Joey Gonzalez and Jonathan Rollo Welcome Daughter Francesca Isabella

12/16/2015 at 09:05 PM ET

Joey Gonzalez and husband Jonathan Rollo are “in heaven” after the birth of their first child.

Born at 3:39 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2 in York, Pennsylvania, daughter Francesca Isabella Gonzollo weighed in at 7 lbs., 11 oz.

“There are so many simple, unexpected joys we’ve discovered, like gazing into each other’s eyes for extended periods of time,” the Barry’s Bootcamp CEO, 37, told PEOPLE exclusively.

He added, “Nobody ever told me how magical that would feel.”

Barry's Bootcamp Joey Gonzalez Welcome Daughter Francesca Isabella Samantha Jean Photography

Barry's Bootcamp Joey Gonzalez Welcome Daughter Francesca Isabella  Courtesy Joey Gonzalez

Shortly after her birth (a few days later than expected — the due date was Nov. 27), the proud new fathers took to Facebook to announce their baby girl’s arrival.

“Thank you all for checking in constantly and sharing in the excitement. Just when you think you’ve experienced and done so much in life, this happens,” Gonzalez, whose international fitness boutique has locations throughout the United States and Europe, wrote.

“Nothing can prepare you for this moment. It trumps all. Welcome to the world FRANCESCA ISABELLA GONZOLLO. We’ve been waiting our whole lives for you.”

Gonzalez and Rollo — chef, owner and founder of organic restaurant chain Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop — turned to surrogacy to start their family, beginning with a six-month search for an egg donor and surrogate. They ultimately chose a Pennsylvania woman, Dayna, to carry their child and in February, an egg fertilized by each man was transferred into her uterus. A single embryo took, but neither dad is concerned about which one is the biological father.

“Our position is that this baby is our child, not necessarily Joey’s or not necessarily mine, but ours,” Rollo, 37, explained to PEOPLE earlier this year. “Unless for a medical need we have to determine the paternity, we’re going to avoid that.”

Added Dayna at the time, “I love Jon and Joey. When I think about giving birth and placing her in their arms, that’s what it’s all about for me — their joy, their emotions. That’s what’s going to get me to the end.”

Now two weeks into parenthood, “it’s been an amazing journey, nothing short of a miracle,” Gonzalez says of their path. “The process for us was obviously longer than normal, so it feels like a dream to finally have her in our arms.”

Barry's Bootcamp Joey Gonzalez Welcome Daughter Francesca Isabella The couple with their surrogate, Dayna – Courtesy Joey Gonzalez and Jonathan Rollo

As the family of three settle into a new routine, Francesca has been surrounded by friends and family, and “already has a sense for how loved she is.”

Speaking to PEOPLE earlier this year the couple, who have been together for 10 years, said that Francesca is just the first of many children.

“We always say kids,” Rollo said in August. “We can’t read the future, but it’s definitely part of our plan to have multiple.”

— Chancellor Agard and Emily Strohm

FILED UNDER: Babies , Births , Joey Gonzalez , News

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Showing 27 comments

Lisa on

That’s a really cute pregnancy announcement. Like the name Francesca, too.

Stacy on

welcome baby

Kathy on

Happiness to this new family. A baby that is wanted and adored. Nothing better.

Anonymous on

Love the announcement notification.

becky on

Beautiful couple, love the birth announcement..

KV on

That is very cute the way they announced.

AJ on

What a nice story, and a cute couple. And, at least for now, no hate in the comments!

aquariusinaz on

Congratulations to them both and on the baby girl’s beautiful name! I love how they resolved the last name, too. Pretty unique. I wish them all the best and much happiness with their new bundle of joy!

stacey on


Vanny on

Congratulations to them.

Anonymous on

Cute picture. Congrats!

canadasue on

What horrid comments some people are leaving. You can see the joy on the dads’ faces — this little girl is very wanted and loved! Congratulations to the new family!

mer on

Congratulations to the beautiful family! Those are gonna be some dedicated dads!

I have a serious questions to the debate, and mean it well, only interested to know what you think. When people for various reason can’t have children, why can’t they adopt one that is already on the way, and instead they create another one with the surrogate mom. I guess it’s because they have the need for the kid to be at least partially biologically theirs. I don’t have that tension in me. If I wanted a kid and could’t bear one, I would be equally happy to adopt. But I guess for others the shared DNA part is more important, right?

KS on

It goes against the order of nature for a child to be raised with out a mother. Children deserve to be raised with both a mother and a father but when they are young a mother is the most important person in a child’s life. I’m sure this little girl will be loved and cared for by her daddies but two of them together can never replace a mother.

Geoff Archer on

What really matters is that a child is loved and wanted whether its parents are two men, two women or a man and a women. The sanctimonious people who have posted nasty comments need to grow up and mind their own business and concentrate on their own lives.

Rolyat on

As a gay person, here is my comment: Another poor kid who will need a mountain of therapy someday.

Nae on

The baby will be well loved and will be fine, I am sure. But I have to say, I really did LOVE having my mom in the house!

Deanna on


Omaka on

They’re going to be fine to raise the kid! Congratulations.

goodie on

Love that announcement! Enjoy gents, parenting is a great ride to be on 😉





Heather on

Cute photos. I bet they are going to be great parents. And they gave their daughter a very beautiful name. Very happy for them.

Connie on

@mer. Let me end your wondering. I am a mother of 2 wonderful kids through adoption. My husband and I were unable to have children and were fortunate enough to find 2 amazing birthmothers who chose adoption and selected us to parent these great kids. However, babies being placed for adoption are NOT going unadopted. Most birthparents chose married couples to place their children. So 2 men would not be very successful waiting for a baby through the “traditional” method.

So many children are in foster care but they are older children who have been abused and/or neglected and removed from their homes involuntarily. Making a decision to adopt through foster care takes very special people and I wish I had the skills and mindset to be open to that and wish for many more people to do so as well. But this little girl certainly was conceived in love, carried and delivered in love, and looks like she has loving parents as well. So no matter her biology these men made the best choices for them. Love to all.

Michele King on

To those who do not agree with same sex couples, I am in agreement with you. That being said, I would much rather see a child born to a same sex couple who seems to love and adore this baby, as a parent should. It should not matter to any of us who may not agree with their lifestyle. It is not our life to lead, it is theirs!!

I am happy for them, and for this baby, whom they seem to love more than life itself!! Congrats.

sandyra on

I truly hope they will raise their girl child to be fierce and able to stand up to all the sexist ways the nation wants her to be!!!

Anonymous on

I love what they did for her last name. I love the pregnancy announcement. I love the deep friendship they have clearly formed with the woman who carried their child. What a wonderful family Francesca has been welcomed into!

Bee on

What a beautiful couple, my goodness! What a lucky little girl to have such dedicated, loving fathers! Gonzollo is a really interesting way to give her both last names – well done.