Child: I’m excited to be with the family.
Bo: You are?
Child: And going to Disney.
Child: I’m excited I have two dads by going to Disney with me. My first love I’ll get. The first love I’ll get-
Bo: Okay. This is getting too sappy.
Jamie: I’ll never forget talking to the foster mom. We both knew right away that these were our kids, and we wanted to adopt them. I mean, we went from the two of us living in this big house wondering what our lives would be like to today when there’s not a day that goes by that there’s not a moment that’s magical.
Bo: I can’t imagine my life not being a parent now. I wanted the perfect family, that perfect life.
Jamie: I didn’t know that that was possible. I didn’t know that it was possible to have a husband and still have a family, and then I think it was really watching our friends start families, and what that looked like, and what it meant to them, and we knew we wanted that for ourselves. There’s so many kids out there that need homes, and there are so many loving LGBT families who want to adopt, and it may not be, explicitly, against the law, but it’s made very difficult for them, or agencies don’t want to work with them. Now, states are passing laws that say agencies don’t have to work with our families.
Jamie: We decided that we wanted to adopt a sibling group, and so put our house on the market, and moved to the suburbs, and started the adoption process. Our whole idea is that we’d only have to go through the adoption process once and get all of our kids. That isn’t what happened.
Bo: Knowing just the landscape, we wanted to find the right organization for us that one, would be open and accepting but two, would see us as the great parents that we want to be.
Jamie: I’ve been a social worker. I know what happens to kids who don’t get adopted. There’s a lot of older kids who need homes.
Bo: We’re on the phone, and we got the picture, and as we both clicked on that, we immediately both said these are our boys.
Jamie: There was something about seeing a photo of Juan and Brandon that we just knew. Even though we have decided that they’re our children, they have no idea. They never met us before. It doesn’t prepare you for the moment they walk through the door, and they were excited, and we were excited, but we just stood there. Then finally, I said, “Is it okay if we give you guys a hug?” And they immediately just ran over and hugged us. They wanted two people who would love them unconditionally. It was a wonderful match.
Jamie: And then my mom lost her job, and my parents were invited to live with us, and then our younger boy’s older biological brothers needed to be adopted, and they wanted to bring them back together. It took us about two minutes to say yes.
Bo: Looking at all four boys and just how excited they were to be together, it was just one of those moments that you don’t know what the future holds for you.
Jamie: And so that’s how we became a household of eight. We need people to know that families like ours exist.
Bo: There’s this community out there that’s wanting to be parents.
Jamie: To be honest, in 2018, I was thinking we were on a much better track than we are.
Bo: When you adopt a child as a same-sex couple, and you go to a state that maybe isn’t as accepting as Minnesota is, we think to bring our adoption paperwork as well as the birth certificate that shows our names.
Jamie: What if he gets transferred for work? What if he has an opportunity? There are certain places we would never live. We need groups like Family Equality Council to fight for us, to make sure that when states are pushing legislation or federal legislation to limit our rights, to limit our family’s rights that we have a group that will stand up for us.
Bo: The more people that love my child, the better. That’s what family’s about, finding love, making your family, just being there with one another.
Jamie: Our families aren’t less than, our families aren’t second best, and we need to be willing to stand up for that, and make sure that in every possible situation, we are treated the same as everybody else, and that our kids are treated the same.