Gay Dad Life

Remembering Forever - An Adoption Tale

Hi there, faithful friends and family. It has been a year since we walked out of that courtroom, a forever family. I had stupid hair, my husband had an amazing smile, and we exited the courthouse with our son like a scene from an action movie, flanked in slow-motion by those closest to us, a living testament to hard work, love, and support.


It has been the most unbelievable year, and as we wake up on the one-year anniversary of the legal affirmation of our family's place in the world, the finalization of our son's adoption, waiting for our increasingly less-tiny blond boy to greet his day, it's difficult to understate the importance of the day.

A year ago, we woke up and gave Gabe his morning bottle. Today, it'll be french toast sticks, fresh-cut strawberries, and turkey sausage. He will tell us when he is all done, he'll hold a napkin and wipe his mouth, his cheeks, and his hands. He'll want to clean his tray with a wipe. He'll tell us that he is ready to get out of his high-chair, the same chair in which my husband was fed as a baby. And then he'll walk away.

A year ago, we carried Gabe out of the house, a family of two and a half, en route to the courthouse. Today, three of us will walk out of the house, six strong legs on our way to the zoo, where Gabe will make choices about which animals he'd like to see, where he'll decide how much time he'd like to spend at each exhibit. We will watch him pick, and choose.

A year ago, we stood in front of our friends and family, and pledged to protect Gabe. We swore it in front of everyone who would listen. Today, we swear it again, in the way we'll swing Gabe while he holds our hands, just to hear him laugh. We'll swear it when he says "Go!" while sitting on our shoulders, before we take off running, our son bouncing with every step.

Because "forever" means something more to our family now. It isn't just a promise of what's to come in the future, of what will someday be. Finalizing the adoption of our son has created a permanent unit that is legally indistinguishable from any other family. It has made us real, valid, counted.

But look, while it's easy to take note of how lucky we are to be parents, it's also impossible to exclude from consideration the very real ways our world has changed over the course of the last year.

Waking up now is different than it was a year ago. Last year, it was mildly entertaining to read the bombastic headlines of a presidential campaign. Now, I'd say the headlines are a little less, well, humorous. In the time between the flutter of my eyelids and Gabe saying "Da-deeeee, Da-deeeee" these days, I reach for my cell phone, fearing what may have happened overnight, or waiting for a seemingly endless array of shoes to continue dropping.

Last year felt a bit more free. Now, we are vigilant, reminded that our family is one executive order away from being less equal, from having all that we've earned through hard work and determination and grit and sheer force of will, taken. We are not trans, but we've seen our trans friends targeted. We are not Muslim, but we've seen our Muslim friends pushed aside and marginalized. We are not immigrants or refugees, but our hearts ache for those who are. Because today, it is not us. Tomorrow? We rise daily with bated breath and anxiety, hoping to just maintain what we've achieved.

There's a scene in HBO's "Big Little Lies", where Shailene Woodley's character is running along the beaches of Monterrey. She is exhausted, both chasing after and being chased by her own demons. She can run no further, and at the place where the sea kisses the sand, all that is left for her to do is to scream.

We have reached the beach.

Last year, we saw the first woman nominated to represent a major political party, talking about families like mine, pledging that she would fight for us, with us, alongside us. This year? We have a President who calls the White House "a real dump," denies election meddling, incites and encourages police brutality, cyber-bullies his own Cabinet members, burns through senior staff like Gabe burns through diapers, and shies away from any opportunity to positively impact anyone other than his political base.

I have to teach my son consequences in a climate where it feels like they don't exist.

It is a very complicated time to be a father. I don't sleep well.

Navigating the road of first-time parenthood presents its own challenges and learning curve. The road, now? It's like driving a car in a falling rock zone, in full fog with my high beams on, waiting for a deer to jump in front of me.

A year ago, we crossed a bridge to forever. Today, we remember what we earned by remembering why we fight. We fought for equality because we didn't have it. Now we fight because we have it, and we aren't yielding it back.

So today, August 4, we remember the smart men who've come before us who remind us still that a dream is a wish your heart makes. We have dreamed that dream, we have wished on stars, and we have made it happen. And we recommit, as smart men, to fight for our son and our family with every breath, through the tumult and chaos of an uncertain future. To protect and defend, yes. Our family is forever. And we aren't going back.

Today is a big day for Gabe. But so is tomorrow.

Keep walking with us.

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Gay Uncles

Gay Uncles are an Essential Part of This Gay Dad Family's Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and this village includes many gay uncles

In November last year, Ottawa-based husbands Matt Ottaviani and Rej Gareau (whose story we shared in July) became first-time dads through surrogacy. They were overjoyed to welcome their daughter Andy and become a family of three.

But as many of us know, raising a child isn't always just about the nuclear family. The African proverb "it takes a village to raise a child" is a commonly repeated phrase, and rings very true for many families. Matt and Rej are no different, and when they shared their story last month, one thing jumped out to us: the important role Andy's guncles play in her and her dads' lives.

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Instagram @davidcblacker

We moved from New York to Boston the summer of 2017. Along with the Manhattan skyline, our beloved Broadway, and late-night cookie deliveries, we also left behind our sitters — two sisters who had become more like family.

After settling for several months into our new home and neighborhood, we realized we hadn't had a dads' night out since our move. Our kids were still too young to leave alone at night, so I began what I presumed would be the tedious task of finding a sitter.

The first thing I did was to leave a post on our local parents' Facebook group. The dad of one of our daughters' classmates told me about UrbanSitter, a website and mobile app that he'd had success using to find last-minute sitters a few times. He also mentioned that within the app, I could see see babysitters and nannies recommended by parents at our kids' school in addition to local parenting groups.

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"We are so excited about The Bravest Knight, its values and our partnership with Hulu," said Shabnam Rezaei, the director of the series and co-founder of Big Bad Boo Studios. "They understand how to push the envelope with authentic storytelling."

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"With so many wonderful stories yet to be told, we hope that The Bravest Knight stands as an example of the undeniable strength in inclusivity, and the inherent joy in all forms of love and identity," said Errico, the author of the original book.

The first 5 episodes were released on June 21, and there are 8 more planned for release before the end of the year. Be sure to tune in!

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DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

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"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

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Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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"In connection with the 'propaganda of non-traditional values,' the state representatives are accused of having neglected their duty of supervision," Andrei said, when asked to explain on what basis the Russian government might take his children into custody. "This means that lesbian couples could even have their biological children taken away because, through their lifestyle choices, they propagate "certain values."

Yevgeny also explained the events that led to the couple's harrowing escape "I was alone in Moscow at that time. A week after Andrei and the children had left the country, there was a knock on my door, but nobody called 'police, open up.' After half an hour the violent knocking stopped. My parents' home was searched. They were looking for the children and our Danish marriage certificate because we got married in Denmark in 2016. My friends then got me out of the country."

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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