Chris & Ashley - Michigan Adoption Center
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Chris & Ashley

Chris & Ashley

We met on Match.com and quickly realized we wanted to meet in person. The time came and Chris waited at the restaurant… 20 minutes later, Ashley still had not shown, so Chris tipped the waitress for his water and went out to his car. In an effort to text his sister that he was stood up, Chris accidentally texted Ashley.

...he mistakenly sent the text to her.

Needless to say, Chris was surprised when he received a text from Ashley, which made him realize he mistakenly sent the text to her. Wanting to see if everything was alright, he called and Ashley’s candidly honest response about why she was late (think home improvement project, turned nap, turned to sleeping through the alarm) made Chris laugh and give her a second chance.

An hour later, we officially met and the rest of the night was history. A couple of drinks and 5.5 hours later, we were asked out of the restaurant since it was 2 am. Years later, we still find ourselves talking late into the night.

our adoption hopes

Gender:Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child
Ethnicities:Any Race and Ethnicity
Age:Newborn to 2 Years Old
Total of:1 to 2 Children

a snapshot of us

We Live In:Caledonia
Our Faith:Nonreligious  
Pets:Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)
Kids Already:Two Children Now
Child Care:Licensed Child Care Center, Stay-at-Home Parent

Our Story

When we met, we were surprised about how much we had in common, from the ways we grew up to similar hardships in adulthood. We were also surprised at our differences- how we each have handled certain situations to the way we think differently. We saw the collaboration of our similarities and the value in our differences. Ashley fell in love with Chris’s ability to be responsible and yet completely silly. Chris fell in love with Ashley’s nurturing and passionate personality.

In our journey to give back to our community, we became a licensed foster home. We have been licensed to be a safe home for children ages 0-18. We have loved, and still love, the children that were in our care. Each of them taught us something new and blessed our family. Throughout our time as foster parents, we had multiple placements ranging in age and length of stay in our home. Our hearts have evolved since then to the desire to adopt.

...from the ways we grew up to similar hardships in adulthood.
If it’s a night inside playing Uno, sledding down our snow hill outside, or visiting the zoo, we make sure the time is filled with laughter, inside jokes, and banter.

Our Relaxation & Fun

Our family thrives on having fun together! As parents, we are intentional on having a lot of positive and upbeat interactions and experiences with our children. If it’s a night inside playing Uno, sledding down our snow hill outside, or visiting the zoo, we make sure the time is filled with laughter, inside jokes, and banter.

We believe that making memories and spending quality time together is important for development and attachment. Our family has memberships to several local businesses that help us experience quality time together, including John Ball Zoo, Air Zoo, YMCA, and the Kroc Center.

We also enjoy spending quality time on our property. We have a pool to cool down on hot days, a hot tub for cold winter nights, an in-ground trampoline outside, a trampoline inside for rainy days, and a tree fort to hang out in. Our land offers woods with trails to walk and bike. Sometimes we just like to sit around the fire or roast hotdogs.

our adoption hopes

Gender: Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 2 Years Old

Total of: 1 to 2 Children

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Caledonia

Our Faith: Nonreligious  

Pets: Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)

Kids Already: Two Children Now

Child Care Plan: Licensed Child Care Center, Stay-at-Home Parent

Our Family & Friends

It’s sometimes hard for us to distinguish between family and friends since we would consider many of our friends our family. We have several ‘surrogate family members’- people we’re not related to by blood but who we call or see as direct family.

Before the pandemic, we had been regular hosts to game night at our house. Friends would join, we would share in a meal together, play board and card games, and enjoy everyone’s company.

As foster parents, we have maintained relationships with the children and families that we had as placements. Our love never stopped and we consider past placements and their families as a family to us now too.

Ashley’s family lives nearby and provide a fun retreat for the kids, including fishing, rollerblading, and science experiments.

Ashley’s family lives nearby and provide a fun retreat for the kids.
We now live on 10 acres of pure fun and excitement!

