This Couple Refused to Let Financial Restraints Keep Them From Becoming Dads
Their first date didn't go so well, but Alnardo and Anthony decided to give it another shot. Luckily they did, because it was on their second date that the sparks flew and they quickly became inseparable. That was 7 years ago. They married in December 2014. Alnardo, a dental assistant, and Anthony, a pharmacy technician, chose to create their family through adoption, and in May this year, they became dads.
Tell us about your path to parenthood. Our preferred method would have been surrogacy. Going through an agency would have cost thousands of dollars which we could not afford. We have a good friend who decided she wanted to give us the gift of a child and decided to try a in-home insemination kit we found online. A week later she was pregnant. Unfortunately she had a miscarriage at 5 weeks so we took a break from thinking about fatherhood for a year. After that we talked and thought that adoption would be the best thing for now and that we would revisit surrogacy later.
What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? We are both full-time employees and live a comfortable life but the cost to have a child is ridiculous for a gay couple. Agency costs, lawyer fees and home study are all things that while helpful and necessary create a great financial burden and itself is the biggest obstacle we had to overcome. It's hard to know that some people have kids and don't want them and we want kids and can't have them due to financial constraints. Fortunately we had a great support system and thanks to some donations were able to raise money for lawyer fees and home study.
How did your life change when you became a father? Before fatherhood we came and went as we pleased. We were constantly going out with friends and family, going on weekend trips and were totally spontaneous and really just went where the wind took us. After becoming fathers it's crazy how that fatherly instinct just immediately kicked in! We are more loving toward each other and suddenly things that would have gotten us angry before just don't seem to bother us now. Our communication has improved and overall having Preston in our lives have made our bond as husbands stronger.
What have you learned from your children since you became a dad? One thing that we have learned is that it is no longer about us anymore. Your priority now becomes about your children and they come first for everything. You must learn patience when they are crying and not able to tell you what is wrong.
Was there ever a moment that you or Anthony experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? The miscarriage we experienced definitely made us feel like maybe it was the universe telling us it wasn't meant to be. When we found out about the possibility of adopting a newborn I was immediately on board but I think Anthony had doubts. We only had two months to figure things out* and the way we found out was random and out the blue so we both weren't expecting the call we got. We had so many things we wanted to do before adopting and we had to sit down and have the conversation about is this really for us? Can we really do this and would the stresses of being a parent and the road to it break us apart? It wasn't an easy conversation but our faith in one another got us through it.
*Preston's birth mom is an old friend of Alnardo's and she approached him knowing he was looking to start a family. She was already 29 weeks pregnant and was unable to raise him on her own. Alnardo and Anthony had to rush to do the home study and find a lawyer.
Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? We have not had instances where we were treated differently. We get stares sometimes while out at a mall or supermarket but no one has dared say or do anything to make us feel any type of way.
If you did not always want kids, what happened to change your mind? I've always wanted kids. My husband didn't. He loved the idea of being a dad but couldn't picture himself raising children. His nieces and nephews are a big reason why he changed his mind. They are all so loving that it's slowly made him realize he would be a good dad.
Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? I see us in Florida living in a beautiful home with enough property for Preston to run around in. I see Preston being a great leader in school our love and respect for one another growing.
What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering pursuing your same path or parenthood? Being a father is hard work! You will never sleep and your world will be consumed by your kids but we wouldn't have it any other way. The love you feel from this little human is immense and we feel like you will never know any other love like it. Starting the process of adoption may seem like a lot and it is and sometimes it may be a bit invasive but don't give up on your dream and know that someone somewhere has the answers to any questions you may have all you have to do is reach out.