Charles and Michael always wanted a large family and knew that foster care and adoption could fulfill both their dream of a large family and the child’s need of a loving and stable family. After discovering Children’s Bureau through a TV show and quickly getting started with the process, they have officially adopted six children. Read their interview below to learn more about the family and their experience with Children’s Bureau.
CB: How did you find Children’s Bureau and why did you choose to foster/ adopt through this agency?
We originally signed up to foster/adopt directly through LA County, however, we were watching a gay couple on the TV show “Adoption Stories” that mentioned Children’s Bureau. Right away, I googled Children’s Bureau and got their number. I left a voicemail and received a call back in less than an hour. We were sold!
CB: Tell me about your experience with Children’s Bureau. How has the organization helped you on this journey?
Our experience with Children’s Bureau has been nothing but positive. They have helped us every step of the way in our many foster placements. The social workers are never too busy to help. We were always treated with respect. No question ever went unanswered.
CB: What inspired you to become foster parents and how has it changed your life?
We have both always wanted large families. Charles is from a large family, so he knows what it is like. Michael is from a small family but always wanted a large family. We looked at many avenues of adoption and decided that the foster care system was the way to go. There are so many kids in the foster care system that need stable, loving homes. We realized that we could fulfill our dream of having a family and fulfill a child’s dream of being a part of a family. The process has changed our lives dramatically. There have been the exciting times of placement, and the heartbreak when they leave. Even with the heartbreak, this has been an experience that we never regret.
CB: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced raising a child as a gay couple?
Before we had kids, we were worried about how society would judge us. Would we have to shield and protect our children while we were out in public? We have never had any challenges being a gay couple. I think that we have the same “normal” issues that straight couples have. Our six-year-old brags to his whole kindergarten class that he has two dads. Gay or straight, everyone has the same challenges as everyone else.
CB: What should a gay or lesbian couple know going into the adoption process? What advice would you give new parents in a similar situation?
We would like gay or lesbian couples to know that adoption IS possible. You can have the family that you have always wanted. The foster/adopt process is very much paperwork intensive, but once the paperwork is done and you hold your child for the first time, all the paperwork is forgotten. The best advice is that if you are considering foster/adopt, talk to people that have gone through the process. Talk to many people, as everyone’s situation is different, and you can get a better idea of the process. If you do not know anyone, call Children’s Bureau to get more information. Educate yourself on the foster/adopt process, you may be surprised just how easy it really is.
CB: Tell me about the children you adopted.
Wow, this question could go on for days if we go too in depth. We have officially adopted a total of six children. We have three boys and three girls. Our youngest, Maddison, is 18 months and is the biological sister of our three-year-old girl, Emeli. We have had Maddison and Emeli since birth. Jaxon is six and was our first child we had placed with us. He has been with us from birth and we were actually able to pick him up from the nursery at the hospital. Jacob is 10 and Mia is seven. Jacob and Mia are biological brother and sister. They came to live with us almost three years ago. Carlos is our oldest, he is 20. Carlos has lived with us since he was 14. We decided on a teenager because he identified as gay and we felt we could be positive gay role models for him. We wanted him to grow up in a home where he could be himself. We have had eight additional children stay with us that ended up being reunited with their families. We were only planning on adopting five children, but we always decided that if one of their birth moms ever had another baby, we would take them in no matter what. Well, that’s where Maddison came from. We are now, and forever will be, The Holling 8.