Meet Chris and Eugene with their son Bridger from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Chris, 41, is an account executive with the largest business communications provider in Utah; Eugene, 32, is the lead bread artisan for one of our local gourmet grocery store chains. Chris and Eugene have been together for seven years. They share birthdays, February 26.
Their son Bridger, 7, attends a private kindergarten and has also been attending first grade in the afternoons as his teacher feels that he’s ahead in his learning. He became part of the family in October 2012.
On February 26 of this year they got married in Las Vegas! They decided to have a small intimate wedding since they had already lived together for seven years; they didn’t want a big production and would rather use the money toward their home and son. The dads already had a vacation to Las Vegas planned with some of their closest friends and family so they thought it would cool to get married on their birthday. As Las Vegas really isn’t a place for kids and Bridger is still so young they decided to not have him attend the wedding. He stayed back with Chris’ parents with whom he is very close.
Gays With Kids: We love a good love story. How did you two meet?
Chris: On Halloween at a club seven years ago. I was in full zombie makeup and he couldn’t even see what I looked like! I spotted him first at a gas station on the way to a local gay club and then to my surprise he ended up at the club. I approached him and there was an instant connection even though he couldn't see my face due to me being in a zombie costume with my face covered with makeup. We sat on the patio all evening just talking and I found out then that he had only been in the country for a month. He was here on a work and travel visa from Russia. We also found out that we shared a birthday and many interests and goals. We set a date for the next day! From then on we kept dating. He was moved in by Christmas and we’ve been together ever since.
Gays With Kids: How did you create your family?
Chris: Adoption. Our lesbian friends who are also parents knew we wanted a child so when they learned of this child who is related to one of them needing a stable home they immediately reached out to us. We had discussed having children but at the time never thought it was possible for us due to the adoption laws here in Utah but one day we learned of a little boy through our lesbian friends whose mother was planning to give him up to the state. Our friend who was related to this little boy by marriage asked if the mother would consider allowing Eugene and me to adopt him and she said yes. We met with the mother and she said she felt for some reason that we were supposed to have him; she wasn’t in a position to take care of him. So we found a lawyer to help us and tracked down the birth father and everything just fell into place. We got custody right away and within six months the adoption was final. We also feel it was meant to be and an amazing blessing.
Gays With Kids: What do you consider to be the most important lesson you are teaching your child?
Chris: To respect the difference of all people.
Gays With Kids: Please share any advice you may have for others considering a similar path to fatherhood.
Chris: Have patience and faith and everything will work our just fine.
Gays With Kids: Did you always want kids?
Gays With Kids: What names does Bridger call you and your husband?
Chris: Chris is Daddy, Eugene is Papa.
Gays With Kids: Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family?
Chris: Since ours was an adoption of a 2-year-old who had been neglected, the biggest bit of advice would be to tell other fathers who have adopted is to just have patience. It’s very tough to adjust at first but every day it gets easier and before you know it that bond has formed and you become a real family. All of the hard parts are well worth it and so rewarding.