Hello! We’re Matt and Christy. We appreciate you reading our profile and are excited to tell you our story.
We met through a local nonprofit that Christy was working for and Matt partnered with. Ours is not a “love at first sight,” story. When we did talk, it was merely in passing or business-related. Things began to change when Matt asked Christy out to lunch. Christy thought it was networking! After some bumps along the way, God finally drew our hearts together. We dated for seven months. During this time we saw the words “You got this,” written in chalk; that became our catch phrase for our relationship. We got engaged in the fall of 2014 and married the following summer.
Matt has a daughter from a previous relationship. We have always wanted to have children together but knew it would be a challenge due to preexisting fertility issues. In the four years of trying to conceive, we always knew adoption was part of our plan. When it became clear that we cannot have a child biologically, we pursued the path of adoption and are excited to grow our family.
Expectant mothers who choose to make an adoption plan may qualify for some level of financial assistance during their pregnancy. However, each person's situation and specific needs are different. Your adoption social worker can help you determine what level of assistance you qualify for and deserve. Many expectant mothers qualify for financial assistance to cover basic pregnancy and living expenses, including but not limited to - transportation reimbursement, utility assistance for phone, water, and electricity/gas, maternity clothing and supplements, etc.
Navigating a pregnancy alone is never easy. Depending on your situation and location, you may qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of basic living expenses, such as food and groceries.
Receiving quality medical care during your pregnancy is vital to both your health and the health of your baby. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your pregnancy-related medical expenses will be covered by the adoptive family.
Women who choose to place their baby for adoption may receive financial assistance to help cover the cost of rent and utilities. If you feel that you’ll need some help with these costs, it’s important to talk to your adoption social worker about it early in the process. Each expectant mother’s situation is different, and eligibility may vary.
In order to have a healthy pregnancy, it’s important that you have everything you need to lead a healthy lifestyle. Like food and groceries, the cost of some household items - like feminine and dental care items, along with prenatal supplements - may be covered during your pregnancy.
Placing a baby for adoption is a loving, but incredibly challenging decision to make. Many women experience an array of emotions during this time and find that counseling is very helpful in navigating those feelings. If you would like to receive counseling during or after your pregnancy, that can be arranged by your adoption social worker. The cost of counseling will be covered by the adoptive family or adoption organization.
If you need assistance with transportation, your adoption social worker can work with you to find the best solution. You may eligible for assistance with transportation costs or be connected with a transportation service to utilize during your pregnancy.
It won't cost you anything. If you choose to place your baby for adoption, all of your medical and legal fees will be covered and you may be eligible for financial assistance with other pregnancy-related expenses.
Yes. Even if you don’t know the identity of the birth father, you can still choose to make an adoption plan. However, every adoption situation is different. The adoption social worker you’re assigned to will get to know you and your story first, and then guide you through the process accordingly.
You can make an adoption plan at any point in your pregnancy, even after the baby has been born. But, it's important to start the process as early in your pregnancy as possible. Connecting with those resources will allow you to gain access to important medical services, including prenatal care, to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
One aspect of your adoption plan is the "Hospital Plan" an outline of how you'd like your hospital stay and delivery to go. You can craft this on your own or with the help of your adoption social worker. But everything is up to you. You’ll be able to choose who comes to the hospital with you, who is in the room with you during delivery, and how much time you’d like to spend with the baby before signing the final papers.
As part of your adoption plan, you'll determine whether or not you’d like to have an open or closed adoption or something in between. Open adoptions may include phone calls, messaging (via social media, email, or text), and/or periodic visits each year. Closed adoptions may include no contact at all or annual updates provided to the birth parent(s) by the adoptive family. Each post-adoption relationship is different and can vary based on what an expectant mother chooses in her adoption plan.
In keeping with our family fall traditions, over the past month we've attended a game at Michigan Stadium, attended a gala event for Matt's work, and visited our favorite apple orchard (the BEST donuts around!). We also had updated family pictures taken. It is one of our greatest hopes and desires to meet you, support you, and raise a baby in our home - a home filled with love and family tradition.
