It all started with a youth center.
8 years ago, we met at a youth center in Walker called The 3 Mile Project. It’s a place where teenagers can have fun and be safe at the same time. Caitlyn was on staff and Ben was a volunteer.
Over a few months, a relationship started to form and eventually we started dating. Caitlyn is a youth director and one of the big reasons we started dating was because she saw how great Ben interacted with teenagers. He loves to goof around to make them laugh and isn’t afraid to be blunt and bold with them when talking about life stuff.
As our relationship blossomed, we got engaged and it was time to think about where to have our wedding reception. The thought came to us rather quickly, The 3 Mile Project! There’s no better place to celebrate our perfect day than the place where we met and our relationship took form.
So we invited our friends and family to celebrate with us and included the fun games they had there like foosball, air hockey and pool tables as well as a skate park. There was a photo booth there too that was a huge hit!
Over the last 6 years of marriage, our love for The 3 Mile project is still there and we really enjoy spending time there and serving teenagers.
Our two boys are old enough now where they can participate in 3 Miles weekend activities and they beg us to let them go. It’s amazing going back to the place where we first fell in love and to be able to continue serving teenagers together.
|Gender:||A Boy or A Girl|
|Ethnicities:||Any Race and Ethnicity|
|Age:||Newborn to 2 Years Old|
|Total of:||1 Child|
|We Live In:||Walker|
|Kids Already:||Two Children Now|
|Child Care:||Licensed Child Care Center,|
We were both volunteering at a youth center in Walker when we first met which allowed us to get to know each other better and through mutual friends, we began dating.
We dated for 6 months before we got engaged and those 6 months were full of open and honest conversations about who we were, our past and our hopes for the future. Ben was previously married and had two children from that marriage (ages 2 & 4 at the time, now they are 9 & 11), so discussing how our new family would work was very important.
We got married in May of 2014 (9 months after getting engaged) and our day was perfect. In the time that we dated and the first 2 years of our marriage, Caitlyn was in the throes of her new job at Keystone, creating a new program from scratch which wasn’t easy, but Ben encouraged her and volunteered his time to help get things going.
Those first two years were huge in our marriage as it brought a lot of obstacles and hoops to jump through. There have been other struggles in our marriage, but we have fought them together as we believe it’s better to fight as a team than by ourselves.
We love to stay active and have fun! As a couple, we play in a summer softball co-ed league and have been playing with the same group of friends for over 6 years now. We love to take our dog for walks, go to our favorite restaurants, hang out with friends and go to the movies.
As individuals, Ben loves to go bike riding, play video games and do some landscaping in our yard. Caitlyn enjoys playing and watching sports, loves to read and bake in the kitchen.
As a whole family, we really enjoy getting outside whether that’s playing sports, taking the dog to the park, going to a family friends pool, mountain biking or fishing.
We have amazing friends and family who are such a blessing to us! We are close with both sides of our families and spend lots of time together around birthdays, holidays and the time in-between.
These fun times include: having a fishing day with Uncle Will and the cousins each summer (the boys always look forward to that), a summer family pool party, getting ice cream with Grandpa and random get togethers with yummy food!
We also have great friends who are super supportive. We love to hang out with our friends and do things like: have bonfires, go to dinner, go out to the lake, ride in the pontoon boat, get ice cream, go to the movies and play card games. We are so grateful for the friends and family that we have!
We live in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath two story home in a beautiful neighborhood in Walker. Our neighborhood is diverse and family friendly with all different age groups throughout.
We are within walking distance to a park, have many sidewalks to travel on and are very close to multiple restaurants and fun activities.
We believe this is our starter home and have plans to move to our forever home in the future, but it will still be in the city of Walker as Ben is on the fire department and will look for the neighborhood to have the same quality as we do now.
We follow Jesus and try to do our best to do as He teaches. We believe Jesus was without sin and died for us so we can be free.
It is important to us to follow Jesus as best as we can and to LOVE above all else. We don’t believe it’s about following all of the “religious rules”, but about following the example of who Jesus is and how He lived His life.
We attend church every Sunday morning and multiple times during the week as Caitlyn works at a church. Ben is also a volunteer for our youth program with Caitlyn, mentoring a great group of high school guys.
