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Shelby & Kendall

Shelby & Kendall

The little things in life mean the most. “Found the tomatoes!” Shelby says, dropping the plastic carton in the cart. “What’s next?” I glance down at our shopping list. “Bok choy. Where is that?” We scan the store and I notice a young man with dark, curly hair by the lemon crate. I nudge Shelby. “Sixty percent Joel.” A huge grin spreads across his face. “Nice!” The Sixty Percent Game is a running challenge in our house. The goal is to identify a stranger who resembles someone we know. They don’t need to be a dead ringer—just a moderate, “60%” match.

life’s simple moments become precious

Now it’s Shelby’s turn. He surveys the area and zeroes in on a short, stylish lady near the produce wall. “Okay, okay – sixty percent Aunt Claudia.” If I hadn’t known better, I’d have thought my aunt was paying us a surprise visit. Shelby looks a bit closer at the leafy greens behind her. “And, hey! She’s right by the bok choy!”

It’s just another weekend chore we’re checking off our household to-do list, but when we tackle them together, even the most ordinary tasks — life’s simple moments — become precious.

Our Story

We met while acting in a college play. Shelby — always up for a challenge — stepped in at the last minute when a cast member was called away the week of the show. Shelby jokes that he noticed Kendall backstage in her costume (a wedding dress) and thought, “Dang, that girl looks good in white!” Afterwards, Shelby took a job at the campus café where Kendall worked and “just so happened” to sign up for her shift. One thing’s for sure: if we could find love over a sink of grimy dishes, we can find the joy in anything!

It may sound cheesy, but we both knew from the beginning that there was something special about our friendship. It felt like we’d known each other our whole lives. Seven years later we’re still each other’s best friend, and you bet we still do the dishes together.

if we could find love over a sink of grimy dishes, we can find the joy in anything!
You’ll likely find us cooking together in the kitchen while listening to a podcast or belting out our favorite songs.

Our Relaxation & Fun

When off the clock, you’ll likely find us cooking together while listening to a podcast or belting out our favorite songs. Shelby’s the innovative, resourceful chef who loves to experiment. Kendall’s the methodical cook who takes the extra minute to make sure the veggies are diced evenly. Between the two of us, we always find a way to make a great dish our own.

We also love making music together. Kendall plays the guitar, piano, and ukulele. We both love to sing. Kendall hopes to teach our child to play the piano one day. Other hobbies include hiking — our goal is to visit one National Park a year — reading, painting, playing board games, volunteering at our church, and playing with our little pup Holly.

our adoption hopes

Gender: A Boy or A Girl

Ethnicities: Any Race and Ethnicity

Age: Newborn to 2 Years Old

Total of: 1 to 4 Children or 4 Siblings

a snapshot
of us

We Live In: Georgetown Township

Our Faith: Catholic

Pets: Dog(s)

Kids Already: No Children Now

Child Care Plan: Stay-at-Home Parent  

Our Family & Friends

Family is the most meaningful thing in our lives — that’s why we’re so excited to grow our own. Kendall’s family lives in Michigan. Shelby has family in Ohio and Indiana. Neither of our parents have grandchildren yet, and they can’t wait to embrace their future grandchild with open arms and hearts. We’re close with our siblings and cousins, and get-togethers involve lots of laughter and lively discussions. A few family members and friends of ours were adopted, and we’ve valued listening to their perspectives and experiences.

We have wonderful friends here in West Michigan, most with kids of their own. We love having them over for dinners, game nights, or Sunday brunches. We also have two godchildren under the age of two who we see quite often. We treasure each opportunity to play with them, make them belly-laugh, and read them stories.

A few family members and friends of ours were adopted, and we’ve valued listening to their perspectives and experiences.
We live next door to a preschool with a large playground and down the street from our local library.

Our Home & Neighborhood

Our home is over 100 years old and full of charm, warmth, and character! We have a good-sized, fenced backyard and Kendall’s dad (always the handyman) can’t wait to turn our conventional playset into the castle, pirate ship, or playhouse of his grandchild’s dreams.

We live next door to a preschool with a large playground and down the street from our local library. The proximity of schools, parks, and churches has drawn many families to the vicinity, including our good friends and their little boy who live right down the road.

We love Hudsonville because we’re not far from the excitement of Grand Rapids but just a short 20-minute drive to Lake Michigan. It’s the perfect in-between for our family! Hudsonville like much of West Michigan is historically Dutch but has become increasingly diverse as the excellent schools and family-friendly community draws people in.

Our Thoughts On...

Education

The first education we receive is in our home. As hopeful parents, we plan to foster our child’s sense of wonder from a young age. We believe cultivating a love of exploration and curiosity will lead to their long-term fulfillment, whether they choose to learn a trade, purse higher education, or serve their community in another way. We hope to model this passion and curiosity for our future child since we never intend to stop learning ourselves!

Correction & Discipline

As disciplinarians, we will strive to be loving, patient, and consistent. We believe children thrive in a stable, dependable environment and that defined behavioral boundaries give kids the confidence to safely explore their growing world. Positive reinforcement, playfulness, and warm, loving interactions are also essential for bonding and help to encourage good behavior. We recognize no child (or adult!) is perfect, but as hopeful parents we are resolved to model grace, mercy, and forgiveness for our child to the best of our ability.

