Lindsay & Charissa - Michigan Adoption Center
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Lindsay & Charissa

Lindsay & Charissa

It was a cool June day when we dropped Adelaide off at the airport. Our exchange student who was only supposed to stay for one semester, who had remained in our home from August to June, felt like a lifelong member of our family in only 10 months’ time.

We had spent days packing up her belongings; rolling each of the pieces of clothing tightly, gently packing the sparkling prom dress we spent two long weekends picking out together, trying to decide what to do with the winter boots and hats she would not need in Italy. As we prepared her suitcases, drove her to farewell events, and prepared our home and our hearts for her departure, the ache that only love can cause rose up in our chests.

We drove her to the airport, helped her to the gate, and as all three of us sobbed like lunatics...

We drove her to the airport, helped her to the gate, and as all three of us sobbed like lunatics, we felt the sting of having loved fully and the joys of a year in the life of a young person; the birthday party at the trampoline park, the excitement of prom, the first sight of snow and sledding, all of the crazy, crappy, tasty American food a 17-year-old can eat in a year. Smores. An Italian’s perspective on Chicago-style pizza.

Our hearts ached and were empty when Adelaide left. We felt what it was like to love another person unconditionally, to welcome them into our home and family, and to watch them grow and thrive and learn in our care. This was thrilling, and it focused us on our mission to become parents.

A year later, we traveled to Italy and held our girl in our arms again, feeling the flood of love, pride, and joy that our year of trial parenthood had afforded us. We felt the sting of separation again when we left, of course, but we recognize the privilege of having that love in our lives! It was a life-changing experience, and we imagine the rewards, joys, and pains of parenthood with anticipation.

our adoption hopes

Gender:Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child
Ethnicities:Any Race and Ethnicity
Age:Newborn to 6 Months
Total of:1 to 2 Children

a snapshot of us

We Live In:Kentwood
Our Faith:Open to all religions
Pets:Cat(s)
Kids Already:No Children Now
Child Care:Licensed Child Care Center, 

Our Story

Our relationship is based on love and respect for one another. We try to balance our relationship as a 50/50 partnership. We call ourselves “Team Awesome” and jokingly, when we make mistakes, as all people do, “Team Terrible!”

We met in 2011 in Chicago and married in 2014 in a commitment ceremony; we later did the “legal wedding” in 2015. This gives us the fun of calling our 2014 ceremony our “illegal” wedding!
Mostly, we try to live a life and have a partnership with plenty of laughter and fun. We enjoy each other’s company nearly all the time and feel our relationship is strong and ready for parenthood.

  ... This gives us the fun of calling our 2014 ceremony our "illegal" wedding!
We also love relaxing with a good cartoon and our favorite movies include Moana and The Little Mermaid. Disney Plus for the win!

Our Relaxation & Fun

We love to spend time with family and friends on the weekends, often driving downstate to see our parents and other family. These visits are typically accompanied by cookouts, fires, and beautiful nature walks. With Charissa’s family, we also have great board game nights. We love going to the beach in the summer. Lindsay is an amazing cook, and Charissa loves to eat. We do enjoy movie nights in, however, no scary movies please – especially after dark! We also love relaxing with a good cartoon and our favorite movies include Moana and The Little Mermaid. Disney Plus for the win!

We are both music lovers, and have a wide variety of favorites. Charissa was trained as a classical pianist and attended school as a music major through college. We enjoy going to symphony concerts, but also have attended numerous rock concerts. We plan to enroll our child in early music appreciation class once they are preschool age, and to support our child in any artistic interests that they may have throughout life.

We are both physically active. While we are not highly competitive athletes, we find that we live happier lives when we get out and do things and take care of our bodies. We love taking long hikes in the woods around our home, and along Lake Michigan. Lindsay enjoys going on long hikes, and Charissa trains twice a week in weight lifting.

