It was a seemingly typical day Dr. Steven Gonzalez taught a classroom full of students while his wife, Dr. Mary Martinez-Gonzalez, drove to an Upbring CPR and first-aid training class when she received a phone call that would forever change their lives. A one-year-old little girl, born on Valentine’s Day, would soon come into their home and call them Mom and Dad.

As two professionals working in the child welfare space, they’ve committed their lives and careers to serving others. “They are an amazing couple,” shared Erika Noriega, area director for Upbring Foster In Texas (FIT) San Antonio.

After struggling with infertility, they felt a pull on their hearts to pursue adoption from foster care.

“We realized it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to give a child a great home,” shared Steven. Soon after, Mary and Steven connected with Upbring’s FIT team at a community event. The couple felt an instant connection with the “knowledgeable” and “empathetic” staff and knew that Upbring was the perfect fit for them. Once Mary and Steven completed requirements and training to become foster parents, a beautiful girl came to their home in September of 2019. After six months of fostering, they finalized their daughter’s adoption and started the next chapter of their journey together with the same last name.

As the coronavirus pandemic established a new normal for communities across Texas, the Gonzalez family celebrated their adoption in a way that was uncommon a year ago over the phone. To commemorate this huge milestone, they ordered bracelets with the date of the adoption etched into them and created a clay mold of their hands to represent the strength of their family. We made it as special at home as we could, they said.

It’s fitting that their Valentine’s Day-baby has brought more love into their lives than they could have imagined. Thanks to your support, Upbring’s FIT team connects families like Mary and Steven’s with precious children across the state. To learn more about our FIT program, please visit,

To commemorate this milestone, Mary and Steven created a clay mold of their hands to represent the strength of their family.

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