No child deserves to land in foster care, and it’s even more heartbreaking when siblings end up in care together.
The unfortunate reality is that most wannabe adoptive parents are looking for a younger child – and that’s singular, not plural.
Research suggests that up to 80% of children in care have at least one sibling that they don’t live with.
Being ripped away from the familiarity of a family home would be bad enough, but having to live without the comfort of your siblings would be even scarier.
Sometimes separated brothers and sisters have no contact at all, and it’s not uncommon for siblings to only meet each other again once they’ve left care.
Now imagine being one of six siblings in foster care.
Carlos, 14, Guadalupe, 13, Maria, 12, Selena, 10, Nasa, 9, and Max, 7, had dealt with their fair share of hardships in their short lives – more than anyone should have to face in a lifetime.
The siblings didn’t want to be split up, understandably, which made it virtually impossible to find a loving family home.
Until, that is, they met Steve and Rob Anderson-McLean.
Rob and Steve, who have been together for nearly two decades, fell in love with the siblings back in 2018 after seeing a photo of them.
Speaking to TODAY about the moment that changed everything, Rob said:
“We saw their picture and fell in love. So many sibling groups are broken up because people just want to adopt the younger children. Steve and I knew these guys needed to be together.”
After filling out all the necessary forms, by July 2018, Steve and Rob could finally bring the siblings home.
It was something of a trial run – but it was clear to Steve that they were already a family.
“After the first week they were asking if they could stay forever. We took them to the park and to the zoo. We played in the yard. That was all new to them. Having fun was new to them.”
It’s heartbreaking to think about what the kids had missed out on until they’d been adopted by Steve and Rob – but thank goodness they were given a second chance by the most loving couple.
The adoption has now been finalized – and there wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom when the moment happened.
Speaking of the day that will forever remain a fond memory, Steve recalled:
“The kids felt this huge sense of relief. They had been let down by adults so many times in their life, and were nervous it wasn’t going to happen.”
As you’d expect, the children still have moments of uncertainty.
One night, 7-year-old Max had to check with his dad, Steve, that it wasn’t possible to get unadopted – and Steve quickly reassured him that he’d always be his son.
It must be scary growing up with such uncertainty, but it’s clear that Steve and Rob are keen to show their children that life can have some stability – enough stability, even, to feel bored!
People like Steve and Rob are shining examples of the kindest, most giving individuals in society.
Most people would be hesitant to adopt even one child, but Rob and Steve opened up their home – and their hearts – for six.
You can find out more about the happy family’s incredible story in the video below.
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