Greg & Katie - Michigan Adoption Center
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Greg & Katie

Greg & Katie

In the summer of 2017, we bought a mini-van and loaded it up with 3 kids, a dog, bikes, and camping gear to head out to Colorado. We had people at a neighboring campsite comment that they didn’t think it was possible to get all of our stuff back in the van :-). The primary destination was with Katie’s college friends in the mountains but we decided to add multiple stops coming and going.

We also took a ride on an old-fashioned steam-engine train!

We had a nursing baby and a toddler who was barely potty-trained so we couldn’t drive for too long at any one time. Our first stop was visiting cousins in Chicago and then we camped in Iowa and Nebraska. We enjoyed these stops in places that we often just drive through. Next, we spent some time with Greg’s cousin in the mountains where we got to ride an awesome carousel!

The largest chunk of time was spent in a house with 11 other people which was also on a mountain. It was great hanging out with friends and taking amazing hikes, some right from the house. Our favorite hike was up a mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was about 5 miles and our 5-year-old Isaac led us the entire way! Katie carried baby Sam and Greg carried a 50-pound 3-year-old Teddy for WAY too long!

We also took a ride on an old-fashioned steam-engine train since Teddy was very into trains. On the way home, we squeezed in a lunch stop with one of Greg’s friends and then headed to Omaha to see one of Katie’s friends (and visit the very cool zoo there). This was an exhausting trip but it was wonderful to connect with so many people and spend time together as a family.

our adoption hopes

Gender:Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child
Ethnicities:Any Race and Ethnicity
Age:1 Year to 4 Years Old
Total of:1 Child or 2 Siblings

a snapshot of us

We Live In:Holland
Our Faith:Christian
Pets:Both Cat(s) and Dog(s)
Kids Already:Three Children Now
Child Care:Licensed Child Care Center  Stay-at-Home Parent  

Our Story

We met on an online dating site. What made us pick each other? Greg was impressed by how happy Katie looked while posing with a shop vac… the picture was from a birthday celebration with her parents. And her dad, the actual reason for the smile was cropped out of the photo :-).

Katie was impressed that Greg’s profile picture had him wearing a tuxedo… not a lot of guys in those, on online dating sites! We were both living in Cleveland at the time and that is where we were married.

After a honeymoon to Massachusetts and Vermont, we prepared to move to Holland where Katie had just gotten a job teaching at Hope College. Katie’s parents live south of Kalamazoo and Greg is also originally from Michigan so it was nice to return to our home state. Greg’s parents have now moved to Auburn Hills and it’s really nice to have them closer as well.

Our relationship has changed with the addition of children but we still enjoy the same things and find ways to include the children. For our anniversary, we usually take a long bike ride to a favorite brewery or restaurant. This last year, we included the kids (pandemic) and biked to the ice cream shop!

Katie was impressed that Greg's profile picture had him wearing a tuxedo... not a lot of guys in those!
The kids like playing fetch with the dogs in the backyard and giving them treats and belly rubs.

Our Relaxation & Fun

We really like to have fun and usually have a very tight schedule to fit it all in (of course, we aren’t doing all of this during the pandemic). We have always enjoyed outdoor things and were kayaking, camping, hiking, and biking together before kids, so now we do those things with kids.

We’re a couple of blocks from a lake for kayaking and another few blocks to a nature center where we like to hike and look for frogs and turtles. We also like more organized sports.

Katie plays on a hockey team and Greg likes to play pick-up basketball. With the kids, we like to let them try different things to find out what they enjoy. Both bigger boys have played soccer and baseball since they were 5 and Sam did a soccer clinic this fall. Teddy also tried wresting and Isaac plays ice hockey. Greg and Katie help coach when they are needed.

For the past several years we have had memberships to the zoo, the children’s museum, and the aquatic center. These are really awesome places for kids and it’s fun to see their enjoyment. We also believe in music education and the bigger boys have been taking piano lessons for about 3 years. It’s cool that they can actually play real songs now!

As one of our pandemic projects, we signed up through the Humane Society to take care of kittens until they were old enough for adoption. This was mostly because Katie wanted to play with kittens but all 3 boys loved playing with them and helping to take care of them. They keep begging to do it again! We have two cats normally (who mostly stay away from the kids), and two dogs – we got one right after we arrived in Holland, and the other as another pandemic project. The kids like playing fetch with the dogs in the backyard and giving them treats and belly rubs.

