We consider ourselves so lucky to have found one another and we try our best every day to not take that for granted. Though we have different careers now, we make it a point to spend our off time together doing anything from playing board games together to cooking dinner and just watching a movie. We also still surround ourselves with family and friends, just like we did when we were younger. Throughout our relationship, we’ve also been lucky enough to travel to many places, but in the end no matter where we are, as long as we are together, we are happy and everything else is just icing on the cake.
Though our struggle with infertility was difficult, it served us by making us stronger and closer as a couple. It also showed us that in times of need we are there for each other and it made us realize that we did not need a biological connection to our child in order to love him or her unconditionally. Our path may not be one most couples have to travel, but because of the strong base we have, we have been able to get through everything together. Our hearts are filled with love and excitement at the thought of becoming parents and we can’t wait to share all the love we have in our hearts with a child.
Oh, and we can’t forget about our sweet Lorenzo! We rescued our dog Lorenzo four years ago. He is just the sweetest little dog that anyone could ever ask for. He is so gentle and loving with everyone and especially loves being around small children. We lucked out with our rescue, as he never barks or gives us a hard time...he just wants as much love as we can give... and we are happy to oblige.
On March 4 of 2011, we got engaged in a park over a perfect picnic from our favorite restaurant. We were married the next year in front of 200 of our family and closest friends in the botanical gardens of Staten Island. Our ceremony was held outdoors in a beautiful garden named the Tuscan garden, which reminded us of our time spent in Italy. We ate lots of food and danced the night away in a great hall. One of our favorite things about our wedding is that the people who helped us create it (band, DJ, photographer) were also some of our best friends. Having all of the people we love in one room celebrating our love was once of the most beautiful and humbling experiences we’ve ever had. Eight years later, we still talk about what a great time we had with our friends and family.
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How We Met
We met, after we both graduated from college, when we both worked together at in Manhattan in the winter of 2005. We became friends almost immediately and loved spending time together, and since Jay was new to the city, he also became great friends with Joann’s friends. About two years after we met, Jay was transferred to a different state and although it was bitter sweet, it was at that point that we looked at each other and knew that we wanted to be together no matter what it took and we never looked back. The first year of our relationship was long distance which provided some challenges, but it also gave us the opportunity to truly learn everything about one another by having endless phone conversations and visiting each other whenever possible. A year into our relationship, I (Joann) got accepted to do a semester of my Master’s degree in Italy. Leaving Jay for an extended period of time was a difficult choice, but to my surprise, Jay dropped everything and moved to Italy with me and we have not been separated since.
Adoption: Please call or text 800-379-8418 anytime.
Jay’s life growing up
I was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area by two loving parents, Nancy and Steven. I have one brother, Evan. All of my immediate family is very close and still lives in the D.C. area (and are so very excited to be an uncle and 1st time grandparents). I had a picture book childhood surrounded by endless love and support. I feel gratitude for the upbringing I was given by my parents. I attended private schools from kindergarten through high school and then went on to study at the University of Delaware, though it was often a financial strain for my parents they did what they had to do to give Evan and I the best education they could...that is of utmost importance to me as well and I will always put this child first.
My passions growing up were as diverse as the friends I was raised around. My dad instilled in me a deep love and appreciation of music and adventure. My mom ingrained in me a tireless work ethic and compassionate disposition that I carry with me to this day. Family was always a main focus for Evan and I as kids. We would often visit our grandparents in Pennsylvania or cousins in New Jersey and Virginia. We are all still a very close family unit and communicate often.
The gift of a love filled upbringing planted a desire in me long ago to be a father. That passion to raise a child and complete our family has not weakened in the years Joann and I have been trying, but strengthened my choice and excitement to be the best father, much like my own, that I can be.
Popular School Teacher & Successful Restauranteur, Together 15 Years, Hope To Adopt 1st Baby.
Family is the most important thing to us. Both of our families are supportive of our plan to build a family through adoption. They know we will be loving and responsible parents.
Joann’s family is super close. We see each other every week for Sunday dinner at my sister, Cathy’s house. Though my parents are no longer with us, we’ve kept their spirits alive by maintaining traditions and just spending time together. Luckily they showed us the hard work and love it takes to build a strong family. I am the youngest of four children; I have one sister, Cathy and two brothers, Biagio and Luigi. I also have 3 nephews, Eddie, Antonio, Daniel and a niece, Isabella. Eddie is 15, Antonio is 13, Isabella is 9 and Daniel is 7 months. I can’t wait for our child to look up to their older cousins as I did with mine growing up. Having a big family is what I love and I hope to give that to a child one day soon. One of the things we enjoy most is when my nephews, Eddie and Antonio spend the weekend with me and Jay. We always have such a great time with them. We’ve taken them ice skating in central park and to a NY Rangers hockey game. The last time they stayed over, we made pizza from scratch!
