Our Love Story
Just 15 years old, we met at our high school lockers.
It’s hard to miss Joe as he is always making someone laugh.
When Amy showed up to his home with cupcakes for a school fundraiser, Joe’s mom would say later “Joe, why don’t you date Amy?” But teenage boys don’t listen to their moms…or do they?
We reconnected in our 20s when we were in NYC for grad school. We often hung out on the rooftop of his apartment, talking and staring out at the city skyline. We began to see we had so much in common: music, history, family, sports/baseball, fishing. On our first date, Joe cooked Amy a delicious fish dinner. This scored big points! Joe courted Amy with nights at jazz clubs, walks in the city parks, and food-inspired adventures. When Joe graduated with his masters in music, he and his band performed two songs written for Amy. The families, in the audience, knew then that Amy & Joe were forever.
Our dog Zilla came soon after and she was part of Joe’s proposal, “unwrapping” her birthday gifts to reveal Amy’s engagement ring! After 10 years of marriage, we continue to make each other laugh and lean on one another in tough times. Our love story only grows as our relationships with friends and family deepen and we have more and more love to give.
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.”
– Katherine Hepburn
We love to travel, be adventurous & experience the wonders of our world firsthand. We will educate our child about their ethnicity and celebrate their culture & traditions!
We would love to bring our child to Italy to meet our extended family. We will eat pizza of course! But most importantly our child will be welcomed into a large, loving community of people who value family above all else!
In 2014, we purchased a 3-bedroom home just outside NYC. We did our own demolition of the kitchen and dining room with the help of some friends! Our backyard is home to Joe’s fruit and vegetable garden, and we love to get everyone together for a BBQ and a game of bocce. We chose our neighborhood for its diverse population and the lovely parks, playgrounds, schools, libraries, and family-friendly activities. 20 minutes away is NYC, where we enjoy a variety of museums, landmarks, restaurants, entertainment and culture.
Joe is a well-known musician and VP of multimedia for a large corporation.
More About Joe
Joe has been lighting up a room since a very young age. He moved to NJ from Staten Island at age 12. It was around this time that Tripp (now his brother-in-law) gave him his first bass guitar. By age 14, Joe was gigging all over NJ and NYC. In addition to music, Joe played volleyball, baseball, and was deeply interested in history and the arts. Family time meant a lot of joking around the dinner table. Joe’s mom was a nurse and later a stay-at-home mom. Joe’s dad was an aerospace engineer. They both knew how to encourage Joe’s academic interests and support his music. Joe and his sister Dawn recall dancing around the table on nights when they ordered in pizza and weren’t eating a macrobiotic meal. Joe’s love of gardening comes from many vacations to the Connecticut family farm.
In college, Joe concentrated on history and translated ancient texts from Latin and Greek into English. He supported his education costs with his gigs and studio sessions. He later received his MA in Music and travelled worldwide with several bands until 2011 when he accepted a job as an audio-visual engineer with the focus on starting a family. He is currently the VP of Multimedia and works a flexible schedule, playing music locally and spending time with family.
Joe describes himself as jovial, perceptive of people and protective of his family. Amy describes him as witty, sincere, knowledgeable, gentle and a great story teller. Joe is part of a social wiffle ball league, is an avid sports fan and loves to fish especially flyfish. He also likes to geek out over art, history, archeology and philosophy. Joe and Amy have composed an album together, where he wrote the music and Amy the lyrics. They also created a meditation CD together.
More About Amy
I grew up in a fun and busy household. I especially loved the summers when our family all swam for the local team and we spent hours fishing and boating. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad was an electrician, following his training in the US Navy. I’ve played piano since I was 4 years old and loved trying new things: tennis, diving, writing, softball. My parents were very supportive of my sister and I exploring our interests and talents. They also modeled the values of honesty, compassion, forgiveness and generosity. Our house was the place were family and friends always congregated for a BBQ or a long chat on the back porch. My first job was at 14, working in a local video store. At 18, my first piece of writing was published in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul.
In my early 20’s, I spent two years in Australia practicing photojournalism before I realized my true calling as a psychologist. After receiving my PhD, I worked in a child advocacy center helping children who had been abused or neglected. I now own a private group therapy practice in Manhattan which gives me more flexibility to be at home with a child.
I actually don’t like to talk about myself, which is a good fit for my role as a therapist. But when asked to describe myself, I’d say I am even-keeled, a good friend and listener, loving and funny. Joe describes me as hardworking, intelligent, loving and the best mother. In my spare time, I love tennis, writing, skiing, cooking, piano, and spending time with Joe and our dog.
Our families have really bonded and connected over the years
Top Row: Joe’s brother-in-law, Joe’s sister, Amy’s sister, baby nephew, Amy with niece on her lap. Bottom row: Joe’s two teen nieces and Amy’s mom
First Christmas hosted in our home
We feel incredibly blessed to have the family relationships we have. We are loyal, fun-loving, and compassionate – someone is always lending a hand or checking in to see how you are. We can be ourselves: relaxed, happy and laughing much of the time.
Our family will be greatly involved in the growth of our child. Grammy, Nanny, aunts, uncles, cousins – our child will always have someone there to read a book, play a game, answer a question, give a hug, or tell a joke.