We also really like games and puzzles. Katie and Greg get together with friends once a month for board games (pre-pandemic) and we also play all together as a family. There is a large shelf in our dining room overflowing with games! For puzzles, we have ones with different sized pieces so that younger kids can do the larger pieces and better puzzlers do the smaller pieces.

our adoption hopes

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

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: 1 Year to 4 Years Old

Total of: 1 Child or 2 Siblings

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Holland

Our Faith: Christian

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

Kids Already: Three Children Now

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

Our Family & Friends

We are grateful to have all our immediate family in the state of Michigan. Greg’s parents and sister and Katie’s sister live on the east side of the state and Katie’s parents and brother live within 1.5 hours of Holland.

We enjoy holiday and summer visits with grandparents and cousins. Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve are usually spent with Greg’s parents, and Christmas day as well as many summer camping weekends are spent with Katie’s family.

One of our favorite places to be with Katie’s family is the family pond near Otsego. It’s nothing special to look at, but Katie spent her childhood camping and swimming there with cousins and friends and now our kids are having that same experience.

Katie and Greg both have good friends from earlier times that don’t live nearby now but we try to catch up with them every couple of years, usually someplace fun. Most recently, Katie’s friends from college gathered in Colorado and we met a friend of Greg’s on Beaver Island.

We have made quite a few friends since moving to Holland through our jobs, church, and kid activities. It nice to have friends who also have kids so that we can get together and the kids play happily and the parents have some peace to chat!

One of our favorite places to be with Katie's family is the family pond near Otsego.
There is a large room for watching TV, building train tracks, playing foosball, or making forts with the couch cushions!

Our Home & Neighborhood

We live on the west side of Holland where we have a larger lot but still live close enough to walk or bike to places in town. We have a fenced-in backyard which is great for containing kids and dogs. Over the years we’ve added things.

It started with building a playset / sandbox and then replacing the deck. This spring we had our largest project which was installing an above-ground pool. We installed the entire thing ourselves, digging, leveling, building… the kids and Katie’s parents helped and now we can enjoy swimming every day!

We have a three-bedroom house and currently, the two big boys share the largest bedroom. Depending on age, the new child could share a room with Sam or have their own room. Also upstairs, we have an office / reading / puzzle room.

It’s mostly used by Katie to work from home these days but there is often a puzzle in progress as well. The basement is partially finished and there is a large room for watching TV, building train tracks, playing foosball, or making forts with the couch cushions.

We live an easy walk to the elementary school. It is nice to be able to walk the kids to school and now that they are older they can walk themselves sometimes. We are also an easy walk from playgrounds. We aren’t too far from downtown Holland and like to ride bikes into town for dinner or ice cream! We have a trailer to pull little kids and a tag-a-long for 5-7 year-olds that aren’t as confident at riding.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

We’re both college professors so we obviously care about education. We read to our kids all of the time and now they spend a lot of time reading on their own. We just started reading the 2nd Harry Potter book with the older boys. We also believe that they learn much more than academics by going to school. They learn how to interact and be friends with people who are different than they are and how to work within different group dynamics.

Every school night, our kids have to do their homework and practice piano before they can watch TV or have dessert. We help them with their homework if they need it. In general, we try to be encouraging of all the educational interests they show. For instance, Isaac loves animals, so we’ve signed him up to go to Zoo Camp the last few summers.

Correction & Discipline

One thing that we’ve learned from raising our 3 boys is that there is no one-size-fits-all anything, including discipline. What works for one kid might not work for another so we have learned to search out other options when things aren’t working.

Our most common disciplinary method currently is to take away privileges as a consequence for breaking the rules or not listening. Our go-to privileges are tablet time and treats. For younger kids, it’s not really about discipline as it is correcting behaviors immediately. They aren’t able to understand delayed consequences or rewards so everything has to be in the moment.

Our Faith Views

We are a Christian family who recently switched from a Catholic to an Episcopalian church. We feel very comfortable and welcome at the new church and they have a good program for kids. They have even continued the kids’ program on zoom during the pandemic but our boys will be glad to be back in the building. We are teaching the kids about Christianity but are open to them asking questions and exploring religious beliefs.

We feel very comfortable and welcome at the new church and they have a good program for kids.
I use that flexibility to be able to spend time with the kids.

Greg's Career

I’m a stay-at-home dad in the morning, a teacher in the afternoon, and an orchestral musician in the evening (I’m playing the horn in the picture here). I teach horn lessons and philosophy at Hope College in Holland, and then sometimes travel to play with local orchestras.

