The very first thing we’d like to say is thank you. To be honest, we struggled with how exactly to begin our profile because we have been looking forward to starting our family for so long. If we were meeting in person, it would probably be over a meal in our kitchen, because CJ loves to cook! CJ would probably crack a cheesy joke to ease the inevitable nerves with Matt giving him a knowing side eye before greeting you with his warm smile. Thank you for opening our profile and for considering us as adoptive parents. We appreciate that this is not an easy path and we offer our support and love. We will always share the important role you played in helping create our family.
We are Matt & CJ from Southern California!
As A Couple
We bonded almost immediately over our shared love of tacos on our first date in the summer of 2012. Matt picked his favorite local divey Mexican restaurant in downtown New York City, which we still visit whenever we can. We ended up spending the rest of the summer together, building IKEA furniture (our 2nd date), taking day trips to the beach in Rockaway, and going to concerts in the park after the sun went down and the heat died off. While we both loved living in New York, we fell in love with the West Coast one winter while visiting Matt’s family in Laguna Beach, California. In the spirit of adventure, we decided to take a risk and make the move across the country to Santa Monica, California. We are so excited to raise a family near the beach, something we dreamed of doing early on in our relationship. We hope to instill in our kids this same sense of adventure and courage to follow their heart.
Some of Our Favorite Spots
- National Parks - We love to hike and went to Yosemite last year for the first time!
- Keuka Lake, NY - Matt spent his summers here as a kid on the Finger Lakes and we go back every year for some boating, swimming, and family time on the water!
- Outer Banks, NC - A beautiful beach town not far from where CJ grew up on the East Coast. Last summer we spent a week here with CJ’s family and cousins enjoying the ocean, building sandcastles and just relaxing! Plans are in the works for next year too!
- Europe - We can’t get enough of the history, food, and culture! Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Berlin are some of our favorites.
- Sayulita, Mexico -Our favorite place to relax on the beach with some taco and where CJ can practice his Spanish!
About CJ, by Matt
One of the first things I noticed about CJ is that his personality lights up a room! He has an endless supply of energy and enthusiasm for life and loves to make people laugh. As a partner, he is a great listener and is always there to hear me out and give advice when I need it most. Family and friends are so important to CJ. This is one of my favorite traits about him. He and his sisters love to share stories of their adventures as kids growing up in the small waterfront town of Annapolis, MD. They would spend their summers riding bikes around the neighborhood, crabbing and swimming at the dock, and lounging at the community pool. I love our annual visits back to his hometown! CJ is an amazing brother to his two sisters and a goofy, fun-loving Uncle to his 3 nephews. We use FaceTime often! As our friends in Santa Monica started families of their own, CJ would spend hours in the kitchen whipping up huge batches of lasagna to help get them through those first sleepless nights as new parents!
CJ recently started a new career in IT as a Customer Success Manager for a company named CDW. In his new job, he helps companies build solutions to improve their business by investing in new technology. One major perk is that CJ works from home, or sometimes from the park nearby, and has a flexible schedule, which will be very helpful as we start our family. When I think about the words to describe CJ, I think about genuine, passionate, thoughtful and hard-working. I love that CJ has so many interests and is never afraid to take on a new challenge , from cooking and sailing, to reading the latest best-seller and playing volleyball on the beach. He makes me want to be better every day and keeps me laughing along the way. I know he will be such a caring and de voted father and I cannot wait to see him share his interests and skills with our future child!
Fun Facts About CJ
- CJ lived on a Caribbean island off Panama for over a year. This is where he practiced his Spanish!
- While living in Panama, CJ taught kindergarten and started a surfing school for kids.
- CJ loves photography and recently launched a side business to further pursue his passion!
