TNF: Tell me about your family.
Ben: We are three fun loving and down to earth gentlemen. Nick and I have been together since 2005. Our son Sawyer was born via adoption in January of 2013. He is the best thing that has ever happened to us and we thank God every day for the gift that his birth parents gave us. The three of us are currently planning Nick and my wedding which is set for August of 2014.
TNF: How did you meet your husband?
Ben: Nick and I met eight and a half years ago through mutual friends in our hometown. We were both hesitant at first, especially Nick because he had just publicly come out and I was the first person he dated. It was definitely love at first sight. We actually told one another that we loved each other after only dating for two weeks. Nick then transferred colleges to be closer to me. We began to live with one another after a year of dating and bought our first house while still in college less than three years later. Nick and I have always been a fast paced couple. When we set our minds on something we go for it. It may take us awhile to make our minds up, but then we do not stop until we achieve our goals. That is something we would like to instill in our son Sawyer: never stop until you reach your goals.
TNF: Do you feel different from other families? If so, how so?
Ben: We feel very similar and different to families in many ways. No family is the exact same to any other family. In a sense we are all different. However, that being said, we worry about Sawyer just like every other parent, we feed him, bathe him, teach him things and are proud of his every accomplishment. However, our journey to parenthood may be different than the average ‘typical’ family. As every adoptive parent knows, the adoption process is hard and stressful, but the end result is indescribable. I love my family and would not ask to be in a different family.
TNF: Where do you live and is it tough being a gay couple where you live?
Ben: We currently live in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. Compared to other places that I have either lived, been to, or read about, being a gay couple and family is acceptable and we are treated nicely. We do not fear going places or the idea that we could be physically harmed for who we are. However, that is not to say that we feel as though we are treated equally. A lot of people will ask us who the “mother” is or who the “man” of the relationship is. In addition, we choose not to show public displays of affection of any sort, including holding hands, because you simply do not see that from same sex couples where we live. We are happy with how we are treated for the most part, but there is still a long way to go before we feel we can be truly accepted and ourselves out in public.
TNF: What has having a family meant to you?
Ben: Having a family is everything to us. Since Nick and I began dating 8 ½ years ago all we have ever talked about is starting a family together. We would sit on our couch and dream about what being a parent would be like. It is everything we dreamed and more. Nick and I were born to be Sawyer’s parents; I truly believe that. I wake up everyday thankful for my family. To all those couples or individuals out there wanting and wishing to have a family it can come true, you just have to work for it and be patient. The end result is worth every struggle, tear and doubt.
Thank you Ben and Nick for sharing your story with us. Congratulations on your engagement!