Dads Joe and Adan are from Milwaukee and are parents to five! Their path to fatherhood included both surrogacy and foster/foster-adopt.
But let’s go back to 2014. The dads share that, at the time, “Adan and I had been together for about four years, and although we’d always talked about having a family, we simply weren’t ready for it.”
Fatherhood, as it turns out, found them when they were least expecting. Joe shared, “We had just bought a house and we were saving up money and getting to know each other. We weren’t even married yet! Well, suddenly, in the middle of the night on a random Tuesday in 2014, we got “the call” that would change our lives forever.”
They were asked by Child Protective Services (CPS) to take in Joe’s three nieces and one nephew. “We, of course, accepted the challenge and welcomed the children into our home. It was a wild and exciting roller coaster, caring for the kids and loving them, even through complex traumas. We’ve created wonderful memories and they’re our family; we’ve had them for 8 years now and are their legal guardians.”
After taking in four children, Joe and Adan yearned to have a biological baby.
“So, about five years ago, we started the surrogacy journey. It was a complicated and lengthy process, especially with the onslaught of the pandemic. But we kept being persistent and meticulous and finally, last August, our son was born. He is amazing, and beautiful, and the cutest baby EVER! Our family is complete!”
The dads are incredibly grateful to love each child and feel “beyond blessed.”
“We couldn’t imagine doing life without them, or each other. Oh, and we got married in the fall of 2014, the same year we got the kids.”
While it may seem like a happy ending, there have indeed been bumps along the road. “Because the four older kids are still considered foster children, there has been a lot of heartbreaking and traumatic events that have happened to them. We have had to assist them in processing these events, but as always, most of the work is on the kids. It’s very hard to watch them go through and experience some really dark times.”
Through it all, they’re always there for each other. “The best thing about being a dad is observing your children grow and learn and become their true, authentic selves. It’s so fun to see them go through life and help guide them as they learn about and encounter the human experience.”
“There’s a quote we found a lot of inspiration in… ‘Leap, and the net will appear.’ Even if you don’t have all of the answers or resources or money right now, keep going and going and be persistent. If you have this dream of creating a family, you can and will make it happen through hard work and dedication.”