Jason and Sydney, plus one

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About us
Sydney- I care and love for the people in my life, hard. I love going on adventures and looking into fun family things to do. I am an extrovert and love being around people, but also really love quiet time and decompressing after a busy day/week. I love people and learning about how communities can support each other.

Jason- I am outgoing and like having fun. I enjoy staying active and keeping busy. I care for others and enjoy helping people. I love being a dad and try to always have fun.

Our relationship
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We met on our church missions trip to Mexicali, Mexico when Sydney was 15 and Jason was 20. We spent the years learning how to serve our teams as leaders, and how to serve the communities down in Mexico. We became best friends and after Sydney graduated high school (2009) we started dating. Our relationship was long distance (3 hours) while Sydney was in school at Grand Valley and Jason was back home working. In 2013 we got married and Sydney moved to the metro-Detroit area to live with Jason and start her Masters program at Wayne State University. Jason worked as a firefighter and ran a construction business with his dad. In 2015 we made the decision to move to Grand Rapids for Sydney’s job. It was a blessing to our relationship as we are much happier being in this area and have found so much happiness and satisfaction in our jobs. We support each other in our dreams and aspirations and always make time for our expanding family.

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Our jobs
Jason is a firefighter/EMT. He has been in the fire service for over 10 years. He works 24 hour shifts, 9 times a month (not including trainings or overtime). Sydney is a social worker and works with children and families in schools. She works full time now and will be dropping down to part-time in the spring and will be working 30-40 hours a week depending on the week.

After placement Sydney will take 12 weeks off and Jason will take 1 week off. Jason’s schedule is 24 hour shifts, which means he only works 9 days a month. He will be home the other days. Sydney will go back to work part time/full time hours after the 12 weeks, and we will continue to have a babysitter the 1-2 days needed a week.

Our beliefs
We met through our churches and youth groups, which were big influences for us. While we have not found a church to call home here in Grand Rapids yet, we are always finding ways to talk about God and the plans that he has for us and our family. We value community and loving others, and seek that out for a church community.

Fun and relaxation!
Jason likes to work out, play in recreational softball leagues and golf, while Sydney likes to read, hang out with friends, and find simple ways to relax (like a facemask or manicure at home!). We love going on walks and hikes, finding new parks to explore, and going camping. Travel and vacation is important to us and we try to find a new place to travel together each year.

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How we teach
We view discipline as a way to guide our children towards becoming successful adults. We have expectation set based on age appropriateness. We try to explain to Judah when he is doing something wrong and why he shouldn’t do it. We want our children to understand why something is wrong, and yes it as a learning opportunity.

Thoughts about education
We are very passionate about education. Sydney went to public schools growing up, while Jason went to private, but we have decided that we will send our children to public schools. We are really excited to explore Spanish immersion schools for our kids, as we think this is an incredible experience and opportunity. As far as furthering education after high school, we will encourage our children to pursue something that makes them happy, as long as they are participating in some kind of furthering education program. I (Sydney) went through 6 years of college (Bachelors and Masters) and loved that experience, but also highly value the trade school that Jason went through to get his EMT license and fire training. We want our children to be their best selves, whatever career that may lead them to.

Our values
We value love, community, and honesty. We value supporting our friends and family and the people that we come across everyday. It is important that we raise our children to love and serve others. We value spending quality time as a family and making memories.

Our home and neighborhood
We have fallen in love with our neighborhood. There are many young couples and children surrounding us, which makes it easy to do last minute play dates and game nights. We love being able to walk to the park, splash pad, grocery store, and library. In the next 5-7 years, we do plan on moving so that we can have a bigger home and a larger yard. At this point in time we think that location would be in Byron Center or nearby, within 15-20 minutes of Grand Rapids as Sydney will likely always work within the city. We will always lives within the Grand Rapids area as Jason will continue to work with his fire station until he retires.

Our family and friends
We are really close with our family, even though they all live out of town. We try to call and FaceTime often, so that Judah can see his grandparents and aunts and uncles and have a relationship with them. We have found many good friends here in Grand Rapids since we moved here, and value the support that they have provided as we started growing our family. We support each others friendships are intentional about who we surround ourselves with, making sure that they are loving and supportive influences on us. While many of our best friends do not have children yet, they support our growing family and love spending time with our son.

Thank you!
We are so thankful that any parent would consider us in being their child’s forever parent. Know that we have only the best intentions of raising a healthy and happy child, and we want them to know you. We want them to know their first family’s history and what that means to them. We are committed to supporting our children and helping be the very best versions of themselves!

View More: http://tinaraephoto.pass.us/hanlon

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