Every year we go on one Michication up north, usually in the summer, and we typically visit Chicago at least a few times a year. We also take a longer trip together each year, and the locations for those trips have ranged from California, New York, different places in the Caribbean, Spain, and Italy. We are really looking forward to exploring the world with our child.

our adoption hopes

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

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 6 Months

Total of: 1 to 2 Children

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Kentwood

Our Faith: Open to all religions

Pets: Cat(s)

Kids Already: No Children Now

Child Care Plan: Licensed Child Care Center, 

Our Family & Friends

We are both very close to our families. Lindsay’s parents live in New Buffalo, which is a cute beach town on Lake Michigan. Charissa’s parents live in Kalamazoo, only 45 minutes away from us. We see both of our parents usually at least every month, and we often pick up Lindsay’s younger sister, who lives in East Lansing, to join us for our weekends with our parents. Charissa’s younger sister lives in New York City, and her younger brother lives in Washington D.C.

We visit Charissa’s siblings typically once a year, during which time we enjoy attractions that both cities have to offer, and her siblings both come home multiple times a year, for the holidays and usually during the summers. In addition, all of our siblings are super excited to be aunts and uncle to our baby. Our families are very important to us.

We have amazing, supportive friends! We both have multiple close friends who have been with us every step of our journey to adopt a child. Our friends range from people who have known us since we were toddlers to people we have had the good fortune to meet from our jobs. We have developed a supportive network of people that we make a priority of seeing often when we can. Due to COVID, our social life did slow down a bit! However, we enjoy dining out, beach trips, bonfires, hikes and Zoom calls with the people we call friends.

We often pick up Lindsay's younger sister, who lives in East Lansing, to join us for our weekends with our parents.
Our neighborhood is full of families with young children and has a playground and community pool.

Our Home & Neighborhood

We live in the quiet back corner of a culturally and racially diverse neighborhood in Kentwood, very close to East Kentwood High School which is the most diverse high school in the State of Michigan. Our neighborhood is full of families with young children and has a playground and community pool. Our home is two stories with two bedrooms, and right now it’s only us and our two cats.

The main level has an open concept with a kitchen, dining area, and living room, which is perfect for watching a baby while prepping meals. We look forward to taking our child to explore many walking trails, parks, and nature preserves located within ten minutes from our home.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

We believe that education is of the utmost importance, valuing the public education system and the opportunities it provides. One of our most important values related to education is exposure to diversity, both in terms of cultures, race, and religions and in different opinions and beliefs.

We currently reside in the Kentwood School District, which is a highly diverse school system with access to a multitude of opportunities for students to be successful.

Our thoughts on education are that it should be tailored to the ideas, needs, and aptitudes of each child. Most of all, we want a well-rounded, happy child and student who can pursue whatever career or trade opportunities suit them best.

Correction & Discipline

While some forms of behavior are simply unacceptable, the presence of a good daily structure and routine, along with clear expectations for child behavior, can help prevent the need for retroactive discipline. We believe in setting a child up for success as often as possible by adhering to age-appropriate behavior expectations.

We do not believe in the necessity of physical discipline, and our perspective on discipline is that it should be restorative and reparative by nature, drawing on natural consequences as often as possible. Children need to learn by making mistakes, getting messy, and learning how to make it right when they have gotten off track.

The ultimate purpose of discipline is for a child to learn what went wrong, why it went wrong, and what the expectation is for future behavior. We want to raise a child who navigates life with the necessary empathy to make good choices and respond skillfully when they have failed to do so.

Our Faith Views

Both of us were raised firmly rooted in Christian faith communities. Charissa was raised in a non-denominational Christian household, and Lindsay was raised both Catholic and Baptist, attending both types of services intermittently.

While neither of us is part of any formal faith tradition, our beliefs are based on love, empathy, respect for others and the natural world, and a sense of deeply rooted connection to others. We believe in allowing our children to pursue and develop their own belief systems.

While neither of us is part of any formal faith tradition, our beliefs are based on love, empathy, respect for others...
What I love about teaching is that it combines many different subjects and roles into one job.

Lindsay's Career

I am a fifth-grade teacher at C.A. Frost Elementary School in Grand Rapids Public Schools who has been teaching for two years. Prior to teaching, I worked in a variety of roles, caring for others and for animals as a social worker, veterinary technician, and veterinary assistant. What I love about teaching is that it combines many different subjects and roles into one job.

