S: Doug & April
FC: Doug & April | Claire | Melanie
1: Hello, Life is a wonderful and precious thing, and choosing to give life to your child is a decision that shows great love. As you consider making an adoption plan, we pray that you will have the wisdom and guidance that you need. We hope that God will grant you courage and that you will find peace in whatever path you choose to follow. We are Doug and April, and we are ready to welcome a third child into our home. Please take some time to learn more about us, our family, and our plans for the future. We hope that these pages will give you a good idea of what we are like and that they will help you picture what life will be like for any child that joins our family. | April & Doug
2: Hi, this is April, and I'm going to start out by telling you about how Doug and I met, our plan to become adoptive parents, our faith, our home, and my other half, Doug. Our Story Our paths first crossed in 1997 when I had just moved to Michigan from Washington State to start my first teaching job. Some people from church offered to give me some things to furnish my apartment. One day Doug came to my apartment with some furniture his mom thought I could use. After talking a bit, Doug and I soon discovered that we had many things in common, and we quickly became friends. Not long afterwards we began to date, and two years later we were married. | We were married in 1999. | Our first photo together. | Our Story
3: We've always wanted to have children. Even before we married we discussed adoption as a way to become parents. When we weren't able to conceive children and fertility treatments failed, we knew adoption was the path where God was leading us. Both of our daughters were adopted as infants. Melanie joined our family the summer of 2005 and Claire in October, 2008. We both grew up in families with three kids, and liked having more than one brother or sister, so it is our hope to add another child into our family. | Meeting Claire when she was a day old. | Melanie joined our family when she was 4 weeks old. | January, 2009 Melanie - 3 years old Claire - 3 months old
4: Our Faith Our lives center around our Christian faith. We plan to teach our children about God from an early age at home, church, and school. Families of all ages belong to our church, and we get to know many of them by taking part in Bible studies and volunteer efforts. Doug has served as a deacon, and I am a counselor for the girls' club and help with vacation Bible school in the summer. | Our Home and Neighborhood We live in a three bedroom ranch-style home in a quiet and friendly residential neighborhood. On our street there are many young families as well as some older couples. On a nice day it's not uncommon to see neighbors chatting and children from several families playing in someone's front yard. The park is a short walk away, and the local shopping district is nearby. Green grass, colorful flowers, and a variety of vegetables grow in our yard. The fenced backyard has a swing set, sand box, and lots of room for kids to run around. | Can you spot April's poppies and Doug's hanging baskets? | Faith
5: Our nursery has a safari theme. | A panoramic view of the backyard. | Home & Neighborhood | The vegetable garden in August.
6: Doug fills up the sand box. | My Husband, Doug Doug is 38 years old with a Dutch, English, and German heritage. He is 6 feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes. One of the first things that attracted me to Doug is his friendliness. He is so easy to talk to. Doug is a true gentleman and always willing to lend a helping hand. Many times Doug has removed snow from neighbors' driveways when he knew they couldn't do it due to surgery or injury. As an active person, Doug spends his spare time gardening and puttering around the house, doing home improvement projects. He keeps our house and yard maintained and looking their best. He has recently installed new flooring in the kitchen and dining room and expanded the shed in the backyard. Doug loves working at his workbench in the basement and likes to golf with friends or family. He adores children and enjoys playing with them. | Doug
7: Claire & Doug at the Christmas tree farm. | Doug fixed-up his grandpa's old mower. | Manning the grill at Melanie's birthday party.
8: This is Doug, and I'm going to take over now and tell you about April, our daughters, the things we like to do, our families, and our jobs. My Wife, April April is 34 years old and of Dutch ancestry. She is 5'8" tall with brown hair and blue eyes. In crowds and among strangers April tends to be a quiet person, but she is talkative and shows her sense of humor among those she knows. April is a creative and artistic person. Her projects are all over the house, from the paintings on the walls to the knitted socks on her feet. She's found that digital photography, sewing, and crocheting are excellent ways to relax. She looks forward to knitting a warm sweater for our newest little one. In the summer April picks our flowers and makes fresh flower arrangements. In harvest season you'll find her canning homemade salsa and making stir fry using our own vegetables. April plays the piano and likes to sing. She enjoys being a mom and spending time with children. | Time for a sled ride! | April | Tomatoes and salsa...oh my!
9: April shows guests favors at a party she hosted. Behind her is artwork she painted. | April bakes and decorates our kid's birthday cakes.
