From beer pong to blissful home:
When Chad had his house built in 2013 he wasn’t thinking of children’s rooms and a wildflower garden.
He and his 3 friends filled the rooms with hand-me-down furniture, a leather couch as the one piece of living-space furniture and a fridge filled with beer. This was a bachelor pad all the way down to the ping pong table in the basement.
When Caroline moved in in 2015, minor changes began to happen. The house was finally cleaned, and a dining room table appeared. Chad got their first real Christmas tree; a tear was shed that day as our traditions began to form.
We put in a garden and began to fill the home with warmth and stylish furniture. Walls have been painted and photographs and artwork now have their place, along with many other cosmetic updates.
Looking back at photos of our first Halloween party and the first of our annual Christmas Eve family gathering, it’s astonishing how big the transformation is! Chad built a place that could hold a family and Caroline brought the other half; together we created a space that now feels like home.
It’s just like our relationship: the original parts were always good, but combined, they are able to grow into something beautiful.
|Gender:||Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child|
|Ethnicities:||Caucasian or White, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander,|
|Age:||Newborn to six months|
|Total of:||1 to 2 Children|
|We Live In:||Kentwood|
|Kids Already:||No Children Now|
|Child Care:||Family Member Child Care, Stay-at-Home Parent|
We meet through an online dating app. We like to joke that Chad was stalking Caroline; he was motivated! It took a few months of talking to weed out any catfish situations and go on our first date.
Our spark was instant, and we’ve been together since. That was 2014 and we were engaged on Christmas Eve 2016 at our annual party. We got married in August 2018 at admittedly the most magical day of our lives (seriously nothing went wrong!).
How Caroline would describe our relationship: We are best friends and Chad is my favorite person in the world. He still gives me butterflies, and I just love being around him. We are both fairly laid back (Chad more than me) and our relationship is a 50/50 partnership.
Our home is always filled with laughter and when disagreements happen, any frustration doesn’t last long because neither of us can hold a grudge or stay mad to save our lives. Our relationship is never boring and both of us are motivated to live full lives, be parents and surround ourselves with loved ones. This is the best relationship I’ve ever been in; Chad makes me feel so secure and am so proud to have him as my partner in life.
How Chad would describe our relationship: Fun is the key word. There isn’t a day that goes by where we are not laughing about something. We have a lot of inside jokes between us. Just like she said, she is my best friend and there is no one I would rather take this journey with.
Another thing that is awesome about our relationship is our support for each other. No matter what we are always there to encourage each other to grow and take our challenges head on.
• Anything outdoors: hiking, biking, gardening, home projects, camping, going to the pool, our goal is to visit all state parks in the US
• Travel: our goal is to visit all 50 states and most developed countries in the world and visit every major league baseball stadium. Each year we take at least one road trip, one to two camping trips or one big trip (we can’t wait to put our children in the carrier and explore!)
• Eat: we really enjoy a good meal and love to try new restaurants, cuisine and cultural dishes
• Relax at home: both of us have a homebody streak and enjoy a night in (or we go to the movies often), game nights with friends, a good book and working on projects together
• Animals & Earth: Animals and caring for the earth is our passion. We have 3 amazing cats and we also foster kittens. When our children get older, we do plan on getting a dog or two. Chad also wants to raise bees and if he has it his way we will have chickens. We love to garden together and plan on having a garden filled with veggies and fruit. We also volunteer at nature focused causes.
• Individually: Caroline does yoga daily and loves to find creative outlets in building/decorating/gardening projects; Chad is a sports, science, music and history nut. On weekends Chad likes to get together with friends and watch football. Chad is also an avid biker.
We are very close to our family and both have smaller, closer knit groups of friends. Sunday dinner with the whole family happens every week at Caroline’s parent’s home and we see Chad’s parents every week as well.
Caroline has a larger extended family and while both sets of grandparents have passed away, the traditions of getting together for holidays, celebrations and to catch up is strong. Chad’s extended family is small and so it’s easy to get together often for celebrations, holidays and just to spend time together.
Our families intermingle and our parents all get along well; this has become a motivator for a larger home that can hold everyone in one place for holidays.
Our friends are such a supportive and fun group of people with lots of kids. Being in our 30’s we spend time hosting, going to events and dinner.
