When Chris and Chad Raasumaa-Boots got married, Chris had two biological kids and the couple knew they wanted more. So, they turned to the Department of Children and Families.
“We look at each other and say how crazy our life is, but we wouldn’t trade it,” says Chris, as he looks out at a yard full of kids, swinging and playing with their dog.
They fostered, then adopted, four kids. Three of them, including little Liam, are siblings.
“They dropped him off and it was that weird sibling connection,” explains Chad. “The kids automatically knew that somehow they were related. I think it was Lily who said, ‘Mine, mine,’ so how can you say no to that?”
Even though they are now a big, happy family, they sometimes feel alone and are looking to raise awareness about LGBTQ adults becoming foster parents.
“We started reaching out looking for support groups and it’s just not as well-known,” says Chris.
“There’s a lot of happiness and love that’s resulted from Connecticut’s progressive willingness to license families of all different types,” says DCF spokesman Gary Kleeblatt.
While the department has licensed LGBTQ people for years now, it made a concentrated push, last year, to really connect with the community.
“We had 90 families come forward to pursue licensing which is wonderful,” he says. “You can be two males, two females, you can be single, you can be a conventional mother and father.”
A prospective foster parent need a safe, appropriate home, a background check and training. “But the big requirement is that you need to be able to love and care for a child.” says Kleeblatt.
The Raasumaa-Boots say, sure, their kids ask questions and that’s fine. They believe society has made progress but there’s always room for more. “We’re fine. We love them to death. They’re happy, they’re healthy, they’re no different than the kids next door,” says Chad. “That’s the message I want to come out of this.”
It’s Foster Care Awareness Month. DCF is always looking for more foster parents. If you’re interested, call 1-888-KID-HERO or click here.