By Kate McIsaac

My wife went into the military late in life after dealing with job discrimination based on her gender and smaller stature in Northern Michigan for years. Needing a change, the military welcomed her and she joined the Army in her thirties. We were stationed in El Paso Texas at Fort Bliss for the duration of her career, during a time that was less than ideal for a gay couple. That being said, we had it much better than others in the past. We dealt with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for a bit, then, when that was repealed, we still dealt with our marriage not being recognized in both the military and the country as well. 

We spent our free time in New Mexico during our time at Fort Bliss and decided that we wanted a family. Unfortunately, life happened and it was years until this would finally come to fruition. Stacy was injured and chaptered out of the Army and we headed home to Northern Michigan where we continued to wish for a family, until finally, years later, we were approached by an old friend here in our small town who works for MDHHS (foster care). She told us we should start fostering and finally, after much thought, we decided she was right! 

We started right away, and within a year, we were close to getting our license. Then one day, they called us and said, “congratulations, you have your license, and we have a 12 year old boy for you!” 

Just like that, we were on a journey. Javin has now been with us for almost a year, and in April, a year from when we got him, he officially became ours!  

Bethany and other organizations in the foster care and adoption services have been here for us throughout the last year as we’ve done our best to work through the issues he is facing due to trauma and just being a 13 year old boy in today’s world. It has been quite a year, our life has changed A LOT, but every time he yells “mommas….i love you”….across the house, or just runs up to one of us and hugs us, we understand why we did it and are thankful every day. It wasn’t very long ago that our being gay would have prevented us from adopting, and we are blessed to live in the times we are living, despite the ongoing struggles our country and the world still face.

Kate, Stacy and Javin McIsaac 

U.S. army veteran