Gay Dad Life

Meet Gay Dads Josh and Joey aka the Property Gays

Within an hour of meeting one another and chatting, two young men realized they shared a dream: becoming dads one day. During the next three years, they worked hard to realize that dream, earning and saving enough money to afford the expensive adoption fees. How did they do this? They flipped houses! Meet the gay dads who call themselves the Property Gays.


A Novel Way to Save

Josh was a credit strategist and Joey was working at Carvana when they met on a gay dating app in July 2013. They started messaging each other; then they began speaking on the phone. On their first date, two days later, it was a kiss that sealed the deal – one that Joey describes as "something straight from a movie." Everything happened in quick succession after that kiss: They professed their love for one another, exchanged keys to their apartments and within months they even made wedding plans. August 30, 2017 will be their third wedding anniversary!

For Josh, 32, and Joey, 31, becoming dads was the next obvious step, and they already knew that they wanted to pursue adoption. Now they needed to make sure they had saved enough money to cover the adoption fees. They began the adoption process in May 2015, just after they sold their first home to help raise capital.

Kitchen renovation in one of Josh and Joey's projects, before and after

Despite neither of the dads-to-be having much experience of renovating prior to 2015, both had a passion for interior design. Josh is also a licensed real estate agent (since 2010), so he'd had quite a bit of experience in the field from working with clients. Over the next two years, it became a secondary business for them as they honed their skills; Josh initially was more the designer and finder of the homes, but now Joey began to take on that role as well.

In the past 18 months, they have purchased, renovated and sold three homes!

People often say that flipping houses is very a stressful pastime. So, how did a newlywed couple handle the stress of buying, renovating and selling, AND the adoption process?

Living and dining room renovation in one of Josh and Joey's projects, before and after

"Alcohol. Kidding, not really," shared Joey. "We definitely have had our moments of pure frustration and anger but we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. It allowed us to make a significant amount of money in a short period of time to afford the big chunk of money we have to put down towards adoption costs."

They knew that their hard work would pay off and get them closer to their dream of having a family.

On the Road to Adoption

Soon they signed with LifeLong Adoptions in California, an agency specializing in LGBT adoptions. The agency connected them with a birth mother not long afterwards, but despite their best efforts the adoption didn't happen. Ultimately, the mother decided to keep her child. It was a difficult time for Joey and Josh, because despite the agency's warnings, they had already grown very attached.

Joey (left) and Josh with Myles

But things seemed to work themselves out, eventually. In February 2016, they were matched again, to a birth mom in Alabama. The next three months were frantic as the dads-to-be were moving into their next home, and trying to build a relationship with the birth mom, Ashley*, who was on methadone and required daily trips to the clinic. In order to prevent unnecessary stress to the birth mother and the baby, the aspiring dads paid for all those trips. For a while, the birth mom's boyfriend claimed to be the baby daddy and tried to extort Josh and Joey for more money. That paternity claim, thankfully, was false, and so the problem vanished, although it nearly came to a breaking point when Joey and Josh wondered whether to continue this journey with this birth mom.

It was Ashley who knew that her child was going to have a better life with Joey and Josh, and for that reason she never wavered from her decision for them to adopt.

Daughter Myles was born five and half weeks early, on May 25, 2016, after a death scare. Ashley's placenta erupted and Myles was born 32 minutes later by an emergency c-section – Ashley and her unborn baby almost died! Fortunately, Ashley and Myles recovered quickly. And there was more good news: Myles showed no typical methadone withdrawal or side effects. When Myles was born, Joey decided to become a full-time dad. The adoption was finalized September 2016.

Despite being close with Ashley during the last four months of the pregnancy, Joey and Josh have lost contact her recently. They know she is going through a difficult time and are ready to reestablish a relationship with her when she's ready. Ashley has entered rehab and has been struggling since October. Josh and Joey wish her the best. They remain close with Ashley's sister who is currently caring for two of Myles' brothers and they are thriving under her care.

Ready for More Kids?

Today the gay dads are in their fourth house, and might be in their fifth house come spring. They have also taken steps to adopt again. This time they're using Adoption Information Services, an agency closer to their home in Atlanta, Georgia. Although they recommend LifeLong Adoptions, both Josh and Joey wanted to try an agency close enough to make face-to-face conversations possible. Moreover, this agency acts more as a third party to help alleviate some of the more difficult steps of the adoption, such as the revocation period. For Myles' adoption, there were five very stressful days when Ashley could have changed her mind about the adoption. Now, their new agency works only in states where the revocation period is 48 hours.

"We do want more children," said Joey. "I think four would be an ideal number, but we are taking a break after two. In the future we would like to try surrogacy, but if that is not an option, we will definitely adopt again."

