BC: Made With
FC: Chris & Meredith
1: We are truly honored that you are looking through this book. We both know that you must have incredible strength and bravery to look through these pages. We believe that this decision you are making reveals your inner strength and deep love for your child. We pray for your continued safety, your bright future, your present circumstances, and continued courage for your choices ahead. You are a unique and special person, created by God--never believe otherwise! | Thank you for getting to know us through this book.
2: Hair: Brown Eyes: Hazel Height: 6'2" Age: 31 Favorites Food: Steak Band: Coldplay Book: Les Misrables TV Show: Elementary Movie: Lord of the Rings | Some of the first words that come to mind when I think of my husband Chris are kind, gentle, smart, and funny! Chris works hard as a financial planner--and he LOVES to have fun, especially through traveling. Chris is most at home sitting in a book store looking through old books, watching a movie in our home on a Friday night, or sword fighting in the kitchen with our boys. Chris has a college degree in history, and several financial licenses. Chris is a "go-with-the-flow" kind of guy, but shows great leadership when he perceives a need. Chris used to be a Junior High youth pastor, so he has a gentle approach to kids, and deeply values their thoughts and emotions. | Chris | About | Co-worker Twinsies...
3: Chris is always up for any adventure! He loves mountain biking, exercising, hanging around with our dog Gus, camping, hiking, riding roller coasters, and being at the beach. At the same time, Chris comes home a few days a week from a long day at work, and is quick to make dinner, do the dishes, or help me out in any way possible. One of the best things about Chris' flexible schedule. His number one priorities providing for our family. He works hard, so | Chris in Hawaii | Snow Day! | Man's Best Friend. | Book Hunting! | Road Trip | One size fits Most... | One of the things that I admire most about Chris is how intelligent he is. He is a thinker! What I have seen him develop over the years of our marriage is turning that intelligence into wisdom. He is a thoughtful, well-spoken man of character. He is my anchor in the storms and stresses of our lives. ---Meredith | Chris plays guitar. | job is that he has such a | that he can play hard! | are family time and
4: About | Meredith | Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown Height: 5'4"(hopefully...with heels) Age: 32 | Food: Brownies TV Show: Nashville Book: Hannah Coulter Place: Hiking | Favorites | Band: Ray LaMontagne | Movie: The Avengers Series | My wife Meredith is the most remarkable person I know. She sees the world through the eyes of an artist, taking in every brush stroke and seeing the beauty that could be in everything around her. She can’t help but create, and that creativity is evident in everything she touches: from the necklaces she creates for her jewelry business to the design and color she brings to our home. Meredith loves to | laugh! It's so much fun when we have friends over, because they can't spend more than five minutes | smiling as well. She truly enjoys relationships, and her favorite days are ones | A Sweet Treat! | Behind the Camera.. | Favorite Customers | around her before they are | which include meaningful conversations with friends.
5: Meredith’s college degree is in English Writing, and she’s already begun work on her own book. She loves to get outdoors, whether camping over a long weekend or going on a walk by the river near our home. She often will go running or biking outside when the weather is nice, and completed her first triathlon just last summer! | This woman was born to dance! If music is on, my wife is dancing. And it honestly doesn't matter where she is - in line at the grocery store, sitting in traffic...if there's a beat she's moving! Music has inspired Meredith as long as I've known her -- she is a skilled pianist with a beautiful singing voice. | She is also an entrepreneur who runs her own jewelry business, which gives her the flexibility of being at home with our growing family. Meredith is truly the heart of this family; she loves us fiercely and puts our needs ahead of her own. I can't imagine a better partner and friend. ---Chris | Halloween! | First Triathlon | Ropes Course | in Egypt | Hiking | Playing with our Boys
6: Our Marriage | At our favorite park | We Love Concerts... | And Milkshakes... | And Chocolate | in | Bananas | Hawaii! | I met my wife when we were both in middle school. I was a nerd (pants hiked up high, the whole bit) and she was way out of my league, so I hardly got up the nerve to talk to her for a few years. But by the time we were in high school, we became good friends. Meredith was the most passionate girl I knew, she | How We Met (Chris' Perspective): | truly cared about the people around her. We would sit for hours just talking about life and faith, and that's where I truly fell in love with her. | We didn't begin dating until we were both in college, but we had been friends for so many years that our relationship became serious quickly. We went to both of our families 6 months into our relationship and shared our desire to be married, and they all gave their enthusiastic approval. Meredith agreed to be my bride on a day trip to Chicago in February 2002, and we were married 8 months later. We were still students at the time and didn't have a lot of money, but we went back to school together and set up our first little apartment. Seven months later we found out we were pregnant with our oldest son, Philip, who was born in January 2004; followed by his brother, Gavin, in February 2006.
