Meet Michele

Certified Coach & Adoption Expert

The first trimester had passed without incident and the initial ultrasound results were promising. However, as I lay in bed that night, I could sense that something wasn't right. I yelled to Dave, stirring him from a comfortable slumber, and cried that I needed to go to the hospital. We wasted no time seeking medical attention.

The Pocket Adoption Coach begins with the account of our miscarriage, as it was crucial to us becoming the blessed parents of the three beautiful children in the photo above. Although Dave and I both assumed our family planning would be something we could... well, plan... we soon learned that our path would be different than what we expected.  Little did we know that what was in store for us vastly exceeded our expectations of what was possible. Also, everything was unfolding exactly as it needed to.

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Dave and I were both born and raised in Saskatchewan, Western Canada. Very early in our marriage, we had an opportunity to move to Switzerland to work and travel, and not necessarily in that order. More than providing us with amazing experiences abroad, our overseas adventure would play a key role in our development as a couple and a family. Unbeknownst to us, contacts we made in Switzerland would profoundly impact the future of our family.

For example, we met a couple who adopted their daughter from The House of Babies, an orphanage located in the heart of Cherkasy, Ukraine. We joyfully congratulated them when they brought their new daughter home. Beyond that, I paid little attention to the adoption proceedings as I was too consumed with planning our own conception. At this point, adoption was still flying below our radar. We had no idea we would someday meet our own daughter at that same orphanage.

Little details in our story - who, where, when - had to align just right in order to achieve the outcome that we did. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20 and after the fact we can see that obstacles pivoted us in the right direction. Without these 'setbacks', we could have never expanded our family from zero to three children in 14 months.

As well, little decisions and chance meetings would become key to our story. A woman I briefly encountered in Switzerland connected me with her childhood friend - a doctor in Montreal. Our twins' biological mother also happened to be her patient.  Several years later, our paths unexpectedly crossed with a young lady from Cherkasy, which led to an emotional and unexpected reunion with Katja's biological parents. 

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We also experienced challenges throughout our adoption proceedings, and on multiple occasions, others warned us that our plans were impossible. Without a compelling vision for our family, we may have tragically given up on our dreams when they seemed out of reach.

 

Our lowest point in Katja's adoption coincided with the great news that the Ukrainian courts legally declared us as her parents. It was our own government that forced us to leave her in the orphanage and return to Canada without her - with no guarantees if or when we could bring her home.

 

As for our twins' adoption, the most significant challenge occurred at the very beginning of their story. They were one phone call away from perhaps not being born at all. In both cases, we had to be creative and bold to fight for our family when the stakes were very high. To tell our story requires a full book, but that is not the only reason I wrote it.

 

I truly hope that our story can inspire someone - maybe you or a loved one - to adopt a precious child (or more)! Our story demonstrates the need to develop a compelling vision and not let others deter you simply because they fail to see your vision before it is realized. Although you may face challenges along the way, as your Coach I encourage you to proceed as if expecting to overcome them and then be sure to celebrate your successes along the way.