Ryan & Michelle
– Tennessee –
Dear Expectant Parent,
We are Ryan & Michelle, and we will love your baby and help him or her achieve their dreams. We know that adoption is a tough choice to make, and choosing the right family for your baby makes it even harder. But you can do it! Here is our story… we can’t wait to hear yours.
We grew up in large families and always expected to have many children. Five years ago, we even bought a large home, hoping to fill it with 6-8 kids. But we learned through 6 miscarriages that we can’t give birth to any more. After looking into different ways to grow our family, we discovered adoption and it has changed our lives forever. Each child that comes into our home adds more love, laughter and excitement.
Much love, Ryan and Michelle
To support our growing family, Ryan works 8-5 as a family physician and spends his evenings and weekends with our family. His job provides money for food, a home, clothing, vacations and future education. Ryan is kind, gentle and loving to everyone. He enjoys fixing the house, running and music, and he includes the kids in all these activities. "Dad jokes" are one of his specialties, even though they make the kids groan.
Michelle is a stay-at-home mom, and runs a very organized home. While the children were young, she started teaching many life-skills in a fun way. The oldest kids can now cook a few different meals. The four oldest kids can do laundry and clean the house. We all take turns learning and doing different jobs. Because the work is divided, Michelle can focus on the what matters the most – the kid(s) having a hard day (this person seems to changes everyday). She is always available for snuggles, playing, stories, books and songs.
When babies are born they spend the first 3-4 months in the master bedroom. That way we can get to them quickly to feed and change them. We set up a rocking chair, small crib, changing station (on Michelle's dresser) and put baby clothes in our drawers. It is just easier for us to have everything right there day and night. If we could fit the washer and dryer in there too, we would.
After the first few months, they get to join their brothers and sisters upstairs. The baby always goes in the room with the youngest children. Much to the delight of the youngest.
Last year our neighbor brought a cat home from the animal shelter and she has adopted us as her daytime family. We call her Shadow and she is always nearby when the kids are outside playing.
The teachings and love of Jesus Christ are at the center of our family. We are helping our children to find joy and peace in following His example. Our extended family is very supportive of adoption and big families.
We lived 4 years in Japan while Ryan served in the Air Force. Two of our kids were born there! It’s important for us to travel with our kids. We think there is great value in learning about different places & meeting new people.
-Family & Friends-
We get together with our extended families as much as we can. Holidays are the perfect excuse to party!
Every 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day we hike with our grandparents and cousins and then have games and a BBQ.
On Halloween we dress up and go trick-or-treating in a nursing home.
We use our extra Halloween candy to make gingerbread houses with cousins when we get together over Thanksgiving break.
On Christmas Eve we read the story of Christ’s birth and act it out with costumes. The following morning we enjoy family, presents and good food.
We also have the tradition of going camping every spring break somewhere warm. All the hiking, camping and outdoor cooking is so fun!