Mike and Rey met on February 4, 1991, when Rey was back visiting his hometown of Monterey, California, and they have been a couple ever since. Rey had just celebrated his 38th birthday and Mike was almost 31 years old; Rey is now 62 and Mike is 55.
Rey has four biological kids from a previous marriage and he had full custody of the youngest two when he met Mike; Rey's daughter, Gabriela, was 12 and his son, Paul, was 10. Rey and Mike lived 100 miles apart when they first met. To make the relationship work, both Rey and Mike would take turns commuting to the other's home during the weekends.
They continued their long-distance relationship for two years until Rey was able to get a job transfer back to Monterey, at which time Rey's daughter decided she wanted to live with her mother. So Mike, Rey and Paul moved to a bigger house and became a permanent family.
In 1995 Mike shared with Rey that he really wanted them both to become foster parents. After several months and getting their license, 6-year-old James moved in.
Rey and Mike adopted James in December 1998, two weeks before James's 9th birthday.
Between 1996 and 2004, Rey and Mike welcomed 20 or more foster kids into their home. In 2004 Mike said he'd like to adopt again; April of the same year John, 8, Nick, 5 and Daniel, 2, moved in and their adoption was finalized January 4th, 2005.
Rey and Mike stopped fostering while everyone settled in, but in early 2010 they decided they'd like to foster once again.
They continued to open their home to another 10 or so kids, right through to 2013 when they decided that they were ready to adopt again. Despite Rey deciding that he'd love to adopt a child out of diapers, they ended up bringing Adam home straight from the hospital on September 2, 2013; Adam was 2 weeks old. Adam's 20-month-old brother, Abram, and 7-year-old half-brother, Abel, moved in later the same year.
Rey and Mike's kids:
James (25) and John (20) are on their own. Nick (17), Daniel (13), Abel (9), Abram (3) and Adam (2) are still at home with their dads.
Over the past twenty years, Rey and Mike have cared for and helped raise over 30 foster kids; some staying a short period of time, others staying for years. They've raised and are still raising 7 adopted kids. Rey's biological kids have 9 kids between them, making these two dads grandpas as well!
Since becoming Kinship Center's first openly gay couple fostering or adoption, they have become great advocates in recruiting and assisting the gay community find their forever families.