Bathroom renovation in one of Josh and Joey's projects, before and after

From their very successful side project of flipping homes, they have been able to fund one adoption and have started their second. The dads admit the drawbacks of flipping homes is definitely the stress of moving and packing, but both agree that nothing beat renovating a home and then living in it. Sure, there have been times that they just had to walk away from one another. Moving everything you own to a new house is hard. They also have three dogs, five fish and a baby. Sometimes moving becomes even more challenging when the new house doesn't have a functioning kitchen yet! However, the happy ending to their emotional roller coaster of an adoption journey makes every low bearable and every high more incredible.

Josh and Joey are so proud and excited to be Myles' Dada and Daddy first, and the Property Gays second.

*Ashley is not the birth mother's real name.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

Gay Dad Creates a New Kind of LGBT Children's Book

Titled, "What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" the book differentiates itself from most other LGBT picture books. Namely, the story doesn't explain, clarify or justify its gay characters (who are dads). The characters are just a natural part of the story - the new normal.

Gay dad Mark Loewen's children's book debut made a splash in the children's LGBT literature pool this year.

Titled, "What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" the book differentiates itself from most other LGBT picture books. Namely, the story doesn't explain, clarify or justify its gay characters (who are dads). The characters are just a natural part of the story - the new normal.

"What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" is the story of Chloe, a girl who loves princesses. As she sets out to craft an imaginary princess out of paper, yarn, and colored pencils, she becomes disillusioned with the importance of beauty. Chloe realizes that the power of a princess is not in how she looks to others, but in the change she can affect around her. More than looks, her princess values knowledge, bravery, strength, assertiveness, and kindness.

"In a way, Chloe's experience is the LGBT experience," explains Loewen, "but I didn't realize this until after I finished the book. I grew up very concerned about how others saw me. Then I found my own happiness when I learned to look past other's opinions of me, and appreciate who and how I was."

Another key element of the message in this book comes at the end of the story. Chloe's dads help her realize what a princess is not: perfect. "Being OK with being imperfect has been one the most freeing lessons I've learned. And I want my daughter to get this message early on. We should aim to be the best we can, but if we aim to be perfect, we'll surely fail."

Loewen's book tour started in Provincetown, MA, during Family Week, a weeklong gathering of LGBT families, organized by Family Equality Council and Colage. "I can't describe what it feels like when I read my book to children who have LGBT parents, and when I turn to the page that shows Chloe dancing with her two dads. Their eyes sparkle with excitement as they see themselves in the story," Loewen describes.

Loewen's book was named one of 20 LGBT Books for Preschoolers to High School Kids in a post by the parenting site scareymommy.com. It was included in the online review magazine, Children's Bookwatch. Midwest Book Review described the book as, "A unique, entertaining, and iconoclastic picture story from beginning to end."

Bestselling author Rachel Simmons (The Curse of the Good Girl) praised "What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" for "helping girls expand their definition of what a princess can truly be." Katherine Wintsch, founder of The Mom Complex, endorsed the book for delivering "the right message at the right time for the next generation of brave young women." The librarian ran website, www.bendybookworm.com, described the book as "the beginning of a new Manifesto of Beauty for young girls."

Finally, www.mombian.com, a website for lesbian mothers, speaks to the LGBT aspect of Loewen's book. "I love that this is an LGBTQ-inclusive children's book with a message, but that the message isn't about LGBTQ identity. Not that that's not an important topic—but we LGBTQ parents and our children have multifaceted identities, and sometimes we want books that speak to other parts of us, while still showing families that look like ours."

Giving visibility to families with two dads is also Loewen's goal, and why he shares many of his family's experiences on Instagram and Facebook.

For more information about Mark Loewen and his upcoming projects visit his website. Mark is also the founder of www.bravelikeagirl.com, a website that helps parents who are raising girls.

"What Does a Princess Really Look Like?" is available on Amazon, or anywhere books are sold.

Expert Advice

How to Get Your Little Ones to Eat (and Enjoy!) Their Vegetables

Meet David and Danny fathers and founders of Kekoa Foods sharing some tips on how to keep your little ones eating their healthy vegetables during the hecticness of the holidays.


Watch:

Tip Number 1 – Try to prepare your own meals with fresh ingredients. Doing so gives you better control over the amount of sugar, sodium and cholesterol you and your family consume.

Tip Number 2 – Experiment in your kitchen with herbs and spices you haven't used before. Some items we've added in recent years include cumin, tarragon, curry, turmeric and ginger. Start slowly, though, you can always add more next time.

Tip Number 3 – Use veggies instead of pasta to get more veggies in your diet. We like spaghetti squash, zucchini and beets for this purpose and toss them with our favorite sauce.

