Two Dads Adopt 6 Siblings Who Spent Almost 5 Years in Foster Care

"We instantly fell in love!"

Jun 18, 2019

Adopting a child is a wonderful thing and one of the greatest and most selfless gifts anyone can give to another human being

A  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania couple opened their home and their hearts to not just one, but six siblings who spent 1,640 days – that's almost five years – in foster care.

Steve and Rob Anderson-McLean officially adopted Carlos, 14, Guadalupe, 13, Maria, 12, Selena, 10, Nasa, 9, and Max, 7 on May 23, 2019, in a very emotional, tear-filled ceremony.

"The judge asked, 'Do you understand at this point forward they are your children? They are just as much as your biological children.' Obviously, we knew that, but when I looked up and saw all those eyes, it was very emotional," Steve told Good Morning America. "We never imagined we'd be lucky enough or blessed enough to have six."

Steve and Rob met at work 18 years ago. They shared a commitment ceremony in 2006 and were legally married in 2013. They raised Steve's two sons, now adults, from a previous marriage together. Now, this family of four grew into a family of 10.

“I think we've always known that we wanted to expand our family and continue on being parents,” Steve told Fox News. “We always kind of say that we weren't done yet being parents to young people.” They first considered just fostering children but then decided on going the foster to adoption route.

“It would be great to provide temporary help to kids in the foster system, but at the same time that could be emotionally exhausting,” Robs said. “So even though we had two adult kids, we still had enough pep and energy to raise smaller children and to actually adopt them and not just foster.”

How they decided to foster and adopt the siblings is an amazing story. Steve said they were inspired to look for siblings after they saw a TV story about another family that did. They started researching the idea and saw how many siblings were broken up in the foster care system and said learning this fact simply broke their hearts.

The couple saw the children on an Ohio adoption website in early 2018. Amazingly, the six siblings, who are full biological brothers and sisters, were never separated during their stay in foster care.

“In foster care, young kids are adopted very quickly. The kids that are nearing teenage years or are teenagers, unfortunately, they're the harder kids to place,” Steve said. “They had had some interest in just the younger two or three, but the caseworker they had really wanted to try and keep them together.”

When the home studies, classes, and background checks were completed, Steve and Rob began emailing with the children's caseworker. They were finally matched with the kids in June 2018 and met them for the first time on July 2 at an Ohio bowling alley. While everyone was nervous at first, they all bonded quickly at that first meeting.

"We instantly fell in love," Steve told Good Morning America. "They're very easy to make smile."

The children came to live with Steve and Rob a month later and never left. Of course, there were a lot of adjustments that needed to be made. Steve quit his job so that he could be a full-time dad, and the couple bought a "Soccer Dad" minivan to transport the much larger Anderson-McLean family.

Adoption day was a celebration — the family dressed in matching “Anderson-McLean Established 2019” t-shirts and was surrounded by relatives and friends. The siblings' teachers at school threw them “finalization” parties. The kids are off from school now for the summer and settling down from the emotional highs of adoption day.

Some families are made through blood, and some like the Anderson-McLean family are made through love.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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