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.

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Gabe is changing, from my little baby to a big boy, one Puff at a time, and it’s driving me crazy.
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My son has a best friend. She has been in his life since he was just five months old. She is with him every night at bedtime, she wakes him up every morning, she has traveled hundreds of miles in the air with him across the country, and she has been his cuddle buddy in Disney World. She’s comforted him during the arrival of his first tooth, she’s soothed him during his first fever, and she’s gotten more squeezes than I can count. Standing just over a foot tall, her name is Ellie, and she’s my son’s favorite stuffed animal.

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It’s a chilly evening here in Central Jersey, and Gabe has just finished 20 minutes in the bathtub. Over the shouts of an increasingly amphibious 11-month-old baby, we wrap him in a hooded towel and begin our familiar bedtime routine. Either Daddy or Papa will get him a fresh nighttime diaper and pick out a pair of pajamas. But before the pajamas go on, these two Dads have to help Gabe maintain the softest and sweetest-smelling skin that babies can have. It’s time for Johnson’s Bedtime baby lotion.

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At first, Gabe just wanted to flip them around the living room floor with his right hand. Then he started to pick them up. And then came the banging, the endless, eardrum-shattering, breath-shortening, stomach-churning banging. And now, I’m sitting on my couch watching my 11-month old son grab one, crawl across the room clutching it, and deposit it on the shelf of a Fisher-Price kitchen oven.

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When I was a baby, my mom would read to me, and it’s one of my strongest, most lovely memories of her. Reading is so important to our family, it helps us carry on the traditions of our own childhood, to ensure that our own stories are told, and allows us to playfully and eagerly take our son into magical worlds, faraway lands, and encourages him to dream and imagine. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly.
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“We’re with you, and you’re with us. We are bigger than bigotry, louder for love.”

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When my husband and I talked about starting a family, ample consideration was given to the political climate of the nation. We talked about the ever-changing marriage landscape, the many and varied adoption laws governing states, and the hearts and minds of neighbors across our beautiful Garden State. We feared that our child would be treated differently and disparately because of who his fathers were.

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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