Tip Number 4 – Instead of adding cream to veggie dishes to get your kids to eat them, sprinkle them with just a touch of parmesan cheese and add fresh lemon juice. It enhances flavor without adding a significant amount of cholesterol or fat.

Sponsored

A 'Men Having Babies' Conference Started These Happy New Dads on Their Path to Parenthood

In the Bay Area? Sign up now for the next Men Having Babies Conference taking place this January 12-13!

Last year, after 12 years together, Jimmy Nguyen and Michael Duque were finally ready to become dads. And so in 2017 they began their journey to fatherhood. Little did they know how quickly that would become a reality. What began with a serendipitous sighting of an ad for an upcoming Men Having Babies conference resulted in the joyous birth of their son in October 2018. Here's their story.

Keep reading... Show less
Fun

Check Out this Amazing Xmas Tree Cake Recipe By the Dad Behind "Preppy Kitchen"

We're thrilled to be working with John Kanell, the gay dad behind the popular "Preppy Kitchen" account, to bring you some amazing holiday recipes! First up: learn how to "paint with buttercream" in this incredible Christmas Tree Cake recipe

My husband and I love entertaining during the holidays, and a great cake is often the focal point for our gatherings. For this Christmas Tree Cake, I made a spicy gingerbread batter for the layers and piped a two-tone swirl of Italian meringue buttercream in between each layer. The red batch is spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and cloves, while the white part is a mellow vanilla flavor. For those who don't know, Italian meringue buttercream is creamy, less sweet than your average frosting and PERFECT for cake decorating as it's quite smooth. I "painted" the tree on with a pallet knife and dusted it with confectioner's sugar for a snowy effect. My twin boys were mesmerized by the process as they watched from their highchairs. Maybe next year they'll be able to help out!


Keep reading... Show less
Surrogacy for Gay Men

Understanding the Legal Process of Gay Surrogacy

Next up on the Daddy Squared podcast! Yan and Alex talk with a fertility lawyer, Richard Vaughn, about the legal elements of the IVF process

When thinking about having kids via surrogacy, the legal part is just as important as the IVF process itself. Making sure that the agreements with the surrogate and the egg donor are set up properly is a solid base for the whole process itself. And then there are issues like legal guardianship and birth certificates that are also crucial for finishing the process with babies that are completely, legally yours. We turned to Fertility Lawyer and gay dad Richard Vaughn of International Fertility Law Group, to set the record straight about the legal steps that must be taken when having babies through IVF.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

Rebel Dad: 1st Gay Canadian to Adopt Internationally Writes New Memoir

David McKinstry set a legal precedent in 1997. A few years later, with his second husband, Michael, he did so again when they became the first gay Canadian couple to co-adopt children.

Excerpt #1 – From Chapter 1: The Search (1793 Words)

As the first openly gay Canadian man approved to adopt internationally, David McKinstry set a legal precedent in 1997. A few years later, with his second husband, Michael, he did so again when they became the first gay Canadian couple to co-adopt children.

The following is an excerpt from the first chapter of his new book Rebel Dad: Triumphing Over Bureaucracy to Adopt to Orphans Born Worlds Apart. Here, it's 1998 and David finds himself in India. While in India, David visits several orphanages with his guide, Vinod, on his quest to adopt. With Indian adoption officials being extremely homophobic at the time, David could not reveal that he was a gay man.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

Are You a Bisexual Dad? Gays With Kids Wants to Tell Your Story!

After a recent reader pointed out our lack of stories featuring bi men, we're reaching out to try to increase exposure for the bi dad community!

Recently, Gays With Kids received the following message via one of our social media channels:

"Hey guys, love what you do. But where are your stories about bi men who are dads? Do they not exist? I get the sense from your page that most queer dads identify as gay. I identify as bi (or pansexual) and want to become a dad one day, but just never see my story represented. Are they just not out there?"

We can say with resounding certainly that YES bisexual dads absolutely exist. In fact, of all the letters in our acronym, far more LGBTQ parents fall into the "b" category than any other.

But our reader is certainly right in one respect--we don't hear the stories of bisexual/pansexual dads told nearly often enough. While we occasionally find stories to tell about bi dads, like this great one from earlier this year from a dad who just came out, we otherwise aren't often finding stories of bi dads nearly as easy as we do gay dads. We're sure this is due to any number of reasons--societal pressure to stay closeted from both the straight and LGBTQ communities along with erasure of bisexuality both come to mind.

But it's also because we haven't done the best job reaching out specifically to the bi dad community! We hope to change that. So if you are a bi man who is a father (or wants to become a father) and in a relationship with a man OR woman (or are single!) we want to hear from you! Click here so we can help tell your story and increase exposure for the bi dad community, or drop us a line at dads@gayswithkids.com!

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

FOLLOW OUR FAMILIES

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse