Derek & Cristabel
About Derek & CristabelDear Birth Mom, we’re Cristabel and Derek and we live in Camarillo, California (between Santa Barbara and Burbank) giving us plenty of beach options. We adopted our son, Sloan, when he was seven days old in 2018 and are super excited to grow our family and have our son share his beautiful adoption story with his sibling, boy or girl. We thank you for learning about us and know you are making an important decision to place your child with our family. We’re honored to be part of your story and look forward to getting to know you.
About Derek & Cristabel
It’s a funny story actually. We were all volunteering at a church project in Mexico. But instead of focusing solely on God, all we could think about was each other. Cristabel thought Derek was with his girlfriend. Later Derek would admit that when he first saw Cristabel he thought, “She’s pretty, great smile…I’m gonna marry her someday.” Three weeks later they finally had the courage to talk. That’s when they both realized they were single and ready to mingle —with each other! After one year of dating, they were married. When we adopted Sloan we exploded with love, joy, and tenderness. Sloan has been the highlight of our lives and our extended family is also crazy about him. We’re looking forward to growing our family and welcoming another explosion of love, joy and tenderness.
About Cristabel (by Derek)
She’s the best. My wife is an affectionate and beautiful person and mother. She’s Honduran and speaks fluent Spanish and English – and is teaching Sloan to be bilingual. Her weirdest dream/goal is to own a parrot. She grew up raising all kinds of birds, including chickens, quails, and ducks as pets and always dreamed about owning a bird that can talk back. You can rightly guess that going to the Zoo is a treat for Sloan and my wife! I love that we’re never bored of each other and always find reasons to laugh and have random dance parties in the living room.
About Derek (by Cristabel)
I love that Derek is a kind, patient husband and father. He’s a P.E. teacher who inspires 100s of kids to be active and believe in themselves. His main hobby is looking hot and staying fit (his idea of personal relaxation is going to the gym). I like that he is passionate about overall wellness, not just physical health— like finding time to reconnect, spontaneous coffee and donut runs so I wake up to treats on weekends, or convincing Sloan and I to go to the beach at the last minute to watch the sunset.
We met Sloan when he was seven days old in the NICU of the hospital. Within the week we also met his birth mom and at the invitation of his birth mom we also met his aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters and grandmother – all in San Antonio, Texas. We feel incredibly lucky that he knows his birth mom, FaceTime’s with her and knows his extended family. We want Sloan to grow up knowing his biological family. We’ve also stayed in Texas for a month so that Sloan could see his family every day. We plan on continuing regular visits to Texas not just for Sloan but also for his next brother or sister, so they grow up knowing their roots. Sloan loves playing with other children and understands how to be gentle around little babies and is fascinated by them. He’s especially drawn to crying babies and tries to comfort them. We can already tell that he will be a loving and protective big brother.
Derek studied P.E. (physical education) at Cal State San Bernardino and then got a Master of Education degree. He currently works at a middle school teaching kids about fitness and wellness – which he considers his dream job –he likes knowing he can shape young minds.
Cristabel went to school to be a journalist and has worked writing blogs for health care companies, sharing stories about people who overcame health odds and got better.
Derek’s job means he stays at school until the end of the school day, but Cristabel’s job is more flexible with it being a work-from-home setup.
When Sloan was born Cristabel took an extended maternity leave for five months and then her dad, Sloan’s grandfather, took over caring for him while she went to work. Now that Sloan is a little older, he’s three years old, he attends a daycare school where’s he’s made tons of friends. We plan on doing something similar when the new baby is here.
We live in Southern California in a quiet and pretty city called Camarillo. We love that it’s close to the beach and also has beautiful mountainous views. Our area is known for its almost-perfect climate, which is mostly lukewarm and breezy sunny days throughout the year. Our community has a neighborhood pool that we enjoy weekly, especially Sloan, who insists on swimming almost every day after school. He orders us, his parents, to pretend to be sharks while we chase him, in and out of the water. Our walkable neighborhood has a kid-friendly park every two miles. With the beach, parks, zoo and Santa Barbara around the corner, we’re never bored!
Our weekends usually include a trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo, the beach, visiting family, going to a children’s museum or going somewhere new to eat or explore. We feel like we’re reliving our childhood through Sloan’s first impressions of the world– and we’re having so much fun! In addition to the activities we do as a family, each of us has a special activity we enjoy with Sloan. Derek loves to take him swimming and building Legos together. Cristabel has turned Sloan into a Marvel Universe fan, and they enjoy watching Spider-Man and Avenger cartoons on Disney. They also make TikTok videos together where Cristabel shows off Sloan’s baking skills.
Personal Values and Parenting
Our personal values are really based in love. Sometimes this means doing something with Sloan when he asks to go to the park, even if we are exhausted and on the other end of that there are times where we don’t allow Sloan to do things so that he is safe. We enjoy teaching, guiding and showing him how to be a kind person. Being loving parents for us means loving our child with our actions. And yes, sometimes this could mean taking a walk at 10pm or eating ice-cream for dinner (just because they ask).
Even before Sloan could talk, he was getting to know his biological family. We waited until his first birthday to travel back to Texas for Sloan’s first haircut, with his birth mom by his side. We especially hope that our future child will have a relationship with his or her birth family. We would be honored to incorporate traditions from your family and culture into our lives.
Exploring an open adoption is such an act of love on your part. We promise to show the same love and commitment. We promise to have him/her grow up knowing and being proud of their identity – knowing and having a relationship with you and anyone else in your extended family that you’d like to include. You no doubt have a lot on your mind right now. We’re grateful to you for spending some time imagining how your child might fit into our family. We look forward to getting to know you and becoming lifelong friends.
To learn more about a family,
Call Vista Del Mar
(310) 836-1223 ext 281