—as written by Sara
“As Kevin and I got to know each other, we spent a lot of time in church meetings. Pretty early on in that process we were in a rather dysfunctional group, which we grumbled about in a snarky group chat. We were both in that group, invited by a mutual friend, and I was rather surprised to find that Kevin was really funny.
Kevin doesn’t initially present as funny. At that point, I hadn’t seen him wear anything but a suit, he is ridiculously good at knowing all the rules, and always very careful in the ways he speaks. It was good news to learn that under all that seriousness was a person who could make me laugh out loud.
My next surprise was at Kevin’s competence. He started leading the group we’d been in and suddenly it wasn’t dysfunctional anymore. Most people are not as awed as I am at the capacity to run a committee meeting well, but I’m a pastor and I go to A LOT of meetings, and his leadership is magnificent. He cares about the contributions everyone has to make, while also being able to manage time well and keep the large picture in mind. Actually, that’s another really impressive thing about Kevin. He can track the big picture while also having the patience for details that are mind-numbing. Anyway, I really like and respect competence, and it is something that turns out to be fabulous in a partner and a co-parent.
The next surprise was Kevin’s empathy. Kevin is attentive to emotions, and he picks up on nuances. He is patient with emotions, willing to let them have their space and run their course and not even be made into words until later. His empathy makes space for me that I’d never had before I knew him, and it is amazing to see when he parents.
My final surprise about Kevin, one that I think overlapped with falling in love with him, was how comfortable he is to be around, how soothing. He isn’t demanding to be around, or committed to any theories of how things “should be.” He is able to meet people where they are, and it is amazing.
In this midst all of these wonderful factors though, Kevin is pretty quiet and doesn’t draw attention to himself. Many people miss these things that I learned about him, the ones that surprised me, because they don’t have enough time with him.
I should also tell you some of his background. Kevin was born outside San Diego, California, but grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, the middle child of his family, and his dad died when he was 2. Church and church camps were very important to him growing up. He went to Oklahoma City University, where he studied religious education, and then went to seminary at Drew Theological School where he got a Masters of Theological Studies. He moved into New York City, adopted a cat (Nightmare), and started working for the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Then his cat needed a cat so he got Holy Terror. Kevin eventually moved to Boston and worked as the director of finance and operations for MathPOWER, a non-profit dedicated to giving underserved kids access to great math education. He also started working on defending United Methodist clergy who were in trouble with the church because they’d performed same sex marriages or come out as LGBTQIA+.
When Kevin moved to the Capital Region after we fell in love, we were both surprised to find that non-profit finance jobs were not as abundant as we’d expected. He started a church book club, and in the book club we read Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. Around the same time, in his volunteer work, Kevin had written a lengthy legal memo defending a clergy woman from a church trial. (The memo worked, he’s like that.) So, when he said he’d like to go to law school and use his gifts to defend people who needed to be defended, it was pretty clear that he was on the right path. Most people don’t write legal memos in their free time.
Law school is hard, but Kevin persisted. Isaiah was born at the end of his second year. Most of the second half of law school was virtual for him, which made parenting at the same time a little easier. After law school came bar studying, and because Kevin is this steady, sturdy presence, and he just kept at it, he got through that too. Now he practices family law at a nonprofit legal services organization and serves incarcerated parents in New York State prisons. He loves it.
Finally, I want to tell you about Kevin as a father. When our son was born, he was handed to Kevin because I was still on the operating table. Kevin looked at him and said, “We love you so much.” Everything he has said and done since has proven it: from dishes (every night), to snuggles, to playfulness, to patience that just keeps on coming. There is so much love in his parenting. There is so much love in Kevin.
Kevin isn’t flashy. He doesn’t need to be. The more you get to know him, the better it turns out he is.”
Kevin isn’t flashy. He doesn’t need to be. The more you get to know him, the better it turns out he is”.