Virginia and Joel


Hi there! We’re Virginia and Joel. We hope this letter will give you a good snapshot of who we are.

We met at Russian Language School in the summer of 2006. Joel won Virginia over by bringing her food to class every morning because she was too busy studying! He kept her from starving that summer and often reminds her of this. He also teased her about being an environmentalist, but little did he know that she would soon convert him. We were only friends that summer, but we met again in March 2007 in Russia, where we started dating.

Joel grew up in the US and Canada, moving around a lot and finally joining the Navy in 2000 to become a Russian linguist. He has a twin brother and younger triplet siblings. Virginia grew up on a farm in Illinois with her three siblings, and raised chickens and cut firewood – she even had her own little chainsaw!

It’s a long and winding story, but eventually we both ended up in Portland, Oregon, after we got married in September 2014. Virginia develops wind farms and solar parks, and Joel works for the federal government. We are both fairly introverted, but we love our families and friends. We both stay active: Joel with weight-lifting, running, and surfing, and Virginia with ballet, bicycling, and snowboarding. Hiking/backpacking, reading, learning, and foreign languages are all shared interests. Joel is a huge nerd and loves video games and strategy board games. Virginia loves baking and sewing, especially on rainy Portland weekends.

Joel describes Virginia as incredibly kind and patient, but also disciplined and hard-working. Virginia adores Joel’s sense of humor, understanding, and drive.

We have always planned to grow our family through adoption, and we are both excited and nervous that we are finally taking that step. We are excited for all the joys and challenges of parenting; our hope is to raise empowered, kind, and open-minded children. Throughout their life, our focus will be on “experiences,” rather than “things.” We want them to be explorers – from getting to know the great outdoors, to asking questions and being curious, to trying out new things.

Open adoption is very important to us. It’s not only best for the child, but for everyone involved. We’re looking forward to having a relationship with our child’s birth family, with open communication and frequent contact. Adoption has touched Virginia’s family in different ways, and she knows firsthand how important it is to nurture a relationship with a child’s birth family.

We would love to get to know you better and share more about ourselves. Thank you for reading a bit about us! We wish you the best on your journey.

Joel & Virginia