Scott, Gia and Avery (18 months)
Occupation(s): Scott and Gia are both Realtors at Matchmaker Realty.
Favorite local restaurants: Napolatano’s, Ballyhoo Grill and Great Outdoors.
Favorite local “Must go” places: Ichetucknee River, La Chua Trail and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
What are your child’s favorite homemade meals? Spaghetti and tacos.
What is your family’s favorite holiday? Christmas. As a family, we decorate inside and outside, bake and have parties so all our friends and family can come together! We also decorate a Christmas float as a company and participate in the Alachua, High Springs and Newberry parades as a family.
Describe your family in 3 words: Adventurous, loving and outgoing.
Favorite games to play as a family: Hide-and-seek and peek-a-boo.
Do you have any pets? Lots! Two horses, three sheep, a miniature donkey, two cats, two dogs and two turtles.
Why do you love raising your family in Gainesville? It has a great small town feel with tons of activities for all ages — sporting events, arts and crafts, plays and music.
What makes your daughter laugh? She laughs constantly, but she laughs the most dancing and playing peeka-boo.
What would your family’s dream vacation be? A true African safari to see and appreciate all the different animal species.
Is there anything exciting coming up for your family? We just got Avery’s passport so we can plan some international travel this year! We love to travel, and we look forward to exposing Avery to that this year!
Favorite date spot: O’Steen’s in St. Augustine.
Our family is most like: A four-leaf clover — we are lucky to have Avery, lucky to have each other in marriage and lucky to be doing what we love for a living!
Movie in our DVD player right now: “Bubble Guppies.”
Avery’s favorite books: “Good Night Moon,” “Barnyard Buddies,” and “The Giggle Book.”
Mommy and Daddy’s favorite TV shows: “Madam Secretary,” “NCIS,” “Gold Rush,” “Shark Tank,” and “Scandal.”
Websites we love: Pinterest.com, Gainesvillemls.com, Fun4gatorkids.com and Gainesville.com.
Favorite picnic spot: Hal Brady Recreation Complex in Alachua.
Favorite family activity: Playing with our animals and going to all Gator sporting events!
Anything else you’d like to share about your family? Scott and I desperately wanted a family. We went through the process of being eligible to be adoptive parents, and on Sept. 11, 2014 our lives changed forever! We got a call from Catholic Charities that a birth mother had chosen Scott and I to adopt a baby girl who was born on Sept. 6. We were excited and nervous because she was born premature, but never had a doubt that she was meant for us!
Avery was born just shy of 28 weeks, weighing only 2 pounds, 8 ounces. We had a lot of questions about prematurity and what health risks she faced. We learned so much and were put at ease through the information at Marchofdimes.org and the wonderful team of nurses, doctors and specialists giving her the most progressive care. She spent two months in the NICU at North Florida Regional Hospital and was known as “Mighty Mouse” for her fighting spirit, big personality and remarkable condition, given her size.
As parents of a premature newborn, we were given the confidence, support and knowledge to have no fear after taking her home weighing barely 5 pounds. She is now 18 months old, weighs 23 pounds, and is happy, healthy and incredibly social! This year, Avery was selected to be the Ambassador for the Alachua County March of Dimes walk happening on April 2. We obviously now have a special place in our hearts for premature babies. Watching them fight for every breath, every cry and every movement will touch everyone’s heart and prove just how strong these babies are! Scott and I are truly lucky and blessed to be the parents to this little miracle!