I have wanted to be a dad since I was in my mid-twenties. It was something I pretty much kept to myself as that was time when gay men weren’t fathers. It was something I wanted and knew I would never have. Like living on the Starship Enterprise or traveling through time.
When I was married to Ulco, we talked about adopting someday and as happens, life gets in the way. I also liked being selfish. Not in a bad way, just I liked traveling on a whim, spending my money on what I wanted and not having to worry about someone else. No thoughts of braces or college, just the pure enjoyment of self indulgence. But always, I wondered what it would be like to be a dad. In Europe, the rules are such that you have to be no older than a certain age when you receive the first child and then there are other age restrictions after that. I am past that age and many years ago, resigned myself to the fact that I would never be a dad.
Coming back to the US and being around my niece and nephews rekindled that spark. I love taking them out and even though it is sometimes a convenient to drop them off at home sometimes, there is always a part of me that is sad to have it end. Even when they are on my nerves the most, they are still my favorite people in the world.
Before John and I ever got together, when we were great friends and nothing more, we had the occasional conversation about children. He wanted to be a father as well and also due to the way life works out, he never acted on that want. He never let go of the dream even though he realized it was not to be.
After we got into a relationship, John and I talked about it a few times. He is amazing with my niece and nephews and I sometimes wonder if they don’t love and enjoy him more than me. If they do, it’s perfectly okay with me. He’s an amazing guy and I love watching him with them.
In December, a woman came to my office. She came to participate in a small event we were having and even though I had never seen her before, I knew I had to talk to her. She worked with families that fostered and adopted children. A week later, John and I attended an information session to look into the possibility of adopting. Since then, we have been through two background checks, and Monday, we start the 30 hours of classes we have to complete before we begin the home study, after which we will be eligible to foster and adopt.
As we want to adopt, we will only be matched with children who are available for adoption. We want to adopt older children, between the ages of 8 and 12 and we are probably looking at siblings. Once a child reaches 8 years old, nobody really wants them. Everyone wants a baby, then they want an only child. We are looking at older siblings, open to whoever crosses our path that seems like a good fit. being older, not only can we choose them, but they get to choose us. And we know there’s a risk in that. It’s a vulnerability I’ve never felt before.
Since December, I can’t help but look at things in a different way. I know that there is someone out there who is going to change our lives in ways we can’t imagine or understand. There are children out there that have no idea that we are here, waiting for them. Waiting to open our home, our hearts and shake our lives up in every way possible. I sometimes wonder what they are doing. I wonder and hope that wherever they are right now, that they are with someone who loves them. I hope they are being treated well.
If all goes according to schedule, we should be licensed around early August. Given the ages of the children we would like to adopt, the chance of welcoming a child very soon after that is big. We know there will be hard times. We know there will be a lot to handle, but we will handle it. I can’t wait to see John be a dad or to be a dad myself. Every second the clock ticks is one closer to a new life, to a new family.
One second closer to being a dad.