We love getting together at Amy’s mom’s house on the lake in NJ
Amy’s family always “cracking” jokes
Amy’s Adoption Story
Days before she held me, my mom had a dream. She pictured me exactly as I would appear: 1-month-old, big brown eyes, chubby cheeks, and ready to come home. Having endometriosis, she was told she would never have a child. My mom learned this news while working as a counselor for women with unplanned pregnancies. She never disclosed her personal struggle to become a mom until one night a phone call from a co-worker from the adoption agency would change the course of all of our lives. I don’t remember being told I was adopted because it was part of my fabric from such a young age. My mom and dad loved me like they did their biological daughter, my younger sister who miraculously came along 5 years later.
Family was never constrained by biology. Since my maternal grandparents were deceased, their friends volunteered themselves as grandpa and grandma. Grandpa and I watched hours of Wheel of Fortune and Grandma and I played even more hours of hangman, imprinting on me my love of words, puzzles and most importantly the love they shared through play. When my husband joined the family, he said he loved the way we were so inclusive. You would never be able to tell from the outside who was biologically related and who isn’t. Family is family.
There are many questions that come along with adoption and there are many questions that come along with any type of family building. The main question for me was never left blank. Was I loved? Yes, always.
Dreams of a Family
My adoption story has grown considerably in the last few years. I gave birth to a daughter through a donor egg and I experienced again the bond between a mother and a non-biological child – this time in the reverse. My daughter instantly became the sun in our universe. She was born on my birthday, my 7th pregnancy, lucky number 7. She could not have been more perfect to my husband and I. When she died unexpectedly two months later, we thought our hearts stopped with hers. Even now I question how it can still keep beating without her. But we have learned that you don’t move “on” from grief, you move “forward” with it.
We believe the loss of our daughter has taught us so much about our bottomless love for a child and our determination to build a family. We also believe our loss will help us be compassionate and understanding to the experience of our child’s birthmother. We want to ease the pain of our child’s birthmother and share our gratitude and joy for the child as he or she grows and learns more about his/her unique entry into our world.
Our daughter brought us so much joy and showed us how much we were meant to be parents! We are very comfortable with forming a family through adoption, with Amy’s own experience to reflect on. We are also connected to a supportive community of adoptive families in New York.
What Our Friends Subir and Kavita Say About Us:
“Joe is one of the most genuine people and he has a unique ability to make people laugh out loud. Joe was raised by parents who enjoyed learning about new cultures. I had so many discussions with Joe and his parents about my heritage during my middle school years. Joe celebrated my Indian-American ancestry and would always raid my fridge for Indian food and snacks.”
“What makes Joe and Amy unique is that they have a bottomless amount of love to give others. They are the type of friends who will be there for you in a moment’s notice, and will want to celebrate big and small events together. Amy and Joe are grounded and giving, and I know that they will be nurturing parents to their children.”
-Subir & Kavita
What Our Friends Laura and Dave Have to Say:
“Amy and Joe have exceeded our expectations as godparents and have showered our children with love and affection. We have been privileged to have them in our lives and as a part of our extended family, lucky to have them visit us on a regular basis, and immerse themselves in our lives. Some of our fondest memories is of Joe teaching both children how to plant a garden and grow vegetables; teaching them the difference between the various kinds of soil, how to put seeds in the ground, and how to water the plants as they grow. His patience with the never-ending questions from our then three and five year olds was so endearing. Watching him in those moments, showed us what a wonderful father Joe would be.”
“There have been some dark times, but these times have shined a light on the power of Amy and Joe’s love for each other. When other couples may lash out at each other or allow this heartbreak to tear apart a marriage, Amy and Joe have continued to love and support each other. Again, proving their strength and overall devotion to each other, their families, and their friends. Amy and Joe’s child will be raised in a home filled with hope, love, gratitude and the true sense that family comes first. He or she will be raised to work hard, but to also love hard and play hard.”
Christmas with Joe’s family
Santa Claus (Uncle Joe) comes to town!
Joe teaching Nina how to skateboard
Baseball fun in the yard
Baseball with Forest
Gymnastics in the yard
More special moments
Amy and Hope
Just jumping around
Amy teaches Vanessa to jump off the diving board
There are many children waiting with open arms for our child to join them at the beach, or a baseball game, or spending quality play time on the floor.
Our Promise to You:
Joe and I have connected with other hopeful adoptive parents and parents of adoptive children and listened as they share the complexities of their process. We are open to all forms of adoption: closed, open and semi-open and want to have an honest discussion with you about your needs and wishes. We will respect your choices and speak of our child’s birthparents with love and respect. Your child will be welcomed and nurtured – and will experience no difference to biologically-related family.
In our short time as parents, we know one thing to be absolute truth. We have infinite love to give and prioritize parenting above all else. We want to take time off of work during the early years to be home and raise our child. We want to be there when they roll over, sit up, take their first steps..and be just as present for them as they grow: teaching them how to ride a bike, throw a fishing rod, complete a tough homework assignment, make a healthy lunch, and talk through an argument with a friend.
Education, good values, culture, community, inclusiveness – these are part of our pledge to you as parents. We are not fair-weather friends. When times get tough, you can count on us to never back down. We persevere and find beauty and hope at all times! Your child will shine in this light of resiliency. This promise is made with love.