The professional dancer and choreographer shared that it was an easy choice from the start as he only wanted to adopt older children.
Adoption can be a distressing and complicated process but the outcome is extremely gratifying. However, even during the adoption process, there is a lot of discrimination based on a child's gender, age and ethnicity. Often older kids find it harder to get adopted as compared to newborns or younger children. However, for Louis van Amstel, a professional dancer and choreographer, it was an easy choice from the start as he only wanted to adopt older children, reports Scary Mommy.
The "Dancing with the Stars" star and his spouse Joshua Lancaster adopted their two sons, Daniel and Jonny, from the foster care system when they were 10 years old. Amstel told PEOPLE: "Everyone wants [to adopt] the babies but we didn't. My love language is traveling. With a baby, for the first three years, forget any traveling! Jonny had never seen an ocean in his life. For a family like ours that loves to travel and has been all over the world, I want my kids to have that experience."
The 50-year-old revealed that Lancaster and he first discussed adoption in 2017. "It became very clear that we were going to adopt older kids in the United States. It was always the plan," he said. The couple adopted Daniel, now 14 years old, from Colorado in 2019 and Jonny, who is now 13, from Nevada in 2020. Moreover, the celeb shared, the family makes it a point to have weekly therapy sessions to address any mental health challenges that the children face. Although Daniel and Jonny aren't biologically related, they have grown closer over almost three years of sharing a home.
Amstel explained: "They love each other, they fight with each other, they have each other's backs, they throw each other under the bus. We took it one step at a time." The choreographer wishes to inspire people to adopt older children by sharing his family's story.
He said, "There are so many kids in foster care that all need a loving home. And they will change your life for the better." Amstel shared that their favorite pastimes as a family of four right now are traveling and skiing. The ballroom dance champion said, "We have seven ski resorts within an hour's drive. And I grew up skiing. My husband learned in the early years of us together and he loves it. My kids both love it. My oldest Daniel, we're even looking next year to go in ski team, race team. He's so good at it."
According to the professional dancer, his children want to visit Holland someday to see where he grew up. He said, "We really love to travel and see the world. My kids are now asking when they can go to Holland to see my home. Not only my home country but my home city, Amsterdam."
Amstel and his husband adopted Daniel and Jonny from the foster care system with the assistance of Raise the Future. The organization "has designed and implemented evidence-based, wraparound services that reduce the amount of time youth in foster care live without a permanent family."