Director of Rehab, Occupational Therapist / Director of Rehab, Occupational Therapist
Caucasian / Hispanic
Thank you for taking the time to learn about us and our family as you navigate the profoundly difficult decision to choose adoption for your baby. We’re a loving, strong couple, have been married since January of 2023 and are devoted to each other, our families and living a purposeful life full of faith, joy, and adventure. We do not take this journey lightly and fully believe that your baby’s lifelong safety, health and wellness is of the utmost importance, no matter who will be blessed to raise him or her as their own. We pray for your peace and security as you move forward and sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to learn about the selfless, brave woman that you undoubtedly are.
We’ve both been blessed with loving families, devoted friends, our health, a college education, and travels around the world. We have countless photos from our pasts capturing celebrations, vacations, holidays and milestones, but they don’t tell the full story of the hardships, loss and pain that everyone inevitably faces in between the happy pictures. With our faith and social support, we have individually overcome much adversity, healed, and learned to honor our pasts while moving forward with faith, hope and gratitude. We built our relationship upon this foundation and will grow our family from it as well. The reality is DJ had a vasectomy many years ago, but we were determined and optimistic so we tried several rounds of IVF which all failed. It was a difficult journey, but it strengthened our relationship. Most importantly, we realized that conceiving a baby was not our purpose or destiny. Our hearts call to share an abundance of love with a child in need, to provide them a safe, nurturing home where their unique story and true self will be held sacred and celebrated, so that they may thrive and find their place in this beautiful world.
We live in a new condo in a beautiful gated community near the beach. It’s very safe, diverse and family-friendly with a toddler playground, a large park, a meditation garden, dog parks, pools, jacuzzi, gym, recreation rooms, basketball courts, and pickleball courts. The community hosts fun holiday events throughout the year, including Christmas party with Santa and train rides around the block, an Easter egg hunt, Halloween trick-or-treating, a 4th of July parade, a Summer solstice party and Oktoberfest. Afternoons and weekends are bustling with kids running around, playing tag, riding bikes and scooters, skating on the courts and swimming at the pool. Pure joy!
Our condo is warm and cozy with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and an outdoor space. We already have a sweet bassinet in a nursery corner in our bedroom, ready and waiting for a baby. The guest room will transition to a nursery when it’s time for baby to sleep away from us.
We’re a couple miles from multiple beaches where we love to take walks, surf (DJ), watch the sunset, and play with the dogs. People, both friends and strangers, in our surrounding community are physically active and incredibly kind. We believe living near the ocean does wonders for the soul!
Celena has 2 younger siblings. Her sister Amanda is a senior at UCSB, passionate about the arts and history, and is thrilled to be an auntie! They’re very close and talk all the time when she’s away at school. Her younger brother Sal is a registered dietician and moved to the Philippines with his wife Kim last year for an adventure but they’re moving back this year to be close to family again. Celena’s family is full of more than 30 cousins, nieces and nephews with another baby due in a few months!
DJ came from a smaller but tight knit, adventurous family. He’s very close with his brother Dave who lives in Hawaii. We talk to him and visit each other as often as possible. Even though he didn’t grow up with the hustle and bustle of a huge family, DJ and his kids are just as lively and have only added to all the fun and excitement!
Written by DJ: Celena is a beautiful, kind soul. Her care and love for her family is inspiring and heartwarming. She seamlessly fit with my family and has nurtured a loving relationship with my kids who were teenagers when they met. It meant the world to me that she opened her heart to them and always makes a sincere effort to connect with them. She goes above and beyond to ensure our home is peaceful and comfortable. Celena brings the best out of me and all people she comes in contact with. She is always calm, cool and collected and that keeps me grounded and feeling loved. She is positive and encouraging in both good and challenging times. Her spiritual life plays an important role in our relationship as she prays and meditates for us, our loved ones, our home and our future. Celena is playful, adventurous, and outgoing. She is always smiling, laughing and singing around our house which brings so much light to our lives. She’s ready for the next chapter of growing our family and will be a wonderful mother. I am truly blessed to have Celena as my wife as she makes each day a better day.
Written by Celena: DJ is the most amazing man with the biggest heart. He selflessly helps anyone in need and lends a listening ear without judgment, making it so easy to feel safe with him, to confide in him and depend on him. He has a playful spirit that shines through when he’s spending time with our nephews and nieces, whether he’s playing games, swimming around, or just being silly with them. It’s fun to watch them in their own world! He’s devoted in all of his relationships, especially as a husband and father. Even though his children are young “adults” and live more independently now, he continues to provide them guidance, supports their goals and dreams, and always takes the time to tell them he loves them and is proud of them. They’re just as kind and gentle-hearted as DJ which I believe is a reflection of his parenting. It’s truly an honor to be his wife, and I thank God every day for him!
We met at work in March of 2015 when Celena started her new position as an occupational therapist at the same facility as DJ. It happened to be the day after Celena’s birthday, and the day after she rescued her first puppy, Bailey. Looking back, a lot of life-altering events happened within those 24 hours!
Although we were in different stages of life at the time, we clicked! DJ was easygoing and kind, while Celena was compassionate and open. It made it easy to talk and laugh together as we developed a close working relationship and mutual respect for each other. Within a couple years, we were both promoted to management positions at different facilities. We were proud of each other’s growth and remained in touch over the years.
Fast forward to 2020, Celena reached out to DJ for a work reference. We got together and immediately felt a deep connection to each other. Our love grew easily and organically as we spent all of our time together, immersing in each other’s families and enjoying travels throughout California, Hawaii, Oregon and Jamaica. We brought each other a sense of peace and excitement for the future.
In November of 2022, we took a weekend trip to a small lake. DJ rented a pontoon boat and proposed out on the water with our doggies in tow, surrounded by swans. It was magical. We were beyond ready to be married and eloped in January in an intimate ceremony in the midst of trees and the Santa Barbara mountains. A couple months later, we threw a party to celebrate with our closest friends and family at home.
We live a blessed life full of love, joy, and deep gratitude for everyone and everything that has led to our union and laid a foundation for a beautiful future together.
Keep your faith alive! Life is full of unexpected twists and turns but your faith will guide you through. Faith in God, that He will raise you up. Faith in humanity, that there is goodness and compassion everywhere if you look for it. Faith in the future, that everything will turn out as beautifully as it should. Faith in us, that we will always be here to hold your hand, protect you, comfort you, teach you, learn from you and celebrate you. And, faith in yourself, that you are the most amazing, special soul who deserves all the love, kindness, and opportunities this world has to offer.
We are fully supportive of an open adoption and completely recognize its value in honoring a healthy relationship between a baby and their birth mother, the baby’s heritage, and the beginnings of the baby’s unique story. While we look forward to being devoted parents and providing a safe, loving home for our baby to thrive, we know that there are so many people that will have a profound and positive impact on their development. A birth mom can and should undoubtedly be a part of the baby’s ongoing journey and story.