Gay Dad Life

Life with a Newborn: Nick and Chris With Their Daughter Ari

It’s only been a few months since Nick and Chris, 43 and 29 respectively, became dads to a newborn, but in that short time their daughter Ari has already taught them a lot.

"We are learning about love, selflessness, sacrifice and balance," shared Nick. "We've also learned that everything takes much longer and we are going to be late for everything!"

This has been a learning curve for the two dads who once were always on time and the first to be spontaneous with friends. But it's been a rewarding change as Nick and Chris navigate the path of first-time dads. Here's what their first few months have been like with a newborn.


How They Became Dads

Nick and Chris met through a mutual friend in 2010 and after four years together, they got married on July 18, 2014. After careful research on how to start their own family, they decided to get their foster parent license. They completed their training in 2015 and immediately went on a foster-adopt waiting list for children up to age 3.

After two years of waiting for the phone to ring, Nick and Chris re-evaluated, created an adoption book and sent it to a few agencies. Their first match was unsuccessful when the birth mother, towards the end of her third trimester, decided to keep the baby. The two men were devastated.

Their second match took them to Florida where they attended the 18-week ultrasound of Ari’s birth mother. Nick and Chris developed a relationship with the birth mother during her pregnancy, so that when Ari was born in December 2016, an open adoption arrangement was established.

Nick and Ari

The Birth Plan

Nick, Chris and Chris's mom drove to Jacksonville, Florida, the day before their birth mother was induced. When they arrived, the two dads-to-be took the birth mother out for dinner and planned to pick her up the next day at 5 a.m. The dads recall the experience.

"We were with her all day as she was induced at 7 a.m. and didn't give birth till 11:05 p.m.," explained Nick. "We were in the room until she started to push at which point we went into the waiting room and our adoption coordinator FaceTimed us in. A few pushes later, she was out and we were able to come back into the room to see the baby."

The two dads were filled with love. They stayed overnight in the NICU feeding Ari and mostly just holding her. They spent the next 36 hours in the hospital. All parties signed the adoption papers 48 hours after Ari was welcomed into the world.

Nick and Chris had to stay in Florida for the ICPC process. (The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children establishes uniform legal and administrative procedures governing the interstate placement of children.) That process  took almost three weeks, and Chris’s mom stayed with them for the first week. Ari’s first two doctor's visits were in Jacksonville, and the new dads enjoyed the reprieve from Chicago's harsh winters, strolling along the boardwalks and beaches as a brand-new family of three. Once they got the all clear, they headed back to Chicago.

Chris with Ari

The New Routine

Nick, who runs his own repping firm for wholesale clothing, and Chris, a school teacher, were able to take some time off to adjust to their new fatherhood schedule. Ari began sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, and once Chris went back to school, his sister (who is also adopted) began childcare for the two dads three days a week. Nick has learned how to balance work and being a dad for the two remaining days of the week.

"We learned that it really DOES take a tribe to take care of a baby," said Nick and Chris. "We have a very eager group of friends and family that love to help out whenever needed. Even our friends have been willing to adapt to coming over to the house for dinner parties instead of going out."

One of the biggest adjustments for the new dads is having to plan everything. Things that were once considered simple, like going to the gym or grocery shopping, require planning and some forethought.

"We realized that we can do everything we did before having Ari but it just takes a little more time and patience."


The Biggest Surprise

What surprised them most? Their complete love and devotion for their daughter.

"I don't think anything could prepare you for the amount of love you feel for your child," exclaimed both dads. "We obviously knew we would love her but the feeling we have when holding our first child and knowing we are responsible for her wellbeing is indescribable."

Chris (left) and Nick holding Ari

Their Most Precious Moment so Far

Being blown away by their families' and friends' love and support. Just three weeks after Ari was born, the new family of three, upon their return to Chicago, were greeted with a "Welcome Home Ari" banner, boxes of gifts and cards, a fully stocked fridge and cupboard, all from their loving family and friends.

"It was an overwhelming feeling to finally be home with our baby girl to such love from everyone," said Nick and Chris.

And, of course, the first time Ari smiled at her two dads.


Advice to Future Dads

"Make sure to make time for you and your partner and don't be afraid to accept help from your family and friends," said Nick and Chris.

"The process can be emotionally draining. Be prepared for a lot of ups and downs during the process but it is all worth it when you finally get to hold your baby in your arms."

Nick having a nap with Ari and their four-legged child

Read about Jordi and Michael's first few weeks as first-time dads.

Brett and Jimmy created their family through adoption. Read about their first month with a newborn


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How Single Dads Are Celebrating Valentine's Day This Year

Valentine's Day is not just for lovers! We caught up with 8 single gay dads to see how they plan to celebrate Valentine's Day with this year.

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Within our community, GWK has a large group of admirable, active, and awesome (!) single dads and we want to honor them! On Valentine's Day, they and their kids celebrate their family unit in the sweetest possible ways. We asked the dads to share these moments with us, and, where possible, one of the most heartwarming things they've experienced with their kids on Valentine's Day to date.

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Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!

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We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Children of the 'Gayby Generation,' are also put in the position of having to come out on behalf of their parents, and "often with mixed results," she wrote. She gave the following anecdote as an example:

"My father was asked to step down from his leadership position in my brother's Boy Scout troop on account of his sexuality. Even though my siblings and I were only fourth graders at the time, we understood that our family was under strict scrutiny, and that even the slightest misstep could beget severe consequences for how competent our fathers were perceived as being. In the face of this pressure, the first generation of 'gaybies' recognized the importance of presenting their families as perfect; doing otherwise would only present ammunition to those already dubious about the rights of LGBTQ parents to raise children."

The entire article, which includes the perspectives of multiple now-grown kids that are part of the "Gayby generation," is well worth a read, which you can access here.


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The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

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Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

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The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

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The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

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Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Surrogacy for Gay Men

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Image: NWSC Clients

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Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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