Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Day Like Today

We woke up to the sound of Thomas and Kate debating in their cribs. They're the Hannity and Colmes of 2 year olds. Actually, I take that back. They're the Siskel and Ebert. Neither of my kids is like Hannity.

After taking them out of their cribs, I announced we were getting dressed up today because we had to go meet someone.  Then Sarah added, "He's like Santa." And I said, "Except he might not have a beard, he'll be dressed in black and there's a chance he's a woman."

"That's right," Sarah agreed. "He's a Judge and he's a very nice man, assuming he's a man. He could be a lady too."

And so that's how this day started.

We got dressed. We ate breakfast. We piled into the car. We map blasted how to get to the courthouse in Mineola. I've only lived here my whole life and gone to Mineola a million times...I was nervous. I didn't want to be late.

We got to the courthouse and sat down in the courtroom with all the other families about to adopt children. The (male) Judge entered the room and began telling some story about the best adoption he'd ever overseen. I drifted off and snapped back to attention when he said, "...and now that you're all about to become families..." It was like he tossed a cold glass of water in my face. 

I've been struggling with why this adoption process is making me so...well...sick to my stomach. If I'm just plain honest about it, it's because this process reminds me of how ashamed I was to be gay. And it reminds me that I'm not equal. And in that lack of equality, it reminds me that I should probably still be ashamed on some level.
 (For those of you in need of back story, refer to the following blog posts: Civil Rights & Vitamin D (posted 11.23.10) & Social Worker Sunday (posted 02.06.11)).
The good news is, I'm not ashamed to be gay anymore. It's a bit like a scar. Sometimes the scar hurts when it rains. Like today. But I'm not ashamed.

Days like today make me think of all the kids who are still ashamed. And it makes me think of the parents of those kids who have taken their own lives because they were so ashamed. And it makes me think of my own kids who stood in front of a Judge today and were told that they were not a family until today. They had to miss their Music Together class to be told that. Their teacher is going to let them make up the class. But still.

I can't really spell this whole thing out because I haven't processed it totally. All I can tell you is that a day like today reminds me that I'm different than you are. And I just want to stop being reminded of that already.


 Nothing says "celebrate" more than breakfast at the diner with a plastic fire hat:
Sarah and me at the courthouse with the Judge, our lawyer, Sarah's parents, Thomas, Kate and puppy

Me with our son, Thomas


  1. You make me cry, Kristen.

    Congratulations on the legality. But we know Family day happened the day you and Sarah committed to each other, and grew on the
    day(s) Thomas and Kate were born.

    Love makes a family, not the law.

  2. I fell in love with your family the minute I met you and Sarah. And that was before the twins were born.

    I love you guys.

  3. Law should mean squat when it comes to love. Damn you managed to make me tear up at my desk. You all have enough for the world and then some. It should go without saying. Much love to you and your family Smiley:-) Fight the good fight. xoxo

  4. How absolutely backwards this society can be. I just shake my head.

    Congrats that you can put all that nonsense behind you!!

  5. Your story is an inspiring one. I'm so glad you're not ashamed anymore....life is to short to live in shame, ya know.
    your family is so beautiful

  6. Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the great posts. And MarcyD., life is too short and you ROCK.

    I swear my next blog is not going to be a downer blog... ; )

  7. you're not a downer... and proof is in reading the book!

    the book is HYSTERICAL (and so touching it made me cry at times... yeah imma sap)...

    i thought.. "i wish i were friends with them" and then i remembered i was on your couch reading the book... now some people might think I'm lying about the previous comment... if one knows me.. they know that it happened.. exactly as i wrote it...

    i can't say how amazing this book is... of course if you are reading this you most likely already pre-ordered a copy... the wait is worth it... and if you haven't bought a copy.. do so... it's worth it...

    so perhaps you should re-read your book to remember what a downer you aren't....

  8. You're right, Liz ... neither Kristen or her blog are downers ... quite the contrary.

    Kristen, when so much is trying to drag you and your family down, you rise up. Remember, Hope Floats, and your family represents love, and hope.

    I'm not on your couch like Liz, (but you knew that), but I am half way through the book, and it's as funny and touching as you promised.

    Thank you for sharing your life and your loves with us.

  9. Hi Kristen, ( and everyone who commented).
    Kristen ur not a downer. Your expressive with your reality which is y I'm so glad we friends! And y I'm so psyched to purchase and read the book!

  10. You were a family before all this....the one God wanted for you all. I am proud of you for following your heart and dreams. You are beautiful and strong and loved. Especially by me :-)

  11. I cannot help but reply with a song title ( in Times Two fashion ) "Love and Happiness" and one lyric a few verses in ... Walk away with victory.

  12. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!! The entire legal process just seems idiotic when straight couples can have their kids without having visits by social workers, hiring lawyers or standing in front of judges (some should!!) But the work that gay couples have to go though in order to have children is proof enough of their intent to be good parents!! And NEVER be ashamed of being gay!! It may make you "different" in other people's eyes, but it makes you BEAUTIFUL to others!! BIG hugs and kisses to the twins!!

  13. Congrats! You forced yourselves through a wretched process and did what you needed to do to protect your family. And that's why you are one.

  14. Kristen.... you are different than most. You're more intelligent than most, more talented than most, more compassionate than most, and certainly more personable than most. Be proud to be "different" because it makes you who you are. and I'm sure everyone here will agree, we love you the just the way you are.

    Thank you for sharing your blog with us and congratulations to you and your family. I hope, one day, to have a family just like yours :)

  15. Congratulations!! But you and anyone who knows you knows that those kids were yours as soon as you decided to have them. The law should not be allowed to determine what makes a family. Love, commitment, responsibility, those are the main things that make up a family. It's the people who judge and criticize who should be ashamed. We all know that it's not a choice, but if it were, I'd still choose gay because I feel that it's opened my mind and heart in ways that might have otherwise stayed closed. I'm happy that you have found your way past those feelings, even though they creep back from time to time. But I think you can take some comfort in knowing that your story is going to reach so many people, and that will move things forward, even if it's just ever so slightly. So hold your head up high, be proud of who you are, who you chose to build a life with, and of course the two beautiful children you both brought into this world.

    <3 -

  16. We used to live in the US (my wife is a Southerner, born and bred), and we moved to Canada 7 years ago, got married, and after many, many years of trying to become moms, adopted our daughter. And throughout, we've soooo missed the US (and sometimes dissed Canada). And we often discuss maybe moving back. And then I read this blog entry. Thank you for writing it and so well at that.

    So I guess I need to stop whining about snow, and breathtaking income tax, and reserved people with stunted senses of humor (not all Canadians, but damn) and suck it up and enjoy my equality.