Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life changes in 10 years...and a moment.

So it has been a while since I have posted. Well a lot has happened in these last few months! It seems like a lifetime since I have eaten a good primal meal and it seems like a long time since I have done exercise. I am trying I am trying but it is hard when your life changes suddenly. It seems like one day you are taking a vacation and living it up with your good friends in Kentucky and the next min poof! You are holding a one month old baby. That is what happened to us! We have been planning adoption and waiting for the last few years and we were at the point of waiting and then we got the phone call! This post isn't about that though I have a blog devoted to the adoption here. This post is about how life changes and what to do when you don't have 9 months or even 1 month to prep for a baby. We are a gay couple, seriously, gay gay gay. You know what though we live our lives everyday we cook our meals, stimulate the economy, we bought a house, two cars, etc. We take exotic vacations to places like Owensboro, KY and eat the local cuisine (burgoo stew...and KY BBQ.). We hang with the locals and pay our taxes. The biggest difference between my relationship and one of what the government considers "real" are all the extra hoops I need to jump through. The thousand or so tax break that I don't get because my husband is a man and not a woman. The countless background checks we need to get to make sure we will be good parents and then someone tells me how many children I can have. Sounds good right? Not so much. Sometimes I feel normal, sometimes I feel second-class. I am a gay father now and when I walk around the mall with stroller I get some looks, but usually the old woman saying how cute my baby is. They look at him and wonder where is the mom, and why is this darker skinned child with this pasty white dude: assumption: mom is working, shopping, and darker skinned. One of those is correct, but I digress. About 20 years ago I imagined myself as a father at some point having a kid or three and giving them the things I had and giving them things I didn't have. I was 12 I imagined what life would be like and it involved a kid. About 15 years ago I was imagining the same thing except this time I was trying to imagine myself not in Maine, or at least living in a bigger city using public transport and shopping with my spouse and kids, going to events and what not. I had come to terms with the fact I was gay so I wasn't going to be able to get married and I would either have to convince a girl friend to have a baby for me or I would have had to adopt. Either way I wanted a kid. When I came out to myself it was hard and when I came out to my family it wasn't so hard. A few people in my life had paved the way so I knew it wouldn't be terrible, but how was I going to have a kid? As the years went on it became harder to see my future, I heard lots of negative talk about being gay and hated it. I never came out at my jobs because it didn't know how people would react. I would usually gauge the environment and then slowly drop hints and then come out. About 10 or so years ago I was participating in AmeriCorps, doing my civic duty and as part of the program our way cool program director decided to bring in a guy to do an excersise with us about our future. At this point I was screwed...I had been in the hospital a few times, transferred colleges a few times and was having a hard time in life. How was I to know what I wanted in 10 years? It was a tough excersise but I worked through it. The excersise was called Personal Catalyst or PCat. We basically had to list a few things we wanted to accomplish and then think about a time line within the next 10 years we wanted to accomplish them. Looking at the list we then had to rank from easiest to hardest. We also had to write a personal statement for our 10 year selves. Well I am glad to say with the exception of part of the last one, I have accomplished everything on my list!my personal statement went something like this (paraphrasing but I had it in my hands a year ago) I'm living in my 3 bedroom 2 bath house in a smallish city. I am legally married to my spouse and we have 2 dogs, a cat and 2.5 children. Our house has a white picked fence and walk in closets. I have an advanced degree and am working on the next step of my education. I am a teacher and have been for a few years. In our back yard we have a garden and I have learned how to pickle and preserve my own veggies. Looking at this statement I always thought it was the American dream, own a house, live in the suburbs, have some kids and some pets...walk in know the things we had as kids. How was I to know I would get everything I wanted...well almost everything. I mean I was 21, 22 years old! Well I made a plan and had 10 years to complete it. I took baby steps toward my end goal and saw them take shape. My smallest goal was to buy a farmers almanac to learn more about planting and the seasons. Since then I have planted three gardens and they have all thrived, they were small gardens but thrived none the less. Another goal was to learn to can my own veggies, check! The ultimate goal was to have the house and the kids. Which I am glad to say two years ago I bought a house and this year I adopted a child! I guess the whole point was even with all the hurdles and obstacles that I encountered in life I achieved the goals I wanted to and I am a better person for it. I received my advanced degree and hopefully in the next few years will be working toward my next phase of schooling and get a more advanced degree. I am legally married in CT, and we are working on getting that DOMA defeated so that Jeremy and I can take advantage of the thousands of tax breaks and what not that hetero married couples enjoy. Let's hope this happens in the next few years!