Jay has a very tight knit and loving family. His parents, Nancy and Steven, live in the Washington D.C. area as does his brother, Evan, and we visit often, especially in the summer for dips in the pool! He has Uncles and Aunts in New Jersey (Uncle Jerry), Connecticut (Aunt Pam and Uncle Frank), Maryland (Aunt Judy) as well as in the Washington D.C. Area (Uncle Corey and Aunt Maggie). His cousins are also a part of our life and they are in Richmond, Virginia (Jake and Ingrid who have two girls, Marin, 9 and Allie, 10). We visit his cousins on the west coast as often as we can as well! We see them in Portland (Scott and his son Rowan, Doug and Jordan and his daughter Reina, 9), San Francisco (Kay and Chad who have a son Jonah, 13) and Santa Fe (Noah). A little closer to home we also spend a lot of time with cousins Abbie and Mike and their two sons, Austin, 7 and Drew, 8.
“There is not one path. There is not even the ‘right’ path. There is only your path” - Sue Krebs
Jay’s thoughts on Joann
The old saying goes, “when you know; you know” and when I met Joann I knew immediately my life would forever change. She is beautiful, smart, funny, driven and the most loyal, caring person I have ever met. I could tell instantly by the way she treated others (not just her family and friends) that she was empathetic and kind. She has always been strong of mind and body, going the extra mile to take care of her health both mental and physical. We have grown together in many ways, but I am always learning from her and admiring how she approaches life. Joann has worked tirelessly with children to expose them to education and adventure in the past 10 years and I look up to her capacity and patience for that work. She is remarkably loyal and present with her family, a trait that I have been witness to through the highs and lows of adult life. It seems everyone around her is of utmost importance and their happiness translates directly to her own; she shows this with her relationships with her immediate family, her nephews, nieces and her friends. Even if I was not lucky enough to be married to her, I would trust Joann with my life...she is that kind of friend and person. All of these personality traits and more are what I know will make her a wonderful mother. Whatever great “It” thing you cannot put your finger on when you meet someone new, Joann has “it” in spades.
Holidays and traditions are very important to the both of us. The traditions are kept alive not only by our parents, but also by us. Thanksgiving and Christmas are our favorite holidays and we love preparing for both. Every year for Thanksgiving we go to Jay’s parent’s house. His dad loves Thanksgiving more than anything and he really shows it with the amount of love and attention he gives to us (and the food!). His mom’s famous Carrot Soup and dad's irresistible secret stuffing recipe are definitely some of the highlights. Another highlight is getting to see Jay’s aunts, uncles and cousins. Uncle Jerry can light up any room with his smile and Uncle Corey and Aunt Maggie just have such a warmness to them that makes it feel like home. Ingrid and Jake, Jay’s cousins also come every year and bring their daughters, Marin and Allie. It’s been so much fun seeing them grow throughout the years into the very smart and sassy young ladies they have become.
For Christmas Eve we go to my sister Cathy’s house with my brother Luigi and his fiancé Priscilla. It is always a party at Cathy’s house and she always makes sure that we do not leave hungry! One of the things she does every year is a Christmas scavenger hunt. My nephews, Eddie and Antonio pick the teams and away we go. One year we had to sing Jingle Bells with marshmallows in our mouth, but due to all the laughing, we lost that round… My brother in law Eddie’s family also joins us for Christmas Eve. Throughout the years, his siblings and their children have become an integral part of our extended family. Of course, I also have to mention Christmas Eve dinner. In the Italian tradition we do not eat meat on Christmas Eve, instead we have the feast of the seven fishes. This includes many things, but our favorite is my father, Gaetano’s famous shrimp parmesan recipe.
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Hi! We are Joann and Jay. We want to sincerely thank you for considering choosing us as adoptive parents of your baby. We think that you are such a wonderful and strong person to consider this journey for your child. We can only imagine the bravery and courage it takes to make a decision such as this and to entrust us with this precious life. You are that brave, courageous light we have been searching for. We know that if you are reading this, you are probably going through a challenging time. We understand that your decision to make an adoption plan is based on love, and we truly admire the strength this takes. We hope that after reading this we can make you feel more comfortable and at ease. We promise you that we are ready and able to provide all the emotional, educational, financial, and loving support that your child will need. Please read on to learn more about who we are, our marriage, the path that brought us here and our loving family.
On Christmas Day after celebrating as a couple, we head right back to Cathy’s house and exchange gifts with our immediate family from the secret Santa we organized. Later on in the day we gather with my step- mother, Grace and all of my step siblings, Frank, Paolo and Tania and all of their spouses and children for another fun filled afternoon. By the end of Christmas evening we all usually find ourselves on the couch watching reruns of A Christmas Story and just enjoying time with family. We cannot wait to experience these special holidays with the child who we are blessed to adopt.
At every opportunity we look forward to celebrating holidays with our family, but also love to host friends and family at our place. Every year on the 4th of July we have a large BBQ and while Jay is behind the grill, I make sure everyone is happy and having a good time!
We also have a tradition of handing out candy to the kids in our Brooklyn neighborhood every Halloween. We just love seeing and getting to know all of the families in the neighborhood. We always dress up as different characters and try our best to make it fun for the kids. Although we have so much fun with the neighborhood children, it makes us yearn to be parents even more.
