We often laugh at how much our relationship embodies the old cliché that “opposites attract.” But after 10 years of loving and growing together, we feel it really couldn’t be more true.
Michelle approaches life and its many challenges with humor and gusto, and her busy brain is continually thinking up ways to make the world a better place. Meanwhile, Thom has always been the calm within the storm. His peaceful yet rationale mindset means that no problem is too big, and his positivity brings optimism to all aspects of our lives.
With our powers combined, we have navigated life’s ups and downs. The following story offers a glimpse into our teamwork–during one of our more interesting moments, now known as Thumper vs. The Neighborhood Skunk.
It was a Sunday night; we were getting ready for the upcoming week and about to go to bed. Our dog, Thumper, just had to go out for one last pee. Almost immediately, we noticed the smell. Not like a normal skunk, it was…so much more. The pungent smell stung the nose and burned the eyes.
Thumper had been sprayed directly in the face and had a look of sheepish embarrassment and fear for what lay ahead. To say Thumper does not enjoy baths would be an understatement, but Michelle was able to distract her with treats, pets and songs, while Thom patiently scrubbed her fur. We called the vet to make sure her eyes would be okay and we all went to bed a little closer and a lot stinkier.
Although we continued this bath time ritual for months, the smell lingered and every time we noticed, all we could do was laugh and laugh, as Michelle reenacted the scene.
It wasn’t Thumper’s fault. She just needed our help, and in this family, we love and support each other no matter what.
|Gender:||Any Gender, including an Ambiguous or Transitioning Gender Child|
|Ethnicities:||Any Race and Ethnicity|
|Age:||Newborn to 12 Months|
|Total of:||1 to 2 Children|
|We Live In:||Grand Rapids|
|Our Faith:||Open to all religions|
|Kids Already:||No Children Now|
|Child Care:||Family Member Child Care, Stay-at-Home Parent|
We met in the summer of 2008 through mutual friends and started dating 10 years ago when Thom finally convinced Michelle to give him a chance. His patience and persistence paid off and we have been together ever since.
Pretty early in the relationship, Michelle was presented with the opportunity to rescue a dog. Thom encouraged this decision and Thumper became our sidekick. She became the common thread that bonded us even further. The three of us became a family.
We both are still in awe that we’ve been so lucky in love to find our person this young in life. Thom’s patient, calm and comfortable energy is still the best balance for Michelle’s humorous, exuberant and compassionate nature.
We’ve had lots of time to learn about each other, to pursue meaningful careers that we enjoy, and to have grand adventures full of travel with family and friends.
We have supported each other through moves out of state, family deaths and illnesses, and our more recent struggles with infertility.
We feel so full of love and excitement about the possibility of growing our family and can’t wait for this next chapter in our lives.
On a typical Saturday, Michelle would head to yoga and return home to a yummy breakfast Thom prepared of homemade granola and fruit or heuvos rancheros.
We would then take our dog for a walk down to our community nature center and come home to veg on the couch with a good book and some solid dog snuggles.
In the evening, you could find us playing board games at a friends home, checking out one of our favorite bands at a local venue, or just watching some of our go-to shows on Netflix for a relaxing night in.
Our home is often filled with music, whether it’s Michelle belting out show tunes while she tidies the house or Thom playing one of his favorite records.
We currently live rich, full lives and after much reflection and conversation, we decided we want to share and expand our love and our lives by adopting.
We can’t wait to take family dog walks and camping trips, read Harry Potter before bed, and make sure our children are provided with as much love and support as possible.
We hope that you’d like to be part of our family and build a life-long relationship with this child through open adoption in whatever way feels right to you.
We both come from a nuclear family of four and have remained extremely close with our parents and siblings over the years. Both of our parents are recently retired and live in West Michigan so we are lucky enough to see them regularly.
We love going on family vacations, spending holidays together, seeing live music and theater, watching our dogs wrestle, or even playing a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity or Scrabble in one of our homes.
