Hollie and Dean
Dear Birth Mother
We are Dean, Hollie and Sebastian from sunny Hermosa Beach, CA. We are so appreciative of you taking the time to get to know our family!
We absolutely adore being parents to our son and always planned on having more than one child. Hollie’s immediate family is made up of biological, step and adopted members, so even before any fertility issues, adoption has always held a special place in our hearts. We both believe that pursuing this path is the right choice to grow our family.
Hollie & Dean
About Us: We met through Hollie’s roommate when he invited Hollie to play kickball in a local adult league where Dean was the captain of the team. We were instantly attracted to one another and began to build a relationship over time. We love to have picnics on the beach and try to catch the “green flash” as the sun goes down on the horizon. We enjoy an active lifestyle: surfing, playing beach volleyball, and training for various physical feats (CrossFit, mud runs, triathlons, etc.) We love traveling, learning about the world, and experiencing new food and cultures. “Life is an adventure!” has become our motto on life. It came about from one of those days where nothing was going our way. Dean had shouted “ADVENTURE!” and in that moment our whole perspective flipped. When things don’t go as planned, we often remind ourselves of that day, and we embrace our journey – no matter where it takes us.
Fun Facts We Want You to Know!
- Although we met in California, we are both originally Midwesterners – Hollie is from Ohio and Dean is from Wisconsin
- We traveled around the world (literally) on our honeymoon
- One of our favorite cities is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the food, Samba, and culture
- We are self-proclaimed cheeseburger and Vietnamese phó connoisseurs
I had your fairly typical Midwestern upbringing with lots of time spent on family vacations, with friends playing video games, and summer camps. I always liked school, especially science and math, and my parents often found me staying up past my bedtime reading or working on an art project. I grew up as an only child, but refer to my childhood friends, Shawn and Maurice, as brothers.
I went to college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lucked into majoring in computer science. Since then, I’ve worked my entire career in IT; first as a database developer, and then as an independent consultant before founding my own IT company over 15 years ago.
As an adult, I found out that I had an older half-sister, Deidre. We’re thick as thieves, so you’d never know that we didn’t grow up together. And being “Unc” to her daughter Breanna is one of my favorite things. Although now my sister has given herself the nickname of “Auntie Trouble,” which I think is bad news for keeping her nieces and nephews unspoiled.
More About Dean by Hollie: Dean is very intelligent, charismatic and detailed. He enjoys helping friends and family whenever he can.
He is beyond whatever I expected him to be as a father. He has endless patience for our son and loves to get down on the floor and play for hours. He has really embraced his role as a dad, including (really bad) dad jokes!
Dean’s Fun Facts:
- Had his first passport by the time his was one
- Can speak enough Brazilian Portuguese to get directions to the beach and order caipirinhas
- Completed a half Iron Man Triathlon in 2019
- Ultimate Frisbee National Champion in 2003 for the Wisconsin Hodags
I am the eldest girl in a family that I can best describe as the modern day “Brady Bunch”. Although the 10 of us never lived under one roof, we all remain an important part of each other’s lives. I grew up playing basketball, softball, and showing horses in equestrian competitions.
I received my BA in Urban Studies and Public Policy. I’ve recently started an online master’s program at Northwestern University. I’m passionate about researching public policy and its impacts on social and economic issues.
Dean and I currently own and operate two IT companies. Our work has afforded us the flexibility to travel as a family as we work remotely. I enjoy the ability to have a career that also has the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom. As I did with our son, I will care for our future baby at home.
More About Hollie by Dean: Hollie is the emotional rock of our family and always looking out for others, whether that is friends and family or strangers and society in general through her work and volunteering. She is an amazing mother, who spends a lot of time introducing Sebastian to new things like hiking through the Redwoods or cooking pancakes.
She is definitely the yin to my yang. We almost always take opposite routes in navigating or solving a problem, but we get to the same destination.
Hollie’s Fun Facts:
- Volunteers for a book exchange for underserved communities
- Named one of the fittest women in Southern California in 2013
- Can beat Dean in a race
- Dream job: Pro exerciser
Meet Big Brother Sebastian AKA Bash
Sebastian is an incredibly outgoing, smart, and very kind five-year-old little boy. He wakes up happy every day, has boundless energy and makes friends easily. He loves to tell jokes, play with dinosaurs, go swimming and do gymnastics. We talk often about another child joining our family through adoption. He is very excited to be a big brother, except he’s out on changing poopy diapers. His latest request was a set of bunk beds so he can share a room one day.
Bash’s Fun Facts:
- Sebastian is learning Spanish, Mandarin and American Sign Language (ASL)
- He has traveled to 18 US states as well as Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, Sweden, Ireland, Greece and Spain.
- We can’t beat him at a game of Guess Who
- He wants 10 sisters and 1 brother, just like his favorite TV show “The Loud House”
Our Home & Community: We live in an adorable little beach home three blocks from the sand in Hermosa Beach, CA. We love everything about beach life; sandy toes, tan lines, saltwater hair, and commuting by beach cruiser. We have had a standing Sunday beach day with other friends and families for the past 10 years.
Our Family and Friends
We are very blessed with a large extended family who lives mainly in the Midwest. Although they are across the country there are very few months that go by without a visit. We love to go to our annual family reunion and visit with Grandpa Rudy (91) and Grandma Gladys (97).
We have always had the mindset that family comes first. After Hollie’s stepfather passed away in 2013, and then her mother in 2016, her two youngest brothers, David (15) and John (17), were left without parents. We moved back to Cleveland to support them through this difficult time. Now, David is enjoying his second year in college and John has just started his manufacturing career. With the two of them entering adulthood, we felt comfortable moving back to our home in Los Angeles.
Our friendships in California are an extension of our family. We have a large group of tight-knit families who have all known each other through dating, weddings, children and more. We often get together for “Juice Box Happy Hours” where the kids now out number the adults.
Family Tradition – The Family Olympics: We’ve been holding The Family Olympics since our first vacation when we were engaged. We compete in a variety of events and the victor is presented with the Family trophy. Some past Olympic events have included: tennis, the game of “HORSE”, kayaking, board games, egg toss, spelling bees and obstacle courses. Currently, Dean holds the most Olympic wins, but we have a feeling that the kids will take the lead as they grow older.
Our Heartfelt Thank You: We are so excited to have our dreams of a larger family come true and look forward to bringing you and your child into our adventure.
Hollie & Dean