Sam describes Kelly:
Some of the reasons I love Kelly is she’s a loyal friend, generous and kind. She is a wonderful spouse who is always looking for ways to celebrate achievements and who listens well.
Having gone through some tough times, Kelly has grown to be a person who can handle the ups and downs of life with gratitude and hope. Oh, and did I mention that Kelly is a great cook? She makes an amazing spaghetti and meatballs. I can’t wait to see Kelly be a mom!
Kelly describes Sam:
A few of the reasons I fell in love with Sam were his peaceful presence, his creativity, and his playful energy. Sam is very compassionate, patient, and non-judgmental which brings a spirit of peace into our lives. I love how Sam expresses himself through his art and poetry. And there is no one who can get me to laugh like Sam!
When I’m having a hard day, his playful light-hearted energy always encourages me. All of these qualities and more will make Sam an amazing dad! I can see him with our child making crafts, playing dress-up, and comforting them when they’ve been hurt. I’m so excited to parent with Sam!
Our story started halfway around the world.
I (Kelly) was living in Uganda, Africa working for a non-profit when my friends suggested I would really like this guy Sam whom they knew since college. A few days later I got a message on Facebook from Sam and we quickly started to chat every day.
We’d ask silly questions like what food could you eat every day (we both said tacos) and do you like to dance (yes!) to sharing about our families, hard losses we’d both experienced, and what we were looking for in a partner. Soon we were Facetiming, me in Africa, Sam in California.
We discovered shared interests in music, art, the Enneagram, and our faith. It wasn’t long before we both felt a very strong connection and we knew we wanted to continue this relationship when I moved back.
Since Sam was a pastor at a church in California, I found a job nearby. We enjoyed two years of dating, hiking in Lake Tahoe, exploring San Francisco, going to concerts, and hanging out at coffee shops.
Since we both had been married before (my first husband passed away and Sam was divorced) we knew the importance of creating healthy habits in our relationship from the start. We focused on building a strong foundation of communication, trust, friendship, forgiveness, and gratitude.
When we decided to get married we made plans to move to Michigan. Shortly after the move, we had an intimate wedding celebration with 50 of our closest family and friends. It was one of the best parties, with food, donuts, and dancing!
Kelly and I (Sam) both love our jobs working in therapy and ministry. Kelly works part-time as a therapist and I serve at a local church. We both have flexible schedules, allowing us to care for a child.
We spend time throughout the week with our faith community, including Sunday worship, serving and sharing meals. Friday is pizza and movie night in our house. We have an on-going debate if pineapple belongs on pizza!
In our free time, we love being outdoors, hiking, or biking around town. We love concerts, Broadway shows, and going to the art museum. And we like traveling, whether it’s a quick road trip to Chicago or exploring a new city.
Gender: A Boy or A Girl
Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity
Age: Newborn to 18 months
Total of: 1 Child
We Live In: Grand Rapids
Our Faith: Christian
Pets: No Pets
Kids Already: No Children Now
Child Care Plan: Friend Provided Child Care Licensed Child Care Center Stay-at-Home Parent
We deeply value our family and friends. Sam’s family includes his parents, three siblings, and 7 nieces & nephews. While they live all across the country, they get together every other year for the holidays.
His parents are excited to welcome another grandchild. Sam’s sister and husband adopted their daughter and have been very supportive of this journey.
Kelly’s family includes her mom, sister, brother-in-law, dad, and stepmom. They live in the Chicago area so we get to visit throughout the year. Kelly’s mom is beyond excited to become a grandma! She’s already collecting books and toys.
We’ve both been very blessed with a rich community of friends. Almost every week we’re meeting up with friends for meals, backyard campfires, frisbee golf in the park, and playing with their kids. Our friends are family to us.
We live in a lovely neighborhood near the city of Grand Rapids. We chose this area because of the beautiful parks, diversity of families and walkability to restaurants, a library and church. Almost every night after work we take a walk in the neighborhood, saying hi to our friends and their kids.
Our house is a historic two story home with a fenced in backyard with plenty of room for a garden and playset. We love that the rooms have tall ceilings and get plenty of sunlight. We have a warm fireplace that keeps our house cozy during the winter months.
One of our favorite rooms is the kitchen which was recently renovated. We love to cook, bake bread and drink our morning coffee watching the birds through our big kitchen window. We like to watch TV, listen to music or read at night. The three bedrooms are spacious, with lots of windows.
We love having a home where we can welcome our family and friends over for dinner, game nights or just hanging out in the backyard.
We value education that engages the child’s needs, gifts and passions. We would encourage our child to not only be dedicated to their learning but to explore getting involved in the arts, music, sports or other hobbies. We believe that continuing education beyond high school can come in many forms.