I plan to take at least twelve weeks of leave, and in addition, my employer offers an extension to a full school year of leave, which we would opt to take should we determine that the baby needs more time to fully bond with us. After returning to work, we plan to enroll our baby in a daycare with an early learning program during the school year, and during the summer plan to have lots of daily adventures as a family.

Charissa's Career

Since 2011, I’ve worked at a law firm that has multiple offices across the state. As a civil rights lawyer, I specialize in representing people who are survivors of sexual harassment and abuse, discrimination, and retaliation, at work and school.

Numerous families who have lost loved ones in catastrophic accidents, as well as small businesses throughout the State of Michigan, have also relied upon me as their legal counsel. I’ve built my law practice with a focus upon helping “the little person” navigate the justice system.

I plan to take four weeks of parental leave to bond with the baby. In addition, I am very fortunate to have the flexibility to work from home on most days in order to balance work and childcare responsibilities.

As a civil rights lawyer, I specialize in representing people who are survivors of sexual harassment and abuse, discrimination, and retaliation, at work and school.

Lindsay

Year of Birth: 1986
Education: Central Michigan University – Bachelor of Science, Psychology
Occupation: 5th Grade Teacher
Family Background:

My heritage is Polish, Irish, Swedish, and English primarily; although I was aware of my heritage and know a good deal about my family’s background, we primarily celebrated Polish food and traditions. This is probably because my dad’s mother was a second-generation immigrant, and her mother kept the Polish traditions and especially the Polish food, alive.

My father is a wonderful cook who loves to make Polish dishes, and this year during COVID I finally made perogies! We also took the time to make traditional Chinese dumplings which – shhh, don’t tell!- were even more delicious than the pierogies, but definitely NOT better than my Dad’s homemade golubki.

Charissa

Year of Birth: 1984
Education: Northwestern University School of Law- Juris Doctor; University of Michigan – Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Music Performance (Piano)
Occupation: Lawyer
Family Background:

My parents are from Taiwan and immigrated to the U.S. to attend school and fulfill their American dream. My siblings were born in the U.S. I am proud to be a second generation Asian Pacific Islander American, and grew up speaking both English and Mandarin. My family celebrates holidays from both American and Taiwanese cultures, with Christmas being the biggest yearly holiday that our family celebrated.

Some of our family’s Christmas traditions include decorating of the Christmas tree and putting out stockings for Santa Claus and attending church services on Christmas Eve. During the holiday season, my family eats both traditional American holiday foods, such as turkey and mashed potatoes, and Taiwanese holiday foods such as hot pot. My family also celebrated Lunar New Year, with traditional dancing, gathering with friends and family to have large dinners, and the exchanging of red envelopes containing money.

We just want to say

Dear First Mama,

Let us start by saying that we see you. We see that you are in a situation with incredibly hard choices to be made that few of us will ever fully appreciate. Our gratitude to you is immeasurable. We have longed for a child for many years.

We want you to be part of this child’s life as an honored and respected member of our family. There are many uncertainties in adoption, but we can promise you that we will always love your child and we will do everything we can to give them the best possible life. We believe it is important for you and the child to have an open door in terms of relationship and communication, and we will work together to make that possible in a way that is comfortable for you.

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

Our ideal open adoption situation would be a strong relationship between us and you forged by a desire to raise a healthy and happy child. We believe that you, and the keys you unlock in the identity of our future child, are crucial for the health and happiness of our child. We would want to have an open, honest, supportive, and loving relationship with you.

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 ideal open adoption situation would be a strong relationship between us and you forged by a desire to raise a healthy and happy child. We believe that you, and the keys you unlock in the identity of our future child, are crucial for the health and happiness of our child. We would want to have an open, honest, supportive, and loving relationship with you.

Just one more thing...

Our ideal open adoption situation would be a strong relationship between us and you forged by a desire to raise a healthy and happy child. We believe that you, and the keys you unlock in the identity of our future child, are crucial for the health and happiness of our child. We would want to have an open, honest, supportive, and loving relationship with you.

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