Every other year we do a big Caldwell Christmas. Last year, when Troy, our adopted son, was 3 we headed down to Ohio where Seth is from to be with family.
All 23 (at the time) Caldwells packed into the parents’ farm house for a Christmas weekend celebration together. We had a great weekend all being together and captured it all with a family picture in the yard.
We did all the things that Seth and his siblings did growing up around the holidays, including tromping through the woods in the snow and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus at Christmas breakfast while blowing out the candle in the coffee cake (always followed by a very loud rendition of every verse of the 12 days of Christmas).
Troy couldn’t stop talking about his cousins for weeks at bedtime or dinner time. One night he looked at Beth, obviously reflecting on his cousins and asked, “Mom, I’m a cousin too?”
The love and attention all of Troy’s cousins offer him, and the way Troy looks up to and emulates them, is so meaningful.
He gets to be a part of this big weird family, and they in turn have embraced every part of who he is. “Oh, of course you are a cousin, and always will be!”
We met in college in 2004 and were good friends quickly. Seth was my freshman crush, but it took us a while to start dating.
We had a strong friendship throughout college, spending time together, traveling, and going to concerts or other activities. We long distance dated for a year and then both ended up in Philadelphia, where six months later we got engaged.
We were married in 2009, so it’s been over 10 years now. We truly count one another as best friends. We like doing most of everything together, sharing lots of similar hobbies and interests.
Beth is the type of person who will climb a roof and sit out there to enjoy a good sunset. I was attracted to her boldness when we met. It helps me step out of my comfort zone and feel more free. Together, we are a good balance of fun and adventure with simple joys.
Seth is light, social and fun. He’s the guy everyone wants to be around, because it will certainly bring laughter. You want him at the next dance party you’re planning, hands down.
Troy is always thrilled when a kitchen dance party breaks out in our home. He knows getting dad in on something will kick it up a notch. It brings Seth joy to see others happy.
Balance has been the key to our marriage. We seek to support each other, picking up and jumping in when needed. We share responsibilities well in parenting and housework.
We are both athletic and value staying active. We love to play sports and games of any kind. Sports were a part of both of our childhoods and we want our kids to enjoy those too.
Seth loves soccer. He played all the way through college and has coached teams and continued to play as an adult. We find ways to work this in, playing yard games, joining a team together, or bringing Troy to his first soccer league.
Creativity is a value in our house. Seth likes picking up any kind of art form – poetry, painting, photography. Creativity definitely drives his parenting style, as a way to engage Troy’s imagination.
Beth is teaching Troy piano and also likes coming up with creative play activities. We love to make crafts, build forts, or do something spontaneous to keep our child engaged and learning.
Family and community are very important to us. We make it a priority to stay connected with the people that we love. We have a close knit group of friends that are a part of our house church, and our children spend lots of time playing with each other.
Gender: Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child
Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity
Age: Newborn to 3 Years Old
Total of: 1 to 3 Children
We Live In: Grand Rapids
Our Faith: Christian
Kids Already: One Child Now
Child Care Plan: Licensed Child Care Center
We have a great group of friends, with kids who are close in age and enjoy playing together. We help one another out when needs arise, and we share lots of meals together.
Beth’s family is from Grand Rapids, and they still live fairly close by. Grammy, Beth’s mom, is always looking to spend quality time with Troy, and they have become great friends!
She loves having grandkids and is always bringing them something special. We also get to see Seth’s brother’s family frequently because they live just outside of town.
In general, we have lots of family and close friends in the surrounding states, and we try to visit and travel together as often as we can.
We love spending time with family and Troy loves any chance he gets to see any of his fourteen cousins!
We live in Grand Rapids in a 4 bedroom home, next door to really good friends. We love our neighborhood and our home.
We just moved into this house a couple years ago and so are still making it our own. Seth has done a lot of the renovations himself on our current home, and it is just now taking its final shape (finishing the last bathroom now).
We are close enough to walk or bike to a few different parks and libraries, which we do just about every week. We have a dog named Lupe that’s been part of our family for about 5 years.
She is energetic and likes to play. She was sad to not be the center of attention anymore when Troy came, but she is great with kids. She’s always playing along when Troy pretends she’s a pony or wants to snuggle up next to her.
We believe that education is very important. Seth has spent time as a teacher and as a paraprofessional in schools and has come to value small classrooms, and lots of parental involvement. We plan to send Troy to one of a handful of Grand Rapids’ magnet schools, when that time comes. We know it takes a lot of persistence and intentional care to know what is best for each child, and we intend to invest every effort into finding the right fit.
We know as parents that we are teachers too. One of the ways we enjoy teaching Troy is through travel. Every time we take a trip he seems to learn so many new things and hit a new developmental stage. Discipline is another area, like education, where each child needs their own plan. Children respond and learn in different ways and finding an appropriate way to communicate and enforce discipline is important for a child’s development.
We do not believe in corporal punishment, and we do not plan to use physical force to try and teach in anyway. We have found redirection to work well with our child, and positive role modeling to be very effective. When needed we will use time outs or give time outs to certain toys, to allow time and reflection.
Sometimes we ourselves need to take a break when parenting gets frustrating, and allow space for a reset to occur. This shows to our children that we also have the same struggles and this can give them a good model to follow.
We consider ourselves to be an open and loving family, and welcoming of all religions. We have both grown up in Christian families and consider ourselves to be Christian. We also have grown in our faith to know that God is Big and Loving, and we strive to live lives that exemplify that Love to one another and to our community.
I work for Family Promise of Grand Rapids as a Program Manager for Partners in Housing. I get to work on renovation projects and use my creativity to solve problems and help families find a safe and secure place to live.
I plan to take some time off during the first couple of weeks after placement to bond as a family. I am from a big family and have always loved having a baby around. I find it soothing to care for a little one, so I will take an active role in the late night feedings and many diaper changes.
I am fortunate to have an earlier work schedule which allows me to pick up Troy right after preschool. I love finding activities for us to do after school and am excited for another little one to join us on our adventures.
I found my work when we returned to West Michigan (in 2013) from Costa Rica, where Seth and I spent time volunteering and learning Spanish. I am an Associate Director at Bethany working with Refugees and Immigrants.
I love being able to work with people from all over the world and to help create a welcoming community for New Americans.
I am grateful for a flexible job that allows me to have a good balance in schedule, in order to be with my family.
I will take off from work for 3 months following placement. I want to spend as much time as possible with our child during those crucial first months, to bond and care for him/her. I love holding, snuggling, and caring for children, and I am especially glad to be able to devote my whole attention to nurturing during this time.
After returning to work, we plan to continue using our son’s daycare for child care a few days a week, combined with one or two work from home days that my employment allows.
We love our son’s daycare. The teachers there are great and it’s near our home. We are glad to have found them. Troy is loved by the teachers and is excelling in learning. Plus he has made a lot of friends with the other children that attend.
Thank you for considering us and taking the time to look at our profile. We are excited about the possibility of meeting you and finding ways to honor you throughout your child’s life.
We want you to know that we are open to your wishes as far as how open and involved you would like to be in your child’s life, and that we will do our best to ensure that this child will know your love as well as ours.
We will care for and cherish your child as our own, and we will give them every opportunity we can afford to give. Our son Troy is adopted, and we hope that our experiences, joys, and difficulties can also aid in the development and understanding of his soon to be sibling.
We have grown so much as a family and we long to be able to share our love with another child, if you so choose, so that we as a family can continue to shape and deepen our love as we grow together.