“We locked eyes. And he had a giant smile on his face,” Dallas tells PEOPLE exclusively of his son Crow, now 2½. “It was a moment. Instantly we knew — that’s our kid!”
It had been quite a journey for the former Kyle XY star and his husband of nearly a year, singer Blue Hamilton. The couple, who also have a YouTube channel, matt + blue, went through a certification process to become foster parents, in the hopes that it would lead to a formal adoption.
“There were so many kids, and so many stories that broke our hearts,” says Hamilton, 36, of the 19,000 children in foster care in the couple’s home state of Arizona. “I was obsessed. Every night in bed I’d pull out my iPad and say, ‘Look at this story.’ So many kids! And then they age out of the system at 18. We wanted to feel like we were doing something good for a child out there.”
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Last summer, Dallas and Hamilton received word that Crow, then 22 months, would be coming to stay with them. “We didn’t have diapers or food or toys,” says Dallas. “We spent the whole day getting ready. We were giddy!” Crow was officially adopted five months later.
Now, “it’s as if he’s always been here,” says Dallas, 33. “Blue and I both knew that we would love [an adopted child] the same [as a biological one]. The amount of time we spend with that kid and the bond we have, it makes no difference. He’s ours.”
And Crow is keeping his dads busy. “He is so magnetic,” says Hamilton of his sports-loving toddler. “No matter where we go, people just zoom into this kid. He’s special. He could change the world.”
As far as adding to the Dallas-Hamilton brood? “I would love for him to have a sibling,” says Dallas. “But we want Crow to cement his place in this family. Right now, we’re just enjoying this time.”
Adds Hamilton, “In the end, this was the family we had imagined in our dreams.”
For exclusive photos and much more from Matt Dallas and Blue Hamilton, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
— Aili Nahas