Together 18 years, Shawn is an administrative coordinator at a nonprofit organization and Craig is a clinical program assistant at a pharmaceutical company. Lifelong North Carolinians, Shawn, 42, is from Bushy Fork, north of Durham, and Craig, 45, grew up just outside of Raleigh. Five years ago, Craig adopted Isaiah, who had been in and out of the foster care system before being permanently taken from his biological family. Together Shawn and Craig went through all the classes, training, background checks, and home visits necessary to qualify as foster parents, but because of North Carolina’s second parent adoption ban, only Craig is a legal parent to Isaiah.
Isaiah is now a thriving, active 10-year-old who loves video games and sports of all kinds, but especially soccer. Shawn jokes that Craig had to persuade him to become a dad but now, he says, “I don’t know why I hesitated for even a moment. I can’t imagine life without Isaiah – he’s everything to us.”