Meet Gay Dads: Scott & Mike

Scott and Mike have been together since 2009 when a mutual friend invited them both to play tennis. "The rest was history," they say. Scott works as a design director for a jewelry company, and Mike as a travel agent. Together, they adopted their son, Taylor, who was born in February, 2017. We caught up with the new dads to see how fatherhood was treating them.

Why did you decide on your particular path to parenthood? Did you consider other options? One of first conversations after dating was about having children. I have wanted children since the earliest moments I can remember. Mike had always wanted children as well, however he had a strained relationship with his family, which added nervousness to the process. Flash forward years later and we are thinking about adoption at the same time we were thinking about getting married. The Supreme Court passed the legalization of marriage for same sex couples and we got our marriage license that day. After careful consideration about going all out on an over the top tennis themed wedding or saving money for adoption – we chose adoption.

What obstacles did you face in your path to parenthood if any? After a lot of research, we chose to work with an adoption facilitator out of Chicago. In 2015, we paid for a two year contract, made our profile and got home study approved. It seemed like it was going to happen sooner rather than later. After only 3 months online we had been selected by a birthmother in Missouri. We found out she was pregnant with a baby girl and expecting in only a few months. Obviously we were excited and did everything that people gave us advice not to. The nursery was done up in pink and we splurged on all the cutest baby clothes. Our relationship with the birthmother was fairly rocky from the start and communication was often at a minimum. We made ourselves believe that she needed her time and things would turn around. Overlooking all of the warning signs, we moved forward. Almost two weeks before her due date, she dropped all contact with us. We were heartbroken. It was the lowest time in our 7-year relationship. We closed the door to the nursery to not see what could have been and moved on. We concentrated on work, and enjoying each other. It's times like this that I am so happy that we had each other to lean on. The waiting and the not knowing was the hardest part of the adoption process.

How hard was it to keep your dream of becoming dads alive after that setback?We concentrated on work, and enjoying each other. It's times like this that I am so happy that we had each other to lean on. The waiting and the not knowing was the hardest part of the adoption process. But flash forward about 6 months and we were sitting watching one of the trashy reality shows that we had on for background noise and Mike said to me “if we have a boy, can we give him the middle name Ben?” I was touched. Ben was the name of my best friend who died during my childhood. The next morning we woke up and we got the call. A birthmother in Tennessee had selected us and was pregnant with a boy! We heard right before the holidays of 2016. It was hard not to tell everyone again, but this time we kept the secret from most people. We were due in February and this time were able to develop a loving and open relationship with our birth mom. We drove from RI to Tennessee two days before the due date to be ready. On February 10th we got the call that we were in labor. We got to spend 30 hours with our birth mom in her hospital room getting to know each other and hearing all of her dreams for “our” son! It was something that I will cherish and we were so happy that we were able to be there. Taylor Benjamin was born on February 12 by C-Section and we welcomed him into our lives 5 minutes later. The first 2 weeks were exciting, exhausting and stressful, being in and out of the hospital and waiting for clearance to leave the state in our hotel, but it provided an amazing time to bond with our new addition and one we would never give up.

How has your life changed since you became fathers?  We have tried our best to keep our lives as close to the way they were before. We feel that integrating our son into our lives would be easier than the opposite. Besides not being able to play tennis 7 days a week, our daily lives have not changed now that we have a child. Our lives have just become more enriched. Waking up and knowing that you are responsible for another human being is what is the most amazing thing. We are told every day that people cannot believe how relaxed we are with Taylor and how relaxed he seems. We get told that is because we didn't drastically change what we were doing before.

What have you learned from your child since you became a dad? We have learned patience for sure. But we both never knew that you could unconditionally love someone as much as a baby. We have learned to lean and listen to each other more than before as well. Mike has a flawed relationship with his family, so having a child has started to heal that pain.

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