It was our 1-year anniversary trip. We decided to go backpacking along the Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula, and then treat ourselves to a nice stay at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for a few nights.
The plan was to backpack the shoreline of Pictured Rocks and then get a nice view of them from the water on our paddle boards on our last day up there. The weather ended up being bad with severe thunderstorms on that last day, so we never got to go paddle boarding – we were bummed.
We were now heading to Mackinac Island for the more “fancy” part of our trip. The plan was to take the ferry boat over, but Lisa took a look at the island from shore and came up with a better idea… She said, “hey, why are we taking a ferry boat over if we have paddle boards? Why don’t we paddle over?” Ryan looked at her like she might be a little crazy… but then came to like the idea.
We took some time researching and planning, packed up our fancy clothes in waterproof bags and strapped them onto our boards. The island didn’t look THAT far away….”
Well, the further we got out the more windy it got and the choppier the water became. But, nothing we couldn’t handle. It’s when we realized our paddling route was right in the ferry boat lane. Ferry boats to Mackinac are practically on auto pilot and we soon realized they could NOT see us.
Ryan waved his bright orange life jacket in the air and finally.. phew, they saw us and started turning. Almost 3 hours later, we were almost to the docks.. Ryan did a little dance out of excitement of making it and fell off his board in his clothes. It was quite the adventure, but a memory to never forget!
|Gender:||A Boy or A Girl|
|Ethnicities:||Any Race and Ethnicity|
|Age:||Newborn to 12 Months|
|Total of:||1 to 4 Children|
|We Live In:||Grandville|
|Kids Already:||One Child Now|
|Child Care:||Stay-at-Home Parent|
Our love story started in 2014, when a mutual friend who Ryan deployed to Iraq with, set us up on a blind date. We were both nervous hardly knowing anything about each other, but we trusted our friend, took a leap of faith, and met at a coffee shop.
We’re those dorks that gave each other personality profile tests before going on another date. Clearly, we liked what we saw!
Ryan shared his history with me on our first date, regarding an accident in 2007, which I really appreciated and came to love about him. It’s what made him who he is; strong, loving, responsible, and loyal. His honesty and openness was very attractive and I couldn’t wait to learn more about him.
We were engaged 7 months later and married 4 short months after that in September 2015. Ryan proposed while we were paddle boarding at his family lake house which is where we chose to get married. It was an intimate and beautiful fall wedding with family and our closest friends.
Shortly after starting the adoption process, we became pregnant and we welcomed baby Samuel into our family in May 2020. There is no difference between a child that grows in Lisa’s womb and one we are waiting to be matched with. They will be equally loved and cared for and we can’t wait to continue to grow our family and have a brother or sister for Samuel.
We love married life! We’re active, full of energy, and love learning and adventure.
During the summer, we enjoy weekends on the water. Lisa’s mom and stepdad live on Indian Lake in Vicksburg and Ryan’s parents live in the Grand Rapids area but have a lake house on Gull Lake. There, we spend quality time with family, go for boat rides, water ski/wakeboard, and lots of paddle boarding with our dog, Zola.
Lisa’s dad and stepmom live in Canton, MI but moving back to the area next year to be closer to family.
We also enjoy camping and going on hikes. Our most recent new toy is a beautiful 1977 Airstream that we plan to take on adventures with our growing family.
During the winter, we enjoy snowshoeing and heading out West to the mountains to ski/snowboard… or, heading down to Florida to visit family and catch some warmth and sunshine!
We also really love our down time just relaxing at home and playing cards, board games, reading, working on our garden, having friends over, and taking a simple walk around the neighborhood.
We love spending time with family. Both of us have siblings who are married with kids.
Ryan’s brother (Jason married to Amanda) has two kids who are 12 (Hannah) and 16 (Evan), and Lisa has a sister (Val married to Ricky) who has a 2-year-old son (Ricky Jay) and a new baby (Camden) who was born June 2020. Both live in the Grand Rapids area close to us.
Lisa’s two stepsisters (Sara and Sheena) both have children (ages 4 (Brayden), 12 (Elijah), and 16 (Kiana)). We are both very close to our parents and siblings and spend a lot of our weekends with them.
Friends are also a huge part of our lives. Our pastors, who are also our close friends, mentors, and God parents to our children, live just down the street from us. They have 5 beautiful kids ages 4-13; two girls and three boys, who are practically family to us.
