Michael and Timothy encourage potential adoptive families not to get discouraged. “You won’t get matched with a child right away,” says Michael. But, Michael and Timothy knew they wanted to adopt as opposed to surrogacy.
“There are so many wonderful children waiting on a home. We have a very family-oriented and supportive family. It only made sense to share that with a child–or in our case, children.”
And Michael and Timothy knew that when they first met Oliver, then Colten, and Karen: They would all be a family. “Instantly, we knew we wanted a family and these kids were perfect.” Although Michael and Timothy fostered their children for several months, they never considered not adopting.
Oliver, the oldest, was about to be placed on the AdoptUSKids website. His case manager, who was a former colleague of Michael’s, reached out and they all agreed to meet. Oliver and his case manager spent the day with Michael and Timothy swimming and boating. It was a great visit, and after some trial home visits, Oliver was placed with Timothy and Michael. They adopted Oliver 11 months later.The youngest kids, Colten and Karen, were babies in need of a home. They read their bios via email. “We knew we wanted to add them to our family.” Michael and Timothy submitted their home study for review.
“As luck would have it, we were selected for an interview.” Michael adds, “To be honest, we never thought we would be selected related to be being a gay couple in the rural state of Indiana.” But Michael and Timothy were selected, and from there, they did visits with Colten and Karen in their hometown in southern Indiana. The trip was four hours one way.
“We rented hotels and made it work as best as we can. After many trips the kiddos moved into our home and the rest is history.” They adopted Colten and Karen 10 months later.
When Michael and Timothy first met their children, they felt an instant connection. “There isn’t much to say: they have been our children since the first day we met them.”
However, Michael wants parents to be realistic: adoption isn’t always easy. “We adopted a pre-teen who is a full-blown teenager now! All families, even biological, have their ups and downs.”
Michael recommends adoptive families find their support system, and to ask for help when they need it. On Oliver, Colten and Karen’s respective adoption days, Michael and Timothy filled the courthouse with friends, family, and caseworkers who are part of their network.
“For each adoption we had about 30 guests, a photographer, and every case worker ever involved with the children. We packed the court room so full that we had guests sitting in the witness stand! There is a sense of magic in the air. The judges and magistrates are pleased and almost giddy to be seeing a happy ending. Our friends and family were all in tears. It’s just a magical moment that impacts you for life. Pictures are great but the feeling is indescribable.”