Hello from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada! We are Harley and Jean along with our children Ilaï, Louka, Mishka and Keilani. Whether we are the first or last profile you read, we hope that by reading about us, you will smile and even laugh at our photos and stories. It’s impossible to fit our world into this one profile. We hope these pages give you a peek of who we are, our lives, our home and our community. Our life is an adventure book, so jump in and have a look around. But most importantly, enjoy the ride – because we certainly are. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you for considering us and mostly for showing us the true definition of bravery (whether you feel brave right now or not)!
Dear Birth Mother...
We know exactly how much lives can change because of open adoption. Adoption holds a special place in our hearts and is in the fiber of our family. Jean's brother has adopted 2 beautiful children and Harley's mom was adopted. Without adoption, Harley would not be the person that she is today. Looking at our families' experiences, we can testify that adoption means loss but it also means growth, healing and hope. Personally, we have suffered through many years of fertility treatments, miscarriages, loss and grief but that hasn't stopped us from pursuing our dreams of having a bigger family. We love our children deeply and know that we will love deeply the child that will come into our lives through adoption.
We got married on Veterans Day (or Remembrance Day as it is known in Canada), November 11, 2006, in honor of our family members who fought at war for our freedom! We were best friends before becoming lovers.
When we met, we were both involved in the music band at church: Harley as a singer and Jean as a bass player.
At our house, there's always someone laughing, usually with music playing in the background or excited voices resonating, and most likely, a friendly competition sprinkled throughout! We love doing new things and we cherish spontaneous activities with friends and family. Parenthood has been the most beautiful adventure we've ever experienced. There's never a dull moment with children!
Meet Harley, by Harley
I was born in France, grew up in Canada, moved several times through Canada for school or work and even lived in the States for several years. Through my career in the Justice system, I’ve always been involved in mentoring young ladies in their personal and professional lives. I will never hesitate to prioritize my kids over anything. For all of them, I took a leave of absence of 1 year to nurture them and love them. It didn’t stop me from having a successful career and I intend to do the same thing when we will welcome your baby into our family. I strongly believe that children make me a better person in all areas of my life.
When I'm not working or helping out at church, you will find me cooking, driving my kids to sports, singing, playing archery games or training for a race! But nothing compares to a quiet movie night in my pajamas with Jean.
- Melted ice cream
- To drink warm water and lemon every morning
- Matchmaking people (3 couples got married because of my special talent!)
3 Words That Describe Harley
More About Harley, by Jean
Harley is the most selfless person I know. She invests in the people around her, being attentive to their needs.
She gives of herself to her family continuously. Whether it's preparing the next meal, washing the dirty sport articles or buying their favorite clothes so her children feel confident, she will not let her family's needs go unanswered. She is the loudest at the soccer pitch, at the arena, or in the gym, cheering on, and encouraging her children in their passions. She has even been known to drown out the opposing teams' crowd to ensure her children hear her.
She has an uncanny ability to connect with people. Often, people find themselves sharing deep secrets or personal struggles simply because she asked them how they are doing. And that holds true with our kids!
Things that Make Harley Happy
- Quality time with my friends and family
- Good food
Meet Jean, by Jean
I grew up in a rural area outside of Ottawa, Canada. We had over 40 acres of forest where I enjoyed the beauty of nature. Staying in Ottawa for my university studies, I graduated from a mathematics and computer science degree to embark in a career in cybersecurity for the Government. This job allowed me to spend close to 4 years in the Washington DC area with Harley and our kids where we fell in love with your country. Being part of the Canadian public service, I enjoy a lot of flexibility with my schedule, generous leave options, including up to 9 months of parental leave which I hope to take in full to bond further with your child.
When I'm not working or helping out at church, I enjoy training for triathlons, playing golf or going in the pool with our kids. There’s always something fun to do around the house.
- To play chess
- To build things with my hands
- To eat spicy food
3 Words That Describe Jean
More About Jean, by Harley
Jean is the kind of person who goes all the way above and beyond every day for our family.
You can always count on Jean to play with our kids, try new things with them, and help with homework (especially with math!). Jean is not afraid to remind me that children are superheroes and we can learn so much from them! He will drive unlimited miles to drive to practice, games or to find the only golf clubs available in the area! He'll do anything to invest into our kids' dreams and my dreams.
Things that Make Jean Happy
- Sports – I love most/all sports but golf holds a special place in my heart
- Training and participating in triathlons
- Video games
- Pizza and anything cooked on bbq
List of Fun Facts!
