After spending nearly two decades together and having raised two sons from previous marriages, Steve and Rob Anderson-McLean decided it was time to expand their family.
Soon after they began to explore the possibility of adopting, a story they saw on TV inspired them to go in a new direction. The story was about a couple who adopted siblings so they wouldn’t have to be separated, something that happens too often.
“Such a staggering amount of sibling groups are broken up,” Steve said, “And it broke our hearts.”
During their search for kids in need of a home, they expected to adopt two or three, but, once again, their original plans were tossed aside as soon as they saw a photo of Carlos, Guadalupe, Maria, Selena, Nasa, and Max. In fact, they say they “instantly fell in love” with these adorable kids, ages 7 to 14.
Steve and Rob matched with them in June 2018 and, a couple of months later, all six of them moved in to their home.
When the children first met their new dads, they were actually quite scared. After being in the foster care system for nearly five years (1,640 days to be exact), they understood all to well the chances of them being separated.
Thankfully, though, Steve and Rob were able to assure them that they were a package deal, allowing them to calm down and get to know each other better. To help with this process, foster care children fill binders with all kinds of information on themselves called “Life Books.”
This was a fun way to get to know each other, but it also served as a reminder to Steve and Rob that these children had been through so much.
“You realize that they had a lot of life happen before we came into their lives and I think we were very adamant about — we want to protect them,” Rob said. “Everything that’s happened in the past, we can’t change, unfortunately, but we can make sure that their future is a brighter and a happier one for them.”
Once the children’s fears subsided, it took no time at all for them to realize that they had finally found their home.
“After the first week they were asking if they could stay forever,” Steve said. “We took them to the park and to the zoo. We played in the yard.” He added, “That was all new to them. Having fun was new to them.”
Waiting nearly a year to make the adoption official was nerve-wracking at times, especially for the younger kids who worried any mishap would cause their dads to change their minds. That’s why, when May 23, 2019 finally rolled around, it was like a weight had been lifted off of all their shoulders.
“The judge asked, ‘Do you understand at this point forward they are your children? They are just as much as your biological children,'” Steve said. “Obviously we knew that, but when I looked up and saw all those eyes, it was very emotional. We never imagined we’d be lucky enough or blessed enough to have six.”
“I’m not a foster kid anymore. I don’t have to carry that title around,” Carlos, their 14-year-old recently told Rob. “I finally have a real family.”
Don’t forget to share this article with a friend.
Want more good news?
Sign up for Smile, our free daily good news email with over 600,000 happy and optimistic subscribers!
Share to Give!
$18.24 raised today to provide life-changing cleft surgeries to children in need with Smile Train! Learn more here.
Share to Give!
Every time you share an article, we donate to Smile Train to help provide life-changing cleft surgeries to children in need. Spread good news, change lives! Learn more here.
$18.24 raised today!
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.