Drew: singing in the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Chase: bird watching around Lake Merritt in Oakland
hiking in the redwoods, traveling to new places, and being cozy at home
Chase: two older brothers
Drew: one older sister
Thank you for taking the time to read through our profile, get to know who we are, and learn about a mutual dream we’ve held since our first date – starting a family. But before anything, we wanted to acknowledge and state how much we respect and admire your loving decision to consider open adoption for your child.
We are Drew and Chase Jaz from Oakland, California. We are truly each other’s yin and yang in many different aspects of our lives. Chase works in ocean conservation for a private family foundation. Drew works for an advertising agency as a Creative Director for a fortune 50 brand. Chase is bubbly and light-hearted. Drew is more tempered and sarcastic. Chase grabs the sweet and sour candies. Drew goes for the chocolate peanut butter. But the one thing we share equally is our love for each other and the dream to one day have a child of our own.
We’ve been married for nearly three years and together for six. We cherish our lives in the Bay Area and take advantage of everything it offers. On any given weekend we can be found hiking the redwoods, driving and singing with the windows down, stocking up on groceries from the farmer’s market, or hunting for treasures at local estate sales. No matter what the activity, we are often laughing, being goofy, and enjoying life. The only thing that feels missing is a little one with whom to share those simple joys.
We landed in the San Francisco Bay Area via New York City, where we met through a mutual friend and slowly fell in love amidst the craziness of Manhattan. Chase’s path to New York spanned 1,050 miles from Iowa to the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan – a stark difference from the big sky of Iowa. Drew’s path to New York always lay just 30 miles away at home in New Jersey, but it wasn’t until after graduating Syracuse University that he decided to call it home. And, after a few years of navigating the city’s streets, our paths crossed.
We started dating and learning about one another. It was on our first date at a little Italian restaurant in the West Village of NYC that the topic of having children arose. We both answered without hesitation that we would like to start a family in our futures. It was then we realized we shared something special. It was then we realized a future chapter of our story would hold a child.
Together, we started on new, parallel paths. It took us through the dusty trails of Peru. The crowded streets of Brooklyn. Through the narrow alleys of Spain. Our passion to explore, to learn, to experience the world together grew into an inseparable pairing – even when we were physically separated. Chase pursued his Master’s degree at Imperial College London which put an ocean between us, but never a gap in our love. Reunited shortly thereafter, we began planning for our future lives and sealed our love on May 30, 2015 where those two parallel paths converged into one. We always knew a family was in our future and we are so excited to finally open our hearts to that possibility.
My husband Drew grew up in a small town in New Jersey – about 45 minutes outside of New York City. He is a creative director in advertising and makes commercials. I think he’s the most brilliant man. He can come up with creative ideas in an instant! He’s also incredibly musical with a beautiful voice. When Drew was a child, his mother sang in their home constantly, and now Drew does the same. He is actually a member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. My heart swells thinking about Drew singing to our child everywhere we go. I imagine his love of music will be passed down to our child, just as it was passed down to him.
Drew is literally the funniest person I know. He’s the only person that can make me laugh at any moment. I’m not a morning person in the least, but somehow – nearly every morning – he is able to make me laugh before I even get out of bed. I can just imagine both me and our child rolling on the floor laughing to his hilarious jokes and impressions. His energy and humor are contagious, and all his friends and family adore him. Seeing how much he is loved by those around him is a beautiful testament to his character.
Drew is my best friend. He is the first person I go to when I’m upset or need support, and I truly know that he would do anything for me. Drew is absolutely in love with his niece and nephews. They adore him. When I look at them together, I get a glimpse into how he will be with our future child. I know I will fall in love with him even more as a father.
There’s a running joke that Chase is known as the “fun uncle” to my two nephews and niece. And while one might say that is an indictment against my own character, I relish in his title and the love and laughter that is shared between Chase and my sister’s kids. The youngest of three boys himself, he is a big kid at heart. And that is something that kids instantly recognize in him and draw themselves to him. Chase’s patience and tolerance for playing with children is endless. His laugh makes them laugh. When my family gets exhausted from the games and needs to take a break, there’s Chase still romping around on the ground, making the kids laugh until their bellies hurt. It honestly makes my heart overflow. I could only imagine the unending love Chase would give to our own child.
