Michael and Manuel met in 2002 and were married in 2008. Michael is a Psychologist and Manuel works in Human Resources for a renewable energy wind turbine company. They enjoy gardening, yoga, hiking, preforming arts and travel, but if you have followed any of their story over the years you know that what they enjoy most is being parents to their son, Mateo.
Mateo was adopted from Chicago 3.5 years ago in an open adoption. It was a quick process, only 4 months! “He is a spectacular little man now!” says Michael.
Their second journey took 1.5 years. Michael writes, “3 matches and all of these birth parents changed their minds and decided to parent (which is their right). A 4th match was a scam from northeast Texas who wanted 10k for an SUV in exchange for her child. I politely informed her we could assist with medical and housing costs, but could not give money over like that as it constitutes human trafficking. She kept insisting on it even after I had educated her on the process, so I reported her to our agency. Turns out she was doing the same thing to 7 other families, of which some gave her payments.”
Their home study expired July 31, 2016. They were officially done and content staying a family of three. Michael and Manuel always wanted a sibling for Mateo and, “with a heavy heart began taking down our adoption websites.”
“The irony is that Marcelo, our second son’s birthmom, contacted us on July 30th, one day before we expired! She saw the art announcement below on a Facebook ad I ran and contacted us.” explains Michael. “We had a great call! Then lots of Skype sessions with both the birthmom and birthdad. They are a young couple with a one-year old and both still in school.”
“The beautiful part is that we have open adoptions with both our son’s birth families. Michael cut the cord for each of them and I had the first hour of skin-to-skin time with each. Both moms were 20 and both found us on Facebook. Both were 8 months pregnant and had already been matched with other couples. Mateo’s mom pulled out of that adoption match because that adoptive couple got pregnant and she specifically wanted her son to go to a family that could not have kids. Marcelo’s former adoptive parents pulled out since the adoptive mom was diagnosed with liver cancer.”
“Both are beautiful, amazing sons which we love with all our hearts and forever grateful to be entrusted with these two blessings!!!!”
Marcelo is now 5 weeks old. He’s only had one week of formula and breast milk since. “We were gifted a 7 week supply from 3 local moms here.” says Michael. They would love to get to 6 months so they may be calling upon Badass Breastfeeders for donations!
Mateo, Marcelo, Michael & Manuel