Our names are Mark and Ryan and we are very grateful that you have given us this opportunity to introduce ourselves. We look forward to getting to know you more in the future. We cannot imagine what this journey has been like for you, but your bravery and compassion to allow us the opportunity to join you and your child is indescribable. We hope that this profile will provide you with a view of who we are, and more importantly, the life your child would have growing up as a part of our family.
One day in 2015 while Mark was driving, he accidently left a dating app open on his phone. As fate would have it, Ryan opened the same app just as Mark drove by his apartment and Ryan assumed that Mark lived just around the corner. By a quick read of his profile, Ryan thought that Mark was something special.
After chatting for a couple of days it turned out that we lived about 45 min apart. We decided to go on a few dates and realized that we were perfect for each other. A few months later Mark moved into Ryan’s cozy one-bedroom apartment.
We lived together for 2 years, learning about each other, traveling, getting ingrained with each other’s family, and growing a deep love and respect for one another before deciding to get engaged. Then in 2019 we had an amazing year in which we got married in Mexico with 70 of our family and friends and moved into our new house.
Ryan is an incredible person. If you have not gathered that yourself by reading all his achievements, let me assure you he is beyond belief. He is a fiercely loyal and compassionate partner who is always trying to better himself (and me). I’m astonished by him constantly when he does the little things that keep us as close as possible. Things as simple as thinking about me in the middle of the day and sending me a text to let me know how much he loves me. Or picking up a piece of cheesecake on his way home because it’s my favourite desert.
He and I are blessed to be similar in the ways we need to be, but different in the ways that make us stronger as a couple. Ryan keeps us organized and makes sure we get things done, and I make sure that we give ourselves time to relax. He likes to be productive, but he prioritizes our relationship and spending time together.
By watching Ryan interact with children, it is evident that he is going to be an amazing father. He can frequently be seen engaging with them and cares deeply about fostering close relationships. He has talked about becoming a father since the day we met.
Mark always astounds me by how deeply he cares for the people he loves. He will always go out of his way to help his friends and family and is a reliable source of support. Just this year when his sister broke up with her long-time boyfriend, he dropped everything to spend the weekend with her to provide his unique style of non-intrusive, open support.
Mark balances me out perfectly and makes me slow down to appreciate all the wonderful things in our life. He is a great listener and has a knack of being able to lighten up a conversation.
Mark loves doing outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing, but he is equally happy to spend quality time at home with his family.
I have no doubts in my mind that he will be an excellent father. He is great with all the children in our lives and has done an excellent job raising Charlie with me.
I had an amazing childhood; our family would go on regular outings such as bike rides around town and trips to Canada’s Wonderland. My friends and I would hang out playing tag, soccer, road hockey, or whatever imaginative game we came up with that week.
I have always had a knack for sciences and maths and decided early on in my high school career that I wanted to become an engineer. I was very driven when it came to my studies but also driven to do my part to help where I could in my community. Ever since high school, I’ve always maintained a volunteer position at various organizations, such as Youth in Philanthropy, Humane Society, on the Board of Directors for a condominium, and veterinary clinics.
I attended the University of Waterloo where I received a degree in engineering and then went on to complete my Master’s degree through the Faculty of Engineering in the field of Management Science.
I’m currently employed as a project manager in the field of construction. I have managed a wide range of construction projects, but my specialty is in historical restoration.
I have a wide range of hobbies which include reading, travel, scuba diving, working out, hiking, baking, skiing, and volunteering. I frequently pick up new hobbies because I have a great thirst for knowledge and self-improvement.
My values are centralized around respect, self-improvement, and family. It is very important to me that people of all walks of life receive the respect that they deserve.
I’m driven to constantly self-improve both my body and my mind. I strongly believe that the keys to self-improvement are hard work and most importantly education. My heritage (half Jamaican and half Canadian) is important to me and I have an equal respect and regard for people of different heritages/cultures. I strongly value family, the importance of relying on others, and being someone who can be relied upon.
