Chief Software Engineer / Communication/Change Consultant
Our family currently consists of us, Kelly and Charae, and our four-legged babies, Paddy Murphy and Briar, who we just adore!
Kelly was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1975 and his family moved around the country as his father’s job changed, ultimately landing in California. It is in Kansas that his love of Kansas City BBQ and the Kansas City Chiefs were born! He became an uncle at 17 when his eldest brother had children, and then more recently became an uncle again when Charae’s sister had two boys, and a great uncle when his first nephew had two babies. His mom moved to Beaverton, OR from Arizona several years ago, so we get to spend time with her often, which usually includes belting out show tunes. Kelly is a software engineer and works for a small company in town. In his free time, if he’s not playing with our dogs or preparing for a camping trip, he is watching one of his favorite sports teams, Formula 1 racing, or playing video games.
Charae was born in 1979 in Moorpark, a small town in southern California, and is a fifth generation Californian. Her name is actually a tribute to both of her grandmothers – it’s a combination of “Charlotte” and “Rae,” and she remains close to both grandmas today! Her ancestors originally traveled west from Oklahoma and ultimately settled in the Los Angeles area. Charae is very close with her sister and parents who still live in the same area. We get to visit with them regularly. She is a Change Management and Communications Consultant, meaning she is hired by companies to assist them in helping their people transition to some new desired state, which she loves. Being able to use her communications and psychology background to help people has been a dream come true.
When Charae was nine, her mom discovered a lump behind her ear. After several consultations, and much persistence by her mom, the doctors finally determined it was a malignant tumor and that she had Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She would spend the next six months undergoing chemotherapy treatment, in and out of the hospital, and then the final two months in isolation while receiving her bone marrow transplant. She just celebrated the 33-year anniversary of her successful transplant in August! We are so incredibly thankful and blessed.
The only major side-effect from that entire ordeal, was that Charae went into menopause at nine years old, so she has known basically her entire life she couldn’t have children of her own but had always planned on adopting someday.
The time has felt right for us this year to expand our family. We love spending time with our niece and nephews, but we also want to be able to share our lives with children of our own. We want to have the wonderful family experience our parents and grandparents have had with us. While we consider ourselves very responsible adults, we are truly big kids at heart and cannot wait to share this adventure with a family of our own!
We love our home in Portland, Oregon, more than any other place we have ever lived! We live in a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood surrounded by a number of young families and also some long-term residents as well. We feel very fortunate to have such wonderful and supportive neighbors. Our house has 4 bedrooms and three bathrooms and a large backyard that the dogs love to play in. We live near a number of parks and community centers - and we love to walk places and enjoy the outdoors! Charae is very close to her parents, her sister and family, and her two grandmothers. They all live in California and we have family Zoom calls each week and also make time to see each other several times a year. Kelly’s mom lives nearby in Beaverton, Oregon and we see her regularly. Kelly keeps in touch occasionally with his dad, brother, half brother and half sister.
Charae’s friends know she likes to make them smile – whether it’s a cheesy joke, making plans to get together or a kind word. They have told her that she has a positive energy when she is around them. She is outgoing and friendly, but she is actually an introvert and needs time to herself to recharge her battery. She finds it easy to get to know people and make friends.
Kelly’s friends would tell you that he has a good sense of humor and he seems to attract others who want to laugh and have a good time. He is quiet but ambitious. It takes a while for him to get to know people.
We met in Thousand Oaks, CA and were living only a few miles apart at the time – Charae was looking for a date to go to Disneyland with, so she hopped on eHarmony and the rest is history!
Follow your heart and be true to yourself. Treat others as you want to be treated. Live your life to the fullest! It’s ok to make mistakes and life is a huge opportunity to learn. There is no “right” way to live your life - you can be and do anything you want! The sky is the limit and we will support you unconditionally in any endeavor you choose to take and in any life you choose to live. Above all else, we want you to be happy and are just so grateful we get to support you and be a part of your life’s journey.
We believe it is very important for us to be open and honest with our adopted children from the very beginning, sharing information along the way that is age appropriate. We intend to let the children decide if and when they want to connect with their birth family.