Friday, August 15, 2008

Adoption Day

Today we completed Beebz's second parent adoption. I know I should be happy and grateful but I don't really feel that way. You see, I spend most of my time in my little insulated world where the least accepting people I encounter are my family members. (No, the response, "Oh no" when announcing our pregnancy is not really what I was looking for....). I stay in denial in my little insulated world and pretend I am not especially discriminated against for loving another woman.

Until it slaps me in the face.

Until we have to spend hundreds of dollars on all kinds of paperwork that gives my partner and I A FEW of the approximately 2000 rights automatically granted by the state and federal governments when a couple gets married, even when they are drunk and Elvis officiates.

Until we drop a several thousand more dollars on a second parent adoption that gives my partner equal rights to the child that she helped plan. She bought the sperm and impregnated me at home using basically her intuition (who knew it would work on our "practice run?"). She supports our family by working while I stay home with the kids so that we can rear our children in the way that we agree is best for our family. She does housework and supports us emotionally and gets up with the kids when they are sick and does a thousand times more than any dad I have heard of (although reading some mommy blogs out there might create some bias...). Seriously, I don't know a single dad who is in the same league as her for any aspect of partnering or parenting.

So I am supposed to feel grateful that as of today, a (very nice) judge signed the papers to make my partner Beebz's "real" parent. I am supposed to be thankful and gracious to the (also very nice) lawyer who navigated us though this process. I am supposed to be appreciative that my child's OTHER parent FINALLY has the right to rear her if I die.

While I do appreciate everyone's help in the whole process, I do not appreciate the discrimination we face. I do not appreciate that I can't marry the woman I love so that we can be equal partners in all ways. I do not appreciate the spin on US religion that makes people think they can ignore central tenets of their faith like "love thy neighbor" and "do unto others" and "do not judge lest ye be judged" in favor of their own fictionalized propaganda (Seriously, there is NO mention of homosexuality in the bible. NOT ONE. Every instance you read is an almost always purposeful mistranslation. Go back to the original language or find someone who can.). I do not appreciate the fact that our country was founded on the premise that there should be a separation between church and state but somehow that has completely slipped everyone's mind.

It's such a mixed bag. I am truly grateful that our family is now legally as complete as our discriminatory system can make it. I really am sincerely grateful to all the people involved in making that happen. We are even throwing a party. (With Pablo's adoption we planned nothing because making a big deal felt like giving the process too much power to define our family. When the day came, it suddenly felt wrong to ignore it completely, so we had an impromptu dinner with as many friends as could make it on 5 hours notice.) But somehow, I just can't get completely behind celebrating. It feels like celebrating the "victory" of women being allowed to wear pants but still having no right to vote and being legally considered chattel. (The phrase "rule of thumb" actually refers to the law that stated a man could beat his wife with any stick smaller than the circumference of his thumb. You will feel different next time you use that phrase, won't you?)

So, yea, the adoption is complete. We jumped all our hoops. We filled out our paperwork and were checked out by the FBI and had our home-study (where a very nice social worker got to come in and see if we were good enough to be parents to the child we created... actually, I think children would be in a better place in this nation if ALL parents had to jump that hoop!), we paid our money, and our very nice judge consented to let us BOTH be parents to our children.

I should be excited. But all I can see is the discrimination. The invalidation of my partner's right to our children. The trying to explain to my 4 year old why some people don't think his sister has 2 parents even though he does. The multitude of rights we have no way to approximate because we cannot get married. (The fact is that due to discrimination, I will probably be very poor when I get old because I cannot legally save for retirement. I have chosen to put the needs of my children ahead of my future needs in this and any number of ways. Yeah, gay people sure do make crappy parents....) Today I can't stick my head in the sand. Today I mourn being a second class citizen. Today I cannot be happy. I am too sad.


  1. Just wanted to commiserate a little and say, yes, this situation sucks, sucks, sucks.

    Your post made me cry. I'm feeling sad that so much change is needed in our country, NOW, dammit! Years ago, actually.

    I admire you both for doing all that you can, in the face of the discrimination and idiocy. I know how easy it would be to simply let this task pass undone, in the sometimes overwhelming task of just living life with two kids. But you did it! And for that you can be proud.

    Sorry this is a little disjointed... must go to bed soon. Looking forward to seeing you!

  2. Oh totally. Yes. Everything you said. Separation of church and state?!?!! :D LOL!! What a joke!!! I am an English woman living here in the US and I am constantly asking for clarification on that one!!! Such a joke!! And as for the bible and religious insanity... yes yes yes. I've given up trying to be polite about the fact I don't believe in God. Here in the midwest i am looked upon with open horror at the suggestion that perhaps it's just a tale, a little like the Easter Bunny is just a story...!!! LOL!! I love to shock 'em! :D