We would support our child to develop their skills and pursue their passions so they may engage in meaningful work that will provide for their needs. We’re both life-long learners, who enjoy reading, traveling, visiting museums. We’re excited to share these experiences with our child.
We value creating a home where our child will feel safe and loved. Our approach to discipline will be to guide the child to make choices that keep them safe and flourish.
We believe being patient, understanding the child’s needs, allowing them to safely express their emotions and providing positive examples of behavior are effective approaches to discipline. We do not believe in physical discipline.
During our wedding ceremony, we vowed to cultivate certain values in our marriage: gratitude, honesty, joy, forgiveness, & community.
Our Christian faith inspired these values. For us our faith is about grace, granting every person love. We’re not perfect people, with perfect lives. We’ve faced hardships and made mistakes. But God’s grace reminds us of our worth and inspires us to grow.
We strive to be people who reflect this grace and love to others. Caring for those who are hurting, volunteering in our community, and advocating against injustices are some ways we live out this faith.
We’ve been blessed with family, friends, and mentors who have taught us about faith, gratitude, forgiveness, and love. We’re excited about teaching our child these same values.
Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.
I currently work as a pastor at a church. My passion is to help people grow spiritually. I love to encourage and mentor young people in their leadership skills and get a lot of joy in seeing people of all ages grow in their faith.
When I’m not working, I love to spend time working on poetry, creating artworks, disc golfing, watching sports, working on my webcomic and doing projects around the house.
I plan to work full time. My job is very flexible, so I plan to stay home on some mornings or afternoons.
I work full time as a mental health therapist. I am passionate about helping others navigate their life stressors and losses, encouraging them towards healing and wholeness.
I currently work full time at a counseling agency. My schedule is flexible, giving me the option to work during the days, evenings or weekends. This flexibility will allow me to prioritize the needs of my family. Sam and I plan to adjust our schedules so we can provide the majority of child-care each day.
I grew up in sunny southern California. I had a happy childhood with loving parents and three siblings (older sister and two younger brothers). When I look back, I fondly remember family camping trips, building legos, playing with our dog in the backyard and celebrating birthdays with chocolate cake.
I attended a small Christian college in Iowa where I studied graphic design. One of the things I loved about college was hanging out with my roommates, and exploring a different part of the country (Iowa has a lot of corn!)
For a time, I was married and lived in Canada. The marriage was very difficult and took a toll on my health. After six hard years, that marriage ended in divorce. I’ve done a lot of healing since then and I’m thankful for everything I’ve learned about myself and how to have healthy relationships moving forward.
I’m excited to be a parent because I have a lot of love to give. I’m creative, patient and attentive and would do my best to nurture in a child such things as confidence, love, kindness and respect. I can’t wait to build legos, put on plays, throw the frisbee in the backyard, draw fun pictures and play games together around the kitchen table.
I grew up in the Chicago-land area with my mom and older sister. My parents divorced when I was young. I am very close with my mom’s extended family. Christmas gatherings usually are 50+ people! A lot of food, laughter, and presents.
As a kid, I loved music, reading, and playing outdoors. I dreamed of being a Broadway star and still love musicals (Hamilton, Wicked and Dear Evan Hansen are favorites). In high school, I became a Christian and was very involved in my church.
After I graduated from college I moved to Michigan. I fell in love with a wonderful man. We got married and moved to Seattle to attend graduate school for counseling.
We returned to Michigan to be closer to our families as we had hopes of having a child. As we were facing infertility, my first husband passed away unexpectedly. At 31 years old, I experienced the most painful loss of my life.
With the amazing support of my family, friends, and faith, I experienced healing and found joy in the midst of my sorrow. And I developed a passion to work with women around the world who were facing similar hardships.
I moved to Uganda, Africa to work with a non-profit that served women and children. As you read earlier this was when Sam and I started our story.
I am now working as a therapist, helping others understand their stories, navigate their grief, and experience wholeness. I am excited to discover my child’s dreams and passions, take them to the library and on hikes, bake cookies, and teach them about life, faith, and how to find joy in any circumstance.
Thank you for getting to know us. Again we recognize the love and courage it takes to consider what is best for you and your child. If you choose to make an adoption plan, we promise to respect you and the relationship you want to have with your child. As chosen parents, to the best of our ability, we commit the following to you and your child:
We commit to giving our time and resources so that they may have every opportunity possible and pursue their dreams.
We commit to providing a safe and loving environment, so that whatever life brings they will feel comforted and celebrated.
We commit to teaching them the value of love, gratitude, generosity, forgiveness and community.
We commit to honoring them, including their unique personality, interests, culture, and their adoption story.
We commit to honoring you, the significant place you have in their life.