10: Our Daughter, Melanie Melanie is an energetic and creative 4 year old. She loves going on walks with her dad and baking cookies with her mom. Her favorite activities include playing with her toy ponies, drawing, making crafts, and playing outside. There are often "cute" bugs found in our home as Melanie "The Bug Whisperer" just can't resist their cuteness. Melanie proudly wears her "Big Sister" shirt and would like another baby or two to join the family. When she grows up she'd like to have eleven babies (at the same time)! | Melanie works on a rubber stamping craft. | Melanie with her pet walking stick. | First you rake leaves into a pile. Then you jump into it! | Melanie
11: Our Daughter, Claire Claire is a spunky and sweet 1 year old. She is always on the go, often pushing around the doll stroller or sneaking off with the TV remote. She likes to follow Melanie around the house, and her favorite place to go is outside. She loves to dance to music, hug her dolls, and play in the dirt (which may or may not include eating it!). Claire has a great sense of humor, and does silly things just to get a laugh. Melanie will say, "Yes," and Claire will shake her head, "No," smiling with her eyes, before breaking out in a giggle. | Claire on the backyard swing. | "Big girl" Claire prefers a whole banana to slices. | When Claire has that look on her face, watch out! | Claire
12: We've had a wonderful marriage these past ten years. The most special part of the day is when the whole family sits down at the dining room table to eat together. Saturday night April gets a break from cooking, and we go out to eat at a restaurant or to meet up with some friends. Gardening has become another favorite family activity. Planting, watering, weeding, and picking what we've grown is fun when we do it together. Reading is a pastime that April and I both enjoy on a regular basis. The girls have become familiar with the local library and get lots of stories read to them. | Claire's favorite thing at the fair was petting the animals. | Melanie prepares radishes she picked from the garden. | At supper we get caught up on the day's events. | Activities
13: We like to see new places by taking road trips to nearby attractions or states far away. We hope to create lasting memories with our own children. We want to teach our children about the world by taking them to museums and allowing them to witness first-hand the beauty of creation. | We hiked up to Palisades Falls in Montana with April's sister. | Although we don't have pets right now, we both are animal-lovers. I prefer dogs, while April tells me that cats are purr-fect. Animals will likely be joining our family in the near future as we can't picture our home without kids and pets playing together. | Doug and Claire play the "junk chimes" at a festival in Washington. | Our neighbors' rabbit visited us for a week while they were on vacation.
14: April's Family April was born in Washington State and raised by two loving Christian parents. She is the oldest of three children. April's parents have passed away in recent years and are greatly missed. Her sister teaches first grade in Washington and comes to visit us at Christmas. Her brother and his wife live in a nearby town and we enjoy getting together with them. They are great babysitters. We remain close to April's extended family in Montana and Washington. Some of April's aunts and uncles treat our kids as their own grandchildren, sending cards and gifts for holidays and birthdays. In the summer we travel to Washington or Montana to visit April's sister and other relatives. During those trips we attend family gatherings and go site-seeing. | A family gathering at Christmas with April's brother, sister-in-law, and sister. | Family | Our families are very supportive in our decision to adopt and are looking forward to a new addition to the family.
15: April's brother and his wife have two dogs that love kids. | Visits to Montana often include a gathering at this favorite picnic spot in the mountains. | Melanie and April's sister play ponies. | This farmland is part of April's aunt's ranch.
16: My Family (Doug) I have lived in the same city in Michigan my entire life surrounded by many relatives. I grew up in a Christian home with my parents and two younger brothers. The older of my brothers is married and has three young children. I see my two brothers and dad almost every day at work. We see my extended family frequently at family gatherings for birthdays and holidays and each Sunday at church. My dad and brothers love to go fishing with the kids, and my mom always has lots of toys and treats out when the grandkids come over. | At the family Christmas party everyone watches Doug's nephew try out his new toy. | Family | Claire and Grandpa read a book.
17: Doug's mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nephew at our home for a birthday party. | Doug's younger brother and his fiancée are getting married soon. | Melanie and her cousins get ready to play in her room.
18: I graduated from college with a degree in accounting and now make a living by growing bedding plants at the family greenhouse business. At work I care for the plants and experiment with new combinations of flowers. I like to do the planning and organizing that keep the business running smoothly. The greenhouses are a kid-friendly place. When young relatives stop by for a visit they get lots of attention from the guys and sometimes even a ride on the forklift. It's cute when the kids "help" us out by picking up flats of flowers. | April stays at home and cares for Melanie and Claire. Sometimes they get together with other moms and kids for lunch or for outings to the zoo or park. Other times they go shopping, go swimming at the lake, or visit Grandma. April graduated from college with a major in elementary education and a minor in art. Before we had children, she worked as an elementary teacher at a Christian school. April still does some volunteer work at the school where she once worked. She has thoughts of returning to teaching part-time after all our kids are in school. | A cart full of groceries + happy kids = a successful shopping trip! | Doug pulls an order at work. | Work & Education
19: Fall | Winter | Summer | Spring | April enjoys photographing our girls, and makes extra copies of our favorites to give to their birthmothers. These are some favorite pictures of the girls together over the last year. | Photography
20: Our Closing Thoughts We both are excited about adopting another child and are eagerly waiting to love and nurture him or her. Raising children is an important job, and we take that responsibility very seriously. Parenting another child will present new joys and challenges, and we are prepared to deal with them both. As parents, we will seek to provide for our children's every physical, emotional, and spiritual need. We will help them discover their interests and develop their talents. We will educate and prepare them for a successful life in this world. Our children will know of their history and the special way they came to join our family. They will be loved dearly, and the time we spend together will be filled with laughter, hugs, and fun. Thank you for taking the time to read our profile. May God bless you in your journey. Our hearts are with you. With Love, Doug & April