Everyone says summer goes fast in Michigan. That may seem so, but we really made it count over the past three months. After returning from camping in the Upper Penninsula, we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary by going out to dinner at a local restaurant. And over the Labor Day weekend, the three of us took a trip to Florida to visit some of Matt's family and friends. We know for sure how exciting it would be to spend moments like this with a baby in our family...and to build new family memories together.
We just returned from our annual camping expedition! This year we returned to Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP) – it had been 6 years since we were last up there. Christy's parents joined us. We explored an old mining town, swam at the beach, saw fish at the Big Springs (kitch-iti-kipi), found three waterfalls, ate S’mores, sat by bonfires, and much, much more. One thing we appreciate about the state campgrounds we stay in is that they are all very kid-friendly. Several of our camping neighbors this week had babies and other young children with them. We continue to hope and pray for a child to join our family so we can spend these times and traditions all together.
Continuing with summer family traditions, we recently celebrated Father's Day in our usual style: church, lunch, and a round of mini golf (dads golf FREE on Father's Day!). There have been a couple trips to the beach lately, nature walks, and of course, hanging out at our favorite ice cream stands. We love being outside during the summer and exploring all Michigan has to offer. In a couple weeks we will be heading out for our annual camping trip (more to come on that soon).
Here in West Michigan, it has been a VERY dry start to the summer! In late May, we visited the headquarters of Mooville Ice Cream (um, yum!) We made it to the beach once thus far, but wow, the water was cold. Other than that, Matt spent a weekend at a "camp" with men from church (see pics below as to how much roughing it they did), we have played some mini golf, and attended Festival of the Arts in downtown Grand Rapids. We long to continue family traditions with a baby in our family. And if you are willing, we would like to include you in those traditions too, to whatever extent you are comfortable with. We hope to hear from you soon.
Our deepest apologies for missing blog posts. We promise we HAVE been doing stuff since the winter! :) For whatever reason, the last blog or two we have attempted to post has not saved. There have been trips to Cannonsburg to go tubing, and birthday celebrations for all three of us. Today, we went to Tulip Time in Holland - an annual tradition of ours. We saw thousands of beautiful flowers and strolled through an artisan market. And the weather was absolutely perfect!
If you were anywhere around West Michigan last week, you know we experienced quite the blizzard! Fortunately, we were able to get out on Christmas Day and spend time with family. We celebrated the holiday by reading the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2, a Sunday dinner together, opening gifts, and playing lots of games. Not that any day is "perfect", but this day was a really good one. (-:
Over the past month we have been able to recognize and/or celebrate multiple occasions. Matt and Olivia had Thanksgiving week off and took a staycation. Just before Thanksgiving, the three of us purchased a real tree and decorated it. Back in 2014, we got engaged on Black Friday. Since then, every year we celebrate by going downtown to Grand Rapids, eating Fro-Yo, and take our picture by the Christmas tree in the Amway Grand. Through Christy's work we recently got free tickets to a Griffins game (box seats!). And tonight the three of us decorated Christmas cookies and listened to Christmas music. Maybe tomorow we will watch our annual viewing of "Charlie Brown Christmas". :)
Ok, the first picture below is of Christy and her sister. They (along with grandma Cindy) made homemade applesauce. Call it the "fruits" of our labor at the orchard. Speaking of orchards, we made our second visit to one of our favorite spots this past weekend - we decided to skip the pumpkins this year. Mainly because our favorite pumpkin patch closed (sad!). Still, we enjoyed a hayride, playing with baby goats, and eating fresh donuts. And yes, we did wash our hands between petting the goats and eating donuts! It was a wet and cold day, but that's fall in Michigan and still creates great memories!
Our first of two annual trips to the apple orchard. Typically, we pick apples on the first visit and pumpkins the second. Apples are ripe now and our pumpkins will rot (or get eaten by squirrels) if we buy them too early. We also enjoyed ventruing through the corn maze, drinking apple cider, and eating donuts while we were there. The orchard visits are definitely one of our favorite fall traditions!
Matt and Olivia made their annual trip to Michigan Stadium (aka "The Big House") last weekend to watch a football game. It was a blowout and Michigan won big, but nonetheless: the road trip, tailgating, game, and the conversation home all made it worth while!
