When Texas couple Mark and Andy decided to start a family after 13 years together, they knew it wouldn't be easy.
The couple decided to apply to be foster parents. "There were a lot of children out there needing families," Andy says. "We figured, why not us?"
After they submitted their application to an agency, they received shocking news. "The agency director called us and said no state case worker would ever place children in a gay or same sex couple home," Andy says.
Devastated but still determined, Mark and Andy found a second agency that accepted their application. "It was the first glimmer of hope that we were going to be able to start our family," Mark says.
Grateful for the opportunity, they opened their home to the children no one else wanted. The couple cared for children of all races and needs, including autistic children, sexually abused children and children who had been severely neglected. "Our first year at the [agency we were working with] we were named foster family of the year," Mark says.