I was born and raised in Stouffville, Ontario. My parents had 4 kids within 4 ½ years, so my siblings and I grew up immersed in each other’s lives. Our parents always wanted us to be a close family, and although we experience typical sibling rivalries, we were very close and have only grown closer over the years.
I grew up enjoying skiing with my family, playing hockey, soccer and spending the summers at our family’s cottage. In school I performed well, excelling in maths and sciences. In high school I worked as a grocery store clerk, a tutor, and a ski instructor.
Going into university it only seemed natural to go into engineering. Within the first year I realized that I also had an aptitude for business, so I changed my degree to include business. I graduated from McMaster University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Management.
I work in the field of commercial/business development for an automotive parts manufacturer, which involves liaising with clients and quoting business.
I enjoy being active. My biggest hobby is skiing, which luckily Ryan also enjoys doing, we try to get out as much as we can in the winter. I also enjoy hiking, board games, running, skating on the frozen lake at the cottage, swimming in the lake, and maintaining our vegetable garden.
My values are centralized around family, kindness, and open-mindedness. I have had the privilege of growing up with a family that is fully integrated into each other’s lives. A close-knit family is very important to me. Through my upbringing, I have gained knowledge of both the effort and reward of maintaining close family ties. My brothers and sister are some of the closest people in my life.
I believe that all people should be kind to each other, not because there is some reward for being kind, but because it is the right thing to do.
Having an open mind and being non-judgmental of other people’s lives is a trait that I will endeavor to teach to our children. It is very important to me that everyone is respected and included.
Ryan’s parents live in Paris, Ontario, which is over an hour away, but it would take the apocalypse to keep his parents from seeing their grandchild. Ryan’s extended family is very large. His mother has 4 siblings and his father has 3, all of whom have at least one child. Holidays are always full of stories, laughs, and love.
Ryan and Mark are very close to his cousin Dee and her husband Dan; as well as their children Caleb and Emma. They are entrusted to be the legal guardians for these two amazing children, if anything were to happen.
We often holiday with Dee and the family. Just this year we took a week-long trip in March with them to Le Massif, which is one of our favorite hills to ski; unfortunately, COVID-19 caused the hills to shutdown 2 days into our trip. While the entire vacation was centered around skiing, we changed gears and had a ton of fun in the snow around our cabin. We dug out a fire pit that was buried in 5 feet of snow, made a series of tunnels, and toboggan tracks. We baked, played board games, and sang around the fire pit.
Last year we all went to Florida to go to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios as we are all huge Harry Potter fans (Ryan would be a Ravenclaw and Mark would be a Slytherin, but don’t hold that against him, he is not evil, he just has a dry sense of humor and is driven, so we all call him a Slytherin).
No matter if we are out on an adventure or simply getting together, we always cherish the moments with Emma and Caleb. It has been very rewarding watching them grow into kind, intelligent, and driven adolescents.
Mark’s parents live in Mount Albert, Ontario, which is about 40 minutes away. His parents are just waiting to have grandchildren. Luckily for them, they already have a grandson on the way (Mark’s brother Michael and his wife Rebecca are currently pregnant). With all the siblings being close in age, we expect that there will be more little ones to come in the near future.
Mark’s father is an incredibly hard-working man. He is also very skilled at woodworking having done a lot of work around our house and built a large portion of the family cottage. Mark’s Mom is a very compassionate woman who wants to be able to see her kids as much as possible. When talking with Mark’s parents it is evident to see how proud they are of all their children.
Mark has two older brothers David & Michael, and one younger sister Cassandra. Mark’s whole family frequents the cottage throughout the year, spending most of their holidays there. Prior to COVID we would get together with Mark’s family at least once a month for a family dinner.
Mark’s brother Michael and sister-in-law have agreed to be the legal guardians for our future kids. We are very close in particular with these two. All of us have similar interests, so we will quite often get together with them on weekends playing board games and staying at each other’s houses. We talk about how we will hopefully be raising our kids together.
We have thoroughly enjoyed spending the last year turning our newly purchased house into a home. Our home has plenty of space for children to run around and play. It is also in a very quiet neighborhood with no thru traffic.