Our Faith Views

We are Catholic Christians. Our faith plays a central role in the values we live by and the people we strive to be. It’s taught us the importance of affirming the dignity of each person and what it means to love others unconditionally. It’s also grounded us during some of the most difficult times in our lives: family cancer diagnosis, the loss of loved ones, and our struggles with infertility. We have close friends and family members of other Christian backgrounds or of no religious affiliation whom we love and deeply respect.

It has taught us the importance of recognizing the inherent dignity of each person and what it means to love unconditionally.
I recently learned to play a song on the recorder to keep my coworkers laughing during a team meeting!

Shelby's Career

I’m a senior actuarial analyst for a health insurance company. An actuary is kind of like being a “future accountant”. I use data and financial theories to analyze risks and make financial recommendations. Basically… it’s a lot of math. I love my job because it’s challenging, encourages me to keep learning, and provides financial stability for our family.

I also value the leadership opportunities it gives me. During Covid, we’ve had to get pretty creative with employee engagement activities to keep our remote team connect from afar. I recently learned to play a song on the recorder to keep my coworkers laughing during a team meeting!

My employer gives me 6 weeks of paid paternity leave (with the option of up to 6 more weeks FMLA) once a placement occurs. Afterwards, I’ll return to full-time employment.

Kendall's Career

I work as an administrative assistant for the Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Cemeteries. The idea of working at a cemetery may raise some eyebrows — mine included when I saw the initial job posting — but it’s been extremely rewarding. I love that I can devote my time to serving others and that my role is more of a ministry than a job. Having gone through challenging times in my own life, it’s deeply fulfilling to help families navigate tough times of their own and guide them through the practicalities so they can focus on what matters most.

I plan to be home with our child once a placement occurs.

I love that I can devote my time to serving others and that my role is more of a ministry than a job.

Shelby

Year of Birth: 1994
Education: Bachelor’s in History and in Latin
Occupation: Senior Actuarial Analyst
Family Background:

My family is German and French. We’re always ready for a challenge whether it’s a family board game, puzzle, or (the ultimate collaboration) cooking together. Our favorite recipe is making a “mess” of chicken wings or Coney Island style hot dogs using a special coney sauce recipe passed down from my grandparents.

Kendall

Year of Birth: 1994
Education: Bachelor’s in History with minors in Classical Education and Spanish
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Family Background:

My family is Italian and Slovakian, but in our house you don’t need to be blood to be family; the more, the merrier! Gatherings often involve good food and good music – our family bonfires are legendary. We’ll pass the guitar around singing anything from oldies to folk tunes. It’s tradition to end the night singing (and dancing) around the fire as my dad plays Don McLean’s American Pie.

We just want to say

Adoption has been on our hearts for a long time. Growing up around friends and family members who were adopted, it’s safe to say adoption has already touched our lives in very personal and meaningful ways. That’s why we planned to adopt long before learning we couldn’t grow our family through natural pregnancy. Though that news was tough to receive, we believe that the most beautiful things often come out of the most difficult circumstances. In a way, isn’t that what adoption is all about?

We don’t know your story, but we hope you find beauty and peace through your adoption journey – whether we end up being part of that story or not. Whatever path you choose for yourself and your little one, we believe you are an incredibly loving and courageous parent! And if you think we could be the right fit for each other, we’d be honored and grateful beyond words to meet you.

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

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for taking the time to get to know our family! We are so sorry you’re going through this delicate and uncertain time, and we hope you find peace and wisdom as you discern the best path for yourself and your sweet little one. If you decide to move forward together, we want you to know we’re committed to building a relationship of trust with you, respecting your boundaries, putting your child’s well-being first, and loving them – and you – unconditionally.

We believe you are an essential part of your child’s story. You will always hold a place of love, honor, and respect in our hearts and in our home. If you are open to it, we would love for you to continue to play a special role in your child’s life and in our family. We believe there can never be too many people in a child’s world to love them, encourage them, and help them understand the beauty of their unique story. We’re ready to embrace adoption with open minds, open arms, and open hearts.

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

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for taking the time to get to know our family! We are so sorry you’re going through this delicate and uncertain time, and we hope you find peace and wisdom as you discern the best path for yourself and your sweet little one. If you decide to move forward together, we want you to know we’re committed to building a relationship of trust with you, respecting your boundaries, putting your child’s well-being first, and loving them – and you – unconditionally.

We believe you are an essential part of your child’s story. You will always hold a place of love, honor, and respect in our hearts and in our home. If you are open to it, we would love for you to continue to play a special role in your child’s life and in our family. We believe there can never be too many people in a child’s world to love them, encourage them, and help them understand the beauty of their unique story. We’re ready to embrace adoption with open minds, open arms, and open hearts.

Just one more thing...

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for taking the time to get to know our family! We are so sorry you’re going through this delicate and uncertain time, and we hope you find peace and wisdom as you discern the best path for yourself and your sweet little one. If you decide to move forward together, we want you to know we’re committed to building a relationship of trust with you, respecting your boundaries, putting your child’s well-being first, and loving them – and you – unconditionally.

We believe you are an essential part of your child’s story. You will always hold a place of love, honor, and respect in our hearts and in our home. If you are open to it, we would love for you to continue to play a special role in your child’s life and in our family. We believe there can never be too many people in a child’s world to love them, encourage them, and help them understand the beauty of their unique story. We’re ready to embrace adoption with open minds, open arms, and open hearts.

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