This story is about family. John is one of six kids. They all love the band Journey because their dad played Journey when they were growing up.
We got married first, and the last song played at our wedding was Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing. The whole family circled up and danced together while we sang at the top of our lungs.
His sister got married next, and someone remembered that last dance and requested Don’t Stop Believing to close out the night. Once again, we all circled up and shared our dancing and singing skills. This time the circle was a little bit bigger.
The trend continued. At the next three weddings, we ended the party with a group dance to Journey. Each time, we welcomed more people and the circle got a little bigger.
This circle has been formed at a huge hotel atrium, golf course, formal ballroom, horse ranch, and farm field. It has grown to include a diverse group of people and now takes up most of any dance floor.
At the last wedding, I looked around at the circle. I realized that we are connected forever. No matter what comes, we are family. And that circle continues to grow, connecting more people, young and old, with love.
|Gender:||A Boy or A Girl|
|Ethnicities:||Caucasian or White,|
|Age:||Newborn to 12 Months|
|Total of:||1 to 2 Children|
|We Live In:||Portage|
|Kids Already:||No Children Now|
|Child Care:||Licensed Child Care Center, Nanny,|
We met while Sara was in grad school with one of John’s best friends. Our first meeting was in a bar on St. Patrick’s Day and it didn’t go well!
But once we had a chance to actually sit down and talk, we realized we shared similar beliefs and wanted similar things in life. We moved to Michigan and got married after Sara finished graduate school.
We have been married for 13 years. Since the beginning, we have been a team. Sara would say that John is the kindest person she has ever known and that he has reminded her of the importance of kindness.
One time there was a mouse trapped in our window well. The poor little thing was terrified and couldn’t escape. John built it an exit ramp and made sure it made it out and back into the woods.
John would say that Sara is the strongest woman he has ever known. She is firm in her beliefs, confident in her abilities, and never afraid to try something new.
Sara is always there for him, whether it’s baking that delicious dessert, buying a special “pick-me-up” from the store, or giving the hug needed after a stressful day.
She can be smart and serious one minute, but then turn around and do something silly, never failing to bring a smile to John’s face.
We are different, but our differences compliment each other and enable us to work through problems. We do disagree about some things, but we respect and love each other for our varying thoughts and opinions.
Being together has changed they way both of us view the world. We have built a loving home and a good and stable life together, and we want to share that life.
We enjoy being outdoors. This includes time spent mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and gardening. We have rediscovered frisbees and enjoy disc golf or just making each other chase down a badly thrown frisbee.
We are also both home bodies so we like a quiet dinner with a few friends or just sitting around on the deck talking about nothing.
We also like visiting big cities (we don’t want to live in one, though) and exploring museums, art, food, and architecture. As kids, we both traveled with our parents and loved exploring new places.
We have taken this love of exploration to a new level, and since we got together, we have made an effort to see as much as we can. Each year we take a trip to a new location and see as much of it as we can in the time we have.
We have hiked the Tetons, Sierra Nevada, and the Appalachians; explored art and museums in San Francisco, Chicago, and Santa Fe; and lazed around beaches in the Outer Banks and Florida. We love seeing new places and new ways of life and dream of sharing our journeys with our child.
John is interested in genealogy. He has spent countless hours researching online and talking with family to piece together a very extensive family tree and to preserve historical family photos and documents.
He loves Halloween and has constructed an entire graveyard scene for our yard in the fall. He likes Halloween decorations so much they are even now common Christmas presents from family.
He also loves reading science fiction books, and he can talk Star Wars and Star Trek with anyone for hours. John is also a former competitive swimmer, and still enjoys jumping in the water and doing countless laps to stay fit.
Sara has been a fitness geek since high school and is involved in a local gym. Sara also likes to bake. She still can’t make a good sugar cookie but she has learned how to make all kinds of cakes and pies and even mastered some gluten-free recipes. She cooks regular food too but finds more joy in making desert.
Sara also loves flowers and spends a lot of time outside planting and maintaining her garden. She is also interested in supporting girls and women in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics.
We are both close to our families. Sara is an only child from a small family that lives in Arizona. She talks weekly with them, and we try to visit or vacation with them at least once a year.
John’s parents and siblings (he is the oldest of six kids) live in Indiana, and we spend most major holidays and birthdays with them and his extended family.
We have dinner and home renovation/maintenance get-togethers a few times each year and at least one pool party at our house each summer. As John’s siblings have started having children, these gatherings have gotten more fun because we all now have an excuse to act like kids again!
We have a few close friends, some of whom live out-of-state, that we have known for years. We keep in touch using social media and meet up around Kalamazoo or, as we can, meet for out-of-state vacations.
We live in Portage, which is a mid-sized city located next to Kalamazoo. Portage is made up of residential neighborhoods and a commercial area. It does not have a “downtown” area and is more of a suburb to Kalamazoo.
Our neighborhood is located in southern part of Portage. It is a quiet, well-established, family-friendly neighborhood with only two entrances and many cul-de-sacs. The neighborhood is filled with young families and is close to many of Portage’s parks and trails.
We live on a cul-de-sac in a two-story home constructed in the 1970s. It has four bedrooms and 2.5 baths and includes a finished basement. We joke that our house has lots of character and we mostly love its funky features.
We bought our house because of the outdoor space with a gazebo, pond with running stream, pool, and multiple garden areas. We have renovated nearly every room in our house and made it a home.
We share our home with two older cats that we rescued when we first got married. As a joke, we started calling the first one “the cat” and now that is the only name she responds to… so, yes, we have a cat called “the cat” but we never forget her name!
The second kitty we chose because she is goofy looking and we were worried she might not get picked by anyone else. We call her Xena and she is the sweetest little kitty.
We also just rescued two little gray kittens that we call Toes and Tails. They chase their numerous toys, eat anything they can find, and generally love to get into everything they aren’t supposed to!
We like our neighborhood and plan to stay in this home.
We value kindness, respect, and responsibility and we look forward to sharing those values with our child.
We feel that education is important because it provides children and adults with the skills and knowledge they need to understand and make their way in the world. Education alone doesn’t ensure success, but it gives someone the chance to find opportunities and achieve their goals.
Education also encourages interest in things like science, art, history, and philosophy, all of which increase the richness and enjoyment of life. We believe that education can expands a person’s horizons and give them a chance to find different experiences, people, and ideas.
We are committed to giving our child every educational opportunity possible so they can develop their own interests and skills and prepare themselves for adulthood.
We believe that discipline is needed for children and young adults to bring stability and structure into their lives. Discipline is a way of guiding and nurturing a child. It teaches them the moral and societal rules and customs that we live by.
Discipline is not punishment, it is more about shaping and molding a child’s behavior so they can happily and effectively be a part of our world. We believe that effective discipline must be done in such a way that our child always knows that we love and support him or her.
We believe that by listening and involving our child in their own decision making, we can reduce the need for punishment for not complying with the discipline rules.
We believe discipline will involve discussion until our child understands what was unacceptable and why and apologizes to affected parties if needed. In more serious events, discipline will include the temporary removal of something important to our child, such as television, toy, or phone privileges.
John grew up in the Catholic church. Sara’s family was not “officially” a member of any church, but she attended a Methodist school and went to Catholic services for most holidays. She then attended Notre Dame and spent many afternoons in the cathedral listening to the daily mass.
From our perspective, religion has given us is an appreciation for the importance of community, the need for kindness to others and those less fortunate, and an acknowledgment of higher power. We believe in a higher power beyond what we can see and touch.
We also believe that a person can find their spirituality and faith in places outside a church. We plan to give our child the opportunity to experience the Catholic Church and help them explore the philosophies and history of the Christian faith.
John is an architect in a small firm that specializes in small and medium commercial and light industrial architecture and design. He enjoys creating comfortable and efficient spaces for the wide variety of clients with whom his company works.
Working for a small office keeps him fully engaged in all aspects of a job, from early conceptual meetings and design, through the construction process, and all the way to seeing the final end building being occupied and used.
John has a less structured work environment and will be able to take time off and/or work from home as needed following placement. John’s company’s owner considers him to be a “surrogate son” and will be accommodating of special situations and needs during the early days of caring for a new child.
Sara is an environmental engineer who has worked her way up to a senior project engineer at a consulting company in Kalamazoo.
She works on projects ranging from commercial property transactions to grant writing to environmental remediation at contaminated industrial sites.
Her passion is working with communities to redevelop urban sites in ways that improve the environment and help struggling Michigan communities reinvent themselves.
She has also recently worked to start a women’s resource network at her company and hopes to expand that group into the community.
Sara will take 12 weeks off from work to care for the child. Following Sara’s maternity leave, she will return to work, and we will use either daycare or a nanny. Depending on the timing of the placement, Sara may negotiate working part time when she returns to work.
Thank you for taking the time to look at our family. We cannot comprehend how hard this process must be for you.
We hope that we can provide you a feeling of comfort that, if you choose us to be part of your family, we will provide our child with a loving and fun home and give them every opportunity we can. We look forward to getting to know you and sharing our lives and our extended family with you.
We want you to know that we don’t expect the adoption process to be simple or easy but we are committed to working with you to develop a plan that works for you.
We wish you peace and hope as you explore the possibility of adoption, and we thank you for learning a bit about us and our lives. We are grateful for your consideration and would be thrilled to be a part of your adoption plan.