“If adoption is something that you’re very passionate about, you should do it – but you should also tell people about it.”

Until he was ten years old, Michael’s bed at night could be an abandoned tire. On better nights, it might be a mat in a homeless shelter. He worried often about where his next meal was coming from.

His mother was lost in a world of substance abuse and addiction, but the thing that kept him going was his brother James, who was four years younger than him. “I watched out for him and made sure everyone knew no one messed with my brother.”

In the mornings, Michael would walk James to school. Doing so meant he missed his own bus to school, so he’d walk there, arriving late most days. After school, he’d head back over to his brother’s school to pick him up.

This is also the story of Dan and Karen, who thought there must be more to life than working and coming home to their beautiful – but quiet – home.

They saw two brothers featured in a newsletter sent to them by the Gladney Center for Adoption. They watched a Wednesday’s Child feature showing the two of them interacting. The lost their hearts to those sweet boys.

Now it’s a story of love and family. It’s a story of meaning and opportunity.

“I’m no longer primarily known as the toddler who lived on the streets,” says Michael. “I’ve not only survived, I have thrived. James is safely with me, I am bound for college, and these days people just call me Michael.”