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Featured Family: Timothy and Christine

Describe your childhood:
Christine: I had a happy childhood. I had a large and loving family that I enjoyed spending time with - and still do! I knew I was loved and felt very secure in that. My mom fostered my love for reading and encouraged me in creative pursuits. My extended family was so close that, as a young girl, that is how I thought all families were. I had no idea that some families argue, fight or yell until I was much older. This happy childhood did not mean that my life was perfect. My parents divorced when I was in eighth grade and, at times, we were quite poor. What it does mean is that through the good times and bad, I always was secure in being loved and cared for. Tim: I had a good childhood with either a stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad at all times during my childhood years. My father owned a dairy farm, so I learned the value of hard work and the responsibility of taking care of animals. I had many cousins my same age and our families got together often to visit and play. My parents were very supportive, whether it was attending all my sporting events or encouraging me to do well in school. I always felt comfortable and safe in our home and with the immediate family.

Tell us about your home?
We recently bought 28 acres of land that has been in Tim's family for years. On it, we are building our dream home. A few goats, chickens and ducks will pasture one half of the clearing and we will have a large pumpkin patch on the other. A large portion of the acreage is wooded with trails ideal for walks through the woods. The house itself is a three bedroom ranch with a wrap-around porch where we can sit outside and watch the birds and deer that roam the property. The interior of the house will be very relaxed and homey. We will have a mix of the old and new with several antiques, family heirlooms, handmade quilts, and other handmade items.

When you have a 3-day weekend, what do you like to do?
Michigan is such a beautiful state that when Tim and I have an opportunity, we like to go and explore it. We spent our honeymoon on Mackinaw Island and love to go back and revisit. We have also spent time in Tahquamenon Falls, Traverse City and Petosky. If we are not out of town camping and kayaking, then it is usually because we are spending time with our family. Tim and I both come from large extended families and enjoy having cookouts, barbecues and get-togethers throughout the year.

Do you have pets? If so tell us about them?
We have an ten month old puppy named Chewbacca (Chewie). He is an absolute clown, very active and very friendly. Wherever we go, people smile and stop to pet him, and Chewie just soaks up the attention giving kisses and making sure to roll on his back for a free belly rub. He is a very silly little guy and makes us laugh every day.

What do you hope to teach your children?
There are many things that we can teach a child. Tim is good at math, science, and engineering; Christine teaches English and is good at the humanities and art. Outside of academics, one of the most important life lessons we hope to share is to be happy and content with the person you are instead of trying to be someone different. There is only one "you" in the world - no one else will ever be as good a "you" as you can be. In addition to believing in yourself, we hope to foster a belief in God. Having a strong faith and personal relationship with Christ is something that is very important to us and helps guide us through life's decisions. We hope to share that faith with our child.

Describe your neighborhood?
Our home is located in a rural community on a road with little traffic since the road dead-ends about a mile away from our home. We are only 6 miles from a park with slides and swings and tennis courts and baseball diamonds where we can take our child to play, in addition to all the outdoor games we can play at our home.

What will you tell your child about their birthmother?
This is a difficult question to answer because we have not met our birth mother yet. We will, of course, talk about how much the she loved her child and her courage in making the difficult decision of adoption. If there are other details or information she would like us to share, we would be very open to that.

It's Daddy's day - what activity do you want to share with your child?
There are many activities I will enjoy with our child. The first would be to go into our woods and scout around, looking at squirrels and birds, and maybe build a little ground fort. This will be fun and in a way teach how to do construction at a child's level. As a secondary activity, we would go for a bike ride on our rural roads. Either way, our Daddy day would be an outdoor activity.

What kind of education are you hoping to provide for your child - Private or Public?
There are several strong public school districts in our area; this is where we see our child attending. But in addition to learning facts out of books, we plan on fostering a love of learning in our child. Doing experiments, traveling to historic sites, reading, questioning, exploring and discovering the world outside of the classroom are ways that we plan on supplementing our child's education.

How did you come to the decision of adoption?
I (Christine) learned as a teenager that I would not be able to carry my own biological child. Adoption has long been part of my life's plan. While Tim and I were dating, I shared this news with him. We both knew that we wanted to raise children; adoption became our plan. It is not important to us that our child shares our DNA; we just want a child to share our home and our lives with, to watch grow into their own special little person and to be a guiding force in their life.

What faith will you raise your child?
Our child will be raised as a Christian. We believe that faith is more than a religion; it is about developing a personal relationship with Christ. As Christians, we feel that it is important to live our lives in accordance with God's will. This, in part, means to show love and kindness to those around us - that our actions should be a reflection of the love that God has shown us.

What kind of a relationship do you hope to build with your birthmom through her pregnancy?
We would love to get to know our birth mom and talk frequently through phone, email and/or text. Hopefully, we could be a source of moral support to her as she goes through her pregnancy. We would love to share in her excitement and be there to offer a listening ear if she needs one.

