Hello, and thank you for taking the time to get to know us! We are Braden and Brandi from McLean, VA. Originally from western Canada, we have lived in the US for 10+ years. Braden’s profession brought us to Virginia, where we became proud parents to “B” in 2012, and “B” in 2014. Our narrative would not be complete without mentioning our two giant leopard tortoises, Honey and Maple. Though they are just 5 and 6 years old now, they will get to be over 100lbs and live for up to 100 years!
Braden likes to play the guitar, read classic novels, landscape, and do his daily crosswords. Since retiring from professional hockey, he has also found a passion for coaching the kid’s baseball and renovating our home. He is hard-working and determined in many aspects of his life, but that won’t stop him from letting loose and having an impromptu father-daughter dance party in the living room, the park or the grocery store!
After completing her nursing degree, Brandi became a stay at home mom and in her free time, she enjoys reading, sketching, practicing pilates, and volunteering. Described as easy-going and kind-hearted, she is quick to put other’s needs before her own. Together, we bond over concerts, traveling, intense Pictionary game-nights with friends, and supporting organizations that are important to us. We are big allies in the LGBTQ+ community, attending the annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinners and marching in DC’s Pride Parade.
“B and B” attend school just 8 minutes from home, where they have made many great friendships. After school includes baseball and hockey, and softball and theatre. “B” is a smart, nature-loving boy obsessed with all things Lego, sharks, dinosaurs and planes. “B” was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia in 2020 and from that, we have all learned just how important community is when it comes to our children. We worked closely with the doctor to find the right medication, with the school to ensure he receives the tools and accommodations he needs to succeed, and “B” pushed himself weekly with reading tutors to get himself up to grade-level. Today, “B” is excelling in many of his classes and we are better equipped with the knowledge of navigating learning differences and IEPs. “B” is funny and charismatic, with an imagination that can turn anything from a Barbie to a pencil into her BFF. She gets her determination from her dad and will be the hardest working one in whatever activity she tries. When they aren’t busy with extracurricular activities, you will find them downstairs rollerblading in the rec room, playing in the backyard, or adding to their Lego cities on their homemade Lego tables.
On any given evening, you will find the four of us curled up on the sofa for family movie night, on the edge of our seats in a heated battle of Monopoly or Uno, or rocking out with dad on guitar, “B” on drums and “B” on vocals. Our summers are spent at the lake; fishing, building sand castles, and making s’mores by the fire. Family trips to Kaua’i are spent kayaking, hiking, and boogie boarding. In an attempt to replicate the peace we feel in the wide open plains of Canada, we bought an acreage in McLean to call home with mature trees, a large pond, wonderful neighbors, and room to run.
Quality family time is very important to us, and we strive to give our kids a fun, meaningful and care-free childhood, while instilling lessons that will shape them into kind, passionate and happy adults. Ben really summarized us best when he said “just tell them that we are a peaceful family!” We are beyond excited to welcome more children into our home, providing them with the love and stability they deserve, and fully embracing any new traditions and cultures they may bring with them. With time, resources, and patience on our side, we are ready for any and all of the challenges and behaviors that foster children come home with.
Thank you for considering us in what we know is an extremely difficult and important decision to make.