Gay Dad Life

With Only 48 Hours to Prepare, Rob and Zack Become Dads

Husbands Rob and Zack finalized the adoption of their son Asher on March 3, 2017. For the two dads, the road to fatherhood has been a crazy experience but creating a family has been a dream come true.

Rob, 32, and Zack, nearly 33, were introduced through friends almost 7 years ago, and were married on September 21, 2013. Rob works in non-profit science publishing, and Zack works for the State department. They live in Washington, D.C.


Before they settled on their path to a fatherhood, Rob and Zack spent a lot of time debating between surrogacy and adoption: How important was the biological connection? How would the additional financial burdens associated with surrogacy affect their family? Ultimately they both arrived at the same decision independently: adoption. Both concluded that biology wasn't a necessity to either of them, although they understand why for some people it might be.

As for their own families, Rob's parents have never fully accepted their son's sexuality, nor his marriage to Zack. It's been a long road; Rob spent years trying to be patient with his folks, but he has not been touch with them for a long time. As for the rest of Rob's family, his relationship with his siblings, their families and extended family members has remained positive.

Unlike many adoptive parents who must wait months or years before being matched with a birth mother, Rob and Zack got the call just four days after entering into the pool of potential adoptive parents. They were told to get to Texas as soon as possible to meet baby Asher and his birthmother. Rob was overseas at the time, so Zack had to pack for both of them, without having an idea how long they'd be staying in the Lone Star State.

"We didn't own any baby things yet since we thought we'd have a lot of time to prepare," recalls Rob. "So it all had to be done within 48 hours after we arrived in Texas. Luckily with the help of friends and family, we made it work!"

Asher was just one day old when the couple met him. They remember those first few days as overwhelming. Rob and Zack tried to not get too optimistic about their chances of parenthood as they were very aware of the window of time the birth family had to make the final decision to place the child for adoption.

"Meanwhile we were falling more in love with this tiny baby every minute, all the while operating on about 2 hours of sleep," said Rob.

Asher was born on a Wednesday, and on Friday, Rob and Zack were able to take him to the hotel where they were staying as they awaited state clearances to head back home to D.C. Zack's parents flew down to meet their grandchild and they all stayed together, adjusting to their new roles. Rob owes his ability to get any sleep during those first few days, he says, to Zack's parents.

Throughout the relatively long adoption process (Asher was in their care from May 2016 and the adoption was finalized March 2017) Rob and Zack encountered and were forced to jump through a few extra hoops. They have their suspicions as to why, and it did cause a lot of emotional and financial stress on their entire family. Thankfully, in March 2017, the two dads were able to celebrate the finalization of Asher's adoption, when they became a forever family of three.

It's taken the dads time to figure out how to divvy up responsibilities and to find their own rhythm. Rob gets Asher ready for daycare in the morning and does more of the cleaning jobs, while Zack is on cooking duty and prepares most of Asher's meals. Zack loves to cook so they each play to their strengths. (Most of Asher's cute outfits can also be attributed to Zack, he says.) They take turns sleeping in on weekends---allowing the other dad to get some extra rest has been crucial, they say.

They also place a high priority on finding time for themselves as individuals whether that's going to the gym, catching a movie or just enjoying each others company over a glass of wine. They know that doing those things allows them to be the best possible dads they can be to little Asher.

Before becoming dads, neither men had changed many diapers; neither had even read a baby book in preparation. But they learned on their feet. Another lesson they've learned as new dads? Baby boys will try to pee on you whenever they're getting changed.

"Outside of bathroom behavior," said Rob, "We have both learned a lot about patience, the limits of our own exhaustion, and how to support each other, even when our own reserves are low!"


Check Out More Family Profiles Below!

After a Harrowing Delivery, Barry's Bootcamp CEO Welcomes Home a Baby Boy

Afraid of Adopting from Foster Care? These Dads Say Don't Be

A Dad Finds Hope After a Failed Adoption

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Family Stories

9-Year-Old Girl Starts Successful Jewelry Line With Help of Gay Dads

Riley Petersen is 9 (!) and already a Creative Director, with the help of her gay dads

Riley Kinnane-Petersen is 9 years old, enjoys playing tennis, being with friends, has a pet cat, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two dads, John Petersen and William Kinnane. She's also the official Creative Director of a successful jewelry line she founded with the help of her dads. Two years ago, John even quit his day job to assist in the day-to-day operations of the jewelry company.

What began as a long road to adoption for William and John, has become a thriving creative business, and more importantly a family.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

New Children's Book Explores a Different Kind of Gay Fatherhood: Doggy Dads

Pickles + Ocho is a real life story about two French bulldogs in a family with their two gay dads.

Guest post written by Dan Wellik

Pickles + Ocho is a real life story about two French bulldogs in a family with their two gay dads. It tells the story of how Pickles' life changes once his new "baby brother" Ocho joins his family. The themes in this story are important ones – families come in all shapes and sizes, all families look a little different than the next and diversity and inclusion should be celebrated. I have always felt strongly that children need more exposure to LGBT families and wanted to add my voice to this very important conversation.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

What's it Like to Stay Friends With a Gay Couple After They Have Kids?

The guys behind the Daddy Square Podcast sought to find out by interviewing two of their best friends.

There are so many things that change from the time you decide you want to become a parent until it happens… and then after it happens. But one of the changes that may not be so obvious is the effect that all of this can have on your social life in general, and especially on close friends. And relationships with your closest gay friends – many of whom often don't have children – can be a real question. In our season finale we brought on two guests — each of them is best friends with a gay dad couple, to explore changes in close friendships after parenthood starts.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Family Stories

Salt Lake Gay Couple Behind Viral Wedding Proposal Become Foster Dads

They've gone viral, appeared on Ellen, and were married by Queen Latifa. What can top all that? Fatherhood.

Photo credit: Tiffany Burke, Follow Your Art Photography.

Over 5 years ago, you might remember seeing an amazing proposal that took place in a Home Depot in Utah. With the help of close friends and family, Spencer organized an incredible flash mob to sweep Dustin off his feet. If you did see it, you're one of the 14 million viewers who did. (If you have been living under a rock, you can see the video below!)

The fiancés quickly became an overnight sensation thanks to this unbelievably romantic stunt. They even appeared on Ellen and were given engagement gifts. (You know you've made it once Ellen starts giving you stuff.) Dustin and Spencer were also part of a symbolic wedding ceremony with many other couples who were married during the 2014 Grammy's event, by Queen Latifa, while Macklemore sang "Same Love."

And for their next act? Fatherhood.

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

This Gay Dad's Search for Reliable Surrogacy Info in Canada Led Him to Share His Own Story

Grant Minkhorst scoured the Internet for reliable info, relevant to Canada, but found "slim pickings."

When my husband and I decided that we wanted to start a family, we scoured the internet for information and resources about gay parenting. As many of you already know, it was "slim pickings," as Grandma would say. I stumbled from one website to the next with little to show for it. When I wanted to learn more about surrogacy specifically, I would repeatedly end up on surrogacy agency websites. While some included relevant information, I noticed large gaps and a countless inconsistencies. Not only that, but many of the agency websites were based in the United States where the surrogacy process differs from that in Canada. The search for a dependable resource for would-be Canadian gay fathers was frustrating and, seemingly, futile.

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

"Two Daddies" Are Fighting to Make the U.K.'s Surrogacy Laws Modern and Safe

Surrogacy in the U.K. is bound by a law created in 1985.... and it badly in need of a makeover, say "Two Daddies"

We've had a busy old few months. Talulah recently turned 2 in October, and Katie made the big 14. Life in the Johnson-Ellis household has been far from dull.

Rewind to August and we receive an email asking us to give evidence at one of their "surrogacy evidence sessions," in view of the Surrogacy Law Reform. For those that aren't fully up to speed the UK currently is bound by the 1985 Surrogacy Act, which is in desperate need of a make over to say the least. So there's currently a group of people that come from a varied background - they may be surrogates, Intended Parents (IP's), Lawyers, Clinicians and other surrogacy experts from all corners of the globe. All with one one goal; to hopefully help drive forward and allow the UK Government to review the current laws, challenge them with a view to make the UK a more current and modern environment to create families without risk or challenge.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

Gay Dads Who Brought Down the House With Their Baby  Announcement Pics

There ain't no baby announcement like a gay dad baby announcement...

The path to gay fatherhood isn't exactly what we'd call straight forward, so when it comes to sharing the news that you're expecting, for a gay man, it's an opportunity to come up with the cutest, most creative way to shout it from the rooftops! And that's exactly what these gay dads and dads-to-be did! Check out our latest collection of uplifting, artistic, and hilarious pregnancy announcements and adoption news.

Check out our first and second collection, and share yours with us too!

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

FOLLOW OUR FAMILIES

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse