Gay Dad Life

A Visit to Disney World Convinced This Gay Couple to Become Dads

Michael and Matthew met 12 years ago in Warren, Ohio, the old fashioned way: in a bar. They were married June 17, 2015, and now live in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Initially, they did not want to become parents as they did not see a way for them both to be the dads legally in their state of Ohio, but a chance encounter at Disney World changed their minds. Here's what happened ...


Tell us about your path to parenthood. In January 2016 while in Disney World for a marathon weekend, we ran into a gay couple with a 4 month old daughter. It was the first time we had seen a gay couple with a child and it got us thinking. We ran into that couple another 6 or 7 times during that trip and we become good friends. Upon returning from Disney, we had some serious discussions and came to the conclusion that we both wanted to have a child. We contacted Adoption by Gentle Care and figured out next steps.

Elena with her Disney friends

Did you choose an open adoption with Elena? We have a semi-open adoption. We utilized Adoption by Gentlecare in Columbus Ohio for the adoption and they require that we write a letter to the birth mother with photos each month for the first year and then twice annually each year after. We have met Elena's mother, but we don't have a relationship with her at this point.

Matthew with Elena

Your family has an affinity for Disney! As a family, do you try to go to Disney World often? We love Disney and loved it prior to having Elena. We go three or four times per year. With Elena, it is seeing Disney through her eyes. Meeting characters, riding rides and just seeing the spectacles around Disney through her perspective is heartwarming. I will tell you, we went in July to meet up with Michael's mother just before we finalized and Elena has never slept better. That constant stimulation wore her out.

Matthew with Elena and Minnie Mouse

How have your lives changed since you've become dads? It has changed our lives completely. Before, we would get off of work and shop, watch tv, go out to eat and exercise. Now our lives consist of shopping for Elena and the things we need around the house, eating when we get an opportunity, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and going running with Elena in the stroller. You become less selfish when you have a child and you don't feel angry about it.

Michael and Matthew holding Elena

You and Michael had been together for almost 11 years before you became Elena's dads. How did you adjust to life as a family of three? The changing from just Michael and I to a family of three was interesting. It took us about two or three weeks to get our groove but it was been wonderful. We found a great home daycare for when we are working and we have our evenings and weekends figured. We have been very fortunate that she is an easy baby above all.

What have you learned from your children since you became a dad? A tremendous amount of patience. You realize quickly that everything is on Elena's schedule.

Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? You just have to be prepared for the questions. You will realize that strangers have no qualms about asking you also sorts of inappropriate questions. Our job is to figure out how to respond in a way that validates us and our daughter.

Michael and Elena

What would you say was your "aha" moment when you first realized that you were a dad? That came on January 20th when she was placed with us. We had only waited two months on the adoption list, so we were already shocked that we had a baby that quick. But on January 20th, We had done all this prep and worrying within the 72-hour window, then we get home, we were exhausted, excited and confused. All that build up in the 72-hour window and it was what do we do next? It dawned on us that our next move and then every move thereafter was going to be to raise ElenaWhat obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? Upon getting on the list, Elena came two months later. To get on the list, it took a great deal of hoops to jump through to compile everything needed to qualify for adoption in Ohio.

Where do you see your family 5-10 years in the future? Watching our daughter develop and figure out what her dreams are.


Show Comments ()
Sponsored

#DearFutureDads: Advice From New Gay Dads

Dove Men+Care recently shared their "New Dad Care Package" with a few new gay dad families, demonstrating their commitment to dads from the very start of the fatherhood journey

Gay Dad Life

How We Met Our Daughter's Birth Family

A gay dad talks about the first time he met his daughter's birth family

We had been in the adoption process for two years. Throughout the waiting period we dealt with a few ups-and-downs, including an emotional scammer. We just kept telling ourselves, One day we'll be parents. It WILL happen.

