r2-1Red Team: The Hurley-Sheets’

Our Story, as told by Josh:

When I moved to Richmond about 10 years ago, I was looking on MySpace for some people that could be new friends (embarrassing, right?)  Fortunately, I came across Justin’s MySpace page and I immediately became enamored; he seemed like the most interesting person I had ever seen!  The only problem was that I did not know how to ask him out for a date.  Finally, after I got up my courage, I did it; I asked the man of my dreams to go out to dinner.  I had a feeling about this one so I decided to go all out for our evening together; I got a fresh haircut, I got my car cleaned, I bought a whole new outfit, and I picked a nice seafood restaurant in downtown Richmond.  I even paid for the whole thing.  I decided not to tell Justin until later on in our relationship that my preparation for our first date caused me to overdraft my bank account.  We had a good chuckle and it was totally worth it.

Fast forward 3 years later to a snowy New Year’s Eve in Lakeville, Connecticut. Stars were gleaming and a blue moon was shining brightly in the sky.  The ground had just been covered with a blanket of pure white snow.  A hundred of our closest family and friends travelled from near and far to witness a magical marriage on a night that no one would forget.  After all, at that point in time, it was only once in a blue moon that gays were getting married.  Sorry… bad joke.

During the last 6 years of our marriage, we have taken this time to focus on our careers, both going back to VCU to obtain our Masters.  Before attending my graduate program for School Counseling, I was working for Richmond Behavioral Health Authority providing case management for elementary school children with behavioral disorders in Richmond City Public Schools.  Now, I work as the Director of Counseling for Patrick Henry High School.  Before entering the Rehabilitation Counseling program at VCU, Justin, too, worked at Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.  He provided case management services to adults with serious mental illness.  He is currently finishing his Masters program and works for The Choice Group helping adults with disabilities to find and maintain employment.

Over the past few years, we’ve been grateful to become uncles to 7 amazing nieces and nephews.  Watching them grow up before our eyes, the two of us would really love the opportunity to begin our own family.  Now that we have both nearly completed our graduate programs, it is time for us to take the next step in our journey.  We’ve always dreamed about having 2-3 kids in our family and we hope that Race to Parenthood can start us down that path.

We’ve always considered adoption but unfortunately, the legal fees and other expenses have been too high for us to begin the process.  Until recently, it was also very difficult for same-sex couples in Virginia to adopt.  Luckily, with the recognition of same-sex marriage, many more opportunities have become available to us.  With the potential funds that we could raise through Race to Parenthood, we could seriously consider adoption.

I was adopted when I was 3 years old and I’ve always wanted the opportunity to provide a child with a safe and loving home like my parents did for me.  There are so many children out there that could benefit from two loving parents to guide them through the world.  We would love to be those parents.

We look forward to working really hard to raise money for our parenthood journey. Having given back to our community for so long, it is time for us to focus on our own family and give back to a child that needs us just as much as we need them. Go Team Red!