ST. LOUIS — Since 2018, I’ve hosted our adoption franchise, “A Place to Call Home.” We recently celebrated helping our 500th child find their forever family, and I couldn’t be prouder.
Not only am I proud as the host of the franchise, but as an adoptive parent, I’m proud of our St. Louis community for stepping up and helping hundreds of children in our area find permanency.
Adoption is personal to me. When I was 29 years old, I adopted my identical twin boys, Matthew and Alex.
It was 2013, and I had recently moved to California. I was visiting family in Boston that August when I learned I had a cousin who had given birth to identical twin boys. This caught my attention because my mom was a twin, but she and her sister passed away when I was young.
Initially, I wasn’t going to do anything, but I kept feeling a tug in my heart. My grandma had a piece of paper with the phone number of the adoption agency written on it, but she told me she didn’t intend to call them.
I put the piece of paper in my pocket and called them a little later. Nobody answered.
After I went back home to California, I started seeing signs. For example, I took the train to work and every morning I started seeing a little advertisement that said, “Foster and adopt now.” Another time I was adjusting the sky cameras at work and saw a little billboard off in the distance. When I zoomed in, I realized it said, “Make miracles happen. Foster and adopt now.”
And then the dreams started. In one dream, I actually saw the faces of two little boys (keep in mind I had never seen pictures of Matthew and Alex).
One day on my day off, I Googled foster agencies in Boston. Three popped up, so I called each one to see if Matthew and Alex were there. Each place I called told me they couldn’t tell me if they were there because that was confidential information.
In October 2013, I had another dream about the boys and when I woke up, I remembered I had that piece of paper from my grandma.
I called the number again and this time someone answered. They told me the boys had been transferred and I was put in touch with their social worker. The social worker put me in touch with Matthew and Alex’s foster mom, who was the sweetest lady. A literal angel on Earth.
I told her I wanted to get to know the boys, so we started video chatting every day so the kids could hear my voice and I could get used to seeing them.
In January 2014, I went to visit them for the first time. When I saw their faces, it was like looking at myself as a baby.
On the day I had to go back to California, Matthew started crying. He was really fussy and his foster mom didn’t know what was wrong. I picked him up and he fell asleep on my shoulder. It was so precious in that moment to see this little baby feel so comfortable to fall asleep on someone who was essentially a stranger. I knew this was meant to be.
I also knew that this meant I needed to decide if I was willing to give up the life of a single twenty-something for these two boys. And the answer was yes. I had done enough in my life to be satisfied, and it was time for the next chapter.
That May, the boys were finally placed with me at 14 months old. On the night I got the call they were mine I remember looking up and seeing another billboard that said, “Welcome to parenthood.” I really think this was divine intervention.
The next few months were a whirlwind, and I realized it indeed takes a village to raise a child (or two). I knew I needed help from people I trusted, so I made the decision to move us back home to St. Louis.
Matthew and Alex are now 10 years old. A lot of people have said to me that I saved their life. But when I look back on the last decade, they really saved mine.
My hope now, with doing “A Place to Call Home” is that we can encourage people to follow their hearts, even if they never previously considered fostering or adopting. If I could do it as a single twenty-something, so can you.