WASHINGTON – With his partner of 20 years standing by his side, Reggie Wilson was so overcome with emotion that he was now an official adoptive parent of two children that he wept himself into a nose bleed.
He considers himself the composed one in the family.
So, where did the tears come from?
“I have no idea,” Wilson says, “I guess it was hearing (the host) talk about our journey.”
Wilson and his partner Wesley McCamon were officially made adoptive parents during the 26th Annual D.C. Adoption Day in a ceremony held Saturday at the D.C. Superior Court.
The couple says they’ve worked to become adoptive parents for the last ten years, and ramped up their efforts after moving from Mississippi to D.C. in June of 2011.
It took numerous parenting classes and meetings with several recruiters before they found the children who would become their own.
“We saw one picture of the two kids that we adopted,” McCamon, who is a high school teacher, says. “We knew when we saw their smile that immediately those are the two kids that we wanted.”
McCamon says after a ten minute meeting with the two kids, Jamia and Joshua, at a Chucky Cheese restaurant, they were sold.
“From that first meeting at Chucky Cheese, we’ve thought of them as our children,” McCamon says.
Wilson says they’ve become such a close nit family that during the adoption process, Jamia and Joshua changed their names and now go by Reggie, and Regina.
“You can’t tell him he does not look like me,” says Wilson, a pre-kindergarten teacher. “If you do, you have a fight on your hands.”
Thirty-three children were adopted during the ceremony.
Five-year-old Norman Moore came dressed in cream slacks, a plaid suit coat, and a shiny, deep purple tie. His adoption process took almost two years to complete. He is now the son of Scooter Ward and Chad Copeland.
“It makes me happy, because I love them,” says Norman, explaining that his two dads play with him every day and says it’s fun being with them.
The ceremony honored children adopted in Washington during the past year. Reese Hoffa, a 2012 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist, served as the guest speaker.
Nearly 120 children are currently in the D.C. foster care system.
“I hope the day comes in the not too distant future when we can say every child has been moved from a foster care situation, and into a permanent home,” says D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who also attended the ceremony.