HELLO & Thank You! We are Gabriel, Rafal, and Maxwell from Southern California! We want to first and foremost thank you for considering us in your adoption plan. We are incredibly grateful and appreciative of the tremendous courage you are showing in your selfless decision to consider adoption. We hope that after reading about us, you’ll know that we both believe and are overwhelmingly committed to providing a home grounded in love, surrounded by encouragement, nurture, and support.
Sincerely yours, Gabriel & Rafal
Our first date was in 2011 at a local Los Angeles hiking spot. We’re both very active so a hiking trail was the perfect place to get to know each other and a way for us to include our furry companions – Gabriel’s Chocolate Lab “Cornbread” and Rafal’s rescues “Roxy” and “Foxy”. It soon became clear that we shared more than just a love of dogs and the outdoors, but also community, family, AND children. Having a family of our own has always been a dream of ours. Moving in together only sealed our relationship after being able to experience first-hand how easy it was to be together. Two years later we made a dream of ours come true when we became engaged at a small winery in South Africa. Our commitment to each other was cemented in August 2014 when we married in a wine vineyard in Temecula, CA. The following year, we were blessed with the adoption of our son Maxwell. We’re now in a great place, hoping to add to our family through the miracle of adoption.
Family Fun Facts:
A lifelong Southern California native, spending time with family has and continues to be a huge part of my life. Some of my best memories growing up were family road trips both near and far including 5 trips to New York by car! School was very important to my family so after graduating high school, I continued my education by attending the University of Southern California (where one day our children will hopefully become USC Trojans!). I am now a Senior Manager at a biotechnology company, where I continue to learn many skills during my 17-year career there. I love spending time with my family, friends, and dogs. As Gabriel and I take the next steps in growing our family, I look forward to sharing my childhood experiences and making new ones.
5 Fun Favorites:
Vacation: South Africa
Sport: College Football
Weekend Activity: Long walks with family and the dogs; Being handy around the house
One of my greatest passions has always been working with people. From tall to small, young and old, I’ve always enjoyed helping others. That passion is what has driven me to do everything from mentoring elementary kids in school, volunteering at youth basketball camps to counseling at-risk adolescents and working with individuals with mental illness and substance abuse. I’ve always been an active person, athletics being a huge part of my life since the age of 6. As a college athlete, I competed in 2 sports: basketball and track, which I still continue to recreationally take part in. Most recently, it’s been triathlons and Saturday morning basketball games. I’m an avid dog lover, and everyone will tell you my 10-year old Chocolate Lab “Cornbread” is as close to me as anyone I know. Family has always been very important to me, and I’ve been blessed to have a mother who showed me what unconditional love looks like. All traits I hope to pass on to my children one day. My background includes being a native inner-city Texan (Austin), Bachelor’s Degree from Liberty University, Master’s Degree and soon to be Doctorate from Alliant University. I’ve worked at a psychiatric hospital as a therapist and social worker for 13 years, helping both adults and children struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.
5 Fun Favorites:
Food: Anything spicy with Tex-Mex and Seafood being on top of the list
Vacation: South Africa
Movie: The Color Purple; Also a pushover for Romantic Comedies
Sport: Basketball and Track
Weekend Activity: Hiking with the family (Maxwell, Cornbread & Rafal)
Maxwell came into our lives on December 5, 2015 at 6:22pm and has been a bundle of joy ever since. One of his greatest traits are his hugs which he loves to give to Cornbread (our Chocolate Lab). He loves to laugh and smile at any given opportunity. And the one thing everyone who has met Maxwell will tell you is that he loves being around other kids. We especially love seeing him light up when we take him on play dates with friends and cannot wait until he has a sibling to play with at home.
5 Fun Favorites:
Giving hugs & kisses
Playing with Cornbread
Exploring the outdoors
Smiling to everyone!
Exploring Our World
Our day begins and end with a walk around the neighborhood with Maxwell, Cornbread, Roxy and Foxy, and when we travel they are usually right along for the ride. We love to explore Los Angeles, such as visiting the local museums and the LA Zoo. It’s also fun for us to see the local sports teams play, especially the Clippers, USC Trojans, and LA Dodgers. We like to take advantage of LA’s great weather by going to the beach, playing with Maxwell and our dogs at parks, and visiting our mountain cabin. Even though LA has plenty to offer, we make it a point to take a vacation each year and see interesting places such as the Grand Canyon, South Africa, and Spain. Although traveling is a hobby of ours, some of our greatest weekends are spent at home with our family together. We look forward to exploring more exciting places with our children and making new memories while learning more about other cultures.
Family is very important to us both, and we make a point to stay connected with our families as much as possible. Whether it’s a weekend visit or a Facetime chat, we both are very committed to staying in touch to family. Since we both come from humble beginnings, we understand the importance of what it means to have a family. We are fortunate to have careers that allow us to spend quality time doing the things that we love. Our jobs also come with the flexibility to be at home and raise children. When our extended family visits, we always look for fun places to take Maxwell like visiting the wild animal park, exploring museums, or riding model trains in nearby Griffith Park. We were blessed to have both our families at our wedding and continue to have their support as we grow our family. Having children has been a lifelong dream for both of us, and it’s exciting being fathers and seeing our dreams become reality. Both of our extended families are major parts of our lives and have been completely behind supporting our family. We are so excited to expand our family and share our hearts with a child once more.
We are very excited to share our lives with a new family member and look forward to speaking with you and learning more about each other! We thank you so much for taking the time to consider us as adoptive parents.