Shawn & Katie - Michigan Adoption Center
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Shawn & Katie

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Shawn & Katie

“Sometimes you just have to go for it.” In the summer of 2014, Shawn was in his optometry residency at Indiana University while Katie was teaching in Traverse City. Katie came to visit Shawn for a long weekend in July. The weekend we picked happened to be the same weekend a NASCAR race was taking place in Indianapolis. We saw this as a great opportunity to go see Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the most famous speedway in the country, because we were so close. We had our hearts set on a really fun day trip.

Shawn said, sometimes you just have to go for it.

When the day came, it was raining in the morning and the forecast was for more rain throughout the day. We had a decision to make. Should we continue with our plans despite the rain or change our plans completely? We debated for a while and reluctantly decided not to go. Just before we were scheduled to originally leave, we reconsidered and decided to go after all. Shawn said, “Sometimes you just have to go for it”. Some gut feeling told us that despite the forecast, the rain would hold off.

As it turned out the rain held off and the sun even came out. We had a terrific time. It is a trip that we still talk about often because it goes to show that sometimes you have to go with your instincts and trust things will work out. From this, we learned that your heart will lead you in the right direction.

our adoption hopes

Gender:A Boy or A Girl
Ethnicities:Any Race and Ethnicity
Age:Newborn to 3 Years Old
Total of:1 to 2 Children

a snapshot of us

We Live In:Petoskey
Our Faith:Catholic
Pets:No Pets
Kids Already:No Children Now
Child Care:Licensed Child Care Center, 

Our Story

We both consider ourselves a bit goofy and enjoy having fun together. We share many common interests and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Our thoughts about each other:
Shawn is kind, considerate, and thoughtful. He is always thinking about others and putting them first. He is detailed-oriented and pays attention to the small things in life. I love his laugh.-Katie

Katie is gentle, kind, and caring. She is hard-working and dedicated but always knows how to find time to have fun and laugh. I always enjoy her smile and her positive attitude. She is patient, loving, and makes every day better by simply being herself.- Shawn

We met at Alma College in 2010 on an alternative break trip to New Jersey during our spring break. Shawn was a senior and Katie was a sophomore. We got to know each other on the trip and began doing activities together afterwards on campus.

Unfortunately, Shawn graduated only six weeks after we met. Once he graduated, we were both sad and disappointed we would stop getting to know each other and felt like it would be the end of the friendship.

After graduation, Shawn decided that he wanted to try to continue getting to know Katie so he called and invited her to visit him in his hometown of Traverse City. He was pleasantly surprised when she agreed to drive two hours to come visit.

We ended up having a great time in Traverse City and wanted to continue to see each other. We didn’t know how it would work with Shawn starting optometry school at Ferris State and Katie going back to Alma College but we developed a routine of traveling to see each other on weekends for the next five years.

We eventually became engaged in 2014 and were married in August of 2015 after Shawn finished his optometry residency. Within a four-week period of time that summer we were married, both started new jobs, and moved to a new city, Petoskey, where we currently live. It was a whirlwind! We eventually settled into our lives in Petoskey and now enjoy it very much.

We knew we wanted to expand our family but our plan of having children was not God’s plan. After learning this was not going to be possible, we then realized God’s plan for us. We are very grateful for our new path and for the opportunity of adoption. We are very excited for our journey ahead!

Shawn graduated only six weeks after we met.
As we got to know each other more at the start of our relationship, we thought it was unique that we were both NASCAR fans.

Our Relaxation & Fun

Fortunately, we live in northern Michigan which allows us many opportunities for fun and relaxation. One of our favorite summer activities is camping. We have a travel trailer and enjoy exploring new state parks and campgrounds in the area.

When we are not camping, we enjoy day trips to the beach, riding our bikes, and sunset picnics. Another one of our favorite activities is boating. Shawn enjoys wakeboarding and Katie enjoys tubing.

One of our favorite winter activities is downhill skiing. Shawn was able to grow up skiing but Katie relied on Shawn to teach her. It is now one of our favorite things to do together. We also enjoy ice skating. Our favorite place to do that is at the outdoor Winter Sports Park in downtown Petoskey.

We also have fun being sports fans together. We often attend local high school football games or listen to them on the radio when we can’t attend. We are enthusiastic University of Michigan fans and root for them every chance we can.

We follow professional Detroit sports teams and have gone to several Red Wings and Tigers games. As we got to know each other more at the start of our relationship, we thought it was unique that we were both NASCAR fans. We will still watch races together when we can.

