This Holiday Season, Delight in a Gift That Unites a Family

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When Igor and Stefano envisioned their future, it always included raising children together.

While attending a Westside Children's Center (WCC) information session, the couple learned about the tremendous need for foster parents right here in Los Angeles for thousands of children who enter the system each year. They both knew that adoption through foster care with WCC was where their journey should begin.

The couple fostered several children together, supporting them and loving them until they could ultimately reunite with their birth parents. Last December, while already fostering a 3-month-old baby girl, the couple received a phone call about 3-month-old Connor, the biological brother of another WCC foster child. The couple jumped at the chance to open their home and their hearts to Connor, which would allow the brothers to remain connected.

In Igor and Stefano's words, Connor is now a, "shy tornado," who loves to run, jump, roll, and play, as well as cuddle with his dads and sister. Despite having two toddlers, the family enjoys long walks together, eschewing the stroller in favor of hikes up Runyon Canyon (followed by a nap!). Connor is already an experienced traveler, making the trek back home to his parents' native Italy to meet his extended family who were eager to envelop Connor in love, kisses, and, of course, lots of food. Connor already speaks bits of Italian, waving 'ciao' to everyone he greets. Igor and Stefano have made sure Connor remains close to his brother, scheduling family outings together to make new memories.

For Igor and Stefano, becoming new parents has been an adventure that has been natural, yet surprising. "It's almost like two different relationships growing" Igor said. "[The kids] grow, but we grow, too."

Connor's story is only one of many examples of the power of Westside Children's Center's vital work. This holiday season, please consider donating to WCC, which provides life-changing foster and adoption services and connects nurturing parents with the thousands of children still in need of loving families here in our Los Angeles community.