It requires a little juggling to schedule those three different jobs, but it also gives me some flexibility. I use that flexibility to spend time with the kids, drive them to soccer practice or piano lessons, and look after our animals.

I will probably put at least one of my part-time jobs on hold until all of the kids are in school full-time. That will let me make sure the littlest ones have lots of dad time. We generally think three hours of pre-school (or daycare, or babysitters) a day is plenty of time until they’re at least 4 years old, but every kid is different, so I like to have the flexibility to adjust to specific needs.

Katie's Career

I work at Hope College in Holland, MI, and have been there since 2010. I teach classes in biomedical engineering to upper-level students and basic electrical engineering to mostly sophomores.

Outside of teaching, I also mentor students on research projects and do a lot of grading. The best part of my job is working one-on-one with a student who is trying to learn a new concept and then seeing the light go on as they finally “get it”. It makes all of the grading worth it.

My research (which is a smaller part of my job than teaching), consists of testing a treatment for phantom limb pain and monitoring brain activity to be able to hopefully explain improvements in outcomes.

I can take maternity leave after the adoption but since Greg will be the primary caregiver I will try to negotiate a part-time reduction in work to allow for me to bond with our new child and have a more flexible schedule for a longer amount of time.

The best part of my job is working one-on-one with a student who is trying to learn a new concept...

Greg

Year of Birth: 1972
Education: B.A. in Philosophy from Swarthmore in 1993, M.M. in Horn Performance from New England Conservatory in 1999, Ph.D. in Philosophy from Indiana University in 2008
Occupation: Musician, Adjunct Professor
Family Background:

I was born in Detroit, and my mother’s family has been in Michigan for several generations, mostly of English and German descent. My father grew up in Washington, D.C., and he has family roots in that city that go back to when it first became the capital, with a variety of mostly North-European immigrant family trees.

We celebrate the summer national holidays with visits to a family pond to go swimming and take a camping vacation each summer. We spend time with extended family on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For birthdays, we make big cakes and the kids decorate the house with streamers and balloons.

Katie

Year of Birth: 1978
Education: B.S.E in Mechanical Engineering from U of M, Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from CWRU in Cleveland
Occupation: Associate Professor of Engineering
Family Background:

My dad’s family is from Slovakia and Sicily and my mom’s family is mostly a European mix. Celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas together is very important to my family and it was sad to not be all together this year due to the pandemic. We also go camping at our family pond for Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is a great time to just be together and the cousins have great fun in the woods and swimming in the pond.

We just want to say

We want you to know that we will love and cherish your child as our own. We will also do what we can to facilitate your continued relationship.

Since we are looking to adopt a toddler, we understand that the transition may be especially difficult for them and for you. We’ve talked about things that we can do to help with the transition. For example, Katie has made each child a special blanket, with silky on one side and soft fleece on the other. There was a time for each kid when this blanket was the most important thing to pack when traveling! They each have a color and the big boys still like to have theirs (even though they don’t need it to sleep anymore). Katie will make one for our next child as well, and if they are old enough, they can help pick the color!

We also think that pictures are a great way to tell stories and talk about the past. As part of the adoption process, we will make a photobook for the child (and for you if you’d like) that includes pictures that you share with us as well as ones that we take with them. This book will allow us to talk about their life before and after joining our family and help to bring up questions that they have for us or for you.

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

We would like the birth family to be engaged with the child, but not past the point they feel comfortable. It would be wonderful for our new child to know their birth family, and especially as they get older to be able to talk to them on the phone, text, Zoom, or in-person regularly – to celebrate achievements together, to ask questions, or just to check-in.

But, depending on the child and the birth family’s needs, location, and level of comfort, we realize that “regularly” could be every other week or every few months, and the time might vary.

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

We would like the birth family to be engaged with the child, but not past the point they feel comfortable. It would be wonderful for our new child to know their birth family, and especially as they get older to be able to talk to them on the phone, text, Zoom, or in-person regularly – to celebrate achievements together, to ask questions, or just to check-in.

But, depending on the child and the birth family’s needs, location, and level of comfort, we realize that “regularly” could be every other week or every few months, and the time might vary.

Just one more thing...

We would like the birth family to be engaged with the child, but not past the point they feel comfortable. It would be wonderful for our new child to know their birth family, and especially as they get older to be able to talk to them on the phone, text, Zoom, or in-person regularly – to celebrate achievements together, to ask questions, or just to check-in.

But, depending on the child and the birth family’s needs, location, and level of comfort, we realize that “regularly” could be every other week or every few months, and the time might vary.

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