How did you meet?
We worked for the same company and ended up working together. This was truly a blessing because it allowed us to get to know each other first and become friends before we ever started dating. We were able to learn about each other's character and values, see how each treated co-workers and learn a little about each other's interests, hobbies and sense of humor. We were very lucky to find each other.

What was your relationship with your parents like?
Christine: I am very lucky to have such a great mom. She was always encouraging and supportive of whatever new goal I wanted to try to tackle. Her parenting style is one that I hope to emulate with my own children. I was loved and I knew it. My dad was the breadwinner in the family. He was dependable and steady, always there. He never missed a single dance recital, piano concert or play while I was growing up. He always wanted the best for us and encouraged us to work hard in school. Tim: My father was the parent who provided for our family for most of my adolescent years before Mom went to work. He tended to be the more fun one of my parents; the one who would let me get away with things or get out of work/activities. He was my coach in learning how to do farm work, work on cars, learn sports, etc. Mom has always been the more hands-on nurturing and encouraging for all aspects of my life. Sometimes she can offer more support than is asked for, but I have always known that she has nothing but the best intentions with all she offers. I have always felt accepted and loved by both my parents.

What attracted you to each other?
Tim's kindness and caring heart were attractive to me from the start. He has this honesty and authenticity that are rare in people. He is such a good person and always strives to do what he can to help others. He also has a great sense of humor and can always make me laugh. I have fun whenever I am around him. Christine has such a fun personality, but what really led me to fall for her is her strong belief system that mirrored my own. She brings out the best in me by expanding my horizons and helping me to reach my, and now our, goals. Christine is my best friend.

Please describe your personalities:
Christine: I would say that I have an organized, creative spirit - which is odd because those qualities are usually on opposite sides of the spectrum. I love to build and create things and to try new things from cards to furniture. There is a big world out there that I am fascinated with and love exploring, but in order to do that, I need to plan! When we are thinking of taking a trip, I am the one scouring the internet looking for the perfect place to stay or fun attractions to visit. I am picking the colors we will paint each room of our new home before the walls are even built. And yes, I am the person who starts Christmas shopping in June. Finally, I am family oriented and a large part of my planning comes from the desire to spend time with or do something nice for those I care the most about. Tim: I tend to be fairly analytical most of the time which means that I think things through thoroughly before I make a decision. I am very concerned about how my actions or decisions affect the people around me, so I always try to do the "right thing." I consider myself kind and considerate and always willing to provide help and support where I can. I consider my greatest weakness to be that I tend to over-analyze which leads to procrastination, but I believe that slow and steady, like the tortoise, is better than quick and random, like the hare.

What are your hobbies?
Christine: I love to make new things, to create something out of nothing - or scraps of nothing. I do some wood working, make greeting cards, and decorate wreaths. I would like to try my hand at sewing and have my first quilt cut out. And, I just found out today that my mother-in-law will teach me to knit! I also am an avid reader and dabble in writing. I have ideas for a couple children's books that I would like to write someday. Finally, I like to spend time with my husband. Whether we are fishing, kayaking, camping, or just taking a walk through the woods, being with him is the best part of my day. Tim: I enjoy to be outdoors, so I spend much of my free time either fishing, playing with our puppy or cycling. I play sports whether it is organized softball or a one-on-one game of basketball with my nephew or competitive racquetball match with my cousins. We both love to go camping for vacations or kayaking for a day-trip.

When you close your eyes and see yourself holding your precious baby in your arms what are your thoughts regarding the birthmother?
I can imagine only feeling love and deep gratitude for this woman. I hope that by the time the adoption is complete she can be confident that her child will be loved and cared for by Tim and me, that the difficult decision of adoption will end up bringing her more joy and comfort than pain. My thoughts, prayers, and thankfulness will be with her ever time I look at that beautiful baby.

How will a child enrich your life?
As a father, I want to share all that was bequeathed to me with my child and carry on the morals and values that were instilled in me by my parents. It will be such a blessing to be able to see the world through the innocent eyes of a child. In the time that I spend with my 13-year-old nephew, I learn so much about the world by getting the perspective of someone who sees everything in such a different light.

Why did you each choose the career path you decided on?
Christine: I didn't choose teaching as much as it chose me. From as early as I can remember, I have wanted to help others learn. When I was in kindergarten, I would rush through my classwork so I could walk around and help my friends with theirs. In middle school, I would take the bus after I got out of school over to my aunt's second grade classroom to help out for the last hour of their school day. When I got to college, I was the go-to person for my roommates when they needed help with their papers. Being a teacher is just a natural part of who I am and I am very lucky to get the opportunity to do it for a living. Tim: As a child, I was excelled in school, especially the math and sciences. In high school I was steered by counselors and some of my family toward the engineering field of study. I had close cousins who had also chosen engineering as their career choice. While in college, I continued to do well in the engineering classes which resulted in a degree in electrical engineering. After college, I got a job as an electrical engineer. After many years as a Design Engineer/Program Manager, I had the opportunity for advancement in Purchasing as a Cost Expert where I continue to be today.

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