SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) — Brad Benton and Brad Letson have been together since 2005.
“Almost right away, we both knew we wanted a family,” Letson said.
For the two, the adoption process was extensive and invasive. With plenty of paperwork, home inspections and what they say are odd questions. Their counselor at Adoptions Together helped them put it in perspective.
“As a couple, you’re not going to have to go through labor with a pregnancy, or the uncomfortableness of going through this as your pain and your labor, so that helped a little,” Benton.
Then it was the waiting game. But the Benton-Letsons said they aren’t the type to sit around and wait.
“Around the nine-month mark, we were like, what can we do to maybe help this along?” said Letson.
Benton saw a story of another couple who had luck finding birth parents on Facebook. So he decided to give it a shot.
“So, I just kind of fiddled through it, made an ad, used a picture of ours, made a headline, put it live that night, and about six hours later, our son’s mother emailed us,” said Benton.
A pregnant woman in Florida said she was interested in adoption.
“We read it early the next morning, it happened overnight. We read it that next morning and thought it was spam because it happened so quickly,” they said.
Letson explained, “the laws were such that any child born in the state of Florida could not be adopted by a same-sex couple. So, in order to make this happen, she moved across the country, pregnant, to New Mexico.”
The Benton-Letsons made their way to New Mexico for their son’s birth, with more surprises waiting for them there.
“We flew to New Mexico for his birth when we thought she was going into labor, we ended up staying six weeks until she actually went into labor,” they said.
After those six weeks, their eldest son Kyler was born. The two then ended up going back to New Mexico to try to grow their family even more.
“It was a failed adoption. We actually flew down there, the child was born and then they decided to parent. That was kind of our first crushing blow.”
Months later, it happened again. But that wasn’t enough to keep them from becoming a family of four.
Around a year later the family got a call from Adoptions Together, “saying we have a birth mother who we think is a good match for you, would you like to be considered? They’re local here in the state of Maryland where you live.”
“Let’s talk about it, give us some information. We talked about it, we said yes let’s be considered. Ultimately the birth mother chose us as the family to adopt Rylan, and he was born in February 2014.”
The Benton-Letsons completed their family of four with Rylan five years ago. For now, they say four is the magic number.
They might not look alike or look like other families, but they say that’s quite alright with them.