These Dads Are Setting Sail With Their 6 Year Old Son
Court King and Rafael Gondim live in Kew Gardens, New York. They have been in a committed relationship for 10 years, and married in Chicago on July 5, 2015. The two met when they were both training to be flight attendants with United Airlines. Now, Court is a sixth grade NYC public school teacher and Rafael is NYC public school principal. Together, Court and Rafael are raising their 6-year-old son, Gabriel. This fall, the couple are selling their home, quitting their jobs and hitting the open sea on a catamaran, affectionately named "Wind." Follow their journey on Facebook, Instagram and on their website!
Tell us about your path to parenthood. We chose to foster-adopt. We wanted to help a child who needed a loving home. There are so many kids out there that need a great home and we were willing to deal with the chance of losing our child. We said worst case we give them a great start.
Tell us about any obstacles you faced on your path to fatherhood. It was hard being in meetings being the only gay couple, but after the initial meetings we felt very welcomed.
How has your life changed since you became a father? Life has become more meaningful. Having Gabriel has helped me focus on more important things in life such as playing, joy and my family. It has instilled a greater purpose and appreciation of life itself. Before we had Gabriel, we spent a lot more time and money on going out with friends at night. We were more focused on the world around us rather than our family. We traveled the world with little worry about where we went or where we stayed. Since we have had Gabriel, we go out a lot less, but we still travel. He loves traveling, tasting new foods, and experiencing any form of transport. Gabriel loves anything with wheels or flies! We no longer stay in hostels or friend's couches.
What have you learned from your son since you became a dad? Gabriel has taught me to love in a way that I did not know existed. I have never felt the love I have for him for any other person on Earth. I would do everything in my means to protect him. He has taught me to stop, play and enjoy the little things we do in life. We love having lego design battles, constructing the tallest tower and racing with bikes.
Was there ever a moment that you or your husband experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? Friends were amazing in encouraging us to foster a child, but my family cautioned me about what I would loose. They constantly said "Why would you give up your freedom?", "Do you know how much the cost!" "What if you get a child you cannot control?" All of these are valid concerns, but what I gained from Gabriel far out weighs any of these extreme worries from my family.
What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Do it! Don't let other's negativity ever keep you from experiencing the most wonderful lasting feeling in life... being a dad. It has been the best decision I have ever made and cannot imagine life without my son.