Matt & Leah - Michigan Adoption Center
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Matt & Leah

Matt & Leah

We’re just three people lounging in an inflatable baby pool in the backyard… nothing to see here! It was an incredible, yet normal, day on the 4th of July, and above all else, it was HOT outside. Leah huffed and puffed life into that inflatable blue pool while Josie napped and Matt chopped peppers and onions for the grill that evening.

It was an incredible, yet normal, day on the 4th of July...

Once Josie woke up and donned her swimsuit, she was on a mission with little patience for sunscreen or water shoes. And soon, we were all sitting in the little blue pool, our legs barely covered by the water, as she excitedly shrieked and splashed. We watched her, loving every smile and babbled phrase but also wondering, “Why don’t we chill in this little blue pool more often?”

The pandemic has reminded us that these simple moments at home with our little family are all that truly matter to us. The future that we hope for isn’t about jobs or vacations, it is these moments of family joy at home. We look forward to many more hot days in the kiddie pool, hopefully with one more little one in that blue pool.

our adoption hopes

Gender:Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child
Ethnicities:Any Race and Ethnicity
Age:Newborn to 5 Years Old
Total of:1 Child

a snapshot of us

We Live In:Grand Rapids
Our Faith:Nonreligious  
Pets:Cat(s)
Kids Already:One Child Now
Child Care:Licensed Child Care Center, 

Our Story

In 2009, we had both just graduated from different colleges in different states and our first “grown-up” jobs brought us both to the same company in Pittsburgh. We quickly became friends because of college football and being new to Western Pennsylvania. After years of being just friends, something had started to change between us in 2013.

Dinner outings as friends started to feel more “datey” until we finally shared our first kiss after an evening of red wine and watching basketball. After that, it took very little time for us to fall in love.

We moved to Grand Rapids to be closer to family as we started our life together. We were married in July 2017 in a blast of a wedding at a barn featuring yard games, a Pittsburgh cookie table (it’s a “thing”), and lots of friends and family.

We are both “homebodies” by nature, so we spend a lot of our time together doing house projects, doing our crafty hobbies side by side and just watching TV. Adding our first child, Josephine, into the mix (during a global pandemic, no less) has only made our bond as a couple stronger. We both feel such strong bursts of love when we watch each other play with or read to her.

Something had started to change between us...
We started coaching a local middle and high school robotics team...

Our Relaxation & Fun

We love to spend our weekend mornings playing with Josephine on the carpet and drinking coffee and tea together. Then we take a short walk to the local playground, and, if we’re lucky, we also walk to the coffee shop and share an ice cream. We really enjoy sharing storytime every night before bed with our kiddo.

We started coaching a local middle and high school robotics team in 2019. We’ve loved getting to work with the kids a couple of hours a week and helping them build their robots. We look forward to Josie tagging along to practice and playing with the robots in a few years.

Leah’s main hobby for herself is sewing. Her Grandma taught her how to sew as a child and it has been her escape from stress ever since. She makes clothes, quilts, things for the home and does hand embroidery. She has loved sewing all the cute things for Josie and hopes that one day her children may want to learn how to sew so she can pass on the skill to another generation.

Matt enjoys still life drawing using mostly pencil or pen. He likes to come up with new project ideas, even if he is slow to get started on them. Matt also plays guitar for his own enjoyment and stress relief. He and Josie are currently learning how to play the ukulele together. Between his 1960s Ford Mustang and the old house, Matt likes restoring old things to some of their former glory.

our adoption hopes

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

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 5 Years Old

Total of: 1 Child

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Grand Rapids

Our Faith: Nonreligious  

Pets: Cat(s)

Kids Already: One Child Now

Child Care Plan: Licensed Child Care Center, 

Our Family & Friends

We are very close to Leah’s parents and brother, and they love to visit Josie and have been very helpful babysitting whenever we ask. She is the first grandchild and they just adore her stubborn, feisty spirit. There are also plenty of Leah’s aunts just waiting for more babysitting time.

Matt’s family lives in Indianapolis. We visit them for weekend trips and holidays about 3 to 4 times per year. To make up for the distance, we Facetime every Sunday morning with Matt’s parents. Matt’s sister and brother both married amazing people, and we consider them to be some of our best friends. Matt’s brother and his wife have a young daughter named Lily who considers her cousin Josie to be a celebrity.

