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StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

Adoptive Dad Dreamed A Dream That Brought Him A Son

John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.
John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.

In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.

Curtis and David Wikiera arrive home from Vietnam with John in 1998.
/ Courtesy of John Curtis
Curtis and David Wikiera arrive home from Vietnam with John in 1998.

"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.

"So, we started into the process," he continues. "And one day, a FedEx truck came down the driveway. And they ... had a little picture of you, and I knew that I was going to get to be your dad. And it was wonderful."

John — who wants to be an astronaut and go to Mars or maybe a video-game tester — asks how parenting changed his dad.

"Oh, it changes everything," Curtis says. When asked whether he thinks about having a family of his own one day, the pre-teen says "sometimes."

"And like when I have kids, you will get to meet them," John tells his dad.

"That's my dream, too. I love you very much," Curtis says. "We were always meant to be together."

Curtis married his partner in 2011 in Rochester after 22 years together. Both their sons — John and Joseph, who was adopted from Guatemala — participated in the ceremony.

Audio produced forMorning Edition by Michael Garofalo.

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