Over the past six weeks, we have done a few more fun summer activities. We celebrated our seven year anniversary by going to the zoo (specifically for the koalas) and then dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. The weekend before school began, Matt and Olivia had a father-daughter date night. They enjoyed dinner at Panera and caught a Whitecaps game. As sad as it is to see summer go each year, we all love the fall and cannot wait for apples and other fall traditions!
We recently made it to a Whitecaps game (the minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers). It was Star Wars night and fireworks were on display at dark - a perfect night for families with young children. And the Whitecaps won - so that was good! Baseball has a special place in our hearts: Matt played the game from second through twelfth grade; Christy played softball in her younger years and is a fan of the Detroit Tigers; and Olivia has played softball most of her life too. It's an easy getaway from busy schedules, not hard to plan, and a blast for all ages.
We just got back from our annual camping vacation and stayed at one our favorite state parks along Lake Michigan. The week included: Tents and hammocks, bonfires and cooking over the fire (including S'mores), swimming, sunbathing, exploring the woods, exploring a lighthouse, dune rides, ice cream, climbing sand dunes, mini golf, card games in the tent (mostly Uno), enjoying Michigan summer fruit (strawberries, cherries, and blueberries), and some much-needed downtime. We know the value of undivided family time like this, as well as family traditions. Camping is such a simple way to maximize both. The campground we stayed at is SUPER kid-friendly and there were young families everywhere. It is our hope that soon a little one will join our family that we can make more memories with together.
It was a really fun weekend. On both Friday and Saturday night we had a fire in the backyard, roasted marshmallows, and ate S'mores. Matt & Olivia set up the tent and camped out both nights. Sunday was Father's Day. We attended church in the morning and went to Christy's parent's for lunch. That afternoon we ventured to Craig's Cruisers for our annual Father's Day game of mini golf. As you may see in the pictures, Matt's shirt says "I laugh at my own jokes." Yeah...but he's won in mini golf consistently multiple years in a row (who's laughing now?)! It's all in good fun. And whether it's a simple campsite in the backyard or some serious competition within an annual family tradition, we know the value of these moments and how over the years, they build a lifetime together.
It has been HOT this past week! Taking advantage of the heat (and finding a way to cool off), Matt and Olivia duked it out in the front yard with a water fight! It is yet to be determined who actually won (both were completely soaked). The next day was much more mild. Matt took the dog for a walk through the same trails he took Olivia when she was younger. Then we laid in the grass and stared up at the sky. In both cases, we look forward to the day when we can have random water fights or go explore the woods with another child in our home. It's these simple summer memories that bring such a fond recollection of childhood.
It's been a few years, but yesterday we made it to Festival of the Arts in downtown Grand Rapids. Christy's parents joined us. We enjoyed the food booths, live music, art exhibits, and even rode electric scooters! And we have to admit, the kid's art area this year looked super fun! Today we attended the high school graduation open house for Matt's cousin. As much fun as all of this is, we are hopefully waiting for a baby to join our family so we can continue traditions and fun times like these together.
Wow, it was SO nice outside this past weekend! We had to take advantage of it. On Friday night, we had a date night and went to a movie. But before the movie, we walked to a local ice cream stand and got some cones. Saturday we worked in the yard most of the day. Sunday was church in the morning and in the afternoon, Matt took the dog exploring through the woods while Christy took a nap. On Memorial Day, we went to our favorite state park and enjoyed our first day at the beach this year! As you may have seen in our video and read in our letters, family traditions are very important to us. They create forever memories and build strong bonds within a home. We hope the day comes soon when a baby joins our family so we can raise him/her in the same traditions - and begin new ones.
It has been a week of celebrations. A few days ago we celebrated Olivia's 16th birthday! We went out to dinner at one of her favorite restaurants; Grandpa Dave and Grandma Cindy joined us, along with one of Olivia's friends. Yesterday Matt and Christy went to the Tulip Festival in Holland, MI. It was a beautiful day out and the flowers were in full bloom! Today we celebrated the moms in our lives with a family dinner. We long for the day a baby joins our family so that we can celebrate more special days like this. And if you are up for it, perhaps with you as well.
This past weekend the four of us (Grandpa Dave joined along) went geocaching. It's a great opportunity to get out in the woods, enjoy family time, and test our explorer skills! Most we found...admittedly not all of them. Hey, at least we got out on the one nice day we've had around here lately!
