We are a family that has a lot of fun together. We love and respect each other very much. Kelly grew up in a small town in the mountains. Michael grew up in a huge city. We met in college when Michael was roommates with Kelly’s brother. We always looked forward to any opportunities that we could spend together. After college, Kelly moved to Texas to teach high school while finishing prerequisites for medical school. When we fell in love, Michael had a job he loved as executive pastor at a large church in California, and Kelly was in medical training in Texas. Although we lived about 1,500 miles apart, we spent almost 4 years getting to know each other better through letters, phone calls and visits. This time apart made us appreciate every second we could spend together. In June of 2009, Kelly graduated from Residency (the final stage of medical training) in Texas and moved back to California, and then we were married in August of 2009. We have been friends since college and have been married for 8 years. It is great to have a marriage that has a deep friendship as its foundation.
We botho love to laugh and are passionate about life. We believe in working hard while having lots of fun and taking lots of vacations. We enjoy the beach, traveling, reading, sporting events, Disneyland, and going to movies. Since becoming parents we spend a lot of time at parks, swimming, children’s museums and just playing out doors. We place a very high priority on family and spend a lot of time with our extended families. Kelly is the oldest of 4 children and Michael has one younger sister. We love being aunt and uncle to our 11 nieces and nephews. Our daughter loves playing with her cousins. We are grateful to live near most of Kelly’s family and see them at least once a week when we get together for “family dinner night”. Michael’s family lives in Washington and we make sure we see them at least a few times per year and skype often. We value our family traditions that revolve around spending time with our extended family. Some of our traditions include having a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve, decorating a gingerbread house with cousins at Christmas, going to family camp with Kelly’s family, and picking a family Halloween theme. We have a lot of fun with our extended families. Joslyn consider her cousins her best friends. Both our families are thrilled to have another child in the family.
Kelly had wanted to adopt since she was 12 years old. This longing came from the experience that her family had with adopting her youngest sister. She will never forget the day they got the call that she would have a little sister. Kelly feels that God planted this desire in her heart knowing that years later we would have trouble getting pregnant. We see how enriched our lives are because her sister is in our family. Adoption brings together families that may be very different in talents, experiences, ethnicities and cultures, and finds common ground based on the shared love of a child. Our daughter Joslyn was born June of 2014 and was adopted through Bethany Christian Services. She immediately brought so much joy and love to our lives. We love being her parents. She makes us laugh a lot. She is adorable, fun, loving, gentle and silly. She loves to dance, swim, color and play with her dollies. She will be an amazingly loving big sister.
We love to travel and want our children to be able to travel and see the world and learn to appreciate different cultures. Our daughter is 3 1/2 years old and has already been in 18 states, 10 countries and 3 continents.
We have been grateful that we have both been able to cut back on working since becoming parents. Kelly is only working 16 hours per week and a few of those hours Joslyn is in preschool and the rest of the time she is having father/daughter time. We are grateful that we could arrange our schedules to have one of us home almost all the time. Kelly plans to continue only working part-time (Michael is home most of the time Kelly is at work) when the kids go to school so that she can be involved in school activities and home over summers. Striving to be loving and attentive parents is a priority to us!
Michael’s family loves to spend time together. His parents have been married for 43 years. Michael has a younger sister who is married and has two young daughters. His father was a children’s pastor and his mom was a teacher and a stay-at-home mom when he was little. They are now retired and run a non-profit ministry. We are really close to his parents and to his sister’s family. His parents are very supportive of our family and of adoption and make it a priority to spend time with their grandchildren. Although they live in Washington, we see them many times through the year. Joslyn adores her grandparents and cousins.
Kelly’s family is fun, loud, and always up for an adventure. Kelly’s parents have been married for 46 years. Kelly’s dad is an author and speaker, and her mom helps him with his ministry and was a stay-at-home mom when she was little. Kelly is the oldest of 4 children. She has one brother and two sisters. Each of her siblings is married and has 3 children. The cousins are all really close and love each other so much. We love to travel with Kelly’s family- there is never a boring moment with the ten cousins. We have been going to family camp every summer, and it is always so fun to see how the cousins stick up for each other and want to be together. Kelly’s parents and two of her siblings live near us, and we see them weekly for “family dinner” and often hang out through the week. We see Kelly’s sister who lives out of town multiple times per year and often face time with her family. Adoption has been a important part of Kelly’s family and they are so excited for our journey to add to our family by adoption.
We live in a large five bedroom house in a very safe and family-friendly, gated neighborhood that has a community pool and park. Our daughter loves to play in her play house in the back yard. We are 7 miles from the beach. Kelly’s parents and 2 of her siblings live close to us. We are driving distance to spend a day at the beach, in the mountains or in the dessert.
Michael makes me laugh. He has the best sense of humor and finds the best in people and he makes friends with everyone. I respect how passionate he is about his job. He always stands by me and takes care of our family. He is an amazing husband and father. I love that every Friday he has father/daughter day while I am at work. (only day I work all day). Joslyn adores her daddy and loves Fridays.
How I ended up becoming an Executive Pastor/CFO:
My parents worked for churches and schools while I was growing up, and I always thought I would enjoy working in that environment. In college, I discovered that I liked organizing numbers and graduated with an accounting degree. Then I accepted a job at a large international accounting firm. My accounting firm was sold to another firm and before accepting the job at the new company, I was offered a job at my church to be their controller for the church and their school. This was an exciting opportunity to match my lifelong dream of working in a church and school, as well as using my training as an accountant and being responsible for the business side of ministry. I have taken on additional responsibilities over the last 15 years at the church, and am currently the Executive Pastor. Most of all, I love the people that I work with, and their dedication to showing Christ's love to our local community and around the world. I love that my daughter goes to the preschool where I work so I know all her teachers, get to drop her off, watch her play, and am right there on campus if I am ever needed.
Kelly is fun, passionate, caring and a great mom. She makes everyone feel cared for. I am so lucky to be her husband. I had the privilege of watching Kelly work her way through medical school and through the demanding schedule of residency. She stayed true to her calling by becoming a doctor that cares for hurting children. I am thankful that she wants to work part time so she can spend more time with our daughter. I love how she adores our little girl.
How I ended up becoming a child psychiatrist:
Growing up I always wanted to work with kids. In junior high and in high school during elective time, I volunteered in the special education classroom for kids with severe developmental disabilities. I loved the kids in this class and enjoyed helping them. When I started college, I thought I wanted to teach special education. In college, I realized that I loved science and decided I wanted to be a pediatrician. Because I didn’t change to pre-med until my junior year, I needed one year to finish prerequisites. I had the opportunity to teach high school during that year, and enjoyed it so much that I ended up deferring medical school and teaching a total of 3 years. While teaching, I learned that mental illness affects many good families and saw amazing kids that I cared about struggle with anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Teaching is what led me to choose child psychiatry as my specialty. I love my job, but am so thankful to be able to work part time to be at home more with our daughter.