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The Hayward Family

 Mark and Nicole Hayward had been married for 15 years when they became parents for the first time through adoption from foster care.

As part of their search for their “perfect child,” Mark and Nicole registered their family on They began a search for a girl, preferably no older than 12, who shared many of their interests, such as music, movies, and traveling.

But each time Nicole logged into the AdoptUSKids website to search for a child, the profile of Mathieu, a 14-year-old boy with a nice smile and a faux mohawk would pop up.

“He just looked like a go-with-the-flow, fun kid,” Nicole said. “Reading his narrative, he sounded like he could be our son. He shared many of our interests, right down to a love of pizza and French fries!”

Nicole became convinced that this boy could in fact be the child for them. When she shared the news with Mark, it turned out that Mark had been looking at the same boy’s profile. Of the thousands of waiting children, they had each selected the same child.

“I like to say that he was everything we never knew we wanted when we first envisioned our family. Had we not kept an open mind, we never would have found him,” Nicole says.

“Children need parents, regardless of their age. They give love, hugs, and kisses no matter how old they are.” 

Our Story

"You Gotta Believe made us a family. Our kids were the missing pieces of our puzzle."
- Nicole Hayward