Other than the goofball, Chase has so many unique sides of him. He is quite the intellectual and can seemingly talk at length about any species of animal or bird on our green earth. He’s deeply invested in preserving our world so that future generations can enjoy it as much as we do. So much so that he’s devoted his life’s work to it. Chase is extremely thoughtful. To this day, he still greets me at the airport with flowers and a card when I’m coming home from business trips. Chase cherishes family. There is nothing that can come between the love he shares with his parents and two brothers. They are deeply connected with a love and understanding that I know will translate into ours. To sum it up, Chase is a man with a pure and kind heart, a sensitive soul, and smile that will light up a room. I wake up next to him every day proud to call him my husband and excited to soon call him the father of my child.
When we first moved to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, we wanted a home where we could see our family of two growing into three. We discovered the gorgeous neighborhood of Lake Merritt in Oakland and immediately fell in love. We found a home directly on the lake within walking distance to small shops, restaurants, the library (yes, we still use the library), and a newly-renovated playground around the corner. We knew this neighborhood would be fun and full of learning for our child. But what we really fell in love with was the community. Oakland is a diverse community of all different walks of life. And that is massively important to us. We want our child to grow up in a place where all our welcomed and where they will encounter as many different types of people as possible.
The lake itself has given us so much. It is home to various species of birds throughout the year, and Chase is so excited to teach our child about the herons and egrets that visit the lake to catch fish! We can’t wait to take walks with our child around its 3.5-mile perimeter and enjoy the outdoors, learn about wildlife, and wave hi to our neighbors along the way. We often host potlucks on the lawn outside our home overlooking the lake and downtown Oakland, and we plan to spend many sunny days picnicking as a family.
We’ve spent the past three years making our home a cozy haven from the busy Bay Area. After a long day of work, we love cuddling on our sofa – alongside our cat, Nibbler. He is the most loving cat you’ll ever meet, and he can’t wait to have someone more his own size in the house. Our dining room table was built by Chase’s grandfather for our wedding day. The only thing that would make it more perfect would be the addition of a high chair! One of our favorite places to spend time in our home is the kitchen. We cook dinner together almost every night, and we’re excited to add a children’s menu to our repertoire. While our baby will be sleeping with us in our bedroom at first, we can’t wait to turn our guest bedroom into a sweet nursery.
We love to explore. Whether it’s in the neighborhood, or a distant country somewhere across the globe, we love learning about places and things and draw inspiration from sharing these experiences. Our home is filled with mementos from our travels, and we love building our home on these bricks of memories. Chase’s job sometimes takes him to Indonesia and Drew’s to various parts of the world, too. We love comparing notes and planning our next trip ourselves. We hope to teach our own child about the world first-hand.
We love to escape into nature. Chase grew up birding and Drew grew up working at a nursery – so we often swap knowledge on long hikes. The Bay Area serves as the perfect back drop to this activity – whether it be camping in the redwoods, tubing down the Russian River, or wine tasting in Napa Valley. It is important to us to introduce our child to the outdoors, as it has been such a big part of our lives.
The Bay Area is known for its rich culture of arts and we try to keep up with its many offerings from the ballet to the opera to local theater. We already know an annual trip to the Nutcracker will become a family tradition.
Drew is always singing. He sings with a local chorus of three hundred and has been involved in music in some way shape or form most of his life. He believes the arts are incredibly important to one’s life – whether you’re a baby or an elder. It is something he cannot wait to bestow onto our child.
Chase is a bit of a foodie. He is always in the know about new places opening, local staples, and the next hot spot in the city. From food trucks to fine dining, Chase is always researching and trying out the many new flavors Oakland offers.
We can’t wait to share all of these favorite things with our child.
Throughout this process, there are so many unknowns. We have learned to embrace that fact with a smile. But equally so, there are certain things we know will be bona fide and true. And these are the things we can promise to you and your child. We promise to create a safe household full of love, laughter, and Hershey’s kisses.
We promise to create a home that nurtures and fosters creativity and acceptance. We promise to take the many challenges parenthood brings with stride and greet each day with a new resolve and a smile. We promise to provide safe harbor where your child will always feel loved, accepted, and happy. We promise to live the best versions of ourselves as we possibly can to each other and to teach your child the same.
We promise to devote our hearts to your baby.