Joann’s thoughts on Jay
Jay has always been and still is one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met and I truly mean that. He has always made it a priority to make me feel special. If I mention something I like, it inevitably ends up under the Christmas tree or as a gift for my birthday. Speaking of birthdays, a few years ago, Jay started a new tradition where he gets me a cake every day for the week leading up to my birthday. Not to mention that for his birthday, he gets me an “unbirthday” gift, a tradition that his parents started. Sometimes, I see him write something down that I said, just so that he can surprise me as soon as I forget about it. Jay also loves to sing and has on several occasions written and recorded songs for me. He is a true romantic and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Jay is an incredibly hard worker. He is a person who always strives to be better and learns from his experiences. My family and friends absolutely adore Jay and he especially made my father so proud when he asked for my hand in marriage. I know that whatever your child wants to be, Jay is going to be in their corner cheering them on just like he does with me. He has so much more love to give and I can’t wait to experience life with him as a parent.
How we work
Joann- I love children so much that I became a teacher. I am a high school Italian teacher. I was lucky enough to be raised speaking Italian and English at home and through the years I have also taught myself some Spanish and Portuguese! Being able to teach a language and culture that I love and appreciate so much is truly amazing. My favorite part about teaching is working with young people and when a student runs into class to tell me about an encounter they had where they were able to speak Italian to someone. Their eyes light up and it makes them truly happy to be in my class. So many of my students have become like family to me and I still keep in touch with many of them and their families. Truth be told, I have always been drawn to being around children throughout my life. When I was in my early teens, I was the happily designated babysitter in my neighborhood and at one point I even babysat four sisters all under the age of 8 and thought it was a joy even then. The mom was my sister Cathy’s best friend and we still keep in touch with all of them. That brings me to today where I am fortunate to have many friends who have children of their own with whom I get to spend time with on a regular basis.
Jay- I received my college degree in Hospitality Management and immediately started working in the hospitality industry after graduation. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for some amazing hotels and all of my experience led me to the decision to open up my own successful restaurants. I love working for myself and contributing to the communities I serve on a daily basis. Hospitality was the most natural career choice for me...I am able to make a good living for my family by taking care of people and not only helping them create memories, but also creating memories with them.
Joann’s life growing up
I had a wonderful childhood, filled with love and support from my family. I am the youngest of four children; I have one sister, Cathy and two brothers, Biagio and Luigi. Growing up in a full house was at times very noisy, but always a lot of fun! At the age of eight, however, my mother passed away and though it was a very difficult time for my family, we all leaned on each other for support, which in turn made us stronger and closer. My father, Gaetano was and will always be a pillar of strength for me in my life. Against all odds, he raised four children on his own and the love and guidance he gave to each one of us was more than I could ever ask for. One of the things my Italian father took very seriously was food! We grew up eating the most delicious meals and the best part is that he taught us all how to cook. Some of my favorite memories include all of us crammed in our kitchen cooking Sunday dinner together and then sitting around the table, which we did every night and enjoy our meal together.
I also grew up on the same block as my first cousins, so my days were filled with family. My cousins and I used to make dances and music videos to our favorite songs to pass the time. We also played hopscotch, jump rope and would often play school together where we would take turns being the teacher, which was the best part. We spent many summers visiting my father's family in Florida, but most of the time we just spent time with the friends and family on our block and in our community.
Being raised the way I was taught me the importance of family and values and made me who I am today. My hopes and dreams are to be able to give this baby as wonderful of a life and upbringing as I had and to give them memories they will cherish forever.
Our time together/ Our travels
Our schedule allows for us to travel on our off time. Our summers are usually spent exploring a new place, whether it be a national park or a new city. We love to explore the outdoors and while in new cities, immerse ourselves in new cultures and of course, the local food. Traveling has become a part of our lives and we can’t wait to experience new places one day with our child.
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Why we dream of having a family
We have a very happy, fulfilled and loving family life, but the truth is, we’ve wanted and have felt ready to be parents for a very long time. We both love kids and have always dreamed of how amazing it would be to have a family of our own to share our life and love with.
We plan to raise a child in a loving home and in a positive environment. We were raised with similar morals and ethics instilled in us. Our parents taught us to be kind, to treat others as you would like to be treated, to work hard and be honest. We plan on building our home on the same values. We will raise a child with compassion, support and understanding. We plan to provide opportunities so they can become their own person, to support and encourage their dreams, interests and goals in life.
We truly want to thank you for taking the time to consider us as adoptive parents for your baby. We hope all of these stories, pictures and notes will paint a clear picture for you of the kind of people we are and the kind of family we want to create.
We would love to learn more about you. We know this is a difficult decision and long process. We are in awe of your courage through all of this and will be forever grateful for even the opportunity to be considered. We respect the decision that you are making and we promise to make sure that this child understands that we will all make this choice about their life together with only love in our hearts. As you have the answer to our prayers, we hope to have the answer to yours.
Please feel free to contact us to learn more about us, ask any questions or for any more details.
If you would like to speak with our attorney, Suzanne Nichols, she is very kind and easy to speak with. She is happy to answer any questions you might have.
We wish you the very best as you make this decision, and that whatever you decide, you find comfort and peace.
With love, Jay & Joann
Please call or text anytime 1-800-379-8418