Michael Bowler spent the majority of his life working with children in foster care and, at a very young age, was committed to the idea of adoption. His determination to adopt would soon come to fruition when he met Ronald, and this one decision would change his life forever.
Here at Impresionante, we believe that love exceeds all boundaries and labels, and Michael’s story is a great example of how good deeds always come back in unexpected ways.
The journey began with a chance meeting.
Michael Bowler had worked with foster children his entire life, and after seeing numerous kids suffer in the foster system, had been determined to adopt at least once. At a parent/child matching event, he was matched with Ronald. After spending 3 hours with him, Michael hit it off with the 8-year-old better than he could have imagined.
Ronald had lived in foster care all his life, after only living with his biological parents for a few years. After years of a traumatic childhood, Ronald could not wait to be adopted. “I’ve wanted to be adopted the whole time I’ve been in foster care,” he told Michael upon their first meeting.
The long process of adoption presented many challenges.
The journey toward becoming a family would not be without its hurdles and the long and arduous process would naturally cause frustration. But Michael knew the wait was worth it. The one thing that kept him going was Ronald. “He is the greatest gift I’ve ever received and worth every bit of stress the system put us through before that adoption happened.”
According to Michael, the 2 wore matching suits on Adoption Day. 3 other adoptions occurred that day, and soon Ronald would become one of them. After the decision was declared, Ronald exclaimed, “This is the best day of my life!” Michael responded, “It’s the best day of mine, too. My son hugged me. I felt choked up with emotion.”
This decision would transform both of their lives.
Ronald had lived with Michael for 3 years prior to the actual adoption, so not much changed in their lives. However, the official adoption document assured Ronald that he finally had a family. This was confirmed for him at his Adoption Party a few weeks after the court date when his friends came to his forever home for the first time ever.
For Michael, Ronald was a blessing in every way. His only regret is not having found Ronald at an earlier stage in his life and removing him from foster care. The 2 share everything together, even video games, like Minecraft and Roblox.
Ronald and Michael share a great bond and have adjusted to their new life together.
During the first few days in his new home, Ronald was a reserved child. Michael was stunned one day when Ronald announced he wanted to try out for the role of Charlie Brown in the school play, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. “I remember sitting there in the front row and watching this boy with long hair playing the normally bald Charlie Brown and absolutely inhabiting the role.”
This became a defining moment for Michael, and he realized how proud he was of the young man his son was becoming. “I realized that this boy who’d spent most of his life battling foster care was truly coming into his own.” Ronald found his passion in acting and soon went on to star in many Shakespeare plays.
“Family is forever.”
Even though the 2 still experience hurdles, they deal with everything as a family. By looking carefully at individual children during the process and giving them a chance without worrying about age ranges, Michael was able to find his family, and Ronald received the love and care he deserved. “Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. As it was with me, it might just be the best decision you ever make.”
What has been the biggest hurdle you have faced as a parent? What’s the one thing that has made parenthood worth it?