ABC 27 Chief Meteorologist Casanova Nurse makes two things clear: he knows a lot about the weather and he’s a family man.
ABC 27 viewers have likely heard Casanova, better known as Cas, talk about spending time with his family which includes three children. What many may not know is the unique journey he took into fatherhood.
It all started with taking on the role as a foster parent.
It’s a path that for many is often challenging but for Casanova and his husband Daniel the difficulties were not enough to keep them from finding children to call their own.
The main goal of the foster system is to reunite children with their biological family but, when that is not possible, parental rights can be terminated.
Their first son, Cameron, had been a foster child since birth. The couple watched after him for ten days while his foster mother was on vacation in 2011. When the couple found out his case was going to parental right termination, they decided to pursue adoption.
“He was a sweet, chubby, active toddler and we fell in love with him almost immediately,” Cas said. “That really opened the door for us to open our family for adopted children.”
It took close to a year and a half to fully complete the adoption process for Cameron. During the adoption process, they were evaluated with background checks, home visits and safety screenings.
Shortly after adopting Cameron, their son Neijal, came to stay with them in early 2012.
“When we got Neijal, we were in the mindset that, of course, the goal is to get him back to his biological parents.”
After more than a year with the family, his parental rights were terminated and the couple moved forward with adopting him.
As they raised their two sons, the couple never closed the door on adopting more children but didn’t realize how quickly their family would grow once again.
Just a little over a year after welcoming their sons, the family received some unexpected news.
“A call came in to Daniel that a baby girl had been born. She would immediately enter the foster system and likely a case of parental rights being terminated.”
The couple had previously discussed wanting a newborn girl and with that call Ava Rose joined their family.
“It started a whole whirlwind of getting the house ready for a baby. When we woke up that morning, nothing of the like had entered my mind but when that day was through, my in-laws were donating baby equipment and buying diapers because we were about to be bringing in a teeny-tiny baby girl,” Cas said.
As the family prepared for Ava Rose’s arrival, Cas admits he was scared.
Soon after welcoming her into their home, Cas and Daniel made the decision to stop fostering and pour all of their energy into their new little family.
Today, Cameron and Neijal are both 10 and baby Ava Rose is 8.
With their kids growing it opens up the question; will the couple welcome any more future meteorologists into their home?
Cas said they are probably at capacity.
“We’ve had Ava Rose since she was born, so eight years, and as great of a process as that is raising a child from the teeny, tiniest phase, he and I aren’t spring chickens anymore,” Cas laughed. “But to have the opportunity to bring these sweet souls into our family and build our lives around them, it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s made our lives more complete.”
For anyone looking to become a foster parent, Cas says it’s a lot of work but so rewarding in the end.
“It’s a fulfilling process but also a very grueling process. We had to take a number of classes for six weeks, so we had a better understanding of what we were getting into. One of the biggest things we were concerned about was getting attached to children in our care who could be taken out of our home in just a few moment's notice.”
While the emotional toll of losing a child that’s been placed in the home can be tough, the couple was able to look at the bigger picture.
“There’s room in our hearts to share love and care with a child of any background, any situation.”
They saw the need for children in the foster care system to receive support in a home where they would “really be able to shine.”
More information on how to become a foster parent or about the adoption process in Leon County can be found online by clicking here.