A former foster child pays its forward by cultivating his own unconventional family.
In an effort to “never let a horrific childhood become a tragic adulthood,” foster care advocate and entrepreneur Scheer dedicated his life to ensuring foster children in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area never suffer the insecurity and instability he endured for years. The author describes a horrific childhood full of extreme physical abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father and a mother who’d married seven times and birthed 10 children, dragging her children with her through each bad relationship. The result was emotional scarring lasting well into his 30s, when Scheer met his future partner, Reece, a pragmatic man who would come to be known as “the voice of reason in our home.” Always wanting a family of his own, the author describes the couple’s grueling fostering process, riddled by delays and bureaucratic—and homophobic—red tape. Eventually, they adopted sister and brother Amaya and Makai, and soon after, two more boys, to become a blended family. Interpersonal bonding and finalizing the process in court proved challenging but also a unique opportunity for Scheer and Reece to realize their shared dream of fatherhood. In an unsparingly honest and warmhearted book, the author moves the narrative along with vivid details that are alternately joyful and sorrowful to read. Braided into his journey is a detailed account of his odyssey shuffling through a succession of barbaric foster homes, his emergence as a gay man, and his struggles through a series of toxic relationships. Though Scheer admits to still being haunted by the pain of his past, his loving devotion to his family is evident on every page of this stirring narrative. Furthering his initiative is his project Comfort Cases, which supplies backpacks filled with essential items to foster children in need and a yearly college scholarship fund for kids aging out of foster care into higher educational opportunities.
A heartwarming, hopeful memoir brimming with humanitarianism and compassion.