Gay men go through a lot of ups and downs on the path to parenthood. It can be one of the most emotionally draining times in our lives. But as each of these families who are celebrating births and adoptions this month agree: it's worth every hardship.
Congrats to the dads whose families grew this month!
Congratulations dads Jake and Scott on the birth of their daughter Piper!
Jake and Scott started their journey five years ago, and experienced multiple failed attempts as well as a miscarriage in October 2018. "We switched surrogates on three occasions," said Jake. The last surrogate - who gave birth to Piper - is a childhood friend of Jake's. "Actually, our parents were even friends when they were kids so there's a long history between us."
"She and her husband took this journey with us without hesitation," continued Jake. "And their three children love FaceTiming with their 'cousin' and 'uncles'" The dads were lucky enough to be in the delivery room for the birth and Scott cut the cord and Jake did skin to skin. "Such an incredible feeling. I remember feeling complete."
Jake remembers watching his husband Scott hold Piper for the first time and feeling whole. "Staring at the two loves of my life." The family live in St Augustine, Florida, but traveled back to their hometown of Cincinnati to welcome Piper, which also meant their immediate family was able to welcome her also. She was born December 2, 2019.
"We're back In Florida and couldn't be happier. She loves our walks on the beach and the warm air. And I think she's already ready for a baby brother!"
Congratulations dads Rudolf and Jamie on the arrival of their twins Matthew and Ava!
Rudolf and Jamie's twins were born through surrogacy at 35 weeks on December 11, 2019. Matthew and Ava join big sister Jean who is currently 21 months. The family of five live in Gauteng, South Africa.
The dads greatest concern was how they'd be able to love another child or children after their firstborn who is the apple of her dads' eyes! "The answer is definitely YES." said Rudolf. "You have a different kind of love for each child... something you really can't put into words."
When it came to holding their twins for the first time, the dads were filled with emotion. "So many feelings are playing through your mind... proud, love completion, surreal, amazing... an unexplainable gift!"
Congratulations to dad Santiago on the birth of his son Santino!
"I never thought being a single dad was going to be on the cards for me, but little did I know that life would work out perfectly in order for Santino and I to be able to be together and share this amazing adventure we call life."
Santiago recently became a dad through international surrogacy in Canada when he welcomed his son on December 28, 2019. It had been a challenging two year journey for the single dad from Mexico, but it was all worth it when Santino arrived.
"I am from Guadalajara in Mexico and shared my surrogacy journey with my beautiful Canadian surrogate through an international surrogacy program." On January 22, Santino received his passport, and the two flew home to Mexico, but have a very special place for Canada in their hearts.
Congratulations to dads Mario and Nelson on the birth of their son Mathias!
Mario and Nelson became dads via surrogacy with the extraordinary assistance of Mario's sister who was a traditional surrogacy using Nelson's biology. Their son was born on October 18, 2019.
"Fatherhood is not at all as you are told," shared Mario. "It is much more beautiful and also difficult, because it is a very big responsibility which you only measure when it materializes, fortunately we are surrounded by our families and friends who wrap our baby in love and honey too. Our lives have changed permanently and for the better with the arrival of our son."
The first time the dads held their baby they described a feeling of love, commitment and fear flooding over them. "He came to love and be loved; commitment to the challenge to be the best version of myself with values, and afraid of knowing how difficult it is the world in which he will live and that at some point he will leave."
The dads are thrilled about their new adventure as a family of three, and already love their son "above all things." This family lives in Tampico, Tamaulipas in Mexico.
Congratulations to dads Kael and Tyler on the birth of their daughter Kolbi!
Kael and Tyler are the proud dads to their beautiful daughter Kolbi Lynd who was born December 22, 2019. "We started this journey nearly three years after attending an LGBTQ+ family conference and we both decided surrogacy with a gestational carrier and donor egg best suited our family vision."
But the path wasn't easy for the dads-to-be as they experienced three miscarriages and had to find a second surrogate to continue their journey. "Despite the lows, Kolbi brought nothing but sunshine from the moment she arrived!"
Tyler is a fighter pilot in the Air Force and Kael is in Advertising and Marketing, and the new family of three currently live in Phoenix, Arizona. "Kolbi was born in Idaho, because at the time we began this journey the laws best suited our future family."
The past several years of the dads' relationship have been spent breaking down social barriers, not only from a military perspective but from within their social circles. "Holding Kolbi and being hit with pure joy and excitement of fatherhood made every blood, sweat, and tear along this road worth it. We couldn't be happier as a family and look forward too many special memories as a family."
Congratulations to dads Pete and Dave on finalizing the adoption of their son Leo!
It took UK couple Pete and Dave three years to become dads. "We were actually in a zoo when Dave said he wanted to start the process knowing it was something I wanted to do," said Pete. "We have had a lot of ups and downs with the social workers and other things causing delays, but it obviously all happened for a reason because if it didn't we wouldn't have Leo now."
They were first told no when they matched with Leo, but thankfully a week later they received a call and were told there had been a mistake and if they were still interested. "Derrr, yes!!!" they responded immediately. It was late October 2018, and they met him for the first time in December, and were officially matched in January 2019.
"We went to his foster carers every day for two weeks to learn his routine, and he came home on February 4, 2019, six days before Pete's birthday," shared Dave. "We had to wait for the [adoption] order to go through which took till December 6, 2019. But now he is ours for good and we couldn't be happier!"