Last year I vowed to participate in the 2011 “Blogging For LGBT Families” that Mombian hosts. Despite a relatively new baby and WordPress being twitchy, I was able to post. It was a few days in the writing because the family keeps getting in the way of my blogging, a problem I wouldn’t trade for the world.
We just celebrated the third anniversary of Family Day here at the homestead. As you can imagine, Mother’s Day is a big celebration here, but Father’s Day is less inspiring. In 2008 we went through the first double second parent adoption our county had seen, when Margie adopted Grif and I adopted Maya in one fell swoop. It was a stressful process that included mountains of paperwork, a home visit from a social worker, months of waiting and a fairly large check to the lawyer. At the time the first two kids were born, we couldn’t have our partner’s name put on the birth certificate of the kid we birthed since they weren’t a man; to be clear, even if their was no genetic connection I could legally have put a male partner’s name on Grif’s birth certificate. My same-sex partner of 8 years? No.
We had a huge party after the court hearing that made us a legally bonded family.
The kids, in their rear-facing car seats, join in the festivities. I believe we were singing You Are My Sunshine.
(Maya, 4.5 yo, Truman, 5 days old. Forgive the face of fatigue – the sleeping portion of postpartum hadn’t started yet.)
The family had been firmly cemented long before kids. Children were always on my agenda, and Margie was swayed over to the exhausted side as she realized how well we could work together, and how we balanced each other. She nursed Maya alone for the first eight months until I gave birth to Griffin. I let Maya comfort-nurse with me for the last month of my pregnancy to help toughen up my equipment and encourage milk production; it worked, and my milk came in hours after birth. Since then, Margie and I have nursed interchangeably. I never realized how difficult and confining it can be to be the only one lactating; I am the only one making enough milk to support a newborn, and it is far more exhausting than fully sharing the job with your partner. The Bigs were pleased as punch to discover that I was over-producing again, and I’ve let them in on the action as much as I can. The baby has gone from the 50th to the 80th percentiles in four months, so there isn’t always a full belly’s worth of milk left over after he’s done eating.
It is a long day for my wife. She is joined by the Bigs in the wee hours of the morning for snuggling and nursing, creeps out to dress, feed the chickens and the dogs around 7:30 and then is off to work. Her job is demanding and she is usually home just in time for bed at 7pm; she has taken over book reading & dental hygiene with the Bigs since the baby has been born, and she gets them settled upstairs while I play with the little one downstairs. Evenings are his time for talking, and we have long conversations he and I. I let him lead the call and response, and he has me cracking up as I try to replicate the sounds he makes. Then his beloved Mama appears, and he gets some cuddling from her as she rests, finally.
Almost every morning finds these three in bed together. When we have guests in the spare room, they crowd into the extra twin bed that is in our room. None of them seem to mind much, and my view is quite charming.
Keep loving, and keep voting for the greater good!