We love that there is a huge park at the end of our street, which we use daily walking Charlie. We also enjoy the tennis courts and soccer fields that are in this park.
There is a wonderful school just at the entrance of the park that also maintains a jungle gym, basketball court, and baseball diamond. While we are relatively new to the street, we have already been able to make friends with several of our neighbors, including a family with two young girls who adore Charlie!
Our family cottage is a getaway haven. We spend several weekends there during the summer and many of the holidays throughout the year. Many of our traditions center around the cottage. It’s on a beautiful, quiet lake in the Magnetawan region. Mark’s cousins also have a cottage on the same lake so we often will see them up there.
Much of Mark’s family history is engrained in the wood of the family cottage. The dinner table is a symbolic construction of unity, made from wood stemming from 3 generations on both sides.
We enjoy our time up there as it gets us out of the city and gives us time to relax and have a good time by the water.
Depending on whose holiday season it is, we will do one of two things for Christmas. If it is Mark’s year for Christmas, we typically go up to the family cottage where we will go into the forest and cut down the biggest tree that will fit through the front door. We have a very silly tradition where we all stand in a circle around the tree and sing the “Welcome Christmas” song from the movie “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” before cutting down the tree. We play board games, watch Christmas movies, build snowmen, and skate on the lake.
If it’s Ryan’s year for Christmas, we will have it with his parents. On Christmas Eve we have a tradition that we play corny Christmas movies and eat a whole meal of appetizers, we then open one gift that night that is always new PJ’s. Regardless of whether we are having Christmas with Mark’s family or Ryan’s, there is always plenty of family around.
For New Years, we celebrate Mark’s father’s birthday by setting off fireworks, and eating an abundance of delicious food.
Another holiday that we have fond traditions around is Halloween. We get dressed up every year in homemade costumes that Ryan makes. The nickname for our puppy Charlie is Charmander, so for Hallowe’en last year we went as Pokémon trainers and Ryan made a Charmander outfit for Charlie. This year he will be a Charmeleon!
We are very fortunate to have such a sweet little boy. We have raised Charlie from a puppy, he is very well mannered and extremely affectionate. He is great with children and our relatives always comment on how calm and patient Charlie is when a toddler pulls on his ear or pets him too roughly. We have an endless list of sitters for Charlie because everyone that meets him can’t help falling in love with him.
Travel – Fun Fact! Ryan has visited 6 continents and over 30 countries
We both really enjoy traveling and usually plan for a couple of vacations per year. Each year, we usually frequent somewhere tropical, either a resort or cruise. This is complemented by a ski trip with family and friends.
When traveling, we always try to respectfully embrace the culture and learn from them. We love to go exploring and taking in new and exciting scenery, but most of all we love to EAT as many different types of food that we can get our hands on! For the rest of our vacations we usually spend it up at the cottage with the extended family.
As parents we are committed to providing your child with a loving and open home. They will be taught kindness, compassion, critical thinking, and respect. We do not believe in punishment; we will however, discipline when necessary in order to set up clear boundaries. We will do so through open communication, so your child always understands why.
Education will be at the forefront of their development; we will support and encourage them to push their own boundaries and to experience the joy of learning something new. We will incorporate learning moments into every day, while keeping it fun e.g. teaching chemical reactions with vinegar and baking soda or playing Cribbage to develop mental math.
They will grow up knowing your story and how much you love them. It is our wish that you continue to be part of their life though letters, photos, phone calls, or visits, but understand that this may not be right for you.
We will always nurture your child’s interests and ensure they are supported to become whoever they want to be. We have a two-step decision making guideline 1) Are you happy 2) are you hurting anyone, if the answer to 1) is YES and 2) is NO, then we say go for it!
Thank you for reading our adoption profile. We hope that you have been able to get a good glimpse into our lives and the life we can offer your child. We are committed to be the best possible parents to your child. We would love the opportunity to meet you and discuss taking on this incredible adventure together.
Mark & Ryan