Wade & Michael
Hello, we are Wade, Michael, Maxwell and the little dog who refuses to look at the camera is Charlie. We are a young family living on Indy’s near Northside in the historic Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. Michael is a hair stylist downtown with his own studio and Wade is an account manager for a special events company.
During the summer, we love going to concerts at Mallow Run, where Maxwell has been known to dance on stage without even being asked. We enjoy camping at McCormick’s Creek and usually head over to Michael’s alma mater Indiana University for lunch on our way home. We attend Trinity Episcopal Church and they have early garden services during the summer, which gives us more time to ride our bikes all around the city and go swimming at the Jordan YMCA. As it gets cooler, we cherish our annual visits to the Indiana State Museum to see Santa and eat lunch at the Ayres Tea Room, take in the Yuletide Celebration at the Indianapolis Symphony and see the sights at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Winter Lights.
Our neighborhood is full of historic homes and tree-lined streets, and we are in love with it. There are always lots of kids running around and playing together while we parents catch up and share home maintenance stories. Maxwell goes to kindergarten nearby at the Butler Lab School and has made a lot of friends who also live on our street.
We adopted Maxwell at birth in July 2014 and we are so happy and proud of our ongoing relationship with Maxwell’s birthmother and her family. We visit several times a year and share photos and stories regularly. We believe open adoption can be a really great thing for adopted children and it has really enriched our lives as well.
We met through mutual friends nine years ago, and on our third date, we had a picnic on the grounds of Oldfields at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and Wade taught me how to play Gin Rummy. It was then that we discovered our mutual love for Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live and snorting through your nose while laughing. The rest was history.
We bought our first home together in 2012 in a historic neighborhood in Indianapolis near our church. While I was busy painting and landscaping, Wade was cooking up amazing dinners and pastries that made every holiday special for us and our extended family. Everything since then has been an amazing adventure, the likes of which I could never have imagined for myself. Trips to London and Paris, seeing Fleetwood Mac from the 5th row, hiking in the Badlands! Date nights include catching up on each others day while sitting on the front porch, watching some of our favorite shows like Big Little Lies, and going out to eat at new restaurants. But nothing compares to what 2014 brought for us.
We were about 7 months into the adoption process when we were matched with Maxwell’s birth mom! I had just opened a new hair salon, and we had only been open for a few weeks before Maxwell was born and we jetted away to Michigan to welcome him into the world! Whirlwind doesn’t begin to cover it – it was the best thing that had ever happened to us!
We can’t wait to add to our family’s story as we evolve into a family of four. One of my favorite quotes says it best I think- it’s from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, “You never know what’s comin’ for you.”
MICHAEL ON WADE
Wade is the kindest, most easygoing human being around. Nothing bothers him – NOTHING! Which is a good thing when I am spiraling out of control over trying to find the perfect rug that I must have immediately, if not sooner, or when I’m making him look at paint samples that he says all look beige. (He may be color blind – really, it would explain a lot.)
He just smiles and lets me exhaust myself with whatever project I am focused on and shows tremendous patience with me throughout. This quality flows over to Maxwell, our five-year-old, as well. Wade is an amazing father and I could not have picked a better partner with which to parent. He spends hours playing make-believe on the living room floor with Maxwell, reading books and working on his drawing and writing at the dining room table. He is able to truly turn off adulting and play with Maxwell at a child’s level with enthusiasm and wonder. It is wonderful to watch and so assuring to me to have an equal partner in this parenting experience.
WADE ON MICHAEL
Michael is such an organized and creative person. He really is a jack-of-all-trades and can do it all; paint, build, design, create, the list goes on. He is wonderful at transforming our home into the most inviting and comfortable place. When you think he has met his match, his pure grit and determination persevere and he gets it done. He really loves to make everything nicer and more beautiful than it was before. He also can see the teeny tiniest color difference and looks at me like I’m weird when presenting me with 17 white color swatches that I don’t see any difference in!
He has been such a role model for Maxwell and is always showing him how to do the things he’s working on. Maxwell idolizes him and always runs to grab his toolbox when Michael starts to work on things with his tools so he can help.
Michael truly is the yin to my yang and we balance each other perfectly. When I’m too much of anything he’s the opposite and helps bring me back down or pushes me to be better and do things I normally wouldn’t do or think I could do.
Maxwell is the single best thing to happen to us, the best gift we have ever been given. He is a gentle spirit, kind to everyone he meets and so imaginative. He currently is in “story mode” where he will tell us a made-up story usually about monsters and aliens, and then Wade and I have to make up stories next. He loves to swim and this summer he started to do the backstroke and doggie paddle, but his favorite is putting his face underwater and opening his eyes to look at us! He is so excited to have a little sister or brother and says, “my baby wants this toy” or “my baby doesn’t like that toy” when we are going through his things to transfer to the nursery. We had a short term foster baby and Maxwell told him EVERYTHING he knew, “That’s the sky, can you see the sky? Those are clouds and they’re white clouds. My dog Charlie is white, too, and you can play with him.” While that experience was short, it told us all we needed to know about what a great big brother Max will be one day!
WHERE WE LIVE
Our neighborhood has so many families with children! Our street is a quiet side street only two blocks long, which lends itself nicely to all the kids riding their bikes and playing in each other’s front yards. All the parents are close as well and we have fun catching up and sharing stories while our kids laugh and play. We love to ride our bikes to the nearby park and play on the splash pad. Maxwell waves and says “hi” to everyone we pass on our bike rides. If he doesn’t get a “hi” back, he just gets louder until the poor person gives in. We moved into our house last summer and spent the winter painting and updating the kitchen and baths to make it feel like home. The nursery is already loaded with Maxwell’s toys he has grown out of, but he sneaks a few back to his room now and then. People tell us how warm and inviting it is and that’s always been our goal – to create a vibrant and warm sanctuary for our family.
Wade’s mom lives close and is really a great source of support for our family. She’s always available for anything needed and loves Maxwell like no other. She loves spending time with her grandchildren and loves getting everyone in the family together to do lots of different activities. Wade’s dad and stepmom live in the house where Wade grew up and we visit them occasionally and they just bought an RV this summer and we’re excited to go camping with them soon.
Michael’s sister Lisa lives in Alabama with her husband Bill and their daughter Madison who is a sophomore at the University of Alabama. Lisa has always been Michael’s best friend and mentor and the two have remained very close through the years. We just recently vacationed with them on Lake Michigan and love to visit them at their home on Lake Tuscaloosa, where Maxwell gets to drive their boat!
It is not lost on us that our exciting plan to adopt a child coincides with one of the hardest things you will decide to do. We want you to know, whoever you are, that your child will be loved, adored and mentored to be a good person in a home that believes that black lives matter, that science is real, that women’s rights are human rights, that love is love and above all else – that kindness matters. We wish you well in your journey and welcome any questions or conversations you’d like to have with us.