One regular Saturday we received a notification telling us that our adoption profile was marked as "favorite" by a prospective birthparent. Anyone could mark 100 profiles and then narrow it down, so it wasn't a huge deal. The past few times I felt somewhat rejected. We didn't make the cut… why? The feeling reminded me of dating apps. But, on this particular day I didn't worry.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

This Dream is For Real: Congrats to Gay Men Whose Family's Grew in May!

Wishing all of these gay dads a lifetime of happiness! Congrats to everyone in our community on their recent births and adoptions!

Wishing these growing families a lifetime of happiness! Congratulations to these gay men on their recent and expectant births, adoption finalizations and foster-adopt journeys, from all of us here at Gays With Kids!

Congratulations to dads Michael and Louie on finalizing the adoption of their son last year!

Gays With Kids might be a little late on congratulating dads Louie and Michael on becoming dads, but we're still so exciting for this family of three! This Californian family celebrated the adoption of Landon on August 18, 2017.

"We felt overwhelmed, like it wasn't really happening," said Michael as he described the day. "But once the judge let us know that it was finalized, it made us realize this is for real!"

"He's always been our son in our hearts from day one and was meant for us from the beginning, but now it was official on paper," said Louie.

Congrats to this family from Madera!

Next Page
Change the World

Don't Call My African American Son 'Aggressive'

When another parent referred to his son as "aggressive" in school, Will armed himself with facts and data to make sure that term appeared no where on his school's record.

There are a ton of words people have used to describe my son: handsome, funny, polite, and even a handful at times. To say that I was unprepared when I arrived at his daycare one Friday last year and was told that another parent had used the word "aggressive" to describe my son would be an understatement.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

This Pride, Let's Get Political

With the current state of the world, pride is taking on new meaning for this gay dad

Pride couldn't have come any sooner this year. I'm tired. Even Andy Cooper's husky dog blue eyes don't have the hypnotizing powers they once did. Our world is tough. The daily, constant threat of societal collapse has seen my usually Punky Brewster outlook turn horribly Debbie Downer. But I cannot wallow in this dystopia – it's not fair to myself and my family. So I sip a little (more than usual) wine, put on my newest Stitch Fix shoes, and declare to the world – it's time to get political!

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

The Family That Cooks Together Eats Together

Dads Brian and Ferd enjoy a delicious Gulliver's Pantry family meal with their kids.

Dad Ferd is a wonderful cook, just ask husband Brian or their three kids. Early on, Ferd found that the more involved his children are in the meal preparation, the more likely they are to eat it. So they often help out in the kitchen. While most meals are home-made, sometimes Ferd needs a break or there just isn't enough time to prepare a meal from scratch. That's why they love Gulliver's Pantry! It's affordable, at less than $4 per serving, their old-world style pasta is delicious, and their sweet tomato cream sauce is a hit with the kids!

**Use our code "gayswithkids" to try your first month for FREE!**

Gulliver's Pantry is delivering affordable and authentic traditional meals to your doorstep. Each Mediterranean three-course meal costs less than $4 per serving, and the granola costs less than a $1 per delicious plateful! Here's an opportunity for your family to prepare meals, cook together, and enjoy genuine ingredients from Italy, Spain and France, right in the comfort of your own home.

Try your first month for free and fall in love with these healthy meals for an affordable price.

Gay Dad Family Stories

A Gay Dad's Long Journey to Find Happiness

After being abandoned as a child, a gay man becomes a dad, finds love, and is welcomed back by his family

When Juan came out at the age of 15, his family responded in a horrible way: They disowned him and kicked him out of his home. He became homeless for a while, until a family in his neighborhood took him in. They were a family of eight - mom, dad and six kids - before Juan moved in, but they became his family and took care of him. As soon as he finished high school, Juan moved from Texas to Alaska, hoping to start his life anew.

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

6 Tips for a Fun, Family-Friendly and Fabulous Pride Experience!

A gay dad shares some of his newfound appreciation for gay pride after attending his first ever pride event

A couple of weeks ago I did something that I never thought I'd do.

I watched “Fox & Friends."

Come on, you know me better than that.

I attended my very first Pride event.

Keep reading... Show less

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