We met in 2008, shortly after Justin relocated to the Bay Area from Los Angeles for work. Melissa was his perfect San Francisco tour guide, and we bonded over our love of travel, food, music, movies, and the outdoors. But we truly fell in love by just being goofy together.
We got engaged on a trip to Italy, and married in 2011, surrounded by a loving group of family and friends in a scenic mountain valley near Yosemite National Park. We had spent many weekends hiking and exploring the area and we loved being able to share it with so many friends and family during our wedding weekend.
While we both knew we wanted to start a family, as we met a bit later in life, we found out we were unable to have children of our own. We were lucky enough to learn about open adoption from close friends who adopted a baby who has since blossomed into a smart and funny little girl. Their journey inspired us and set us on our own path with adoption.
We live in Berkeley, California in a house with a cozy fireplace, welcoming social kitchen, and a pleasant backyard with tall trees and a small garage that resembles a barn. One reason we love this area is because we can walk everywhere and we do. There are parks, playgrounds, and amazing schools all around our neighborhood as well as great restaurants, cafes and grocery stores.
We also love the proximity to the urbanity of San Francisco and Oakland as well as the nature of Marin and the East Bay. There is a lot of natural beauty surrounding the Bay Area and you can often find us exploring the Pacific Coast, Redwoods, or the Sierra Nevada Mountains on long weekends either hiking, snowshoeing or walking on the beach.
We feel very lucky to have great neighbors as well. There are many people on our block who have lived in the area for over 40 years as well as several young families too. Every summer we gather with our neighbors and their kids to throw a block party.
Melissa works in marketing for a large technology company. By connecting people to online education, she hopes to better their lives. She attended a top business school, but cares more about meaningful work than climbing the ladder.
In her free time, she likes to run, practice yoga, dance, curl up with a good book and plan trips abroad. Always an animal lover, Melissa volunteers regularly at our local Humane Society. She is excited to share her love of animals and the outdoors with a child.
Justin is a sound designer and music editor at a movie studio. He recently celebrated 10 years there, and loves working on meaningful stories.
He enjoys running, playing piano and bass, recording sound effects, cooking, and rooting for the Golden State Warriors. He hopes to share his love of music with a child and to coach youth soccer one day.