Matt and Billy have been together since October 22, 2005. Billy never felt a desire to be a dad, but Matt did. And when Matt made clear he was serious about wanting to become a father, Billy decided to support that dream. Together they began their journey to fatherhood. They started fostering children. Those foster experiences changed something in Billy: He began to realize that becoming a father was very important to him too.
In 2014, they were contacted about a foster child JT, who was free for adoption. The following year, on November 20 (National Adoption Day!) they officially adopted JT. When asked why it was a special day, the 7-year-old JT replied, "Because I get to stay with them forever!"
Meet Billy, Matt with their son JT.
June 2015: Billy (left) and Matthew in Lafayette, Louisiana
Gays With Kids: We love a good love story. How did you two meet?
Billy: We met online in the summer of 2005. We spoke a lot on the phone, pulling numerous all-nighters talking to one another, and then we decided that we should meet face-to-face. Matthew drove almost ten hours from Houston, Texas to come meet me in Odessa, Texas. We spent the weekend together, hitting it off from the start! When it was time for Matthew to leave, he asked me if I was coming with him? A little shocked at what he had just said, I blurted out, "Yeah sure, why not!"
Gays With Kids: How did you create your family?
Billy: Foster to adopt.
Gays With Kids: Why did you choose your particular path to fatherhood?
Billy: Matthew mentioned that he wanted kids, so we talked about it and decided to move forward with it. After jumping through many hoops, we finally became licensed as a foster-adopt home and that’s how we started our journey. After fostering for several years and being heartbroken several times, seeing kids come and go because family shows up at the last minute or other reasons when the placements didn’t work out, we were just about ready to give up when God blessed us with JT.
JT was a foster child that was placed with my best friend Diane Robinson and her husband Mark, who have fostered almost 40 kids. When JT became available for adoption, Diane told us and asked if we would consider adopting him. You can imagine our surprise and overwhelming excitement, and of course we said, “YES!!"
Gays With Kids: What do you consider to be the most important lesson you are teaching your child?
Billy: Honesty and love.
Gays With Kids: What helped change your mind about becoming a dad?
Billy: Having children placed with us, and seeing them depend on me and need me: That changed my mind.
Gays With Kids: Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family?
Billy: It can be hard and challenging. There will be days you wonder why you did it, but those days that are joyful, the days when you hear your child call you daddy or dad for the first time will make all the bad days disappear. It’s definitely good to have a support system and people around to talk to and to vent and ask questions and church helps a lot too. Having God in your corner will be the best thing you could ever do!