Cranston native seeks help in starting family

Posted 1/24/24

Family has always been a big deal for Derek Robert.

Derek was born and raised in Cranston. 

During his childhood he played CLCF soccer and baseball. He bowled at Town Hall Lanes, and …

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Cranston native seeks help in starting family


Family has always been a big deal for Derek Robert.

Derek was born and raised in Cranston. 

During his childhood he played CLCF soccer and baseball. He bowled at Town Hall Lanes, and learned karate at East West Karate.

Derek attended  Stone Hill Elementary School and then went to St. Rocco’s across the Cranston line in Johnston.

“That’s where I found my passion for music and theater.  I was in the Cranston Community Theater’s production of Seussical the Musical in the summer of 2003. I went on to attend LaSalle Academy where I continued performing,” he said.

During his time at LaSalle he was in productions of The Music Man, Kiss Me Kate, and the world premier cast of High School Musical after its popular debut back in 2006. Derek also performed in high school shows with St. Mary’s Academy Bay View and Bishop Hendricken Summer Stage during his high school years. 

Derek graduated Rhode Island College and received a B.A. in Musical Theater performance in 2012. 

“Looking back on my family life growing up in Cranston, I recall going to local Cranston places on a daily basis with my parents. We did family swim at the YMCA, shopping at (the former) Ruggieri’s market with my mother and grandmother, Saturday baseball games at Hope Highlands and Bain fields and shopping trips to Garden City,” Derek said.

Derek’s parents always made sure he was involved in the Cranston community.

“After college I began performing professionally in regional productions with New Bedford Festival Theater (Hairspray) and Ocean State Theater Company; RENT, Legally Blonde: The Musical, Les Miserables and Miracle on 34th Street. While performing I also maintained a job singing private gigs and weddings as well as writing and recording my own original music,” he said.

Derek began working with his friend and fellow musician Greg Lato, a singer/songwriter also based in RI, on original music.

It’s because of Derek’s original music that led Derek and Gaspare to meet in New York City.  Derek was working on an original Christmas song (Christmas Time With You) with Lato and he suggested Derek work with musicians he knew from New York that produced previous projects for him.

Derek took Greg’s guidance and booked a session with them for September 16, 2014. Little did Derek know, that would be the day his life changed forever. He met Gaspare, his future husband and the rest was history.

“I made the decision to put a pause on performing and focus on getting a Master’s Degree. Gaspare and I went to New York University to receive our Master’s Degrees in Educational Theater. We are both theater teachers for the New York City Department of Education,” he said.

This September will mark their 10 year anniversary as a couple, and they were married in June of 2019. 

“From our first date, Gaspare and I have always talked about the importance of family and how we both wanted to have a family of our own one day.  We’ve grown individually and as a couple over the last 10 years and now feel we are at a place in our lives where we are ready to create that family we have dreamed of,” Derek said.

Their families have supported them in every aspect of their lives and are so excited for them to start this journey and welcome a new member into all their lives.

Derek and Gaspare are excited they get to share their love for Cranston with their future family.

“Our Cranston family is pretty large. My dad is one of nine children, so I have many aunts, uncles, and cousins. My mom’s family was originally from Cranston, but now live out of state,” Derek said.

Family is very important to both Derek and Gaspare and they are both extremely close to them.

“We feel very blessed and thankful that both of our families get along beautifully. Although we live in New York, we make it a point to come back to Cranston at least once or twice a month to visit their family and friends here in RI,” Derek said.

And, now, they are ready and excited to start a family of their own. They are in the right spaces mentally, emotionally and financially to welcome a new human and make them a family.

Family was a main conversation on their first date and both knew they were a match because of how highly each of them spoke about their family.  They’ve also maintained friendships with their RI friends and consider them family as well because of the strong, supportive, and loving bonds they share with them.

Another important point of the adoption, will be exposing their baby to all the culinary gems here in Cranston and Rhode Island.

Derek and Gaspare are both huge foodies. When Derek and Gaspare first started dating, Derek exposed Gaspare to all of his favorite spots in Cranston. Now when they come back to Cranston, Gaspare is the one to make sure they visit at least one or two of his favorite spots in Cranston such as Sundae’s, Del’s Lemonade, Campanella’s, Cafe Itri, Amedeo’s, PJ’s Pub, Antonio’s and Garden Hills Deli.

Their future baby is most definitely going to be exposed to all of their favorite RI restaurants, the English Muffin café in Johnston and especially Iggy’s after a hot summer day at Roger Wheeler State Beach.

On January 4, 2024 the couple took their request public.

They carefully cultivated a profile that tells all about them individually, and as a couple. It speaks of their hopes, dreams and plans of becoming parents.

The agency they are working with; Friends in Adoption works on domestic adoption cases, specifically with newborns.

If you know someone who is considering putting a baby up for adoption, please check out their profile page;


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