My family had the honor of joining President Obama for lunch in the State Dining Room at The White House June 14, 2013 for a Father’s Day Celebration. To say that we were excited would be an understatement. My husband Jeff and I have spent the last seventeen years working hard building our life together. We live in a small town in South Carolina, where we have a very small LGBT community and even fewer LGBT parents. We spent years trying to become fathers before we finally welcomed our daughter Carrigan into the world in 2006. Our dream of becoming fathers came true for a second time when we welcomed our son Braxton just two months ago. The privilege of being parents was enough for us but to have that recognized by The President of The United States in The White House during Father’s Day was over the top! Jeff and I wrote a poem and stenciled it in our daughter’s room before she was born. The poem reads, “Your daddies had a dream, and along came you...you are living proof, our fairytale came true.” We never imagined our reality would be so much better than any fairytale we could have dreamed.
It should come as no surprise that the Supreme Court did not issue rulings this week on two critical gay rights cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor. According to the bible for Supreme Court junkies, SCOTUS Blog, landmark decisions require greater deliberation and tend to come out during the final day(s) of the court's session -- which this year is "penciled in" as June 24.
Make no mistake: Gay D-Day is coming soon to a theater near you, its release inexorably and poetically linked with New York City's Pride celebrations. When the decisions come down, any progress will likely be tempered with disappointment that more sweeping change didn't take place. And this shouldn't surprise anyone either.
It was a school project that became a teachable moment about being proud of your family- not just for my kids, but also for me.
My daughter, a second-grader, came home with instructions to create a family timeline. In the past, every school project that even hinted at family – a family tree, a family photo project, Mother’s day cards, Father’s day cards – created some anxiety for me.
Will my two daughters feel comfortable talking about adoption? Will they get questions about where their mom is? How do they explain that they have biological siblings who don’t live with us?
Currently, there are more than 400,000 youth in the U.S. foster care system, 104,000 of whom are available for adoption. Children end up in foster care for various reasons, but generally speaking, it's because something tragic has happened in their families of origin, such as abuse, neglect, homelessness or domestic violence. After a difficult start in life, the longer kids remain in care, the less likely they are to get their lives back on track. Each year, about 26,000 youth age out of the foster care system without ever finding a family to call their own, which puts them at significantly higher risk for poverty, homelessness, incarceration and early pregnancy.
It's Memorial Day weekend and I spent the drizzly, grey morning on a hike in the woods of Western Massachusetts with my twin 5-year old boys. We found a bright orange salamander slinking across the trail and threw moss-covered sticks into the rushing brook, watching them race downstream and over the cascades. We explored the forlorn stone chimney that is all that remains of a cabin that once stood on an island in the middle of the river, a site now marked with a ring of rocks surrounding damp charcoaled logs of a campfire. It was a perfect outdoor day with my kids. We live in Brooklyn, New York, but I try to take them into the woods at every opportunity; to give them the chance to climb rocks, pick up spiders, identify wildflowers, and just be, away from the cars and buildings and rush of the city.