When Michael Davis discovered the AdoptUSKids website, he knew that he wanted to share his story and take the opportunity to thank his mom.
An adoption through the foster care system changed everything for Michael and his sister Ashlea.
“My father was a drug addict and my birth mother wasn’t around,” he explains. When Michael was five, he and his three-year-old sister were removed from their father’s custody and placed in foster care. A year later, the children met their future mom and her nine-year-old son Marcus over pizza at their home in Florida. Soon after, that home became theirs too.
Easy to say yes
A single mom with a demanding job in healthcare, Michael’s mom was (and is) compassionate and a very involved parent. “One day, she sat us down and asked if we’d like to join the family,” Michael remembers. “It was so easy to say yes.” In May of 1998—within two years of that first pizza dinner— Michael and Ashlea’s adoption was legalized.
Besides a stable and loving home life, the kids had opportunities—like never before—to pursue their interests and make new friends. Michael began guitar and started playing basketball and baseball, followed later by wrestling and football during his teenage years. “My mom faithfully attended my sports events and volunteered in the concession stand. At the same time, she was always there for my brother and sister.”
His mom is also very school-oriented, Michael explained. “We all knew that college wasn’t just an option. We were going to go to college.” While raising three children, Michael’s mom took on new job opportunities and completed an advanced degree in her healthcare field. (Ashlea, Michael’s sister, now works in healthcare as well.)
New opportunities and love
For Michael, a strong GPA resulted in a Bright Futures scholarship from the State of Florida, covering seventy-five percent of his tuition at Florida Gulf Coast University. In a college astronomy class, he met Francesca, an outgoing fellow student who got everyone singing along to Journey (“Don’t Stop Believing”) before class. The two became friends and started dating after about a year. After six years as a couple, they married in October 2014.
“They say that you tend to marry someone who shares common traits with your parents,” he says. “Like my mom, Francesca encouraged me to succeed in school, and she always encourages me to follow my dreams.”
Serving our nation
His family’s support has been essential to Michael as he’s pursued one of his lifelong goals: military service in the US Marine Corps.
“I’ve always wanted to be in a job where I could help people,” he says. “When September 11 happened, I was eleven. I decided on that day that I wanted to join the Marine Corps when I grew up.”
Following college graduation, Michael completed Marine Corps boot camp and Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) school. He now works as an administrative specialist at US Marine Corps Forces Command in Norfolk, VA, in charge of drafting orders for Marines changing duty stations. His next goal is to become a commissioned officer.
Wherever his path takes him, Michael knows that he has the love and support of his family.
The gift of adoption
“I came from nothing, and I’ve accomplished my dream,” Michael says. “For that reason, my wife and I are talking about adoption in the future. I would love to give someone else the opportunities that I’ve received.