They officiated our wedding and are our go-to people when we need counsel. We also love to just stop by and have them make us THE BEST latte you’ll ever have, hang out, play cards, and adventure with them.
Marriage, and life in general, isn’t always easy, so it’s good to have strong people in our lives to help us through challenging times when they arise.
We live in a 2-story house with a finished basement in a growing suburban neighborhood with a ton of kids who love getting together to play. It is a beautiful home & neighborhood and perfect for raising a baby and young kids.
However, we do have plans in the near future to move to a house with more land and mature trees. We’d love to be able to have some farm animals and more room for gardening and getting our hands and feet dirty.
We are a Christian family who is very close with our church. They are like family to us and a wonderful support system.
We both serve in the kids’ area and attend weekly small groups, which has helped us build even stronger relationships within our church family. They are who help us learn and grow; so many great examples for parenting!
We’re very passionate about mission work and giving back. There are two organizations in India that we are involved with; Mission India & Faith in Deeds, which have become a special and important part of our lives.
Ryan has been to India multiple times and we’ve gone there together twice as couple to support a Christian children’s home for the orphaned and abandoned, adult literacy programs, children’s after school programs, and church planting.
We hope to continue to go every year if all possible and can’t wait to share in this with our children!
Education will be very important in our home. We plan on an early start to education through reading. We will read daily to our children and when able, they will read to us daily.
Each child will learn differently, and therefore we plan to adapt education according to their individual learning style and talents.
Every child is so unique and different, and we plan to tailor the type of discipline structure necessary depending on that. We’ve learned through close friends and general observation that it is not a one size fits all.
One thing that is important to both of us is that we do not discipline in the heat of the moment; it is important to take a breather, walk away for a bit if needed, and then come back to have that important discussion with our child.
We also believe it’s important to have those discussions privately and not in front of others to avoid any potential embarrassment to them. We of course want our children to respect us, and therefore, it’s important we also respect them!
I work with a family business, which focuses on real estate development and investment acquisition. I have also been blessed to have invested in very good real estate portfolio’s that allow us financial freedom.
Lisa also has a flourishing career that allows us to live substantially below our means. I have insurance coverage which will cover the family and is provided in my employment package.
My work offers many opportunities to learn and grow from many successful colleagues. Proverbs 27:17 states: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” I am happy to say I have cultivated both personal as well as professional relationships. I enjoy working with a team to develop a successful building project that will last a lifetime.
Upon placement, I plan to take three weeks off work in order to bond with our addition. Health Insurance for the child will be put in place immediately under my current policy.
After I go back to work, Lisa will be the primary caretaker as her job allows her to work from home. When Lisa needs to leave for a meeting, I can come home because we live five minutes from my office. I will be working around a 40-45-hour work week, so will be able to be home most of the time.
I am a Real Estate Agent for a large commercial real estate company and help find tenants for health care buildings, retail centers, and offices throughout West Michigan. I really enjoy meeting with people and building long lasting relationships.
This career path leaves me with a ton of flexibility in my schedule. I mainly work from home and have full control over my calendar which allows me to be home with kids.
When I have meetings outside of the home, Ryan is able to come home, or we have family and friends that are close by and available to help.
Upon placement, I will take up to 12 weeks off to nurture and bond with our newest addition.
We are a part of a strong community of large families and would coordinate tons of activities and get-togethers so that they have time with friends and get the socialization and stimulation that they need and desire.
We may not have met yet, but we’ve been praying for you daily (for a long time) and if you choose us we can’t wait to meet both you and your little one. Thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about us.
We will never fully be able to understand how much you are going through right now, but want you to know that you are so brave and so incredibly loved. What a blessing you are!We’re honored that you are considering us as part of your adoption plan.
Also, we want you to feel comfortable and confident in your decision and are happy to answer any further questions you may have. Lisa would like to add that she’s been blessed to have been able to breastfeed baby Samuel and has worked hard to pump and store milk for this future baby so he or she is able to get the best nutrients possible before having to switch to any formula.
We can’t wait to share our love and life with the precious little one who will someday be chosen to be in our lives – but we also want them to know you and where they came from and we are committed to building that relationship!
God has a plan for everything – it may not always be the plan we thought we had for ourselves, but in the end, it always turns out to be greater than our own. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knows it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are forever this child’s mom.