This is our life now. And as hard it is to navigate without that manual everyone always talks about, we’re doing it the best way we know how: together and with so much love.
We welcomed Ellis John Henry Berry into the world on January 3rd at 2:49pm. He was 21 inches long and weighed nine pounds and 14 ounces. The kicker? Dude was three weeks early! He was born with all the hair he has in the picture above and started getting compliments left and right as soon as he was out into the real world.
He had some struggles at first: had to work to get his oxygen moving in the right direction and had to spend night number 2 in the special care nursery because of really low blood sugar. Less than 24 hours after we got home, we had to take him back to the special care nursery because his bilirubin levels were really low. Spent the night again with him looking like a glow worm all night.
He’s home now and as lovely as possible. It’s hard to believe your heart has room for another human being. You’re wrong. It does.
Big brother is acclimating the best way a three year old knows how, with requests to hold “his baby” and “wipe the poop”. I don’t know about that last one either… And he’s learning full on football practice in the living room can’t quite happen as frequently as it had in the past. He’s also very adamant and uncomfortably confident about helping hand the baby to one of us, but his helping nature is the most adorable thing ever.
Our family is complete now and my heart couldn’t be fuller.
There used to be this big deal on June 1st that was touted as Blogging for LGBT Families day or something like that. GLAAD would talk about it, the Family Equality Council provided a directory for it and it was kind of a big deal. But the last time I can find anything about it being actually “promoted” was 2014. I don’t know what happened, but I’m doing it today. (Quick edit because I’m not good at Googling: there is a Blogging for LGBT Families Day out there this year. Hooray!!)
I read a lot in different Facebook groups about other LGBT families encountering different bouts of discrimination or harassment, or even being questioned as if they’re really even a family. That really sucks. I also hear about non-biological parents not knowing how to respond when someone says their kid(s) look like them. I have other opinions on that. Point is, no matter what laws are passed or how many rainbow flags wind up in the air during the month of June, we can’t BE like other families we’re not acknowledged AS families. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
We’re pretty fortunate so far when it comes to being treated like a family. My name is on Ozzy’s birth certificate and it has been from the moment we filled it out. We live in a state that’s supportive of gay rights, so even if the current national administration decides to turn LGBT rights into their next distraction and turns it all over to the individual states, we’ll probably be “safe” with our current state leaders. I’m at least telling myself that so I can sleep at night.
The political climate for the LGBT community is terrible. It’s uncomfortable and it’s unpredictable. Those things don’t make it quite as easy for an LGBT family because those are things that can lead to taking away the same familial conveniences that non-LGBT families don’t have to worry about on a regular basis. These things are forcing people like me to file legal paperwork to the courts to complete a second parent adoption for my son despite my name being listed on his birth certificate so we can keep our family intact. Does that seem right?
I’m proud of who I am and the path I took to get to all that I am today. I’m proud that my path took me to my wife and took us both to our son. And I’m proud of our family. My pride isn’t something that anyone will ever be able to take away from me. Try not to forget that.