CJ & Matt

Dear Birth Mother:

Hi! Nice to meet you. We are CJ and Matt from Southern California!
To be honest, we struggled with how exactly to start this. The very first thing we’d like to say is thank you. If we were to meet in person it would probably be over a home cooked meal in our kitchen, because CJ loves to cook! He’d probably crack a joke to ease the inevitable nerves he had, and Matt would probably shoot him a knowing side eye for my cheesy joke and then greet you with his warm smile. Thank you for opening this package and taking the time to read this letter, for considering our family. We appreciate that this is not an easy path and we offer our support and love. One day we hope to share the story of the love and bravery of someone else that finally made us a family.

About CJ & Matt

I knew that there was something special about Matt from the moment Matt picked our first date spot: a divey taco shop in downtown New York City. 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 with friends after the sun went down and the heat died off. While we both loved living in New York, we fell in love with West Coast while visiting Matt’s family in Laguna Beach, California a few years back. In the spirit of adventure, we decided to take a risk and make the move to Santa Monica. Before we knew it, 7 years have passed and here we are starting our family. We hope to instill in our kids this same drive and sense of adventure and to be unafraid to follow their heart.

Fun Facts About CJ:
● CJ lived on a Caribbean island off Panama for 1.5 years. This is where he got really good with his Spanish!
● CJ was a kindergarten teacher and surf instructor for kids while working in Panama.
● CJ loves photography and drawing. He recently started a side business to further pursue his passion!

Fun Facts About Matt:
● Matt learned to fly planes before he could drive. He got his pilot’s license when he was 17 and loves taking to the skies to check out the view above Santa Monica, California
● Matt is obsessed with cookies and pizza. He will never pass up a chocolate chip cookie or a pepperoni pizza, and often prefers them in the same meal!
● Matt always wanted a dog growing up, but Cooper is actually his first dog! He loves being a dog Dad and playing hide and seek with Cooper.


Some of our favorite spots:
● National Parks - We went to Yosemite last year for the first time. We now have Zion and Sequoia Parks on our list for this year!
● Keuka Lake, NY - Where Matt spent his summers as a kid, we go back every year for some boating, swimming, and family time!
● Duck, 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 - Some of our favorites are Lisbon, Amsterdam, and Berlin, but we are always looking to explore more!
● Sayulita, Mexico - A relaxed town filled with tacos and an easy-going lifestyle on the beach! Just the way we like it!

About CJ, by Matt:
One of the first things I noticed in CJ when we met was his endless supply of energy and enthusiasm for life! After getting to know his family, it seems he always had that energy while growing up near the ocean in Annapolis, MD. I would hear endless stories about how he and his sisters would ride bikes around the neighborhood, hunt crab at the dock, and swim at the community pool in the summer.

Family and friends are so important to CJ; it’s one of my favorite traits about him. 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 friend’s started families of their own, he would spend hours in the kitchen whipping up huge batches of lasagna, so they had food to get them through those first sleepless nights! As a partner, he is a great listener and I consider him my “couch confidant,” always there to hear me out and give advice whenever I need it most.

CJ recently started a new career path in IT as a Customer Success Manager for a company named CDW. He used to work at Yahoo in digital advertising, but now 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, 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. I know he will be such a caring and devoted father and I cannot wait to see him share his interests and skills with our future child!

About Matt, by CJ:
Matt absolutely loves to be outdoors! 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 of their belongings and move to their lake house for 3 months. To this day it remains his favorite place in the world, something he can’t wait to share with a 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 for our friends and our families. He absolutely loves flying and planning trips, I love vacations but I’m not much of a planner so it’s a great fit! He makes it a point to get us out of town every couple weeks to explore some new destination, recently he surprised me with a trip to Amsterdam!

It’s this thoughtfulness and spontaneity that drew me to Matt when we first met. Matt loves music. When we lived in New York, he would surprise his friends with concert tickets to his favorite groups. I love how he’s a man of action. He’s also incredibly hardworking and caring both in life and in his career. He works for Amgen, which is a biotechnology company that develops cutting-edge medications for serious diseases like Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer. Currently he is a District Sales Manager in Los Angeles, but he has also worked previously at their headquarters in Marketing and Business Analysis roles. He too works remotely and we often spend Friday’s 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.

Our Home in Santa Monica:
After 5 years of living in Santa Monica, California we finally saved enough 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. It is not uncommon to hear the sizzle of something on the stove, with music playing in the background, as we unwind from our day jobs and get ready for dinner together.

Our neighborhood is a little oasis within Santa Monica, with quiet, palm tree-lined streets and wide sidewalks with many families strolling with their kids, dogs in tow. There are always kids playing outside and hummingbirds zipping around outside our windows. We love that it 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.

Hobby and Interest:
We believe that life is all about balance; it’s one of the things that brought us to Santa Monica. We love to work hard pursuing our passions, yet we also make sure to get outside and enjoy the moment! Some of our favorite things:
● Morning walks with Cooper to the local park to throw the ball
● Watching the sunset on the cliff by the beach
● Swimming in any body of water (pool, ocean or lake, it doesn’t matter to us)
● Exercising, whether it be at the gym or on a long hike
● Catching up with our friends over dinner
● Binging on the latest TV shows, like cooking shows and true crime documentaries,
● Spending time after a long day on the couch with Cooper and movie theater popcorn
● Traveling to places near and far.We’ve learned so much about ourselves through travel and cannot wait to explore new places through the eyes of our future child.

Our Friends and Family:
With the majority of both of our extended families all along the East Coast, we make it a point to visit them once a year, if not more, usually around the holidays. Last year, we went with CJ’s family to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was a fun-filled week reminiscent of the East Coast summers we loved growing up!

Matt’s brother, sister-in-law, and 1-year-old niece Aspen live about an hour away from us, so we are so lucky to see them often. We also 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 and bonded over “finding the light” that is the warmer, sunnier days in Southern California. We love our community and see each other every week. It has been exciting to see our friend-family grow over the years as we welcomed a new baby each in 2018, 2019, and will again in 2020. Our community also includes couples with young children who are adopted, and we so look forward to continuing to grow our adoption network!

● Summer trips to Matt’s Lake House - We take a trip each year to Keuka Lake, NY for some boating and family time! We talk about it so much that CJ’s family started joining us too!
● Winter weekends in the mountains - We head to the mountains around Christmas time with our neighborhood friends and their kids each year to enjoy the outdoors and spend quality time with each other!
● Sunday beach meetups - We have a recurring date once a month to catch up with our friends at the beach over donuts, coffee and volleyball

Our Dog Cooper:
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. You can always expect a few licks to greet you in the morning and a brisk tail wag any time you say “walk” or “treat.” 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!

In Closing:
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 and adoption 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.

To learn more about a family,
Call Vista Del Mar

(310) 836-1223 ext 281