Stephen and Kyle, together 16 years, have always wanted to be dads. The two met working at Burger King, and were married August 10, 2011.
They created their family through open adoption with the assistance of the Independent Adoption Center. Their daughter Alex was born August 17, 2016, at 8:29 a.m. The new dads brought their daughter home to New Paltz, New York, a few days later, on August 20.
On his experience of being a new dad, Stephen shared: "We wake up each day with the realization that we've been given a tremendous gift and responsibility in parenting. Love unconditionally and wholeheartedly!"
Stephen (left) and Kyle holding Alex
Stephen, 39, and Kyle, 35, are quick to admit that the first month left them sleep-deprived, but they soon learned a lot and became much more familiar with Alex’s needs and requirements.
"Looking back," said Stephen, "I think we were still in shock that we were all of a sudden parents and excited about the new challenge of waking up in the middle of the night. We craved those first moments for so long and now that they were here, we embraced all of it: late night feedings, the crazy inconsolable cries, the figuring-out-all-of-the-things-to-figure-out without any sense of it.”
Alex needed to be fed every three hours for the first month, and even though the dads had been warned of this by friends and family, they didn't quite comprehend what they were in for.
“I think we didn’t realize [...] this very simple basic parenting fact: Alex needs to eat every three hours! We laugh about it now how we were in such denial about that. Ha!"
Alex has proved to be very easy baby overall, with Stephen and Kyle's family both observing how well she eats and sleeps. She is now three months old, and sleeps for six to seven hours every night.
Both dads are lucky to be home from work at present, enjoying their family time with Alex. They know how lucky they are to have the ability to do this, and they also know how important it is. When they do head back to work, they will rely on nearby family and an excellent daycare at Stephen's work.
Stephen holding Alex
Gays With Kids: What has surprised you the most about fatherhood?
Stephen and Kyle: How fragile and amazing life is. Also how full of life babies are as newborns. It really puts everything into perspective. Alex is a totally amazing gift to us and we feel so incredibly privileged to parent our amazing girl who is so full of life.
Gays With Kids: Is there anything that hasn’t surprised you about fatherhood?
Stephen: Instant love and watching my husband parent her. It is just as I imagined. He is an amazing, caring and protective dad, just as I imagined.
Kyle holding Alex
Gays With Kids: As dads to a newborn, is there anything you could not live without?
Stephen and Kyle: Alex’s smile and kissing those amazing cheeks.
Gays With Kids: What have been some of your most precious moments as dads?
Stephen: Waking up to morning smiles (it happens EVERYDAY!) and when she is sleepy, she nuzzles her head right in my nook. :) And when she first laughed at daddy Kyle making funny noises. We have it on video! (asking for video)