Growing up, Sam always felt out of place. Though he didn’t know it at the time, being gay in a small town with a family who couldn’t understand would mean a life of hardship, of feeling different, and of rooting for the underdog. It’s for this reason Sam was compelled to a life of fostering.
“I felt I was different in some way, not realizing it was because I was gay […] so I want children born with the cards stacked against them, whether it’s not having prenatal care, drugs, not taking care of themselves – no child deserves that, no matter their race, religion, or anything else.”
When Sam started fostering, he understood the long road he would face as an LGBTQ, single man, looking to adopt. After having two newborns placed with him, and subsequently, having those newborns leave to be reunited with their families, Sam felt the sting of loss, while knowing that this was a very real possibility when fostering newborn babies.
“My determination and dream was to have a family. After [the second child was removed], it came to a point when I was asking, ‘why am I doing this to myself?’. But I believe that in all the heartbreak I’ve experienced, the amount of work I did for these babies surpassed all that heartache. I would much rather experience the heartbreak, than not have had them with me.”
Finally, Sam got the call – a tiny safe surrender baby looking for a home. Weeks later, Sam is finally on the road to adoption thanks to the perfect storm of support from his agency, his social worker at DCFS, and the circumstances surrounding a safe surrender baby. Through all the heartache, Sam is one step closer to the family he’s always wanted, all the while knowing how many families he’s helped along the way.
*In order to protect the anonymity and privacy of our families, names have been changed and photos are randomized.