Our Home & Neighborhood

Our first home was in a suburb of the city where we enjoyed the company of neighbors, but we longed for a quieter life with more possibilities to make life what we wanted. We kept looking for the right opportunity when a friend’s parents were moving.

We now live on 10 acres of pure fun and excitement! We have open pasture and land for outdoor games like badminton and volleyball. We have woods for trail walking, mountain biking, and making forts.

We even have a marsh, which attracts some cool animal species like frogs, turtles, sandhill cranes, and even an otter! Some of our favorite time spent as a family is in the pool or on the trampoline, usually wrapping up the evening with a campfire and s’mores.

Our house is in a wonderful school district. We’ve been so pleased with the schools, staff, and curriculum. We live only a few minutes from the elementary, middle, and high school for easy drop-off/pick-up and extracurriculars.

Our home and property include everything we could ever want. We look forward to utilizing some of the space for gardens and potentially a hobby farm in the future. We intend on this being our family homestead for many years to come.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

We value the broad definition of education- meaning learning is a lifelong goal in our family. Knowing more and striving to understand are important values to us. Although we do value the traditional sense of education, like formal schooling, we value everyday learning as a family. We look at what our children are interested in and build from their passions and strengths.

We like to ask questions and research answers and perspectives. With our children, we foster an environment where asking questions and curiosity is encouraged. We believe education and learning should be engaging and collaborative. As a family we like to do hands on learning and exploring.

Correction & Discipline

Discipline is a way for children to learn that certain actions have a negative outcome. As parents, we value those moments to help our children grow and understand so that they are prepared for the world.

We let our children make choices and make mistakes, that is how they will learn and have autonomy. Some behaviors do need to be immediately addressed though. In those situations, we start with a conversation with our child. We strive to make discipline an opportunity of growth while being age appropriate.

Our Faith Views

We raise our children with values in three main categories- be kind to others, be kind to yourself, and be kind to animals and nature. We instill morals that promote whole well-being both in the present time and for the future. We raise our children to understand the values and benefits of giving back to the community, exploring friendships with people that are different than yourself, and taking care of nature.

As parents, we deeply value our involvement in community and we try to live by example. We do not have a specific religious affiliation but encourage our children to explore all religions and cultures with respect. We both grew up Christian, with our families still participating in the Christian faith.

As parents, we deeply value our involvement in community and we try to live by example.
I have the flexibility to work from home and have a family-friendly supervisor.

Chris's Career

I am a sales compensation analyst for a local foodservice distributor. I spend my workday sorting through data, figuring out how to pay salespeople, and training sales leadership on incentive compensation.

All-day I crunch numbers, so when I’m done with that I want to hang out with the family and be my normal, goofy self. I have the flexibility to work from home and have a family-friendly supervisor.

I plan on taking a minimum of 4 weeks off after placement for adjustment and bonding. After that I plan on returning to work slowly, starting part-time and then returning full-time.

Ashley's Career

I am a licensed mental health therapist that works with children, teens, and adults. My role at a private practice offers a lot of flexibility to balance family life. I enjoy walking alongside people to reach their full potential.

In my role, I am able to provide telehealth options in order to work from home as needed. When I’m not providing therapy I am teaching courses at a local college. As a professor, I enjoy helping students learn about the field of psychology and all the areas psychology impacts. As an adjunct professor, I am able to teach in-person or online and custom pick my course load each semester to fit family needs.

I am planning on taking a minimum of 12 weeks off work for bonding and adjustment. After this leave, I intend to work part-time and we would utilize a licensed daycare near our home for the hours we are both working. The easy location provides the opportunity for either Chris or me to be able to drop off or pick up.

I enjoy walking alongside people to reach their full potential.

Chris

Year of Birth: 1984
Education: Bachelor’s in Business Administration
Occupation: Senior Sales Compensation Analyst
Family Background:

My father’s side of the family is predominantly German, while my mother’s is English. I grew up in Whitehall and lived within 15 minutes of Lake Michigan. I typically saw my extended family twice a year because they lived in/around St. Louis, MO.

