Children who grow up in foster care often have a long road to adoption, especially when those children aren’t alone and have a sibling or multiple siblings attached to them. So when a Pennsylvania couple found out about six siblings who were looking for their forever family, they instantly knew they had to meet the six kids firsthand.
Steve and Rob Anderson-McLean weren’t new to parenting.
They had already raised Steve’s biological sons from his first marriage. But they knew they wanted to raise more children. So, they started looking into foster care, hoping they would eventually be able to foster and then adopt.
That’s when they found six siblings who had been in foster care for more than four years.
“I think we’ve always known that we wanted to expand our family and continue on being parents,” Steve said. “We always kind of say that we weren’t done yet being parents to young people.”
It was a long road to become foster parents.
They had to complete classes and get registered, as well as pass a home inspection and background checks. Then, at the beginning of 2018, they found six siblings that stood out to them on an Ohio adoption site.
“We saw their picture and fell in love,” said Rob. “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.”
They were determined not to split up the six brothers and sisters, knowing that 75 percent of siblings end up living in different foster homes.
To their excitement, the foster care system was in agreement, and they were finally able to meet the kids in the summer of 2018.
They said they were nervous at first. But it was no time at all before they felt bonded to Carlos, 14, Guadalupe, 13, Maria, 12, Selena, 10, Nasa, 9, and Max, 7.
They also said they were particularly worried about Carlos and how he would react to the prospect of being adopted by a same-sex couple.
They knew that for a teenager, it might be a difficult thing to accept. But for Carlos, it was never a problem.
“We thought with Carlos being a teen, he might have a hard time,” Steve said. “But it has not bothered him one bit.”
After 1,640 days in foster care, all six siblings were adopted.
Now, they’re adjusting to life as a real family.
Steve and Rob say it’s all about family life, which is new for the siblings. Having fun has been an unfamiliar concept to them, so they’ve made an effort to take them to parks, zoos, and just play together in the yard.
The other thing that was new to them? Knowing their life was stable for the first time.
“The other night, Max, our 7-year-old, looks at me and goes, ‘I’m adopted,’” said Steve. “I nodded and he said, ‘You can’t get unadopted right?’ And I had to reassure him that he’ll always be our son.” It broke the couple’s hearts, making them uneasy, so they’re constantly reassuring their children that they aren’t going anywhere. Together they shall remain a family forever.
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