A Florida couple looking to adopt a son instead adopted two when they decided to keep the 8-year-old with his 11-year-old brother, who has cerebral palsy.
“I try to make sure they know that being together is the most important thing,” their adoptive mother Robbin Brydges of Jacksonville told InsideEdition.com.
Dawson, 8, and Dalton, 11, have been in foster care for the last four years.
According to their caseworker, it would have been easy to get Dawson adopted, but the boy refused to be split up from his brother, Dalton, who has cerebral palsy.
“I wanted to keep my brother, so what I did was pray and pray for many years,” Dawson told InsideEdition.com. “I was like, ‘I hope that they’re going to adopt Dalton too.’”
Brydges said that when she and her husband Steven found Dawson through Adopt America, they immediately fell in love.
“He was this cute little kid with glasses, and loved Legos and superheroes,” Brydges said. “I thought, 'I’ll try and see if we would be a good match.'"
A caseworker then reached out and asked if they might be interested in also adopting his older brother, Dalton. In addition to cerebral palsy, Dalton also has epilepsy and is nonverbal.
“I was a little nervous — I’ll be honest,” their mom said.
But as they discussed Dalton’s special needs, the Brydges decided the most important thing would be to keep the brothers together.
“Dalton has made leaps and bounds from when we first got him,” Brydges said. “Dawson works so hard in school and is always looking after his brother. [We teach them that] no matter what, we protect each other and look after each other.”
Dawson added: “I was so excited they were adopting Dalton and me so that we can stay together. I thought that was pretty awesome.”
According to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, more and more parents are looking into adopting foster children, giving the 110,000 American children currently in foster care an optimistic future.