As a child, my father and I bonded over our love of baseball and we would regularly play, watch, and even ended up umpiring little league together. My family regularly visited the beach and we would swim and play in the sand for hours.

During the winter we would search out the best sledding hills and I would find the most treacherous trails to traverse down. Each year we would build a 6’ tall igloo in our backyard and we even slept in it once. As I got older, I became an umpire and a camp counselor, and participated in mission trips to South Dakota.

Ashley

Year of Birth: 1990
Education: Master’s in Counseling Psychology
Occupation: Therapist & Adjunct Professor
Family Background:

My family heritage is a mix of English and Dutch. I grew up in Kentwood with my dad’s side of the family all nearby. I have some relatives close on my mom’s side, but others live in the South or out East. I mostly grew up around Dutch and Christian influences- going to Dutch Village in Holland and celebrating the typical Christian holidays.

When I was younger my family had one big family vacation each year like a trip out West or traveling a few states away to see family. We also did a lot of small family trips like camping where we enjoyed swimming or climbing sand dunes. As my siblings and I grew older our family would take a trip each year to an art and music festival. My dad and I converted an old school bus into a RV that we would take to the festival to camp out in.

We just want to say

First and foremost, we want to empathize with the position you are in. We cannot fully understand what you are going through right now but we understand you are facing a lot of tough decisions and our hearts are with you in that. You are making a difficult decision with courage and love. No matter what your decision is, we respect and admire you.

We would love the opportunity to tell you more about our family or answer any questions that you may have about us. If you would like, we would love to walk next to you throughout this process and incorporate you into our family in ways that you are comfortable with. We understand people may evolve over time and will respect any growth you have over time.

Thank you for looking at our profile. We send you respect, love, and compassion from the bottom of our hearts.

Chris
 and Ashley
Completed Educational Sessions
  • Behavioral and Emotional Needs of Adoptive Children
  • Child Separation, Attachment, and Bonding

Our desire is to have an open adoption plan with a first family involved with their child ongoing. We would like to include you as part of our own family- have pictures of you in our home for the child to actively see, invite you to events and accomplishments, and invite you over for celebrations or holiday meals, etc.

We want this for the child(ren)’s benefit with their own identity. We believe a child should know their history, who they are, and where they are from.

OUR COMFORT LEVEL WITH DIFFERENT ADOPTION OPTIONS

Meeting together before placement:  
Meeting your family members:  
Exchanging phone numbers:  
Following each other on social media:  
Supporting your adoption counseling:  
Being with you for your prenatal visits:  
Discussing baby names with you:  
Shopping together for baby’s needs:  
Inviting you to see the nursery:  
Being at the hospital during delivery:  
Caring for baby when you are ready:  
Inviting you to workshops, picnics, etc.:  
Keeping you up-to-date with photos:  
Keeping in touch by written messages:  
Keeping in touch with phone calls:  
Keeping in touch with video chats:  
Getting together in person:  
Sharing your photos, gifts, etc. you send:  
Including you in some family photos:  
Introducing you to our extended family:  
Inviting you to some family events:  
LEGEND
Very Comfortable
Mostly Comfortable
Unsure
A Bit Uneasy
Not Comfortable

Our desire is to have an open adoption plan with a first family involved with their child ongoing. We would like to include you as part of our own family- have pictures of you in our home for the child to actively see, invite you to events and accomplishments, and invite you over for celebrations or holiday meals, etc.

We want this for the child(ren)’s benefit with their own identity. We believe a child should know their history, who they are, and where they are from.

Just one more thing...

Our desire is to have an open adoption plan with a first family involved with their child ongoing. We would like to include you as part of our own family- have pictures of you in our home for the child to actively see, invite you to events and accomplishments, and invite you over for celebrations or holiday meals, etc.

We want this for the child(ren)’s benefit with their own identity. We believe a child should know their history, who they are, and where they are from.

To Learn More About This Family
Call or Text: 616-451-0245
(616) 451-0245
(616) 451-0245
Greater Hopes
2453 28th Street SW
Wyoming, MI 49519