About Matt, by CJ
Matt absolutely loves to be out doors! As a kid growing up in Rochester, New York, every Summer his parents would load up the car with him, his older brother and all their belongings and move to their lake house for 3 months. To this day it remains his favorite place in the world, something he hopes to share with our future child. Matt’s parents instilled in him the importance of taking time to relax with the ones you love, which explains why he’s always planning some new adventure or weekend getaway with our friends and our families. I love vacations, but I’m not the greatest planner so it’s a great fit! He makes it a point to get us out of town every couple of weeks to explore some new destination. Recently, we took a last-minute trip to Amsterdam! It’s this thoughtfulness and spontaneity that drew me to Matt when we first met. Matt is also incredibly hardworking and caring both in life and in his career. He works for Amgen, which is a company that develops cutting-edge medications for serious diseases like Heart Disease and Cancer. Currently he is a Sales Manager in Los Angeles, but he has also worked previously in Marketing and Business Analytics. He too works remotely, and we often spend Fridays working side-by-side with each other at the kitchen table. While there are many things I love about Matt, it’s his drive and support that pushes me to take on new challenges in life. Matt will make an incredible role model and a loving, supportive and encouraging dad.
Fun Facts About Matt
- Matt loves to fly planes. He learned to fly before he could even drive!
- Matt's weaknesses are chocolate chip cookies and pepperoni pizza. He even bought a pizza oven to start making his own pies.
- Cooper is Matt’s first pet, even though he always wanted a dog as a little kid.
Our Home in Santa Monica, CA
After five years, we finally saved enough money to buy our first home together. We instantly fell in love with our place because there is tons of greenery including an orange tree that sits right outside our kitchen window! We’ve always considered our home as our sanctuary. We really value sitting down for dinner together as often as possible. On any given night the house is filled with the delicious smells of CJ’s cooking and music playing in the background. Our neighborhood is a little oasis, with quiet, palm tree-lined streets, wide sidewalks, and many families strolling with their kids and dogs in tow. There are always the sounds of kids playing around and hummingbirds zipping through the trees outside our windows. We love that our home is incredibly close to our favorite things like the beach, the park, hiking, restaurants, and of course our friends. We feel very fortunate to live in a place that is as relaxing on the inside as it is on the outside.
Hobbies & Interests
- Hikes, bikes, beaches and swimming – we love to stay healthy and active!
- Walking with Cooper to the local park to throw the ball
- Connecting with our family and friends over a home-cooked dinner
- Binging on the latest Netflix shows - cooking and true crime documentaries are our favorite!
- Relaxing on the couch after a long day with Cooper, a movie, and some popcorn
Friends & Family
Both of our extended families live along the East Coast. We make it a point to visit them at least once a year. Last summer, we spent time with CJ’s family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in upstate New York at Keuka Lake with Matt’s family. We love visiting the East Coast during the summers because it reminds us of our childhood. We also have family close by in Southern California. Matt’s brother, his wife and their 1-yearold daughter Aspen live about an hour south of us. We’re lucky to get to see them very often! Though most of our family lives back east, we have our “friend-family” based right here in Santa Monica. We all share the common connection of having lived in New York City in our 20s. We love our community and see each other every week. It has been exciting to see our friend family grow over the years as many of them have recently welcomed babies of their own, with three more expected in 2020! Our community also includes couples with young children who are adopted. We so look forward to continuing to grow our adoption network!
List of Favorites!
Matt: Top Gun
CJ: Our dog, Cooper
Matt: Our dog, Cooper
CJ: Julia Louis Dreyfus
Matt: Tom Hanks
Favorite TV Show
CJ: Arrested Development
Matt: Saved by the Bell
CJ: Leon Bridges
Matt: LCD Soundsystem
Cooper came into our lives when we rescued him at 4 months old. Our Labrador/Ridgeback mix is now 4 years old and is an extraordinarily sweet, gentle, and happy dog. He loves to be around family and is always excited to tag along on our adventures to the local dog beach. He could jump and play in the waves for hours! He can’t wait to include your child as part of the pack!
Words cannot express how excited and humbled we are to potentially be the parents to your beautiful child. Starting our own family has always been part of our plan. We are so excited to bring your child into our world filled with love, curiosity, exploration, and laughter. We hope to instill in them a strong sense of self, family, integrity, ambition, and drive. We promise to always be there for your child, unconditionally, as their support system and biggest cheerleaders so that they can achieve whatever they want in their life. They will know how special and loved they are each and every day.