would make a wonderful big brother. He loves art, nature, and knows more about bugs than most adults. He has been asking for a sibling for several years, but we have not been able to conceive again. It is our greatest wish to grow our family and we hope it is evident that we would cherish another child in our lives. Thank you for taking the time to read this and look at our profile!

Shahida & Justin

The ocean is very special to us. Some of our happiest memories have been made at the beach.

The ocean is very special to us. Some of our happiest memories have been made at the beach.

We fish, crab and shrimp in WA.

We fish, crab and shrimp in WA.

We love nature, biology and ecology. Learning and exploring is a big part of who we are as a family.

We love nature, biology and ecology. Learning and exploring is a big part of who we are as a family.

Do I have kids? How do they feel about a sibling?

Ian is a smart, sweet, adverturous 6yo boy. He loves art, all animals (especially bugs), and David Attenborough nature documentaries. He would be a truly wonderful older brother!

-Shahida

My best friend would describe me as...

Reliable, generous, and kind. I love helping my family and friends!

-Justin

We are the best choice because…

Shahida and I met at a jazz bar in New Orleans one weekend while on separate vacations. By the end of that trip, I knew she was the one! We've been having fun together ever since.

-Justin

In five years our relationship with our child’s birth mother will…

Will be like family! All humans are naturally curious about where they come from. Justin and I are very connected to our respective cultures, so I hope that any child we adopt will be able to learn about their background firsthand.

-Shahida

We love to travel and see new and interesting things. We love new adventures!

We love to travel and see new and interesting things. We love new adventures!

This is Ian’s happy place.

This is Ian’s happy place.

You never know what treasures you’ll find in the tide pools!

You never know what treasures you’ll find in the tide pools!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the night sky?

I used to live in rural Morocco as a Peace Corps volunteer. To this day, I have never seen the stars appear more brilliant than how they looked from my village. I think of my host-family and the friends I made in Morocco every time I look at the night sky.

-Shahida

Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual?

We are a multi-cultural, multi-religious family. I am a Muslim-American woman with roots from Malaysia; Justin has Basque roots and was raised Catholic. Both Justin and I believe that there is strength in diversity, learning from each other, and holding space for each other's traditions.

-Shahida

Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual?

My spirituality comes from the natural world. When I'm in nature, I am reminded at how interconnected I am with my environment, with the many life forms that exist on this planet, and with each other.

-Justin

What is the best word to describe our family?

Adventurous! Ian has a number of stamps in his passport including Malaysia, Laos, Costa Rica, Mexico, Bosnia, and Croatia.

-Justin

My philosophy on parenting is...

Be good, kind, and patient with yourself so you can be good, kind, and patient to those around you.

-Shahida

Dogs or cats?

Dogs preferably, but Shahida has brought me around to cats. We had an awesome kitty named Nola who liked to snuggle.

-Justin

When we argue, what’s it about?

Most often, we argue about punctuality--I am chronically late and Justin loves to be on time. In general, if we argue, it probably stems from a miscommunication or an unmet, unspoken need/expectation.

-Shahida

We prioritize being active as a family and spending as much time outdoors as we can.

We prioritize being active as a family and spending as much time outdoors as we can.

There is no shortage of amazing things to do as a family in the PNW.

There is no shortage of amazing things to do as a family in the PNW.

If I could change one thing about the World, it would be...

To end othering and dehumanization. I believe that every war or hateful act throughout history was initiated or facilitated by dehumanizing groups/cultures/beliefs that were seen as different.

-Shahida

If you had to live on an RV or sailboat for the rest of your life, which would it be?

I would be happy on either. I grew up sailing but I consider myself a road warrior drawn to seeing varied, beautiful landscapes.

-Justin

Dogs or cats?

I grew up with cats, but I’m open-minded!

-Shahida

If I could choose one type of food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be:

Savory pastries, literally any kind. My idea of heaven would include an endless buffet of all of the world's dumplings, piroshskys, samosas, empanadas, etc.

-Shahida

We are the best choice because…

Justin and I complement each other and have incredible amounts of love and respect for one another. He is my bestfriend and most trusted companion. He's also easy on the eyes!

-Shahida

What is the best word to describe our family?

Curious—we love to learn and explore as a family! Ian is captivated by science and ecology, so we nurture those interests as much as we can.

-Shahida

My favorite place in the World is...

I love to travel and experience different places and cultures, but nothing beats coming home. The Olympic Peninsula is a magical place.

-Justin

My best friend would describe me as...

Silly and fun! I would sing and dance all day if I could. I have a karaoke machine that I bring to any social event!

-Shahida

My favorite place in the World is...

A warm tropical beach with my family and friends. I think it's Ian's happy place too!

-Shahida

Favorite season and why?

I can't pick, it depends on where I am! I love fall on the east coast because of the sunshine, falling leaves, and sweater weather. I love summer on the west coast because of the sunshine, and the opportunities to be outside.

-Shahida

If you had to live on an RV or sailboat for the rest of your life, which would it be?

Even though I am prone to motion sickness, I would live on a boat because I love the water.

-Shahida

What scares you?

Public speaking

-Justin