Chris and Kevin, plus one

Hello from Chris, Kevin & Isla,

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about our family. Our biggest dream has always been to become parents and grow our family through adoption. Please know that we would intend to raise a child in a warm and safe environment surrounded by family, including a beautiful sister that is excited to meet her new brother or sister. If you decide to choose us, we will spend the rest of our lives making him, or her feel loved and always honoring the courageous choice you made.

Describe your current occupation(s):
We both work at Zoetis, a veterinary medicine pharmaceutical company based in Kalamazoo, the headquarters of veterinary research, genetics, and manufacturing. We both love working for Zoetis since we love animals; the company has provided us with excellent opportunities to develop our passion for science and manufacturing. Zoetis is listed on a top 10 employers list and is ranked one of the top 100 employers for working mothers in 2019 because of their focus on flexibility and work-life balance. After adopting our daughter, Zoetis was very supportive of our family by provided adoption assistance.

Chris works as a senior research scientist focusing on treatments for diseases in dogs, cats, and horses. Kevin is a master scheduler for production of livestock medications.

What is your anticipated employment plan following placement?
Zoetis provides six weeks adoption leave to both parents that can be used over six months. Our employer offers flexible working hours with opportunities to work from home if necessary. After placement, we both plan to take three months off work and then will return to work with the option of a ‘staged return,’ slowly building up to full-time hours over a few weeks.

How do you describe yourself?
Chris – A Kind, nurturing, sensitive, loving and fun Dad. I’m an extraverted guy who loves to talk and engage with EVERYONE. Being a dad is the highest honor of my life.
Kevin – A Creative, supportive, disciplined, caring and fun Dad. I’m an introverted guy who supports strong family ties and pulls the entire family together.
Isla – Loves monkeys, elephants, books and peas…yes, PEAS! She is small but mighty, the best things really do come in small packages! She is a petite girl who loves to walk, eat, talk and explore.

              

Describe your relationship. Include some history.
We met in 2009 through friends and married when it became legal in December of 2015 and shared many of the same interests. We started planning our goals to start a family in 2014, which became a reality in 2018 when our beautiful daughter came into our home. Travel has been a big part of our lives with family across the USA, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. We want to offer our children the opportunity to travel. Travel to see family, explore the beauty of the world, photography and most of all, being adventurous with food. Although we love an adventure and to travel, there really is no place like home and we take great pride in the house we have shared since 2013 and have enjoyed making it our own. We enjoy hosting family days to bring everyone together from all over the USA as often as possible. We love to see all the children of family and friends having fun in our back yard in the summer.

We both love animals and enjoy spending time with our cats at home. Animal welfare including their health is essential, hence both working for an animal health organization. We strongly believe that animals can teach responsibility, kindness, and compassion in people.

What role does religion play in your lives?
Kevin – Raised Roman Catholic family
Chris – Raised Church of England
We do not actively practice religion. We believe in a child understanding and respecting all faiths.

What do you do for fun or to relax? 
We love to spend time in the yard in the summer, grilling, fire pits, and playing games, watching our daughter explore the landscape, and watching her play in the kiddy pool. We love to explore the great lakes, camping and traveling across the USA and the world to see family and friends. We get immense pleasure seeing our daughter explore and discover at the local zoo, nature center, Kalamazoo bird sanctuary, and local museum. We love movie nights and hunkering down with snacks and blankets. We also share a love for cooking and exposing our daughter to ethnically diverse foods.

What are your views about discipline?
We do not believe in physical punishment techniques but rather strong, open, and effective communication. We take the love and logic approach and want to mentor, teach and engage their individual personality.

What are your feelings about education?
Education is important to us, and we believe it is the foundation to a person’s success. Understanding, recognizing and harnessing individual strengths to encourage our child to be successful is important to us. With our daughter we have started engaging early in fun, creative activities to stimulate her senses and imagination. We believe encouraging a love and respect for books as this is a principle foundation for developing creativity and knowledge.

     
            

Describe your family’s values.
Love, kindness, respect, honesty, and communication are very important to us

Describe your home/household and neighborhood, and any plans you may have for the future.
We live in a four-bedroom ranch style house situated on 2.5 acres in the countryside about 10 minutes from downtown Kalamazoo. We have lots of space inside and out and love to make use of our yard in the summer. We have a great community of neighbors and are within 10 minutes from all amenities Kalamazoo has to offer.
We do plan to travel to the United Kingdom at least once a year and across the Midwest to see extended family throughout the year. Due to our family being all over the world, travel is essential, and we like to make an annual trip.

Describe your relationships with family and friends.
We have a diverse group of close family friends and are very sociable people who love to get together. We enjoy going out to community events or firing up the grill, laying out the yard games and hosting our friends and family to bring everyone together. Since Chris is from the United Kingdom, many of his childhood friends are there, but make a frequent effort to video chat until we meet next. Maintaining contact with close friends and family is exceptionally important.

Describe your use of alcohol, tobacco, and medicine.
Neither of us smokes. We do enjoy a craft beer or a glass of wine when socializing with friends and family.

What unique information would you like to share about yourselves with a parent?
We grew up knowing we would likely never father a biological child, so we have known for a long time that adoption would be right for us. Having adopted our daughter in 2018, we now fully appreciate how special fatherhood is to us. There was an instant, unbreakable bond from the moment we met her. We know positively that adoption is right for our family and want to grow our family further. It fills us with joy and excitement to think of our daughter being a big sister one day and that we can grow and evolve as a family. We may not have any genetic influence, but we can mold, encourage and nurture our children into who they are meant to be with a lot of kindness and love in their hearts.

We believe that travel broadens the mind and seeing the world can only enhance their perception of other cultures and countries. We want our children to see the incredible beauty in diverse cultures and nature that exists at home in the USA and all over the world.

This is potentially the most significant decision in your life, and we do not take that lightly, we are glad that you have read our profile as you decide what is right for you and your child. We believe that we can provide your child an abundance of love and opportunity, to guide, nurture and support them into being the strongest, kindest version of themselves.

For more information about this family, please text or call Cathy Raidna at 616.451.0245, or email cathyr@greaterhopes.org