Love, Kids, and a Sixteenth Century French Château

Ready to be enamored and exhausted? Meet Papá, Daddy, and their three lovable boys. This typical family's day-to-day is probably the closest we can get to a literal fairy tale, sans the leather-bound book. Their lives revolve around work, school, Wednesday soccer practices, and maintaining the sixteenth century French château they call home.

Yes, a 400-something-year-old castle is the backdrop to this modern family's life. The husbands acquired the château two years ago, and promptly moved in with their three newly-adopted sons to furnish the countless bedrooms and paint the walls rainbow with their own memories.

Papá and Daddy — Oscar and Jeffrey — are a pair of globetrotting multinationals who met on a dating website when Jeffrey was on holiday in Oscar's native Buenos Aires. Oscar hails from Argentina, and Jeffrey from Chicago; together, they've resided on nearly half of the world's continents and now call the pastoral Loire Valley their full-time home.

At some point along the journey — before France and a decade after New York — the wind had blown them to London, where they were serendipitously matched with their "three musketeers" after an initial failed attempt at adoption and mere weeks before a planned move. Shortly after, the newly-formed family relocated to their castle on a hillside which is a three hours from Paris. Idyllic and picturesque, Oscar and Jeffrey said that adjusting to the verdant hues of rural France wasn't as easy as they'd hoped, but while there were some bumps along the gravel path, many of their new neighbors were eager to welcome the family into their town.

"Our boys go to school in the village, they play soccer with their schoolmates every Wednesday and go to their birthday parties, and that helped us to integrate [into the community]. When we first moved in, we had neighbors walking through the gates with baskets of fruits and vegetables, pots of jams and honey, and home-baked bread. They didn't know how rich or poor we were, but they understood the immense amount of work ahead of us. They were also pleased that their [village's] château was in the hands of a family, so at school we were given bags of toys and clothes."

Oscar says that thinking back on this display of love, generosity, and acceptance always makes him emotional.

"Now, our life is busier, hectic, and far less glamorous [than traveling the world]. But the countryside is the perfect place to grow up and Belebat provides a backdrop like none other. Yes, life was easier when we were two, but boy oh boy we would do this ALL OVER AGAIN if we get the chance."

But how many kids exactly does it take to occupy all the rooms of a castle? The jury's out, but we do know that Oscar and Jeffrey are trying to fill as many as they can.

"We would love to see our family grow… and it's your fault! We keep seeing [Gays with Kids'] posts of happy babies and happy families. Kids play better in pairs and we only have three. All our other plans are focused around the Château and our family life within its walls."

Posted by Collin Kather

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