We also enjoy just being at home and relaxing. We have regular television shows we enjoy watching together. Katie enjoys reading books and working on craft projects. Shawn enjoys collecting die-cast cars and sports memorabilia.

our adoption hopes

Gender: A Boy or A Girl

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 3 Years Old

Total of: 1 to 2 Children

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Petoskey

Our Faith: Catholic

Pets: No Pets

Kids Already: No Children Now

Child Care Plan: Licensed Child Care Center, 

Our Family & Friends

We are both fortunate to have grown up in close, loving families. Although our families live in different cities from us, we frequently host them for visits and travel to see them on the weekends and holidays. Both of our families are very excited and have been supportive as we go through our adoption journey. They are all looking forward to expanding our immediate families and being involved.

Katie has one sister along with three older half-brothers. She has five nieces and two nephews. The majority of Katie’s family lives in the Grand Rapids area and we enjoy our visits to see them. Katie’s parents are now retired and are always up for a road trip to come visit!

Shawn’s family lives in Traverse City. He has one younger sister. Shawn’s immediate and extended family is small but we have always loved being together and supporting each other. We enjoy our visits with Shawn’s family to spend time together and have fun.

We have been blessed to develop a strong group of friends in northern Michigan. In the summers we enjoy camping and boating with friends. We have also maintained friendships with friends from our hometowns and will meet up for a meal, a quick visit, or even sometimes host them for weekend stays.

We are also fortunate to have some lifelong family friends who have been there to celebrate all the major events in our lives. We are happy to know we will always have this lifelong bond and have them be there with us as we go through this next chapter of our life.

We are also fortunate to have some lifelong family friends who have been there to celebrate all the major events in our lives.
We have discovered it is a very caring and hardworking community for which we are thankful to be a part of.

Our Home & Neighborhood

We live in Petoskey, which is a small town in northern Michigan. We purchased our home in 2016. It is not large or fancy, but we have enjoyed doing numerous projects to help make it become what we envisioned when we first saw it. Our house is located 10 minutes from downtown Petoskey.

We live in a typical northern Michigan rural neighborhood. Our home is in a country setting with neighbors nearby but enough space for a nice yard and privacy. After we moved in, we were pleasantly surprised to learn we live within walking distance of a nature preserve with hiking trails and a second nature preserve with designated mountain biking trails.

We live in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood. After living here for a while, we have discovered it is a very caring and hardworking community for which we are thankful to be a part of.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

Education comes in many forms. We feel education in all its forms help to provide opportunities for success and happiness. Therefore, we plan to support our future children in all their educational endeavors. It would be our plan for our future children to attend Catholic Schools.

Shawn grew up attending a Catholic School and Katie currently teaches at a Catholic School and we have both experienced firsthand the lifetime benefits of a faith-based, well-rounded education.

We both are very much looking forward to being actively engaged in our future children’s education. We believe education starts at home. We are anxious to read, play, and spend time with our future children. We are excited for the days we can help with homework, be involved in class parties, go on field trips, and work on class projects.

We also look forward to the chance to take family trips and learn about new places and what makes them unique. We also are excited to be involved in our future children’s extracurricular activities. These provide opportunities for family memories and many life lessons.

Correction & Discipline

A house should be filled with love and respect. Parents always want to see their children have all the tools they need in life to be happy, successful, and healthy. Part of developing these tools is knowing proper behavior. We plan to teach respect, use positive reinforcement, and compliment positive changes to behavior.

Unfortunately, children will make mistakes and there needs to be consequences to guide them towards a better path in the future. We were impressed by the ‘1-2-3 Magic’ discipline teaching technique and how it is simple for parents to implement and simple for children to understand.

We like that it uses time-outs and conversations about behavior. We will not use physical discipline. Although discipline needs to be a part of learning, children should always know they are loved and that we are always here for them no matter what.

Our Faith Views

We both grew up in families centered around Christian faith. We have continued this tradition into our marriage. We enjoy going to weekly mass at St. Francis Xavier Church in Petoskey. Katie teaches at the Catholic school associated with the church and we are happy to be a part of the church and school community. A few of our favorite events are the yearly auction and gala, Thanksgiving ‘turkey bingo’, and the annual chili dinner. Our faith has grown to be a center-point in our marriage. Each month we get together with a small group of Catholic couples to support each other in faith. Our adoption journey has been rooted in faith as well. We have faith in the matching process and are looking forward to opening our hearts and expanding our family.

Our faith has grown to be a center-point in our marriage.
It is rewarding to be able to care for patients and treat eye and vision problems as they arise.

Shawn's Career

I am an optometrist at a multi-specialty ophthalmology practice in Petoskey. I see a variety of patients for many different eye conditions. I enjoy all aspects of eye care. It is rewarding to be able to care for patients and treat eye and vision problems as they arise.

Every day presents a new set of challenges and, therefore, there is never a dull day and always opportunities to learn. Perhaps my favorite part of my job is developing relationships with patients. Patients often have fascinating stories, experiences, and knowledge they share. It is fun to see the lives of patients evolve and get to know families over the years.

