Danny Maffia and Justin DeMartin met seven years ago. The two were introduced by a mutual friend at a breast cancer fundraiser and sparks just flew.
“What attracted me most to Justin was the fact that we had a lot of similarities. We were both established working professionals, both had the drive to continue to better ourselves both professionally and physically, and lastly we both have a passion for fitness,” said Danny.
And they both wanted the same things in life.
“I have to admit when Justin and I first met he was not out, meaning his family didn’t know he was gay. Shortly after us falling in love he of course told them and they were very supportive. At first Justin was not 100 percent sold on having a family. Not that he never wanted a family or to get married but it was always ‘later, later.’ I was pleasantly surprised when we had the conversation about getting married and about starting our family.”
However, starting wouldn’t be easy. After many failed adoptions, the couple was beginning to lose hope.
“I personally always knew I wanted a family. Ironically I come from a small Italian family. In fact the hardest part about coming out as a gay in high school back in 2004 was realizing the fact that I may not have the chance to legally get married or have kids.”
But a YouTube adoption video and hope and a prayer changed their lives forever. On Nov. 6, 2017, Danny and Justin became the proud parents of newborn twins, Parker and Emma. They were the first to hold them the moment they were born.
“Justin actually looked at me the other day and said, ‘what was like before we had the twins?’ Truthfully my life feels complete now. I truly feel like my life now has a sense of purpose. Our love has continued to grow more and more with every new step. From their first cold, to their first day at daycare, to that enchanting first smile that made us fall in love again.”
Danny said his favorite part about being a parent is the unconditional love he receives.
“The love that such small children give us makes every stressful moment in our journey worth it!”
And since Danny does feel so blessed to have Parker and Emma, he is now on a mission to help other parents who want to adopt.
“I plan to take every opportunity I can to educate others and share our journey, so that others can be more informed about the process. The advice I would give others is do your research, don’t sit back and wait, but become an active part of the process, and lastly if you are adopting as a couple be there to support one another.”
He also believes the past failed adoptions were meant to be.
“It is crazy looking back to the three failed adoptions before this. It all makes sense now. The third failed adoption we experienced was an expectant mother who was due Nov. 5, one day before our twins. We found out on Oct. 28 that she had given birth two weeks prior to that and that she had lied for those two weeks to continue cashing checks. On Oct. 31, that was the first day we made contact with the birth family who happen to come across our YouTube video. We always wanted two kids, but when we were having such bad luck we were going to definitely stop at one. With each failed adoption, it led us to the next failed adoption, which in turn led us to our kids.”
So what does Danny love most about being a parent?
“My favorite part is seeing how much closer Justin and I have become since we brought the twins home. We really make an amazing team. I actually think having twins pushed us even more to be better parents and better spouses. We both always have to be on. Whenever one of us is frustrated the other comes swooping in to support. We were told by people that having children means you don’t have a life anymore, you can’t go on vacations, you can’t go to the gym, you can’t focus on you. This can’t be further from the truth. We understand becoming a parent requires sacrifice, but to be a better parent we understand how important self-care is. We have done a great job of allowing one another time to go to the gym, focus on doctoral homework, and even play video games while the other takes care of the twins. This gives us the much needed self-care that all parents need to ensure they are at their best for their children.”
Take a look at the Sweet Buffalo video we put together for the beautiful family: