Saturday, May 24, 2014

[USA] "Ricardo And Jesse's Story From The Let Love Define Family Series" by James Nichols

Still more wonderful stories coming from the USA.  Gay men raising families.  Never forget the importance of telling our stories - out loud.  They are powerful and do change people's perceptions. Congratulations to Ricardo and Jesse and their boys.

This week’s Huffington Post Gay Voices RaiseAChild.US “Let Love Define Family” series installment features Ricardo and Jesse Ortiz-Barreto, happy parents to four young men they adopted, ages 4–8. Their story is a true testimony to the magic that can be created in loving families when prospective parents open their hearts to adopting older children.

Some people think that LGBT-headed adoptive families are a new phenomenon, but Ricardo and Jesse Ortiz-Barreto are one of many couples who demonstrate evidence to the contrary. The couple, who started adopting their children back in 1995, are now facing empty nest syndrome. This fall they will send their youngest son off to college.

The couple proudly introduce their sons: John Gabriel, now 26 (adopted at 8 years); Richard Jr., now 25 (adopted at 7); Iván Christian, now 21 (adopted at 7); and Jose de Jesus Jr., now 17 (adopted at 4). All four were adopted through foster care. The older two were adopted through a foster agency in Los Angeles and the younger two directly with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

Ricardo, 48, is the house manager for The Ricardo Montalbán Foundation and Theatre in Hollywood. His husband Jose de Jesus, “Jesse,” 54, is an activities instructor for L.A. Kids Program offered by the City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation. They have raised their four boys in Palmdale and Los Angeles. Their dreams of having a family came early.

“When I was a boy in Tijuana,” said Jesse, “I would ask my mother where were the parents of the kids on the streets we would see living on the streets. She would tell me that they were orphans, that they had no parents. I knew then that one day I would be a father to children like them.”

Read More at HuffPost

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