By Henry Amador
1. When are you going to tell him he’s adopted and how do you think he’ll take the news?
We’re not, we are planning on waiting until he is either eighteen or just senses that he’s different to SURPRISE him with the news. Adoption is not a bad word, we have used the term since he was born. Firstly we are two men, as soon as the birds and the bees fly into our home he might start to get an inkling but by the time that rolls around he will be very comfortable with the idea of how our family was created. I had an ex many moons ago whose mom got pregnant at a very young age, her parents sent her away to have the child so that no one would know. Her father was a very well respected hospital director in Paris so after the birth he had the child brought to his hospital where he and his wife so graciously adopted him as their own, get it, grandparents now the parents. The ex was raised in that home thinking his mother was his sister, he found out as an adult the real truth and now at the age of 57 still suffers from that lie. I know how lies and secrets can effect someone, I know how well he took the news. Our boy will never suffer that as the truth will always be spoken in this house. Another story, we just met a cute mom and her daughter at the park, they were there with a dotting grandmother and we all quickly became chummy, It was not long in the conversation that we came to find out that the little girl had been adopted. The sad part about this story is that whenever the grandma said the word adoption, she whispered it as if it were a four letter word. I understand that folks of certain generations just never spoke so freely of such things but today things are different. Adoption is a word that will never be whispered in our home and our son will never be ashamed of it.
So to answer the question, we essentially already have and so far, he’s doing quite well.
2. What will you say when he asks for his mommy?
Our son does not have a mommy, he has two daddies, or more specifically, a daddy and a papa. He does have a birth-mother and we are comfortable letting him know all about her when the time is right but at the moment our family is all that he knows and all that he needs. All children ask for daddies and mommies, they hear other kids refer to them and they read stories that contain all types of family structures so when, and if, he ever asks for one I’ll just remind him of who we are, what we have and how damn lucky we all are.
3. Your doing such a great job?
I love this one and it personally crawls right up under my skin, I know that its usually said with the best intentions but come on now, think about it. For example, we recently took our son to his three year visit at his pediatricians, a lovely person with admittedly no other two dad families in her practice. Our son is doing well, he’s growing and gaining weight and has an awesome vocabulary and can do all the things a three year old should and many that a three year old should not be doing, lord help us, he is a busy, busy boy. His pediatrician said as we were leaving, “you two are really doing a great job, good job guys!!” now what exactly does that mean? would she have praised a heterosexual couple the same way? would she have praised a biological mother for doing what parents are supposed to do? I think not, there is an implication there that dads don’t do certain things naturally as well and it’s doubly layered with gay dads where there is no mother figure in the scenario at all. You see a straight dad can do little harm with the kids because mom will be there soon to straighten up the mess or make sure the kids get a good meal in or are bathed properly, you know, cared for. But when gay dads succeed in raising their children they get that extra pat on the back and believe us, we don’t need it and certainly don’t want it, were just doing our job.
4. Do you ever want one that’s “really yours?”
He is ours, really ours and just because he is adopted should not give anyone the freedom to imply that it’s not that same as a biological child. This question gives you the “do not pass go and go directly to jail card,” immediately.
5. He seems so well adjusted.
Why wouldn’t he be? Folks have been inundated with this study or that study that says that children growing up with gay parents are lacking something. There was actually a study done that says that children of same sex parents are actually BETTER adjusted than their peers with opposite sex parents. Children need love, security and a family that will hold them close and up forever. Children that come into gay families are rarely accidents, they are almost always planned for and dreamed for and therefore well ahead of the game as compared to some of their counterparts. Sorry, I know that sounds harsh but it’s true.
6. But don’t you think he needs a mother and a father?
The traditional family is no longer the norm. according to the latest Pew Report less than 46% of children under the age of 18 live in a home with two married heterosexual parents in a first marriage.
So what does that mean? It means that families look very different today, step parents, grandparents, gay parents and single parents all raising children in their own, unique ways. So do I think he needs a mother and a father? No.
7. He’s so lucky that you gays (I mean guys) adopted him.
Oh he is one lucky kid, not because he was adopted, taken from a less than lovely situation and brought into your home, but simply because he was adopted by gay guys, (yes folks, we have indeed heard this) oh you know, we are all so well traveled. well versed, tidy and creative he will live in a Martha Sewart-esq fairyland (no pun intended). Well trust me, that’s not what all gay homes look like, we do not all have that expendable income you may have heard about. Many gay dads whipped through that double male income just to have kids and face it, when kids come into a house everything changes. The lalique was boxed up the day he started crawling and our house always looks like a hurricane hit it, seriously, always.
8. He looks so much like your husband, is he his?
My husband is a blond hair blue eyed cutie and I am the Hispanic one. Our adopted son is a trio of Mexican, Italian and a tad of Trinidadian thrown in for good measure, My husband often hears that our son look like me and is then asked if I am the father, perhaps they wonder if we used a surrogate and I was the donor, I don’t know but regardless, we are BOTH his dads and pointing out the difference or questioning who he may have come from is really not that cool. Remember number 6, families today are formed in countless different ways, so when in doubt, don’t blurt it out.