7: Our Dog Gus | Engagement Picture | Date Night! | Walked 7 Miles Together | How We Met (Meredith's Perspective): | Chris and I first met in middle school. I knew he was a smart guy, and kind. Throughout high school we became good friends. I liked his sense of humor, his depth of conversation, his thoughtfulness, and it didn't hurt he was 6'2"! I had jaw surgery my senior year of high school, and Chris visited me in the hospital, and then brought smoothies and movies to me once I was at home recuperating. I began to realize that I was the most "myself" when I was around Chris. He was a safe place for me. But....I never dreamed that this great guy would want to date me! | Once I finally realized that he liked me, and then loved me, I knew I wanted to live my life with him in it always. We were young when we got married, but our families knew that we loved each other and supported us. I remember once we were married realizing that my flaws now seem magnified from living in such closeness to another person! I also felt deeply loved and accepted. When we had our first child so quickly, it was both joy and difficulty. Chris became an amazing Father, and we grew up A LOT becoming parents so young. I can't imagine doing life with anyone else!
8: Harry Potter World | Kauai, Hawaii | (from Chris) | It's been amazing for me to watch my wife's relationship with our children. Meredith is an incredible mom, she truly delights in our boys. She doesn't just want to parent them, she | My greatest desire for our marriage is that we continue to be intentional about our relationship with each other. We've been married 11 years, and I've found that when we are intentional-taking time for dates, connecting emotionally every day, bringing each other an unexpected gift-it deepens our relationship and gives us the foundation we need to handle the good, bad, and ugly that life tends to dish out. | My wife is organized, efficient, and detail-oriented. I am spontaneous and often have my head in the clouds. This can make for a beautiful partnership; it also is the cause of a lot of our disagreements! Over the years we've rubbed off on each other, though; she's helped me learn to plan ahead, and I've helped her enjoy the moment. I think we're a good team! | wants to know them- to hear their interests and understand their hearts. She laughs and cries with them and understands when she needs to be stern, but also knows when | they need a hug.
9: Our Marriage | Easter Sunday | Married 3 Years | (from Meredith) | Daily decision making has been a fairly easy process for us, With big decisions, we try to plan a date, so that we can have a good conversation. We both really believe that our decisions are a partnership. Some times I defer to Chris...and he highly values my thoughts. Sometimes we disagree, and then we take a break, and talk with trusted friends and counselors in order to move forward. | I knew when I married Chris that he would be an amazing Father--and he has proved it over and over again. I love coming into the boys' bedroom at night and seeing that he has fallen asleep with them while tucking them in. Chris packs the boys' lunches every day, takes them to school,comes home and helps them with their homework, and talks about how their day went with them. Chris' personality is to have fun, so he is great at "having fun" with our kids--throwing them in the pool, sword fighting them through the house, riding bikes together, being their Cub Scout leader, and planning trips for all of us. One of the things thatI love most about Chris as a Father is that he is such a calming presence when the boys are upset. Chris can feel angry with them, but he never yells, or treats them as anything less than his beloved sons. He adores our children, delights in them, and is a great role model. And, he works hard to provide for all of our needs. | My greatest desire for our marriage is that we get to grow old together. There have been seasons of tough times in our marriage, but we keep coming back to realizing that every hard time has made our marriage stronger and deeper. We both have a deep commitment to growing together .
10: About Philip | Philip is tall with large brown eyes, sandy blond hair, and a huge smile with dimples. He is a sweet, sweet boy. He is highly intelligent, and loves to lead. In groups of kids, he loves coming up with the plan and getting everyone involved. Among his friends, we could eventually see him as a gentle, but persuasive leader...who is much taller | Age: 10 Favorite Food: Pesto Ravioli Favorite Book: Harry Potter Favorite Movie: The Lego Movie Favorite Activity: Playing Outside with | At Disney World | Getting Ready to Climb | Playful Pumpkins! | Flying a Plane! | Friends | and thicker than his peers. He loves building with his Legos, dressing up in super hero costumes, playing outside, riding his bike, and doing theater. This year, he will be the lead in two drama productions at his private school. He is full of personality. One of his favorite CD's is the musical "Newsies." His favorite after school
11: He cannot wait to have more children in our home. He continually asks when he will have a sister, and has helped already in picking out toys and books for her. We think he will be a very caring, and protective older brother (as he already is to his younger brother). | Tubing Together | Silly Brothers! | Walking the Beach | Hiking with Dad | Wall Climbing with Mom | Superheroes! | Ready to go to the theater! | Favorite Spot | He can get lost in his imagination, he loves writing his own stories, and he is fairly laid back like Chris. | activity is to build forts in the woods and jump into ninja poses on the trampoline. He has a caring heart, some anxious feelings sometimes because he can tend to be a bit overly-responsible.
12: About | Gavin | Age: 8 | Favorite Food: Cotton Candy | Favorite Activity: Playing Legos | Favorite Book: Percy Jackson | Favorite Movie: Peabody & Sherman | Gavin is 8 years old. He is average height, hazel eyes, blond hair, and a he has a huge smile to match his huge personality. He loves to make people laugh! He is also very intelligent, and loves numbers. Gavin is very musical, and takes weekly piano lessons--which he really enjoys. He is a creative thinker and curious about basically everything. He is always full of questions. Some of Gavin's favorite things are Legos, | Brothers | Silly Faces | Eating Lunch | with Dad | Tickles | Mustache Man... | Snow Day!
13: biking, family time, going to the movies, | Gavin is SO excited about having a little sister! Every time we walk by any family with a baby girl, he stops to talk to them, and every night we pray for his little sister together. He can't wait to be a big brother. | playing with his friends, dressing | up in super hero costumes, doing | arts and crafts, riding roller | coasters, cooking with us, and | laughing with his brother. | Gavin also has an amazingly sensitive | heart, he really cares about his friends and | family , and deeply feels the happiness and sadness around him.. | Cub Scouts | Family Hike | Hugs Anytime | Share the First Sip | Cool Dude | Pumpkin Patch | Fun with Friends | Lot's of Style
14: Our Journey Towards Adoption | Our family began our journey toward adoption two years ago. We had considered adoption for many years, in fact we remember having discussions about it before we were married! But these were all just theories for us until we had children. Having children has been the greatest blessing, and greatest challenge of our lives! Our boys have changed us. They have taught us about God, about ourselves, about what love truly is and what it means to live in community. And as they have grown, we have felt an increasing sense that our little community isn't finished yet, that we're not done with this chapter in our story. In this, we have found two desires of our heart coming together: A long standing desire to adopt, and a profound sense that we are ready for more children.
15: We want to know you! What are your favorite foods? How about your least favorite foods...? Are there any hobbies or sports you really enjoy? If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? We're excited to tell our little girl how she takes after her birth mom! | As we mentioned on our first page, we are so thankful that you are reading this book, because we believe this adoption is a partnership. We could never hope to embrace this child if you had not embraced her first; we could not love her fully without the courageous love you are showing by making this choice. You will always be an integral part of this little one's story, and we will regularly tell her about your love for her. | We have always valued honesty as a way of building trust with our children. We plan on our little girl knowing her beautiful adoption story, and your love for her, right from the start. | Because we desire a partnership, we are open to pictures, letters, and scheduled visits with you as she is growing. We want to stay connected with you and believe you will always hold a place of honor in our family.
16: Our Home | We live in a nice suburb near a great city in a diverse community. We LOVE our community! It really is the best part of our home. We have neighbors who are as close as family to us, and we are involved in a babysitting co-op. This means that our children have an amazing community of friends and loving adults in their lives. Our home has 4 bedrooms; we have a nursery all set up, our boys share a room, and we have a guest bedroom for grandparents to visit us. Our house is on a little under an acre, so we have a huge yard to run around and play in! Our rooms stream with sunlight during the day, and sits warm and cozy in the winter with a fire. | Our Dog Gus | An important member of our family is our dog Gus. He is a constant companion to all of us, and loved by all who meet him. Chris picked Gus out at a rescue shelter when he was a puppy, and he has been a joy in our family's life! He is wonderful with children--our boys can do no wrong with Gus, even when they love on him a little too tightly! Gus is a protector, a comforter, a source of much laughter, and a great canine friend! | These pictures were taken at one of our favorite parks. We walk from our house to this park along a beautiful river whenever the sun is shining! We love having this huge playground and beautiful piece of nature right next door. Sometimes we ride our bikes, play in the water, and hike along the river--Gus especially loves the hikes.
