This Single Gay Dad and Foster Care Advocate Was Featured on the 'Today Show'

During Foster Care Awareness Month, Eric spoke about the importance of the foster care system on the Today Show with Jenna and Savannah.

Like many dads we feature on Gays With Kids, Philadelphia resident Eric Johnson always knew he wanted to be a father. His journey began in 2015 right after his relationship of five years ended. Although he didn't want to go through the process alone, Eric knew that this was his time, and after a few close to the heart conversations with close friends and family, he decided to take a leap of faith.


Eric worked for an early childhood education program that was fortuitously located in the same office as a foster care agency. Sitting in his office one day, Eric shared a revelation with his co-worker. "I said, I want to become a foster parent," Eric told Good Morning America in an interview earlier this year. "And my friend, my colleague, who was sitting next to me said 'talk to the lady behind you,' and I said 'behind me?' And she said, 'yeah, behind you.' So I turned around and asked and three people stood up and said here, we got one!" In December 2015, Eric began his foster parenting process.

After three months of attending certification courses, Eric became a certified Resource Foster Parent in March 2016. After a few months of not receiving any calls regarding children, his first foster child came in August. "It was a 3-day-old baby boy named Noah," shared Eric. "He was the most precious baby ever." Noah was only with Eric for two weeks until he was reunified with his birth family. Eric began to feel hopeless about ever becoming a dad. Then on December 8, 2016, 3-year-old Edward and 1-year-old Sincere, arrived. The young brothers had been in a few different foster homes over the past year. Although Eric had only been looking to foster one child at a time, the agency was reluctant to separate Edward and Sincere, as was Eric, so he agreed.

At first, it was a bit of an adjustment for everyone. "The first few days were challenging as they cried the first week they were with me," said Eric. "I had to literally sleep on the floor in their room in order for them to go to sleep." But gradually over the time the family adjusted and began to form an amazing bond. "As the months went on, the boys became more comfortable with their surroundings as I began to introduce them to people," explained Eric. "They were enrolled in school and met a lot of friends." Eric was able to share his love of travel with his son, taking them to NYC, Tampa, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Ocean City and Las Vegas.

Fostering Edward and Sincere, changed Eric in a profound way as well. "It has changed in a lot of ways that I only could have dreamed of. Since the boys have entered my life, I work a lot less and not be as stressed out from the challenges that come with it," he shared. "I believe that my kids taught me the power of understanding and patience. That we all have the ability to change for the better and how we can be more selfless and less selfish."

How fostering helped 1 man realize his dream of fatherhood

As time went on, the parental rights were terminated and Eric was given the opportunity to pursue adoption, and on February 27, 2019, Eric, Edward and Sincere, became a forever family of three. "The first day they walked through my door, was the day I knew they were going to be here forever," said Eric. "It was the best day of our lives. Not my life, our lives, because we are going to be together forever."

Throughout the Johnson's family journey, they have been on local news to discuss foster parenting and adoption, and for Foster Care Awareness Month they were featured on the Today Show with Jenna and Savannah.

"I love being a dad and the joy that my boys have everyday knowing that they have someone to love them unconditionally."


Show Comments ()

'Life Is Amazing': Congrats to Gay Dads Whose Families Recently Grew!

Help us congratulate gay dads on their recent births and adoptions last month!

Wishing all of these gay dads whose families expanded in the last month or so a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

We Gained a Son Through Foster Care — He Didn't Lose his Family

Foster-adopt expert Trey Rabun writes a moving essay about his own experiences as a parent in the foster care system.

My husband, Phil, and I talked about having children since out first date over 11 years ago. Like many other gay dads, we waited to start the journey to become parents until we felt secure with our careers, finances, and home life. This meant we didn't start the partnering journey until 2016 when we were eight years into our relationship.

When we first met, I was completing my graduate studies in social work and subsequently started a career working in foster care and adoption. This made our decision to pursue foster care-adoption as our path to parenthood a fairly easy one. In fact, I can't recall us discussing other avenues to parenthood, but I'm sure we briefly discussed them before solidifying our decision to become foster parents.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

In the Philly Area? Attend 'Family Pride' On October 5th!

Philadelphia Family Pride is hosting their 10th Annual "Family Matters" Conference on October 5th for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents, and their kids!

Guest post by Stephanie Haynes, the executive director of Philadelphia Family Pride

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, Philadelphia Family Pride will hold their 10th Annual Family Matters Conference from 9am to 3:30pm for LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their kids of all ages at the University of the Sciences in West Philadelphia. The theme this year is "Telling Our Stories." Registration is now open!

In an interactive keynote, Anndee Hochman, author of the Philadelphia Inquirer's weekly "Parent Trip" column, will share highlights from her work as a journalist and memoirist. She'll invite conversation about the stories that shape us—what tales do we share? who does the telling? who is left out?—and how those stories, added up, are changing the world. Read her bio.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Adoption

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Preparing for Your Home Study

Molly Rampe Thomas of Choice Network lists the 5 things gay men should keep in mind when preparing for your home study

The homestudy is the first step in the adoption process. In every state the homestudy is done a little differently, but all of them have the some combo of paperwork, trainings, and interviews. The homestudy can take anywhere from 2 months to 6 months to complete. Without it, you cannot adopt.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

'NolaPapa' Launches YouTube Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

Check out Erik Alexander's new YouTune Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

When we first found out that our second daughter was African American I froze. Not because of her race, but because I knew NOTHING about African American hair. So I frantically tried to learn as much as I could while she was a newborn so I was ready to style it when she was a little older.

I decided to launch our YouTube channel Nolapapa: Story of a Gay Dad to focus on this very topic! Episodes 1-5 will solely be dedicated to learning how to wash, care for and styling African American hair. Afterwards, the content will shift towards personal & family situations, adoption, gay parenting questions and other great content! I'd love your support and become part of our little village as we launch this new project!

Sending Nola love to each of ya!

Keep reading... Show less
Entertainment

'Dark Crystal' Prequel on Netflix Stars Two Gay Dads!

The cult classic 'Dark Crystal' just got a little gayer...

Ok, first of all... anyone who has NEVER seen the original Dark Crystal movie by Jim Hensen needs to stop reading this immediately and go watch it. It's twisted, weird and terrified a generation of Gen X/Millennials who thought it was a children's movie when it's more like the muppets on acid.

Anyway, only after watching the original will you be able to appreciate Netflix's reboot of the series, which serves as a prequel to the 1982 cult classic — made all the better by the fact that one of the main characters has two daddies!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Photo Essays

Gay Dads Keeping Their Cool for 'Back to School' Pics

Summer is almost over, which in the world of parenthood means one thing — our little nuggets are headed back to school! Here's a roundup of gay dads gallantly keeping it together (for the camera anyway) as their kids head off for the first day of school.

Summer is almost over, which means our kids are heading back-to-school. And, like all parents, many gay dads managed to wipe away their tears for long enough to memorialize the moment with the obligatory "first day of school" Instagram pic. And if we're smart, we even remember — like these guys did — to snap a couple of family pics before the waterworks kick in...

We rounded up some of our favorites in the photo essay below. Enjoy! And don't forget to send your own first day of school pics to us at dads@gayswithkids.com!

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse