Gay Dad Life

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!

 

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Gay Dad Life

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When we first found out that our second daughter was African American I froze. Not because of her race, but because I knew NOTHING about African American hair. So I frantically tried to learn as much as I could while she was a newborn so I was ready to style it when she was a little older.

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"Dad," Jonathan said. "Would you just get out of the house and go on a date already?" (You may remember wise-beyond-his-years Jonathan from this post that went viral of a tattoo he got commemorating his adoption day.)

On his son's encouragement, Richard started dipping a tentative toe back into the dating pool. In 2015, he met Kevin thanks to mutual friends that introduced them via social media. It took four months before Richard introduced Kevin to his son, who was a Sophomore in high school at the time.

On New Year's Eve in 2017, Kevin proposed while the couple was vacationing in Palm Springs. The city has an outdoor festival every year, he explained, which the couple attended. The band Plain White T's happened to be performing their hit "Hey There Delilah" as Kevin got down on one knee and proposed. "Now whenever I hear that song it brings back memories of that night," Richard said.

Richard and Kevin married on March 30, 2019 back at the scene of the crime — in Palm Springs, at the Frederick Loewe Estate. Jonathan was Richard's best man, and also walked him down the aisle (awwww.....). Kevin's brother Bobby served as his best man.

"As so many wonderful moments continue to happen for us in Palm Springs, we now own a home there in addition to our primary residence in Bentonville, Arkansas," said Richard.

Check out video from the couple's special day below!


And Jonathan is now an E4 Master-at-Arms in the US Navy.

Gay Uncles

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The pairing, for any gay man who has been subjected to impossible beauty standards (not unlike... literally all women?) makes a bit too much sense after watching the new Sundance film, "Brittany Runs a Marathon," starring SNL writer Jillian Bell (as the 27-year-old) and Micah Stock as the (somewhat *ahem* older) gay dad.

Based on a true story, the film follows Brittany, an overweight and over-boozed 20-something, trying to clean up her act by training for the New York City marathon — while doing so, she meets Seth (the gay dad), and the two begin to train together, along with Brittany's neighbor Catherine. Each has their own motivation for running: getting one's live together, recovering from a messy divorce, or an attempt to impress one's athletic son. (Which is the gay dad? Guess you'll have to watch to find out!)

We won't give too much more away, apart from saying that the trio — based off of actual people and events — really works. It's the feel good film you're waiting to see.

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Your 15 Most Common Questions About Adoption, Answered by an Expert

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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