We decided to take a road trip this weekend - just the two of us. Based on a referral from a gentleman at Matt's work, we drove a couple hours south to Winona Lake, Indiana. Despite the weather being unseasonably cold and yucky, we had a blast perusing through shops, trying food samples, exploring local history, and grabbed dinner on the way home. Not to mention on the way back, we found an AMAZING bookstore in another small town in southern Michigan, which we totally plan to visit another day!
Well, it has been quite a week! Thursday night we had dinner at our church and watched the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. On Friday, Matt's work hosted a "Comedy Night" - to which he was one of four people sentenced to get a pie to the face at the end of the night. And in good spirit, he nominated Olivia to be the one to pie him! With all of the heaviness not only over the past couple years, but even in the current times, this was a welcomed break to enjoy family time and laughter together.
This past week we celebrated two birthdays: Christy's and her mom's. And, they both have the same birthday! We had dinner together on Wednesday evening and we went out to dinner with Olivia, Grandpa Dave, and Grandma Cindy on Saturday night. We do hope to have more birthday celebrations with a baby in our family soon. And if you desire, for you to join us too.
It's been pretty cold lately, but the weather seems to be breaking! This past weekend we celebrated Grandpma's 93rd birthday, played some games at home and at Matt's work, and got outside for a few brief walks. We hope you know we are praying for you and do hope to meet you very soon!
Our most sincere apologies for not blogging lately! To be honest, not much has been going on. It's the heart of winter and many days are too cold to go outside. Olivia is plugging away on her second semester of the school year, Matt & Christy are doing our work thing. We spend most of our weekends together as a family playing games, watching movies, and attending church. Today was the first day our immediate family has all been together since Christmas, so that was nice. We had Sunday dinner at Christy's parent's home. This weekend Matt & Olivia went tubing at Cannonsburg. Christy's back was hurting so she stayed home. Matt & Olivia made multiple runs down the hills holding on to each other's tube - which really increased the speed. We did solo runs and even raced a few times too. It felt really good to get outside and break some of the "cabin fever"! As mentioned in our descriptions and perhaps even our adoption video, we try to take advantage of all four seasons here in Michigan. Winter doesn't always cooperate with this, but this weekend made it worth while!
Matt and Christy were off from work most of last week. The three of us took a road trip to Bronner's in Frankenmuth, MI mid-week. We exchanged presents just within our home on Christmas Eve on then we spent Christmas Day at Christy's parent's house. Amongst other things on the 25th, we enjoyed a nice lunch, opening gifts, and played a few games. As mentioned several times, we value family traditions. If placed with a baby, we hope to continue many holiday traditions, as well as start new ones too.
We have kept up on our annual Christmas traditions. We purchased a real tree right after Thanksgiving - that is set up. Christy and Matt got engaged on Black Friday in 2014. We celebrate each year on that day by going to downtown Grand Rapids, enjoying frozen yogurt, and having our picture taken by the Christmas tree at the Amway Grand Plaza. This past weekend, the three of us decorated Christmas cookies while listening to holiday music and drinking hot chocolate. As we have stated before, we believe all family traditions are important. They create memories that last a lifetime, increase bonds within our home, and bring a strong sense of stability. We look forward to the day we can continue current traditions, and create new ones, with a baby in our family. Lastly, the random picture of Bosney. He buries himself under the blanket every night and comes out once he gets too hot. He's family too.
Our apologies for the delay in blogging! It's been a very busy (but good) month. Christy went to Curacao for a week for her best friend's wedding. She also got to spend that week in 80+ degree weather and enjoying the beach (a nice change of pace from Michigan this time of year). While Christy was out of town, Matt attended Olivia's annual cheer banquet. He also got in what could be one of his final rounds of golf for the year. The picture you see of Matt & Olivia with the giant dessert is at a local restaurant. In total, nine of us went out that day to celebrate Christy's parent's 40th wedding anniversary!
As promised we visited our favorite apple orchard and pumpkin patch last weekend. Yes, the donuts were fanstastic, and yes, we finally got our pumpkins. We believe family traditions are very important. They help establish forever memories, a family foundation, and stability in a home. Fall traditions are of special importance, one reason being the season seems to go by so fast. And to be honest, fall is one of our favorite times of the year! Oh and we almost forgot, Bosney got a new ball for his birthday.
Last weekend we visited one of our two favorite local orchards. Apple orchards are by far our favorite fall tradition. There is just something about an autumn Michigan day outside. We picked apples, walked through the pumpkin patch (we will get pumpkins next weekend, otherwise the neighborhood squirrels eat them), enjoyed donuts and cider, and of course - Olivia found a cat. Next weekend we will visit the other orchard. To be honest, the donuts are even better at that one! We hope to meet you soon and long for the day a little one can join our family and experience these fall traditions with us.
This past weekend Matt and Olivia took a trip to Michigan Stadium (aka "The Big House") to catch a football game. Why is this important? Because we understand the importance of one-on-one time with our children. Son or daughter, child or teenager, we know that times like these are irreplaceable and establish a foundation within a child that builds confidence and a knoweldge of being loved. This sets them up for success when they enter the world as adults, and hopefully, gives them something to build on when they become parents too.
The fall weather has been amazing this week. Olivia had a Mixer at school earlier in the day. Her class did a community service project at a local campground and then headed back to school for some competition in various activites between the grades. Can anyone say "school spirit"?! That afternoon Matt and Olivia played a spontaneous round of mini golf. Although Matt pulled the win out in the end, she gave him a good run the whole way! We know the importance of unscripted recreational fun. No agenda, just time to relax and enjoy each other's company.
Ok, we will admit we are in a bit of denial that summer seems to be over. But the good part is we love the fall and have lots of traditions during those months too. But still, summer cruised by way too fast this year. This past weekend we got in as much outdoor time as possible. Olivia cheers for her school's football team, we went to the game Friday night. On Saturday we picked on Bosney a bit (he's such a team player) and went out for ice cream one last time. Sunday was church and dinner with Christy's parents. And Monday (Labor Day) we spent what could possibly be our last day swimming at the beach this year. Side note: that is not our kite, it was just flying above us while we laid on the beach. We long for the day a little one joins our family and we can all make new memories together.
Over the past few weeks we have been able to get out and take a couple road trips. Christy went to a women's retreat at Silver Lake. Olivia and Matt camped in the tent in the backyard (not a road trip, but still fun!). Most recently, we took a trip along the Michigan/Indiana border - exploring small towns and history (including a former site of the Underground Railroad). We ended the day in South Bend, IN and walked around the campus of Notre Dame. We then enjoyed a relaxing ride back home.
This weekend we will celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. Last weekend we went out to dinner at a local restaurant. As mentioned in our letters, our story was not a "love at first sight" beginning, but it sure has developed over the years! Through all of the ups and downs over the past six years, our love has only grown for each other, foundationally built on our faith. As we hopefully wait to be placed with a child, we want you to know that baby will be raised in a solid and committed family. A family that is filled with love and dedication from both of us, and has support from our family and friends too. It is our hope to raise a child in a way that sets a tremendous example as to what a loving and committed marriage can and should look like.
We spent last week camping and exploring along the Lake Michigan lakeshore. We love summer traditions like these. There were dunes to be climbed and a (bit cold) Lake Michigan to be swam in. We enjoyed cooking over the campfire, making S'mores, and late night games of Uno. We also tried out a couple local restaurants and of course, a new ice cream place too.
It was great to get out and celebrate the fourth of July again! Christy's parents joined us for fireworks on Sunday night. The next day just the two of us went exploring along the lakeshore and tried out a new beach. It was windy and sand was blowing all around, but we had fun and discovered a new hangout. As stated in some of our previous posts, continuing family traditions and beginning new ones are very special to us. We hope to share new memories with a baby, and you too if you are up for it, in the near future.
Last weekend we celebrated an annual family tradition, and began a new one. On Saturday we went strawberry picking with Christy's mom and dad. This is something Christy did often with her family growing up. We are hoping to establish this as a new family tradition for our own home. On Sunday (Father's Day) we attended church and had dinner with the family. Our annual tradition on this day is to go play mini golf at Craig's Crusiers. We also hit in the batting cages and played some arcade games. We recognize the importance of family traditions and how they build bonds between parents and children. We are looking forward to sharing these times with a new baby in our home.
Of all of our traditions and all of the summer choices, time at our favorite beach tops them all. Last weekend Olivia and Matt stopped by Matt's work to play a couple games of pool. On Saturday we went to the beach and stopped by our favorite ice cream stand on the way home. Even Bosney had a great weekend - and received a new toy.
We spent the better part of the day with Grandpa Dave and Grandma Cindy. We always pause on Memorial Day to remember our fallen troops first and foremost. Then we enjoyed a day of yard games and grilling out.
We recently walked up to a local ice cream stand on a weekday evening. We brought Bosney too (he's a major fan of ice cream). Sometimes it's the simple and spontanious moments like these that make family time so great.
This past weekend we celebrated Olivia's birthday on Saturday and Mother's Day on Sunday. For Olivia's birthday we went to a local arcade and mini golf spot. We played video games, Olivia and her friend enjoyed bumper boats and go-karts, and we all played a round of mini golf (Matt won, by the way). We did presents at the house, and may have placed some "trick candles" on top of her cake! On Sunday we attended a family dinner to celebrate Christy's mom (Matt's mother passed away a few years ago). We look forward to the day we can celebrate more birthdays and holidays with a little one in our home. And we do hope you can be a part of the celebration with us too.
What a beautiful weekend it was out - and we took full advantage! On Friday night Matt and Olivia got dressed up and went out on a Daddy/Daughter date night. On Saturday the three of us went to Holland, MI for the first day of the Tulip Festival. Although many of the events were cancelled once again due to COVID, the streets and park areas were lined with thousands and thousands of bright and colorful tulips. (By the way, those are Christy's favorite flowers.) On Sunday we went to church, had lunch at home, and then enjoyed some leisure time in the front yard and also inside - with the breeze blowing through the open windows. Can someone say "nap time"?
We recently had a garage sale fundraiser to help with adoption costs. Not only did we meet our finanical goal for the sale, but we walked away tremendously inspired by how much love and support we have around us! The familiy rallied to make the sale a success, friends and family donated tons of items we could sell, and we learned just how many people have been personally touched by adoption. It truly was a blessing of an expereince. We are still hopefully waiting and praying to be placed with a baby. Our family is walking alongside us. We cannot wait to meet you.
The past few weeks we have been getting out and about. The weather is getting nicer each week and things are starting to blossom. We have taken a couple nature walks at local parks and explored the woods. Olivia kicked off an April Fool's memory by taping the sprayer by the kithcen sink - which soaked Matt right in the chest when he turned on the faucet. Not to be outdone, this sparked a 15 minute duel between the two, including water bottles and a super soaker. Matt claims he won the battle (Olivia is challenging that ruling). We capped off this weekend by celebrating Easter Sunday at church and then dinner at Christy's parent's house. Whether it's walks through the woods, spontanious water fights, or sharing our faith with those we love, we know this all adds up to a solid foundation in our home. We long for the day we can build new memories together with another child in our home.
The weather is turning (and hopefully staying) for the better! Christy and her sister Jennifer went to a women's conference in St. Louis, MO for the weekend (abiding by all social distancing and mask guidleines). While Christy was out of town, Matt and Olivia got some great one-on-one time, including Shamrock Shakes from McDonald's and taking Bosney for a walk around Rockford, MI. Spending time with family and enjoying family traditions are very important to both of us. We hope to be placed with a child soon so we can begin building new memories and traditions too.
The snow continues, but we got out and enjoyed the beautiful scenery tonight. We headed out to Holland State Park near dusk. It's really neat to see one of our favorite summer spots from such a different perspecitve (mostly frozen over). In fact, where we normally would be swimming was a solid mass of ice today! It was nice to have some winter family fun. The first part of our weekend included catching up on rest, making brownies, church, and Sunday dinner with family .
Despite lots of snow and falling temperatures, things are going good. Matt started his new job this week and is working with fathers in our community. We have spent the past two Sundays at Christy's parent's house for Sunday dinner. Bosney loves the snow, this past weekend Olivia and Matt dug him some trails in the backyard (he helped too).
It's been pretty quiet on our end lately. Matt starts a new job on February 1st and is super excited for it. Christy is getting lots of use out of her new quilt that she got for Christmas. We joined a small group for adults at our church and are looking forward to getting to know some new people. Olivia is loving her freshman year of high school and starts driver's ed very soon. And Bosney is doing his dog thing. The pic of Matt and Olivia is of a Daddy-Daughter dance in February of 2020. Thought we'd post that since it was about a year ago and it doesn't seem anything like that will be happening again this February. We are hoping and praying to be placed soon. We are excited to meet you!
To be honest, it was a really nice and laid back weekend. A refreshing change after the holidays. We all fell asleep early on Friday evening (see picture). On Saturday, Matt & Olivia went to Tanger Outlet and walked around for a while. Sunday was church, dinner at the grandparent's, and a few games with the family - which produced a lot of laughter (mostly at Matt's expense). One of our favorties movies is "Christopher Robin". Near the beginning of the movie, Winnie the Pooh says, "Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something." We know it's all of these little "nothings" along the way that build such a strong and joyous foundation in our family.
It was a really good week. First and foremost, we celebrated the birth of our Savior, Jesus. This included a candlelight church service on Christmas Eve (abiding by all safety regualations). On Friday we gathered as a family for Christmas Day. We spent the entire day (roughly 11am - 7:30pm) at Christy's parent's house. We opened stockings before lunch, ate around noon, and did presents afterwards. The rest of the day was spent talking and laughing, playing games, and grazing on food. Family is very important to us, as are consistent times together and traditions. Our hope and prayer this that by this time next year we will be able to share all of this love, warmth, and joy with a new addition to our family. And should you choose, we hope to be able to celebrate with you as well.
This weekend we had fun doing one of our favorite family traditions: decorating Christmas cookies! Christy baked the cookies a couple days earlier and we spent most of Saturday evening frosting, sprinkling (and sometimes eating), them. To add to the holiday ambiance, we drank hot cocoa and played Christmas music. As we probably stated before, we feel traditions like this are very important. First, because they are fun and build great memories. More importantly, we believe times like these create stability and a "warmth" in our home that will positively impact our children for years to come. Though these times are fun and meaninglful, we still recognize first and foremost that Christmas is a time of recognizing and reflecting on the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. The takes precedence over all.
Every year (at least for the past few years) we go and pick out a real Christmas tree. We did that the day after Thanksgiving. We decorated it after dinner, drank some hot cocoa, and played Christmas music while we set the tree up. Christy and I got engaged on Black Friday back in 2014 and celebrate each year by getting Fro Yo and taking our picture by the tree in a local hotel. Due to COVID, our usual Fro Yo place was closed, but we found one that was open! And we still were able to get our picture by the tree in the hotel (Olivia joined us too). After we got home we closed the night out by watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" together as a family.
We had a great Thanksgiving celebration yesterday. We spent the majority of the day at Christy's parents' house - just the 5 of us. We had a nice and traditional Thanksgiving dinner and then played some games for a few hours. Depsite everything that is currently going on around the world, today was very relaxing and much-needed. We have so much to be grateful for, and it was good to reflect on that and celebrate with our family.
It's probably fair to say most people would rather forget 2020 for the year it was than to be grateful for it; but as a family we still have so much to be thankful for. This includes: 2020 was the year we made the decision to adopt. We purchased our home in July. No one in our family has gotten COVID thus far. Our of our material needs have been provided for through the pandemic. We were still able to spend lots of quality time with each other and are able to celebrate the upcoming holidays with family. We have a church home that loves and supports its congregation. And much more. Our faith means everything to us. It has had times of testing this year for sure, but never once was in doubt. We are ever-so-grateful that we have a heavenly Father that walks with us through all times and promises to never leave us nor forsake us. That is the hope and promise we build our family on.
(Written by Matt) I attended two online sessions this week through an organization called Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI). ISI is a national ministry to men. I have both attended and spoken at several of their events. This week I listened to speakers talk on the topics of "Dads Raising Daughters" and "Removing Roadblocks" (6 areas men get "stuck"). I go to sessions like these in order to grow myself as a man, husband, and father. I want to give my family my very best. And I want you to know that any other children we are blessed with will have a father that loves them and is willing to lay his life down for them. I am not perfect by any means, but I am committed.