Dream Job as a Kid
Jean: Hockey Goalie
Harley: Wonder Woman
3 Words to Describe Me
Harley: Loud, compassionate, fun
Jean: Wise, dedicated, trustworthy
My First Job
Harley: Cashier at Costco
Languages I Speak
Harley: French, English, Haitian Creole, studied German & Italian
Jean: French, English, studied Spanish
Nickname When I Was Young
Harley: Harley Davidson, Zoom Zoom, Princess
Jean: Johnny, Johnny Boy
We live in Ottawa, which is the capital city of Canada! Did you know that Ottawa is listed as one of the top cities in the world? It boasts the world's largest outdoor skating rink, and is home to many museums. It is a bilingual city, with many people speaking both French and English.
Our home is located just outside the suburbs, nestled in a subdivision with spacious 2 acre lots. It's a peaceful haven, minutes from the city. Our neighborhood feels like one big family. Kids will not hesitate to block the street to play ball hockey, or to congregate at the neighbor with the outdoor skating rink during winter. In our neighborhood, we all care for each other. Walks often end up taking 20 minutes longer because of spontaneous conversations with a neighbor.
Reasons to Raise Children in Canada
- We have between 1 year to 18 months of parental leave
- We're not far from the States, less than one hour north of New York
- We have free health care and free education
- We celebrate multiculturalism and diversity
- There is lot of green space
- We have 2 official languages (English and French)
- Canada is routinely voted in the best countries in the world to live
- Ilaï - To Ilaï, fishing is a pastime, but playing golf during the summer and hockey during winter are his true passion. He wants to be a professional golfer. He is the oldest of the siblings and is the true definition of a big brother.
- Louka - He loves stargazing and anything related to the sky at night. Louka makes sure that everybody gets hugs and kisses every day. His enthusiasm and joy is contagious, lighting up the room.
- Mishka - He’s our animal lover, our loud drummer and amazing drawer. He plays competitive soccer all year long. He loves to draw and sketch animals, with birds holding a special place in his heart.
- Keilani - She’s our gymnast and is super adventurous following her brothers. Despite having 3 older brothers, she’s still a “girly girl.” She loves Frozen, princesses and singing. Keilani looooves babies. She wants to be a teacher or a horse rider!
- Friday is pizza night; we make and bake our own pizzas
- We celebrate birthdays for a whole week instead of just one special day
- We host for all the holiday celebrations at our house
- We go apple picking every year
- We setup our Christmas tree early to mid-November and keep it up until late-January and sometimes early February just because Christmas is our favorite holiday... and we like the warmth of its lights!
- Sleepovers during the holidays
Our families have completely opposite personalities; we love the diversity! Jean's family is more reserved and quiet. Harley's family is loud. But they both blend very well, especially when we all get together for birthdays or holidays! Because our families live relatively close to us, we can always count on them and their support. It takes a village to raise kids.
We also have a tradition to have a sleepover with our friends and their kids for New Year's Eve! It's a great reminder of how we always want to transition between the seasons of our life: surrounded by our tribe. During school breaks, we will have our kids' friends over for a "yes day"! It means that they can do all sorts of fun activities and we're fully devoted to them on that day!!! Everybody sleeps well at the end of the day!
We are blessed to have a community of friends, many with young families.
This profile isn't long enough to show you all the details of our life but we hope it gives a glimpse of who we are and the environment your child would be growing up in. As parents, we will help your child understand the beautiful way in how we were brought together, and how special you are to us. We hope your child will grow up with an understanding of who they are, where they came from, and that they are incredibly loved. We are not perfect, but in our home, we laugh until we cry, we keep our promises, we try our best, we never give up and, above all, we love with our whole hearts! Faith is central to our values and relationships. We truly believe that love never fails.
Finally, we’re comfortable with whatever level of openness you’d like to have, and will always respect your wishes.
Advantages of Having a Big Family
- We're never alone
- We laugh a lot
- When we work as a family, we win as a family
- We learn to share
- Family always has your back
- Hugs and kisses abound
- Siblings are lifelong friends
- We support each other
Messages to Your Child
- From Ilaï: I can hardly wait to show you all the things I love and discover alongside you the ones you love. I can't wait to play with you and be a big brother that will protect you.
- From Louka: I am ready to show you how much I love you by holding you, snuggling you against me, and giving you little kisses. I already imagine the fun memories we will create as we play together.
- From Mishka: I look forward to presenting you to my friends and extended family members. If you want to play dress-up, we have lots of different costumes for you. We will have lots of fun times! See you soon!
- From Keilani: I'm excited to have another sibling to play with and share my favorite toys. I will tickle you and make you laugh. I also can't wait to help my parents take care of you.
As you consider us as adoptive parents to your child, our hearts are pounding with emotion, mostly because we know exactly how much lives can change because of open adoption. We are the living proof of this. We also believe that every child is a world changer, and we raise our children with this in mind.
We can hardly wait to meet you and to celebrate you. Because we value your life, your sacrifice, your courage, you are our favorite superhero! You're looking for a wonderful home and future for your child and we're looking to share our love and lives with another child in our family. Perhaps we are looking for each other?