I am fortunate to work for a great practice with several terrific doctors and a great staff. They have been very supportive throughout our adoption journey and are truly happy to see us expand our family. I plan to take time off after placement for family-time and adjustment. I will then return to work full-time.

Katie's Career

I am a first-grade teacher at St. Francis Xavier School in Petoskey. I love teaching my students all the different subject areas. I particularly like teaching them reading and seeing their reading skills and confidence develop over the course of a year.

Going to work each day is enjoyable because no two days are alike. I enjoy getting to know my students and their unique personalities. I also enjoy watching the children grow into their own individual selves. One special thing about teaching at St. Francis Xavier is I get to share my faith with my students.

I plan to take six to eight weeks off after placement. Our childcare facility is located at the school so our child will be in the same building as me every day once I go back to work. I will also have summers off to spend with our future children.

I particularly like teaching them reading and seeing their reading skills and confidence develop over the course of a year.

Shawn

Year of Birth: 1987
Education: Alma College (Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry) Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University (Doctor of Optometry)
Occupation: Optometrist
Family Background:

My immediate family is from Michigan. My mother’s side of the family are descendants from Ireland, England and Czechoslovakia. My father’s side of the family are descendants from Austria, France, Germany, and Ireland. We do not carry on any specific traditions from my European heritage.

Katie

Year of Birth: 1990
Education: Alma College (Bachelor’s of Arts in Elementary Education); Grand Valley State University (working towards a Master’s in Literacy Studies)
Occupation: 1st Grade Teacher
Family Background:

My immediate family is from Michigan. My mother’s side of the family are descendants from England and Scotland. My father’s side of the family are descendants from Germany and Poland. My ancestors left their home countries because of religious persecution. We do not carry on any specific traditions from my European heritage.

We just want to say

Although we have not met, we want to thank you for your selflessness and for choosing to give your child a chance at a wonderful life. We know there are other options besides adoption. We can’t imagine being in your shoes but we already admire and respect you. Your decision is one of courage, love, and bravery.

We are writing this letter because God’s plan is not what we expected. We don’t know exactly what the future will look like. We do know, however, that we are here because we want to offer immense love and open hearts. It is our desire to welcome a child and do our very best to provide a life of growth, support, and happiness.

We are grateful to be on this adoption journey. We hope to have an open adoption relationship to the extent we all are comfortable with and understand this relationship can constantly evolve. Lastly, we appreciate you taking the time to get to know us and hopefully we get the chance to get to know you as well. Thank you again.

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

We are excited to not only welcome a child into our life but welcome you and your family as well. By nature of our worlds coming together you are invited to be a part of our family regardless of how involved you choose to be.

We envision whatever level of involvement and communication you are comfortable with. We are happy to send pictures, texts, emails, and letters. We are also happy to have you at family celebrations, gatherings, and events if you are comfortable. We see this as a relationship that can continually grow and evolve into one of friendship and support. Whatever level of involvement you are comfortable with, this child will know you love them.

As we both go through our adoption journeys we wish to be a source of support and encouragement. We see this as one of the benefits of open adoption and are confident our relationship can be one that benefits everyone. Although we live in northern Michigan we are use to traveling to see family and won’t let distance be a factor in our adoption relationships.

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 are excited to not only welcome a child into our life but welcome you and your family as well. By nature of our worlds coming together you are invited to be a part of our family regardless of how involved you choose to be.

We envision whatever level of involvement and communication you are comfortable with. We are happy to send pictures, texts, emails, and letters. We are also happy to have you at family celebrations, gatherings, and events if you are comfortable. We see this as a relationship that can continually grow and evolve into one of friendship and support. Whatever level of involvement you are comfortable with, this child will know you love them.

As we both go through our adoption journeys we wish to be a source of support and encouragement. We see this as one of the benefits of open adoption and are confident our relationship can be one that benefits everyone. Although we live in northern Michigan we are use to traveling to see family and won’t let distance be a factor in our adoption relationships.

Just one more thing...

We are excited to not only welcome a child into our life but welcome you and your family as well. By nature of our worlds coming together you are invited to be a part of our family regardless of how involved you choose to be.

We envision whatever level of involvement and communication you are comfortable with. We are happy to send pictures, texts, emails, and letters. We are also happy to have you at family celebrations, gatherings, and events if you are comfortable. We see this as a relationship that can continually grow and evolve into one of friendship and support. Whatever level of involvement you are comfortable with, this child will know you love them.

As we both go through our adoption journeys we wish to be a source of support and encouragement. We see this as one of the benefits of open adoption and are confident our relationship can be one that benefits everyone. Although we live in northern Michigan we are use to traveling to see family and won’t let distance be a factor in our adoption relationships.

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