Last weekend we attended a virtual workshop through our church, entitled "Impossible Marriage". The couple who led it have quite a story and if there was ever two people you would think did not have a chance to make it - they were it! Better yet, their marriage is thriving and they now lead events like this to help couples be prepared for and walk through the really tough times in life. It was a virtual event and was six hours long. That may seem REALLY boring - but did the day ever fly by! We left inspired and encouraged; knowing that our intentional decision to continue to build a foundation in our marriage sets the tone for years to come in our home.
Well, the weather is starting to turn here in Michigan, and not necessarily for the better. We got really wet at a football game this past Friday night - even had some hail in there too. Still, we stuck it out and our team won. Saturday we spent at one of our favorite orchards. We painted our pumkpins later that night. Sunday was church in the morning (we attend weekly) and had a nice family dinner at a local restaurant. As great as big trips are, we still believe it is our foundation built on faith first and foremost, and these everyday moments and memories that make the biggest impact on our family. We cannot wait to have another child join us in making memories together!
This has been a really good week overall. Sure, there are always trials and struggles, but we've enjoyed many blessings recently. Christy accepted a new job position last month and really enjoys it; and Matt has been asked to co-lead a class for new/expectant fathers. I (Matt) watched Olivia cheer at a Friday night football game. Christy and I went for a walk on a beautiful fall day yesterday. And today we attended church together as a couple (we attend weekly and Olivia comes with us when she is over on a weekend). We realize that the smallest blessings are gifts from God and we hope to never skip over the littlest things - because we believe it's all of these moments that build a strong foundation in our family that we pray will have generational impact for the better.
We love the fall, although it seems to go by way too fast. Right now the leaves on the trees are just starting to change colors and should be at their peak within a couple weeks. This past weekend we decided to try out a new orchard, it was great! Despite some cooler temperatures and a little drizzle, the day was packed with activities like: a corn maze, pumpkin patch, picking apples, sitting by a bonfire, and to end the day, fresh homemade donuts and hot apple cider. We hope to make it to another orchard in a couple weeks. So much fun!
This weekend we attended Christy's cousin's wedding. It was about a 2 hour drive from our home to the wedding- which just happened to be held on some beautiful property in southeast Michigan. The wedding was held outdoors - a beautiful Fall day! It was a wonderful message presented by the pastor, rooted deep in the Christian faith. After the ceremony, light appetizers and drinks were served outside until dinner at 6pm. This was a brand new facility - with a very rustic atmosphere. The "barn" (more like a retreat center) was newly designed and actually quite exquisite. We were served a nice dinner and listened to heart-felt messages from the father of the bride, the best man, and the maid of honor. After all of the traditional festivities, we enjoyed some time on the dance floor (Christy is a much better dancer than Matt) and then made the drive back home. Not only was this a great getaway and time to celebrate with our family, but it was also a reminder of the sancity of marriage. Though we have only been married five years, we pray our relationship always remains "new", never falls into complacency, and that the model...
Here in Michigan (and many other places too), Labor Day is the unofficial "end of summer". We were blessed with beautiful weekend weather and decided to take a trip to Lake Michigan to walk some trails and the shore. The waves were rough, but the landscape beautiful.We love living in Michigan and no matter what season it is, we are always looking for fun stuff to do outside. Unless it's freezing cold out then we hunker down in the house and watch movies or play games.
Summertime here in Michigan always goes so fast! Even with COVID-19, we were still able to get in lots of fun and active outdoor recreation. One of our favorite traditions is a beach on Lake Michigan. The water is so clear and there is a big sand dune to climb and run down. We almost always stop at a local ice cream stand on the way home too.We traveled to northern Michigan a couple times this summer, including a trip to Mackinac Island. Whenever we visit a new location, Matt tends to read all the historic signs. Sometimes Christy and Olivia have to pull him away to just keep us moving. We even managed to get out camping. There is nothing like laying in a hammock in the middle of the day and cooking S’mores over a campfire to really relax!In all, it has been a great summer and we love building a family foundation with all the wonderful memories we are creating.
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