Hello! We’re Christie and Graeme 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to get to know us through this profile! We’d guess that this might be a pretty tough time for you, and we’re already so impressed with your strength in this challenging situation. We earnestly hope and pray that you are able to find peace in this important decision, and we’re so glad you’re thinking of us! We’re ready and excited to welcome a child into our home, and intend to raise them to be a loving, thoughtful, responsible citizen.
Adoption has been on our hearts ever since we started dating over 13 years ago, especially because one of us (Christie) is adopted. Even more so, adoption is important to us because we’ve experienced chosen family firsthand since we moved across the country to Ontario in 2010. We’re both originally from the prairies – Graeme from Red Deer, AB; Christie from Carrot River, SK – but Ottawa has become our home. We have a big, loving community of family, friends, and supporters who are SO EXCITED for us to welcome a child into our family.
About Our Relationship
After graduating from high school, we both attended Trinity Western University – a private Christian university in Langley, BC – and we met there through mutual friends and from both being involved in student leadership. We dated for more than 3 years, part of it long distance while Graeme was doing an internship in Ottawa. We were engaged and then married just before moving to Ottawa for Graeme to start grad school at the University of Ottawa. We’re grateful that, despite starting our relationship when we were quite young (21), we’ve been able to grow together and are increasingly compatible. We both care deeply about social justice and orient ourselves around the idea of doing ordinary things with an extraordinary love.
Christie, by Graeme :
Christie is a very compassionate and intelligent person, always concerning herself with how those around her are feeling. She is fundamentally optimistic and sees the best in everyone she meets. Christie LOVES books – and will spend a lot of free time reading. When she’s not taking a walk to the local library, Christie will spend time gardening and working around the house. She is extremely organized and detail-oriented, working full-time as a therapist to help people overcome trauma.
Graeme, by Christie:
Graeme is a quiet, funny, thoughtful guy, who is most often found working on home projects while listening to podcasts or going golfing/playing hockey with his friends. What originally attracted me to Graeme was his genuine kindness and his ensuring that people feel included. Graeme is unendingly patient, and almost never gets upset about anything; he frequently says something so funny that I laugh until I cry. Graeme works as a Governance Officer and
volunteers on two different boards; he’s a big-picture thinker who is great at explaining complicated things in an accessible way.
Our Home and Neighbourhood
We moved into our home in the fall of 2017, and we love our house and neighbourhood more each day! Our home is a modest, two-story building located on a quiet, safe street in the Vanier neighbourhood of Ottawa. Vanier is close to downtown with easy access to many parks and schools. We know many neighbours, and enjoy having a chat while outside gardening (our neighbour across the street also runs a branch of the Little Free Library). The interior of our home is relatively minimalist but cozy – full of pictures, books, and things our family and friends have created. We have two large bedrooms upstairs, while the kitchen, living room, and office are on the main floor. As our house sits on 1.5 lots, we are fortunate to have a good sized yard and deck with lots of space for play (or watching movies with our projector!).
Things We Love
Home Projects – Since we moved into our house, we’ve discovered that we both love doing DIY projects and spending time out in our yard. Graeme is great at working out problems and doing calculations; Christie is great with details and selecting affordable items that fit well with our style. Our house is almost 100 years old but definitely doesn’t look that way; we painted every inch of wall space when we moved in, built a library, updated both bathrooms, and rebuilt our back porch into a deck for hosting friends. We have a standing challenge to see how much lumber or how big of a piece of furniture we can fit inside our Toyota Yaris.
Travel – Although there isn’t much of it happening in pandemic times, travel has been a huge part of our relationship. Graeme is more adventurous and Christie is more cautious, which is a great balance when traveling in unfamiliar places. In 2013/2014, we both moved to Zimbabwe so that Graeme could do an internship with the United Nations Development Program, and did a lot of traveling in southern Africa. We later ruthlessly saved our Aeroplan points and were able to do an around-the-world trip in 2016 to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We frequently take road trips since there is so much to explore within a day’s drive of Ottawa!
Our Cat – We adopted our cat Minerva when she was a kitten in 2014. She spends most of her days asleep in the window seat of our bookshelves so she can keep a close eye on our neighbour’s bird feeder when she wakes up. She is a playful and extremely gentle cat, balancing being snuggly and sleeping by herself. Minerva likes to explore the deck in our backyard under close supervision, and bravely chases away squirrels.
Family, Church and Community
All of our extended family lives in western Canada, and we’re so grateful to have a supportive and loving community of friends and chosen family here in Ottawa. Graeme’s parents live in
Red Deer where he grew up, and his older sister is a teacher in Calgary. Christie is an adopted only child, and her father passed away due to Parkinson’s disease in 2010, while her mom still lives in their family home just outside of Carrot River, Saskatchewan. Though our immediate families are far away, we are regularly in touch via text, phone, and video chat, and do our best to prioritize trips at least once or twice a year.
We were both raised in Christian families and church was a regular part of our lives, so finding a church we could call home was so important to us. Only a few months after we moved to Ottawa, we started attending a church called The Meeting House that is a wonderful fit for us.
Since we started attending in late 2010, we’ve been co-leaders of church small groups for seven years, and are now part of a coaching team that works with our pastor to support and equip all of the small group leaders. Graeme has volunteered with the church set-up and driving team (because we’re a mobile church) for nearly our entire time attending, and also spearheaded our church’s efforts to sponsor a refugee family in 2014. Christie volunteered in the children’s ministry for many years before becoming a paid staff member and part-time coordinating the children’s ministry.
Children, Parenting and Adoption
Being ‘Auntie & Uncle’ – Two of our closest friends live only a few blocks from us, and we’ve been very involved in the lives of both their daughters ever since the girls were born. We have the privilege of being ‘auntie Christie and uncle Graeme’ to these two girls under 5, who often come over to play hide and seek in our big yard, look through all our storybooks, or go on a hunt to find ‘Merva. Together and separately, we’ve babysat for one or both girls, and have done our fair share of diaper changes and bed times.
Parenting and Childcare – There is nothing we want more than to raise children in our safe and loving home. As parents, we know we’ll have a great balance between fun and learning – Christie is so excited to walk to our local library branch for storytime, and Graeme can’t wait to go on adventures at new playgrounds. We have diverse interests, so we’ll be engaging any kiddos we welcome into our family with sports, the arts, history, and new cultures. When we adopt, we will both take time off. Christie will take at least 6-9 months off entirely, with the possibility of seeing a few private therapy clients each week in the evening only. Graeme will take up to 4 months off work, and afterwards will have reasonable flexibility due to working from home and having a supportive employer.
We’re interested in and supportive of open adoption, though we are happy to provide whatever degree of openness feels best for birth mom and/or dad. Christie loves taking photos and sending mail, so that would be a welcome component of the possible relationship with birth family.
You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.