Doug and Greg, and Conor and Lochlin

4 meeks 2018

Describe your current occupation(s): Doug is an attorney, specializing in areas of law that include family, bankruptcy and criminal defense. Greg is the Chief Operating Officer of an investment holding company that manages a variety of businesses in West Michigan.

What is your anticipated employment plan following placement? Doug has stepped back a little from his legal practice to focus on day-to-day management of the family while Greg remains in his current role.

How do you describe yourself?
Doug: Kind. Focused on family and friends. Loving. Sensitive. Caring and Fun.
Greg: Giving. Loving. Focused on education and experiences. Sensitive.
Conor (by his dads): Sweet, curious, active, intuitive and loving.
Lochlin (by his dads): Sweet, intense, growing, changing, and cuddly.

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Describe your relationship.
We met in 2002.  Over the course of the first year, we became fast friends and then developed a loving-caring relationship that has lasted till present. On March 22, 2014, the date available for Michigan couples who are same-sex to marry, we wed.

We are very supportive of each other and affectionate.  We believe that our relationship is a healthy, respectful, positive bond that provides a good environment for our children to learn, grow and develop.

As parents we find we communicate well with each other and function well as a team. We stay focused on our children’s needs in a way that strengthens our union as husbands. We have learned more ways to appreciate each other as parents, and have fallen in love with a whole new side of one another.

What role does religion play in your lives? Doug is a lapsed Catholic. Greg who has a history that includes both the Jewish and Catholic traditions is non-practicing. We both believe in the value and importance of ethics and raise our children in a context that respects all religions and encourages children to discover our own path and faith.

What do you do for fun or to relax? Travel, reading, photography, volleyball, taking the boys to local attractions such as Meijer Gardens, Splashpads, play areas in the malls, parades, parks, etc.  . Maintaining connections with family and friends are amongst our top relaxation choices!

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What are your views about discipline? We subscribe to the love and logic approach to non-physical discipline. On any one given day, Conor can have one time-out or 20! We find that providing a consistent and stable environment encourages or nudges our children to make the right choices. The daycare also teaches in this way.

What are your feelings about education? We believe education is key, and not just in a formal school setting. We foster a strong desire for knowledge, information and education so that our children grow and develop as a life-long learners. We want our children to be curious and develop in a way that helps them reach the right results.

Describe your family’s values, (e.g. what is important to you?) Honesty. Respect for others (treating everyone equally). We are very connected to our community and value the importance of the people in our neighborhood.

Describe your home/household and neighborhood, and any plans you may have for the future. We live in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids, MI. It’s a historic neighborhood that is economically, racially and culturally diverse.  We plan on staying in this neighborhood due to the number of other great families in the area and the general support and connectedness of the community.

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Describe your relationships with family and friends. Great! We’re both very close to family and friends. Since the children have joined our lives we find we communicate more with everyone in order to give updates about our children’s growth, development, health and interests. Our time socializing with friends now occurs at our home hosting backyard movie nights, dinners, playdates, Splashpad parties, etc. or spending time closer to home in general.

Describe your use of alcohol, tobacco and medicine.  Since placement of the children alcohol consumption has been very infrequent, perhaps consuming 1-3 drinks a month. No tobacco use.

What special information would you like to share about yourselves with a possible placing parent? We believe that we provide our children with an abundance of love and amazing opportunities to grow, learn and thrive. We believe that every child is different and view our roles as parents as helping a child be the best version of who they are, in addition to providing for their health and safety.

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For more information about this family, call or text our on-call worker at 616.451.0245,
or email cathyr@greaterhopes.org