"It has changed drastically in the most inspiring and positive way," replied Taylor McGregor, when asked how life had changed since fatherhood. "We have learned to stop and take moments … we find ourselves spending more time as a family and less time on our phones and iPads!" Since 2016, Taylor and his husband, Michael Crocker have been proud dads to Jack through the California foster care system. Here's how they became a forever family.
Taylor and Michael met through Michael's cousin over 6 years ago. Even before their first date, they knew that the other wanted kids, thanks to some super sleuthing from Michael's cousin. Their preferred path to fatherhood? Adoption. "I was adopted myself and had an amazing upbringing," shared Taylor, "I knew I wanted to do that for other children."
Taylor was adopted at birth through private adoption. "My parents never hid the fact that I was adopted, they always shared my story, which made me appreciate them even more." Every year on his birthday, his mother would get him to go to his room and read a laminated letter from his birth mother and take a moment to think about her. "It wasn't until I was older that I realized how selfless and amazing that was," said Taylor.
Before they began their journey, they spoke with another same-sex couple who went through foster-adopt and after speaking with them they knew that was the path they wanted to pursue. The couple lives in Los Angeles, California, and went through the Foster Family Agency in California. "It took about us about six months to get certified and our home study approved … The whole process was very smooth, we never felt like we were just on our own," said Michael.
In August 2016, the newly-licensed foster parents received a call about a 2 and a half-year-old boy named Jack. The first two visits they had with him were so everyone could get to know one another. Then they had a few overnight visits, which turned into getting Jack into their home as soon as possible. "He was born addicted to meth, and later diagnosed with autism," said Taylor. "He barely spoke, and when he did it was just baby jargon, and wasn't potty trained." The foster dads remember Jack being terrified of water, bathtubs, showers, anything with water. He'd been in foster care since birth, but the dads knew their home would be Jack's forever. "From the first time meeting Jack, we knew he was our son," said Taylor.
It would be many months before Jack's adoption was finalized, during which time there was a chance that he'd be placed back with his biological family. "It was a nerve-racking time," said Michael, "but we just kept loving him and kept thinking positive."
18 months after Jack came to live with them, his adoption was finalized and the dads described the day as "pure joy and love!" The dads are even on the waiting list to become foster dads again! "Any day now!" shared Taylor enthusiastically.