Adoption of a Newborn: Gay Dads Brett and Jimmy
This is the second article in our series to help prepare gay dads-to-be for their first few weeks of fatherhood with a newborn. Our first story featured a family created through surrogacy.
Brett and Jimmy created their family through adoption and they flew from New York state to Ohio for their son Taylor's birth on July 21. The baby was discharged two days later, and, like many dads adopting across state lines, the new family checked into a nearby hotel.
They planned to stay just a few days while waiting for the required adoption paperwork to be completed. But those days morphed into weeks. Three weeks to be exact, as that's how long it took to locate Taylor's birthmother's ex, who was legally required to sign off on the adoption.
Not to be deterred by the unexpected delay, the new dads improvised, using their studio hotel room as a temporary home complete with makeshift nursery for Taylor. They set-up a changing station, bottle station and even a swing and play area.
Surprisingly, Brett and Jimmy found that the days passed very quickly! They quickly developed a routine that included feedings, bath time, local walks and video calls with family. They also want to acknowledge the great support they received from the hotel staff.
They point out that their greatest challenge during these weeks had to do with their own dinners. Turns out that most of the convenient options close to the hotel were unappealing fast-food restaurants. Their visiting family helped out, though, by bringing home-cooked meals that they were able to heat up in their hotel room.
While they had adapted to their temporary environment, they were thrilled to receive full clearance from the ICPC (a statutory agreement governing the rules of interstate adoptions) on August 12. They checked-out of their hotel and drove to for week-long visit with Brett's family and old friends in Iowa. Then, on August 19, they finally arrived back in New York at the house they call home, and they were warmly greeted by Jimmy's family and the guys' two dogs.
Brett and Jimmy share that they absolutely love being new dads! We were surprised to hear them say that the lack of sleep isn't as bad as they thought it would be. (They say it's just a different kind of tired.)
Taylor is doing much better getting to sleep now thanks to their regular routine that includes reading him a book each night. He goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until about 1am. Then, after a bottle, he sleeps again until around 5:30am.
Brett wakes with Taylor in the morning, feeding and cleaning him before playtime. Jimmy uses this time to get ready for work, but he always finds time to spend with his son before heading off to work each day. Brett stays home with Taylor, and they spend the day going for walks in the park, visiting with family and friends or shopping. The dads also relish the incredible help they get from their family members who live close by.
Gays With Kids: What has surprised you the most about fatherhood?
Brett and Jimmy: We're most surprised by how quickly he grows! We've always heard the expression “enjoy it while it lasts” and now we really appreciate it as we couldn't agree more. He is doing something new everyday. Each milestone is amazing, like the first time he smiled at us, or giggled, or rolled over to his side. Every new first is one of the happiest moments of our lives.
Gays With Kids: Anything that hasn't surprised you about fatherhood?
Brett and Jimmy: We aren't surprised how many diapers and formula we go through!
Gays With Kids: What have been some of your most precious moments as dads?
Jimmy: I would say the most precious moment was being in the hospital room with Taylor’s birth mother, waiting for Taylor to be rolled into the room, and then seeing him for the first time.
Brett: The first time he smiled!
Gays With Kids: As dads to a newborn, is there anything you could not live without?
Brett and Jimmy: Coffee!