We have a small but wonderful set of local friends who are honorary aunts and uncles to Josie. We spend time with them whenever we can to play board games, go to parks for picnics, or do escape rooms. We are also developing relationships with the other families in our neighborhood so Josie has plenty of little kids around her to play with.

Josie’s birth mom is also an important part of our family. Leah exchanges messages and pictures with her almost daily, and we see her in person every few weeks. Josie and her mom connect over their shared love of pets and French fries.

Josie’s birth mom is also an important part of our family.
We are converting the large guest bedroom into a new nursery that Josie and her new sibling can share (with a big closet just waiting to become a spaceship).

Our Home & Neighborhood

In June of 2018, we bought an old house in Grand Rapids, near Heritage Hill. Our home has 3 bedrooms, plenty of family living space, and extra rooms that we use as a music room and a craft room for our hobbies. For Josie’s adoption, we created a nursery that includes quilts sewn by Leah and artwork by Matt.

We are converting the large guest bedroom into a new nursery that Josie and her new sibling can share (with a big closet just waiting to become a spaceship). We are lucky enough to have a large (for the city) backyard with a swing, and grandparents that can’t wait to add a matching playhouse.

Our neighborhood mostly includes younger couples with tons of young children. We have a lovely park with space to run and new playground equipment just a few blocks away. We have been making friends with other parents in the neighborhood as we watch our kids swing together or race down the slides.

The park also serves to brings the local community together and hosts cleanup events and an annual Easter egg hunt. We walk to a local coffee shop or restaurant at least once a week as a family.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

Education in the formal sense is important to us, but we value curiosity and spontaneous learning more. While we both received a college education, we understand that may not be the right path for everyone. We hope to instill a sense of curiosity about the world in our children and a desire for lifelong learning.

This could be through reading, travel and experiences, or school. We want to encourage our children to pursue education and self-development in whatever areas they find interesting so that they can be happy, not just successful.

Correction & Discipline

Our family is opposed to physical punishment in any form. Based on our reading about parenting techniques, our childhoods, and parenting Josie so far, we feel that the best way to approach discipline is to allow children to make their own choices (within safe limits) and then support them as they experience the natural consequences of bad choices.

We want our children to learn about consequences and making their own decisions early in childhood while the stakes are low so that they are better equipped to make good choices when they are a teenager or adult. By responding to bad behavior with love and empathy instead of anger, we will make sure that our children can learn from each situation.

Our Faith Views

Leah was raised Catholic and Matt was raised with Christian values. We both consider ourselves to be agnostic, but we still love to celebrate Christmas and Easter with family. We want to allow our children to explore religion in their own way and on their own timeline. We believe that religion is a lifelong personal journey, so if our children express interest in religion, we want to help them learn about all major religions so they can choose what values feel right for them.

We both consider ourselves to be agnostic, but we still love to celebrate Christmas and Easter with family.
If any of our children were no longer thriving in daycare, I would become a stay-at-home Dad...

Matt's Career

I am an engineer and work for a hydraulics company 2 miles from home in Grand Rapids. I am responsible for designing hydraulic pumps that help to power snow plows and scissor lifts. I also get to help out with manufacturing, testing, and analysis, and I enjoy that my role allows me to get involved in a variety of engineering and science subjects. I also like that my job offers flexibility and a good work/life balance.

I will take 2-4 weeks off following the placement of a child in our home. After that, I plan on returning to work full-time. If any of our children were no longer thriving in daycare, I would become a stay-at-home Dad and provide them the supportive environment they needed to grow and learn to their best potential.

Leah's Career

I am an engineer and work on the design and development of new products for an office furniture company in Holland. I love that my job allows me to be hands-on for the design, modeling, and testing phases of a new product. I work with a great team of supportive coworkers (many of whom are very excited for our prospective second adoption) and have a regular 8-5 work schedule.

I plan to take 8-12 weeks of leave from work following the placement of a child in our home. After that, I plan to return to work full-time. Josie attends daycare 5 days a week and that would be our plan for our next child. My job allows me the flexibility to attend doctor appointments and school activities whenever they come up.

My job allows me the flexibility to attend doctor appointments and school activities whenever they come up.

Matt

Year of Birth: 1986
Education: Bachelors Degree in Engineering
Occupation: Design Engineer
Family Background:

Matt grew up in Indianapolis with his mom, dad, sister, and brother. His family is Caucasian and culturally Christian. Most of Matt’s family traditions involve gathering around the kitchen table and eating entirely too much food while everyone talks and laughs.

Matt and his siblings grew up fishing in a pond in his parent’s backyard, and he really looks forward to presenting Josie with her first fishing pole so she can join in the family tradition.

Leah

Year of Birth: 1987
Education: Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Engineering
Occupation: Project Engineer
Family Background:

Leah grew up in West Michigan with her mom, dad, and younger brother. Her family is Caucasian and practicing Catholic. She has a large extended family living nearby, so family events and holidays were celebrated with a huge family potluck gathering.

When Leah was younger, she especially enjoyed getting together with her vast group of cousins and baking Christmas cookies at her Grandma’s farmhouse. Leah is really looking forward to continuing this tradition with Josie and her cousins’ children.

We just want to say

Hello,
We want you to know that we are sorry that you find yourself in this position. It probably doesn’t seem fair that you are expecting a baby at a time when you are not sure whether you can raise a child. We recognize that you have a big decision ahead of you, and we want you to find the path that is right for both you and your child. We believe that there is no limit to the number of loving relationships that a child can have.

Through open adoption, we would love to welcome you both into our family. Choosing to place your child with us still means that you are their Mom or Dad, we would never try to replace the role you have in your child’s life. We have an open and strong relationship with Josie’s birth Mom that is so important to us and would hope to have the same with you.

We believe ourselves to be good parents to our daughter, Josie, and could provide excellent life for another child. Thank you for looking at our profile and learning a bit about our little family. If you think that we might be a good fit for what you want for your child’s future, then we would love to meet you and potentially start this adoption journey together.

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

Our ideal relationship is ultimately whatever is best for the child and also for you at any given time. That could mean lots of visits or some time to have space, depending on what needs are at the time. Our relationship with Josie’s birth mom only helps to reaffirm the belief that an open relationship is so important for everyone involved. After each visit, everyone comes away with a full heart.

We would love to have a relationship with regular sharing of pictures and in-person visits. You would be invited to join us for the child’s birthday but also be invited to holiday celebrations like Christmas with our larger family. We love group outings to places like the zoo and the park, but the most important is just having time together at home, playing with our child, and marveling at the amazing little human they are growing into.

The extended members of your family are also very welcome in our lives. However, it is our priority to center the relationship on what is good for the child and for you as your trust is the most important thing to us. We understand family relationships can be complicated and we want to allow you input over the child’s relationship to your family.

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 relationship is ultimately whatever is best for the child and also for you at any given time. That could mean lots of visits or some time to have space, depending on what needs are at the time. Our relationship with Josie’s birth mom only helps to reaffirm the belief that an open relationship is so important for everyone involved. After each visit, everyone comes away with a full heart.

We would love to have a relationship with regular sharing of pictures and in-person visits. You would be invited to join us for the child’s birthday but also be invited to holiday celebrations like Christmas with our larger family. We love group outings to places like the zoo and the park, but the most important is just having time together at home, playing with our child, and marveling at the amazing little human they are growing into.

The extended members of your family are also very welcome in our lives. However, it is our priority to center the relationship on what is good for the child and for you as your trust is the most important thing to us. We understand family relationships can be complicated and we want to allow you input over the child’s relationship to your family.

Just one more thing...

Our ideal relationship is ultimately whatever is best for the child and also for you at any given time. That could mean lots of visits or some time to have space, depending on what needs are at the time. Our relationship with Josie’s birth mom only helps to reaffirm the belief that an open relationship is so important for everyone involved. After each visit, everyone comes away with a full heart.

We would love to have a relationship with regular sharing of pictures and in-person visits. You would be invited to join us for the child’s birthday but also be invited to holiday celebrations like Christmas with our larger family. We love group outings to places like the zoo and the park, but the most important is just having time together at home, playing with our child, and marveling at the amazing little human they are growing into.

The extended members of your family are also very welcome in our lives. However, it is our priority to center the relationship on what is good for the child and for you as your trust is the most important thing to us. We understand family relationships can be complicated and we want to allow you input over the child’s relationship to your family.

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