We currently live in a newer neighborhood in Kentwood at the end of a quiet cul-da-sac in a 4 bedroom home that Chad had built in 2013.
Our neighborhood is culturally diverse, filled with young families and a couple of blocks from the elementary school. It is just the two of us and our three cats.
In the longer term, we hope to move into a home with more living space, just as good of a school district as the one we are currently in and a larger yard with a pool.
Organized religion does not play a large role in our lives. Caroline is the religious one of the two and identifies most with the Christian/Reformed Judaism faith. For her, God is a daily presence through prayer, appreciation and Chad also shares in the belief that being kind and loving and respecting others will lead to a full life.
Views on Education: Lifelong learners here! We highly value education and already have plans in place to provide our children with the opportunities to succeed.
We plan to start with a nature-based preschool and spend K-12 in a good school district with additional help from their retired teacher grandma and hands-on help from us. Beyond K-12 we will cover the costs for either half of a bachelor’s degree or the full cost of a trade school. W
We also see extra-curricular as an important part of education; playing a sport they enjoy or an instrument, we will encourage our kids to explore their interests and passions.
We feel like communication when disciplining is very important and discipline needs to be catered to the individual child. We do not believe in physical discipline.
In our relationship we already talk through issues and compromise. So, as we went through our parenting and discipline classes, it felt like second nature to treat conflict by weighing options and consequences.
We want our children to feel respected and to respect us back and we plan to use techniques that help all both feel heard. We think that positive discipline such as stickers on chore boards can help keep a child focused on good behaviors. While this all seems magical on paper, we also are very realistic people that see value in evolving and being flexible when situations arise.
I am a Gas & Electric Distribution Engineer at Consumers Energy. I really like my job! Being a part of getting people such a vital part of life is such an honor.
I will continue to work full time and Caroline will be part time. We have our mothers that are excited to babysit their first grandchild and we have picked out a nature-based preschool for them to go to a few days per week when they get older.
I love my job! I work as a Human Resources manager and there is never a dull day. I get to work with inspiring and fun people.
By far, my favorite part of my work is impacting my employees’ lives and helping them find solutions. I love connecting with, learning, teaching and finding joy with my coworkers and the employees I serve.
I will be the primary caretaker. Both Chad and I will take 12 weeks of leave when the baby comes. I will switch to a part time schedule. When I am at work, grandmas who live very close will babysit for the 6-7 hours when both Chad and I are at work.
As our children age, we want them to play and learn with other kids their age, so we found a preschool that’s nature based; centered on helping children learn, play and connect with nature. As they hit high school and beyond, I will put in more hours at work, up to full time when they graduate from high school.
Hi! We believe everything happens for a reason. We are proud and happy in the life we share together and want so much to grow our family. To us this also includes a future adopted child and his/her family. We are so excited about our decision to adopt! We are two people in love, hoping to raise some amazing individuals that love their life and feel supported, loved and empowered.
Our moment of truth: writing this is intimidating. It’s hard to put into a letter (that’s not 10 pages long) our dreams of becoming parents and what kind of parents that we will be, but we hope that our vulnerability helps us connect with you in this very special and emotional life event.
We aren’t perfect, we are always learning and growing, and a curse word may slip here and there, but we hope that you see this as our genuine selves shining through.
We believe children should have a life centered on education, family, diversity, travel and a ton of fun. This lifechanging excitement is shared by our families and friends, especially our mothers who have been bugging us for years to give them their first grandchild!
We are so grateful for you considering us, it is difficult to imagine the weight that you feel. So we want you to know how valued and appreciated you are, just for taking the time to read through our life on display. We are an open book so if you have questions or want to know more, ask away!
Neither of us are shy about ourselves. Sometimes Chad to a fault; a pre-party reminder usually involves “No one wants to hear about your body functions.” But all joking aside, we’re happy to share and want to learn about your wants, dreams and hopes.
We feel like one of the main questions that may come up is why are you adopting? The two main reasons are a longtime shared desire to adopt and a medical complication. Caroline has chronic daily migraines which require preventative medications that allow her to function but also prevent her from becoming pregnant. Beyond the medical complication, both of us have always been interested in adoption.
Having the trust of someone to share in the blessing of a child is such an amazing honor. We are absolutely blown away by your bravery and heart!
We wish you the very best in your journey and are happy for you, your child and the family that you choose. Best wishes and big hugs!