We each have one brother, and both are excited to compete for the title of Coolest Uncle. The whole family is excited about and supportive of the idea of adoption and is ready for the family to grow. Everyone is eager to babysit often and the grandparents can’t wait to spoil their first grandchild!
We have created such a strong and loving community in West Michigan that we couldn’t imagine raising a family anywhere else. We have the seen the “it takes a village” mentality in full force and have loved being a part of our friends’ growing families.
We hope for a strong extended community that includes our child’s birth family in whatever way feels best for them, so that this little one will have as much love and support as possible throughout their life.
We live in a two-bedroom home in a quiet, urban neighborhood 2-3 miles south of downtown Grand Rapids, close to Garfield Park and Garfield Nature Center.
We have a large fully fenced-in backyard for our dog to patrol and we love to sit on our three-season porch during the warmer months and watch her chase the squirrels.
Our neighborhood feels safe and friendly and we love that it is full of young families and sidewalks often bustling with strollers, bike riders, and chalk art.
We also love how diverse the community is in terms of our neighbors’ cultural and racial makeup. The Alger Heights community is a fairly even mix of Caucasian, Latino, and African-American individuals.
We acknowledge that as our family grows, we may need to move into a larger home, but plan to stay in the Grand Rapids area as to remain close to our family, friends and community.
We both hold a deep respect and love for not only the religious customs/beliefs we were raised with (Catholicism, Judaism, Unitarian Universalism), but all religions.
Both of us were taught to treat everyone with respect and kindness, regardless of their religious beliefs or cultural background, and to be curious about the meaning of life.
We plan to teach our children to live life by the Golden Rule and to strive to be respectful, compassionate and loving to all. Our family values include honesty, respect, love, tolerance, curiosity, communication, compassion, and social justice/equity.
We both seriously value the role of education in society and in our own lives. We believe that it is important to live life with one’s “student” hat on and to try and remain open and curious to new ideas.
We were both lucky to be raised by parents who valued education as a vital piece in a child’s life. We were encouraged to make career and educational choices based on our own views and what we believed would make us happy.
We plan to pass this along to our children as well. We believe that knowledge is power and that the more people are aware and curious about different cultures and belief systems, the more tolerance, acceptance, and equity we will see within our society.
We believe the role of discipline in a child’s life is to keep them safe and ultimately, teach them how to be responsible and successful adults in our society.
By providing proper guidance and offering positive and negative consequences, children feel safe to grow and learn from their mistakes. Discipline can also help children learn to manage their own emotions, particularly negative emotions like anger and frustration.
More importantly, we will try to determine the reason for misbehavior and facilitate open conversation with the child about how to deal with certain feelings and emotions in a healthy way.
I work as a Financial Analyst for a network of public charter schools. I am passionate about education and grateful to work in a field that positively impacts our community.
I will be able to take up to 12 weeks of family leave following placement. Once I return to work, my job offers great flexibility in terms of assisting with childcare duties as needed during the week.
I currently work at two social services agencies, working directly with both survivors of domestic violence and children involved in court ordered parenting time. In both positions, I love being able to play a small part in creating a safe space for children and families to grow and heal on their own terms.
Thanks to Thom’s stable income, I will be able to stay home to care for our child full-time after placement, while continuing to pursue my Master of Social Work degree.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know our little family! We are so excited to be on this adoption journey and can only imagine the wild roller coaster of emotions you must be going through. We want you to know that first and foremost, we respect you and whatever decision you make. We are so passionate about making sure this adoption journey feels right for YOU. We would be honored to be part of you and this child’s life, as we have so much love we want to share. We are open to building a lifelong relationship with you and your family (at whatever level feels best to you), as we are passionate about providing as much love, connection and community for this child as possible.
We will always do our best to show our authentic and true selves. We hope we can meet in person sometime soon to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, we are sending so much love and compassion and positive vibes out into the universe in the hopes that they will find you and bring you peace, clarity, and strength.
With love and gratitude,