Lauren and Joe
We are Lauren & Joe. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us better. We live in sunny Goleta, California with our son, Isaac, and our dog, Elwood.
We are so happy that you are reading our letter. We can only imagine your complicated feelings, and we admire you for considering adoption. Our family has already been shaped by adoption—we adopted our son Isaac when he was one day old, and we love being his parents. We wouldn’t change how we became a family in any way, and we’re excited to do it again! We can’t wait to experience the joy of welcoming your child into our family and having the privilege to love them, care for them, and be with them as they grow. We wish you all the best as you continue this adoption journey.
About Us: We hit it off right away when we met as students at UC Santa Barbara — We both have the same goofy and irreverent sense of humor, and the same taste in music and movies
(for example, we bonded over our love for the original “Ghostbusters” movie). We also value the same things, which keeps our connection strong: we care deeply about our faith, our families, and helping make the world a better place for future generations. We’ve been married for 15 years, and we keep learning to love and support each other more. We know how important honesty, support, and commitment, and fun are in our relationship, and we focus on those things every day.
Hobbies & Interests: We enjoy so many different activities, both as a couple and all three of us together. Joe and Lauren love going to concerts. We also love movies of all kinds—from superhero movies to classic films. We have family passes to our local zoo and go all the time. And we love amusement parks! We recently took Isaac to Disneyland and had a blast! Lauren especially is a Disneyland fan — she used to work there. We love to go to the beach to relax. We love traveling whenever we can. During the past year we’ve explored the west coast in our camper trailer, and we always have fun camping! Joe and Lauren have visited several countries, and have friends and family around the world. We look forward to visiting other countries with our kids.
Lauren Describes Joe: Joe makes life fun! I love his sense of humor—he’s always making me laugh with silly jokes or movie quotes. Joe is a fantastic musician and is always singing and playing the guitar, which I love. He’s also a great person to talk to about my problems—I can always turn to him for good advice or insight when I’m facing a tough situation, and he gives great hugs too, when I need extra comfort.
I love watching him with Isaac, they have so much fun together making jokes, birdwatching, or playing t-ball. He patiently answers Isaac’s many questions. And on weekends, we get the added benefit of enjoying Joe’s breakfast specialty—his delicious Swedish pancakes!
Joe’s Career: Joe is an environmental scientist, and is passionate about working with companies to make a better, more sustainable future for our children.
In his free time, Joe…
- Loves birdwatching, finding and photographing new birds
- Plays the drums, piano, guitar, and other random instruments.
Joe Describes Lauren: I love Lauren for her imagination, sense of humor, and ability to enjoy the smallest, everyday joys in life. Lauren is an amazing confidant, whom I can always chat with about random thoughts, new obscure interests, and plain old silliness and jokes. Lauren is loving, patient, and nurturing and good at encouraging me to be my best. She is always planning two steps ahead, and thinking about how to make our family life fun, relaxing and rewarding by planning activities, trips, and delicious Italian meals. It’ll be fun to watch over the years as she teaches our new child how to roll pizza dough and cook homemade tomato sauce. As soon as we started dating, I knew Lauren would be a fantastic wife, and I’ve been thrilled to see her in action as a fun, creative, and loving mother over the past few years. I look forward to many years of teaming up with her to wrangle the kids, pile into the car, and set out on adventures with our family!
Lauren’s Career: Lauren has worked as a religious education teacher, a youth minister, an aide in a first grade classroom, and a substitute teacher. She also worked in guest services at the local Natural History Museum, helping educate guests there. She values education and enjoys working with kids of all ages. Currently, she is the Middle School History and Writing teacher at the same school that Isaac attends. It’s fun for them to go to and from school together!
In her free time, Lauren…
- Likes to cook, especially traditional Italian dishes
- Loves reading fantasy books and Agatha Christie mysteries.
Our Loved Ones
We are both blessed to have supportive parents who love being grandparents. They all love playing games, reading books, teaching Isaac to cook, etc. Bonus— Lauren’s parents live in the same town and are always happy to baby-sit.
Joe’s sister Krista and her husband Lonny live in San Diego and are the fun aunt and uncle. Lauren is an only child, but she has a big extended family with lots of cousins who have little kids. We get together with Lauren’s extended family whenever possible for vacations or special events, and Isaac has a blast with them. Joe is also close with his cousins and extended family all over California.
We have a community of supportive friends, both in Santa Barbara and all over California, who we love getting together with. Most of them also have kids who are great playmates for Isaac.
We are so lucky to have this wonderful support system of friends and family, helping us along the journey as we grow as parents.
Future Big Brother, Isaac: We were matched with our son Isaac when he was one day old, and we fell in love the instant we saw him. From that first moment we knew we were meant to be together. This year, Isaac loved preschool and his teachers were impressed that he was such a good friend to all his classmates. He is such a fun, kind, inquisitive, and smart child. He is excited to be a big brother and buy toys for the baby. He looks forward to playing with the baby and helping give them baths.
A Place Called Home
We love living in Goleta, and the Santa Barbara area. It’s a great place to grow up (Lauren grew up here!) There are lots of family-friendly places—beaches, parks, playgrounds, museums, and a beautiful zoo. We have many amazing restaurants, and we especially love sampling all the delicious local Mexican food.
We live in a cozy 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home in a safe, family-friendly community with lots of open, grassy areas for kids to play. There are orange, tangerine, and lemon trees growing all around the property so that we can pick our own fruit (which we enjoy doing). Our community has two big pools and a little kiddy pool, which kids love to splash in. Additionally, we have a little fenced-in backyard of our own that Isaac and our dog, Elwood, can play in.
Holidays in our neighborhood are especially fun— we get a lot of trick-or-treaters at Halloween, and many people do fun decorations for all the holidays.
Our Dog: We have a dog named Elwood who is a three-year-old Lab/Beagle mix. He is very sweet and patient with Isaac, and Isaac calls him “the best dog in the world” & “my dog brother.”
In Closing: Above all, we want to raise our children to be loving, responsible, honest, and self-confident adults. This means teaching them to love themselves, be inclusive and accepting of all others, and share love with everyone. We also want them to have joy in their lives, so we always encourage creativity, silliness, and laughter!
We’re so happy that you have taken the time to get to know us. We are excited to welcome a new child into our lives and complete our family. We promise to love, cherish, encourage, and support that child as they grow. As parents we know this means investing lots of time, energy, patience and love. Being parents has taught us to appreciate who a child is, and respect who they want to be. It’s our job to help them to be their best selves.
We love open adoption, and we would be thrilled to get to know you as we welcome you into our family in whatever ways you are comfortable. We know that you must be feeling so many different emotions right now, and we so admire you for considering adoption. We want what’s best for you, and we hope that you will come to find peace through whatever decisions you make. Our experience with adoption has been so positive and love-filled, and we want to have that same experience with you. We would love to get to know you and welcome you into our lives!