We believe that education is very important and that education never stops. We hope to help our child understand that just because you graduate, that doesn’t mean that you stop learning but a continual process for your entire life.
It is also important to us that our child attends great schools that are also diverse. We are very blessed to have a big list of great schools in the area and the greater Grand Rapids area.
When it comes to discipline, we believe it is all about teaching, redirecting and problem solving.
This can be done through giving them a couple of choices, by giving them opportunities to solve problems, to learn from their mistakes, by giving them grace and by taking away privileges if the offense has been repeated multiple times.
We never want fear to be a part of discipline which is why we take on this approach rather than corporal punishment.
I work at the Gerald R Ford International Airport in field maintenance and I get to do lots of fun things. In the summer, I get to mow all of the grass in and around the airport as well as paint new lines on the runways.
In the winter, I drive the massive plow trucks to get rid of all of the snow on the runways. I take pride in making sure the airfield is in tip top shape to keep all passengers safe!
When I’m not at my full time job at the airport, I spend time at one of the fire stations in Walker as a volunteer/paid on call Captain. I love training with other fire fighters and enjoy teaching them how to be the best fire fighter they can be, all while learning alongside them.
My hope is to stay at the airport until I retire and then continue with firefighting after retirement. I love to work and be around people and those are both ways I get to do that.
When it comes to child care plans, our hope is to have our child in day care part time and then home with us when not at day care. During the winters when I’m on second shift, I will have our child at home with me and will have the responsibility of dropping them off at day care. In the summer, I will have the responsibility of picking our child up from day care certain days each week.
I work as a student director at Keystone Community Church in Ada, MI. I have the privilege of working with both middle schoolers and high schoolers each week and on some weekends.
I love working with teenagers and enjoy watching how much they grow from 6th grade to 12th grade and beyond! Some of my favorite memories are taking them on summer serve trips where we get to serve communities all over the world.
It’s amazing to watch teenagers serving others and seeing how much joy it brings them. I went into my job expecting that I would teach my students all of the great things about life, but I think they’ve taught me more!
I plan to continuing working at the church full time and enrolling our child in day care part time. My job is flexible and has a different schedule than most other jobs which allows me to stay home with our child a couple of days a week, during the day. When I have events at night, Ben will be home to take care of our child.
First of all, we want you to know that we see you and are praying for you daily. We have no idea how difficult this journey must be but we do know that it takes great courage to choose adoption. Our hope is that God guides you and gives you peace as you make this decision.
Thank you for taking the time to look through our profile. We have so much love to give as well as great family and friends who support us and will love your child unconditionally. If you choose us, your child will also have two big brothers who will protect them and teach them all they know!
We have a few promise statements we would like to share. We want an open adoption and when we think of our future child’s birthparents, we want them to know this:
We promise to love your child unconditionally and teach them to do the same.
We promise to share with your child who you are and where they came from.
We promise to give your child great opportunities to be the best that they can be and to support them in whatever they choose.
We promise to teach your child all that we know and encourage them to keep seeking and learning.
We promise to bring your child joy and make them laugh every day!
We are extremely thankful for you and care for you deeply. We will continue our daily prayers for you throughout this journey and pray that you feel God’s peace.
So much love,
My dad’s side is mainly Polish but the only tradition we follow there is the food! My mom’s side is a little Irish, German, French and maybe a few more! We don’t celebrate any traditions there, we are just big fans of University of Notre Dame!
I come from a very Dutch family where both sides came from the Netherlands when my great-great grandparents were young. Now that we are a few generations removed from there, we don’t speak Dutch anymore and we don’t really celebrate it’s traditions (we don’t even go to the tulip festival in Holland) but the main trait we all kept was that we don’t like to spend money :)
The journey through adoption is not easy for either side, so it’s important for us to support the birth parents as best we can and to protect our hearts too. Through pregnancy, Caitlyn is willing to go to doctors visits, do some shopping and support the birth mother in whatever she needs help with. We would love to be a part of the entire process and there at the delivery if they so choose. We want to help support the birth parents with what they need and would love to keep communication with them throughout the child’s life through texts, phones calls, pictures, letters, visits and other things we agree upon with the birth family. We would like to keep the visits with just us, the birth parents (their family) and the child.