Hi there. We’re grateful that you’ve chosen to learn more about us and the life that we hope to offer a child through open adoption. We’re experienced parents, with a healthy, happy four year old who can’t wait to be a big sister. The child we are fortunate enough to raise alongside her will have a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home dad, a close-knit extended family, and lots of opportunity for travel, education, and service.
We met and started dating in 2002 when Crystal was a student at Dartmouth College and Ray was a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology. This December we will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.
As a couple, the saying “opposites attract” fits us quite well. While Crystal is talkative, sentimental, and likes to have a plan, Ray’s more reserved, logical, and happy to go with the flow. We don’t have the same taste in music, television shows, or past times, but we have the most important things in common: mutual love and respect, a commitment to our family, and the ability to make each other laugh.
Our partnership is something that we continue to foster as we feel it’s the foundation for our family. We try to have one date night each week, even if it’s just a casual dinner out. Though most of our interests are different, we both love game nights with friends, trivia, and Escape Rooms. We’ve successfully “escaped” every room we’ve tried!
We live in a four-bedroom house in a family-friendly neighborhood in a suburb of Rochester, NY. The location is ideal for us in that we’re close to nature trails, playgrounds, and parks but we’re also just a short drive from museums, the library, the zoo, and a variety of classes and educational opportunities.
Crystal gave birth to our first child, Lily, in September of 2012 and, unfortunately, had significant postpartum complications. We always knew we wanted to raise a second child but we were concerned about the impact of a second pregnancy. After a complicated miscarriage, we became certain that another pregnancy was not what was best for our family.
At that point, Ray suggested adoption and it immediately landed on Crystal’s heart with a sense of certainty and peace… like it was where we were meant to end up all along.
We began our research and resonated with the idea of open adoption. Our goal is to raise a child who always knows how much they are loved and valued by their family, both by birth and adoption. We believe that we will find the child we are meant to parent and we’re eager to get to know the woman who will bring him or her into the world.
We know that this experience will be different and special in many ways and, yet, the same in one very important way: we will love this child unconditionally.
The other day I came downstairs and the kitchen table was covered with containers of homemade soup, salad, cornbread, and cookies. Crystal had spent the day making meals to deliver to a couple of friends going through a rough time. Crystal is one of the most thoughtful people I know and it’s obvious not just in her friendships but also in her parenting.
She puts a great deal of effort into doing what’s best for her child, even if it’s not what’s easiest for her. As a stay-at-home mom, she loves planning activities that match Lily’s interests and finding creative ways to encourage learning and cooperation.
Her creativity has served her well not just as a mom, but also as an entrepreneur. Seven years ago, Crystal started writing a blog about her experience with a digestive condition called gastroparesis. That blog gained a dedicated following and eventually turned into a successful health coaching career and two self-published books that became best sellers on Amazon.
In the years since, Crystal has recovered from the condition but has continued to use her platform to make a difference for the community. She’s taken on fundraising efforts and traveled to Washington, DC several times to meet with law makers about much-needed research funding.
This desire to “make a difference” is a theme that runs through nearly everything Crystal does. For her friends, her family, her community, and even for strangers.
Three years ago, she started a project called Christmas Kindness in which our family performs twelve acts of charity or service during the month of December. For no other reason than to spread some goodness in the world and teach our children about the importance of giving back.
When Crystal isn’t caring for others or championing a cause, she likes to bake, practice yoga, read mysteries, and relax with her favorite TV shows.
As I’m writing this, I can hear Ray upstairs giving Lily her bath. He’s making Sesame Street voices as they play pretend with her bath toys. When they’re done, he’ll help her brush her teeth, put on pajamas, and build with Legos until I come up to tuck her in. He does this every night.
He’s a really involved, hands-on dad. He’s also very easy-going. He has helped me learn to enjoy the moment, rather than worrying or planning, and he brings that to his parenting, as well. He will be a wonderful father of two. Full of practice advice and loving support.
Ray’s a software engineer and he has a great job for a company he loves. We’re lucky in that he works from home 100% of the time. This provides us with a great deal of flexibility and a lot of additional family time.
In his free time, Ray loves playing all kinds of games: video games, board games, and card games. He’s a Buffalo Bills football fan and dabbles in disc golf, hiking, and rock climbing.
While Ray definitely has a “nerdy” side, he’s also rather handy. With the help of his dad and mine, he turned our unfinished basement into the ultimate playroom and built a large deck off the back of our house where we’ll host friends and family in the summers.
Fun fact: Ray was once an aspiring voice actor and he does great impressions, including characters from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Winnie the Pooh. This comes in handy in the dad department!
Lilianna (Lily) is an energetic, sweet, and funny 4-1/2 year old. Lily loves reading, singing, dancing, and playing outside… especially when there are muddy puddles to jump in! With the amount of love this kiddo readily shows, we already know she’s going to be a great big sister.
Her favorite activity is her weekly art class. Most of Lily’s friends in art class have younger siblings who tag along and she can’t wait to have a little brother or sister of her own.
When asked what she would be most excited about if she were to become a big sister, she said, “helping mommy take care of the baby and showing the baby how to do things and giving the baby hugs!”
Family is incredibly important to us and we are fortunate to be close — both in distance and relationship — with nearly all of our immediate family. They are all very excited that we’ve chosen to adopt and we know that they will offer lifelong love and support to our child.
Crystal’s parents (“Grammy & Pa”) are especially involved and looking forward to our second child. Lily spends one night each week with them — at their home on 100 acres surrounded by cornfields and farm animals — and they are already preparing a room for their next grandchild to do the same when he or she is ready.
Thank you for taking the time to view our profile. If you feel that we might be the right family for your child, please contact us in whatever way feels most comfortable to you. We’re interested in getting to know you and the life you envision for your child, as well as sharing more about us and the life we hope to offer a child through adoption.
Should you eventually choose us to parent your child, please know that we will provide a nurturing home, full of laughter and support, in which he or she will always know how much they are loved by both their adoptive and birth families.