Joe & Gretchen
Hello! We are Gretchen and Joe from CA!
Dear Birth Mother: We are so excited to take part in this process and are humbled by your courage. We look forward to learning more about you and can only hope to be a part of your journey. Our greatest dream, wish and hope is to start a family and become parents to a child.
Who We Are: Our story began back in February of 2013 on a blind date set up by Match.com in San Diego, California. Both of us were in our early 30’s, and were looking for love in all the wrong places, so we turned to online dating. What do you know, it worked! We fell in love over the course of a few months, were engaged in a little over a year, and got married in late 2015. Since we married, we bought a house a few miles from the beach, rescued our mini Schnauzer dog Billie, and continue to be active outdoors in our beach community.
Outside of our families, our biggest love is travel, and we try to do one big trip per year as well as several other smaller trips to see our families and get outdoors.
Fun Facts About Joe:
• Traveled to 23 countries with Iceland being my favorite.
• I ran the Baltimore Marathon and multiple other races since.
• I spent time in Kentucky helping to build houses for the less fortunate.
• I was Elected as student council president of my high school in my senior year.
• I am an uncle to 13 beautiful nieces and nephews
Fun Facts About Gretchen:
• I grew up figure skating competitively and went to nationals on a synchronized skating team in high school
• I’m a huge Denver Broncos football fan!
• I love photography and really get into it on our travels
• I’m a huge foodie and love to cook and try new dishes from around the world
• I have completed 4 half-marathons since moving to San Diego
About Joe: Adding a child to our family would be simply amazing as we have plenty of love to share. Born the youngest of seven in a small town in Northern New Jersey, I grew up with a love for sports, fun and family. Neither of my parents attended college, as my dad went straight into the marines and my mother was at home managing the house. Their work ethic and love pushed all of us to strive for the best in everything we did, but they always made sure that we were having fun while we did it.
After high school, I went on to college where I studied International Business. Luckily enough, I was able to take my love of sports and travel and combine it with my work. I have had the opportunity to work for great companies such as Under Armour, VF Corporation, and now Sound United.
In my adult life, I continue to play sports and have found a love for running which “kind of” keeps me in shape. Traveling continues to be a focus as I find myself overseas a few times a year for both work and pleasure.
Socially, I love to get out with friends, be outdoors and spend as much time as possible with my wife and dog.
More About Joe, by Gretchen: Joe is my rock and I’m beyond lucky to have him as my partner and best friend. He is the most generous, fun-loving and smartest man I know. I fell in love with his kindness and ability to make others laugh.
JOE IS A VERY LOYAL FRIEND AND HAS MANY CLOSE FRIENDSHIPS FROM ALL ASPECTS OF HIS LIFE. He is the kind of guy who can strike up conversation in the grocery store line and find commonalities with just about anyone he meets. Joe is hardworking, determined, and excels in his career.
He has a love for sports (golf, basketball, baseball) and a competitive drive that is fun to watch. I know he’s excited to share this passion and sense of teamwork with our future child. Seeing Joe with our little nieces and nephews confirms what I’ve known all along – HE’S GOING BE THE MOST PATIENT AND LOVING FATHER.
About Gretchen: My parents adopted my brother, so I’ve been able to experience firsthand the joy that adoption can bring to a family. I grew up in Colorado as the middle child with an older brother, younger sister and two loving parents. In my youth, we spent a lot of family time outdoors in the mountains skiing, hiking, and biking.
After graduating high school, I moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona where I joined a sorority, made lifelong friends, and studied retail and business. In San Diego, I’ve been fortunate to build a career in corporate event planning and marketing where I’ve worked in several different industries. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE THE FLEXIBILITY TO WORK FROM HOME, WHICH WILL BE HELPFUL WITH RAISING A FAMILY.
In my free time, I enjoy running, reading, cooking, yoga and beach days. I also love spending time with our dog Billie and taking her to the dog-beach and for long walks on the trail near our home. Joe and I love to socialize with friends and their families, and we often host BBQ’s and dinners at our house. We’re looking forward to our future child being a part of these special gatherings and fun times.
More About Gretchen, by Joe: The old saying of, “I outkicked my coverage,” is the definition of Gretchen and I. She is the sweetest, kindest and most beautiful woman I have ever met, and I don’t know how I got so lucky. Qualities that pop into my mind when I think of her are her generosity, kindness and love for all. Also, everyone loves her; she has a smile that is contagious, a calming demeanor, and a zest for life.
SEEING HER WITH OUR FRIENDS’ AND FAMILY’S CHILDREN GIVES ME GOOSE BUMPS because it makes me think about how great of a mother she will be.
Get to Know Our Family and Friends
Our families are different in size, but similar in traditions, fun outings and love for each other. Joe is the youngest of seven, with four sisters (Mary, Colleen, Monica and Sue) and two brothers (Ray and Kevin). We normally get back to the east coast to see Joe’s family in Cape Cod where his mom retired. This past fourth of July, we were there with more than 20 visitors!
Gretchen is the middle child of three, with an older brother (Zach) and a younger sister (Hollis). We typically spend Christmas in Denver, CO, at Gretchen’s parents’ house where we get together for holiday parties, board games, and hopefully some time in the mountains depending on the snow fall.
Our friends are all over the country, which we only realized during our wedding when we had people in attendance from 17 different states! However, we also have a tight knit group of friends in San Diego whom we love to spend time with. We are actually the only couple in our group without kids, so we will have plenty of friends looking to support our journey as new parents.
Additionally, since we are lucky enough to live in San Diego, we always get lots of visits from friends and family, and we are sure this will only increase with a new addition to our family.
Our Home and Closing Thoughts
Our Home and Community: We are lucky to call Encinitas, California, our home. Encinitas is a small beach community with a cute downtown that includes fun restaurants and shops. We love our home! It sits at the end of a cul-de-sac with three bedrooms and a beautiful backyard that has a hammock and two large willow trees. As always, the kitchen tends to be a focal point when we host parties and BBQs.
OUR TIGHT-KNIT NEIGHBORHOOD IS FILLED WITH LOTS OF FAMILIES AND KIDS. During the fall, our community goes all out for Halloween with tons of decorations and a block party. We are also located within walking distance of an excellent school district, trails, parks and sports fields. We have several close friends who live within a 5-mile radius, which means we have lots of spontaneous get-togethers and beach days.
Meet Our Dog, Billie: We have a three-year-old mini schnauzer who we love more than anything. She is the sweetest little snuggle buddy anyone could ask for. We rescued her back in 2016 and she has turned out to be perfect. She is super social, LOVES PEOPLE (INCLUDING KIDS!) and is very low maintenance. We can’t wait to introduce her to our future child.
Before You Go: A few more thoughts and a great big THANK YOU! Thank you again for taking the time to get to know us. We hope this gives you a sense of our values and lifestyle. Adoption is such a gift and we are truly grateful for your strength and courage to pursue this journey. We promise to love and support your child unconditionally and will embrace them for who they are and who they will become.
We look forward to learning more about you and only wish the best for you.