17: Nursery | Our Church | We have a room ready for a nursery. It is a beautiful room with tons of sunlight, and right next to our room. We have been excited to create this space . The quilt in the picture is one that I made when I was pregnant with Philip--then Gavin used it as a baby,. It is one of our family heirlooms. We also have a room in our house that is our craft room, play room, and music room. This room is made for all of our kids' creativity and imaginations. I keep it fully stocked with craft supplies at all times, and we have made forts in this room, played music as a family, and have a safe place for beloved toys, games, and books. | Playroom Fun! | Both of our families were very involved in the church while we were growing up. As teenagers we were both leaders in our youth group. During college, Chris started working on staff at a church as a youth pastor. I ended up working on staff at that church as well. Now we go to a church in our city. We really like our church because it felt like a safe place the first day we walked in, like home. People really care about their faith at our church; we love that we have a lot of artists at our church. Our church is located in the city, so it is fairly diverse, and it is not a small church, but it is not so large that we get lost there...and our kids love it! | Philip in a Christmas production at church
18: Parenting | What We Believe About | "There was probably a time when we could have given a lot of thoughts about parenthood. Most likely before we were parents. What we're learning now is that there is no good rulebook to follow, just a few basic tenets we really go after." | Love is the glue that makes this family work. It is the staying power that holds us through good and bad. Our kids know we are not perfect, but they also know they are loved fiercely, and we think that goes a long way. | First-start and end everything with love. | It is easy to talk about the surface of anything (Son, you shouldn't have colored on the walls....); it takes more work to reach the heart of something (Son, are you trying to get our attention? How do you feel inside?). The heart is where real relationship happens, it's where long term character comes from, and it is where love is tested and grown. | Second, don't settle for the surface, | speak to their heart.
19: Things We Value and Encourage in our Children: | Third, Give consistent boundaries with consequences. | Kids blossom and feel safe when given healthy boundaries. When these boundaries are crossed, they need to experience age-appropriate consequences. When our boys were little we used the time out chair, now we often will take away tv or video games for a period of time. | Fourth, Lead by example, and be willing to apologize. | far more powerful than our words. We have no interest in our kids seeing us as perfect, what we do want is for them to see us, even when we make mistakes, as people who admit our errors, apologize, and move forward changing our faults. I think being humble and admitting a mistake or failure is one of the best life lessons we can teach them. | Our children mimic everything we do, for good or bad, which makes our actions as parents | Imagination | Respect | Courage | Kindness | Laughter | Rest | Responsibility | Outdoor Play | Reading | Friendship | Exercise | Independence | Hard Work | Creativity | Confidence | Leadership | Emotional Awareness | Music | Faith
20: Our Families | Chris' Parents | Married & Loving Each Other for 36 yrs. Chris' Mom is a counselor and his Dad is a pastor and college professor. | Chris | Mom | Dad | Brother, Rob | Chris' Family, and now there are two more cousins, twin girls (not in picture) | Chris & His Family | We all love having 5 cousins! | Walking to the Zoo with Gramps. | All at the St. Louis Arch | Rob & Emma just had twin girls this past December. They are precious. | Chris' Brother Rob is married to Emma, and they have 5 children. Rob is a college professor. | Emma is a Pediatric Nurse. | Gramma ADORES her children and grandkids!
21: Meredith & Her Family | Married and Loving Each Other for 34 Years. They are both eye doctors. | Meredith's Parents | Brother Garrett | Sis-in-Law Liz | Dad | Sister Mallory | Mom | Meredith | Chris | Philip | Gavin | Meredith has a very large extended family, with aunts, uncles, and cousins who are great, life long friends. | Garrett & Liz are both teachers. They are amazing with our boys! | Meredith and her Mom are great friends. She is also a wonderful Nana! | Our kids are extremely blessed to know their great-grandparents. They love our boys, but most of all, they engage their imaginations and have fun with them! Pop-pop still rides his bike with us! | Riding Bikes at the Beach | Meredith's sister Mallory is a ballerina and in college. She is a FUN aunt who spends a lot of time with our family.
22: What We Do For Fun | We enjoy day trips to the mountains with our friends. | We celebrate ALL our birthdays--Medieval Times for boys' birthdays! | Disney World-we love traveling together. We do at least one family trip a year to a new location. | Driving | Pop-pop's | Boat | On many Saturdays, we go on nature walks, ride bikes, hang around the house and cook breakfast together, go see a movie, or spend time with friends. | We love being at the Beach!
23: Washington, DC sites | We enjoy celebrating every holiday--we always have a family Easter egg hunt every year. We like to hide eggs in places that make the boys laugh. The tooth fairy comes to our house regularly, and Santa's reindeer eat the carrots we leave out for them. (wink!) | We all like seeing plays and especially musicals. We took the boys to see Newsies in NYC! | Hiking in the Fall | 3D Movies, Friday night favorite! | Animal Kingdom Magic | Enjoying the breeze and the sunshine.
24: Thank you for getting to know us through these pages. We are inspired by the choices you are making right now. You are revealing your strength and sacrificial love by choosing to pursue adoption for your child. We will never be able to express how much we respect the choice you are making. Please know that your child will always grow up knowing how much we respect and admire you. We could never repay this gift.