Rob and Monty knew they were meant to make a positive impact on the lives of others. And in March 2013 they did just that when they met four brothers who would later become their adopted sons. In celebration of National Adoption Day, this is their inspirational family story.
Rob (l) and Monty
Rob and Monty met in 2007, married a year later and lived on a small farm in Sonoma County, California. They had two extra bedrooms and a bathroom in their farmhouse, as well as four extra chairs at their kitchen table. Both Rob and Monty felt that they could help at-risk youth by giving them a safe home on their farm.
Sullivan & Sons Farm
Rob and Monty began the process of becoming California licensed foster-adopt parents through Family Builders, a non-profit organization whom they describe as “wonderful.” After two years, a lot of paperwork, background checks, CPR training, home studies, physicals and two months of parenting training classes, they began the matching phase.
The boys harvesting lavender
In March, 2013, they were matched with four brothers highlighted on Wednesday’s Child in Los Angeles: Sergio, George, Isaac and Emiliano. The boys were living in Hollywood, California. They had been in the foster care system for four years, waiting to be matched, and were in the process of being split up to live in different homes. Rob and Monty’s match happened just in time to keep the brothers together.
Learning to swim, 2013
Every other weekend, Rob and Monty drove from Sonoma to Southern California to visit the boys. During these weekend visits, Rob and Monty would take the brothers on different outings including a trip to Legoland and to visit family in Orange County. The boys would stay at the foster home; Rob and Monty would stay in a hotel.
In June 2013, the four brothers flew to Sonoma and stayed for two weeks, getting to know their new home. On July 3, Rob and Monty drove down to collect Sergio, George, Isaac and Emiliano, and the adoption was finalized October 28 in Sonoma County.
Adoption photo from October 2014 with the judge pictured in the middle. He went back to his chamber and came back with his Giants cap.
Shortly after the adoption was finalized, George, their second eldest son, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis by University of California, San Fransisco. George had lived 11 years with this disease and was being treated for “allergies” when he was living in Los Angeles. UCSF saved his life with their diagnosis and subsequent treatment, and today George is doing very well.
Family vacation to Newport Beach, California, 2015
The family remains in touch with the brothers’ half-sister Rosie, who is now 18 and has been raised by the kids' grandparents, as well as other maternal relatives. The biological family has visited and stayed on the farm with Rob, Monty and the boys, and they have visited the boys' maternal family in Hollywood.
Dad Monty and Isaac playing catch
“We didn’t begin this journey with an ideal match,” Rob says. “We always said we were going into this with open hearts and open minds. We never imagined we would be matched with four incredible sons. Never.” Both Rob and Monty acknowledge the support they received from Family Builders, Los Angeles County, Sonoma County, and everyone who helped make their adoption a success. And it was a success. Four brothers found their forever home, and Pops Rob and Dad Monty gained four incredible sons. This is what family looks like.
Emiliano and Isaac at the wedding of their maternal aunt in Southern California, 2015
October 2014: Rob and Monty's sons on their '54 Chevy with pumpkins