The following post comes from Tricia Obester. Tricia and her husband Jon adopted their son Langston in 2008. In addition to being an adoptive parent, Tricia is also the proud daughter of a gay man. She hopes that as the holiday season begins this year, more LGBT individuals and couples will consider adoption.
Holidays = Family. Perhaps it’s the family we’re born into. Perhaps it’s the family of people we choose to surround ourselves with, who love us unconditionally. If we’re lucky, it’s both.
That’s why it makes so much sense that National Adoption Month comes at the beginning of the holiday season. My ball -of-energy son came into my life (and that of my husband’s) through adoption. Holidays are so much more with a child – more fun, more meaningful, more tiring (in a good way!). Adoption is a life-changing experience and one that we – as a straight couple – want available for everyone. So many children are in need of permanent, loving families and we know for a fact that LGBT people can provide those.
We know Martha and Julie, who delight in taking their daughters for nature walks to collect leaves and other treasures. We know David, who sold his condo and moved into an apartment so his Guatemalan-born son could attend a bilingual school. We know Greg and Chuck, whose last proud email featured a photo of their adorable son on his first day of preschool. And most importantly, we know my own father.
As I wrote on a t-shirt I wore to a rally years ago, “I am the proud daughter of a gay father.” I didn’t know this growing up. What I did know is that I had a loving dad who had married my mother and had three children. Whether my dad accepted that he was gay then or not (we haven’t discussed it), I understand that in the mid-1960s, a young man who had grown up in a Catholic, conservative family and wanted children didn’t have the options that many LGBT people have today. I’m thankful things went the way they did, of course, resulting in the productive, happy lives of me and my siblings. But I see how much happier my dad is today now that he’s living as his “true” self – a gay man who remains a loving father and is now an adoring and adored granddad (as illustrated in the picture of him here with my son).
For me and my husband, creating a family through adoption was a choice made largely due to infertility. But we made sure the adoption agency we worked with (The Barker Foundation in the DC area), was welcoming to all families. (And through Barker, we’ve met a couple where both dads are pediatricians – what a lucky child!). The backgrounds of children available for adoption (and foster care) are varied, but they all share one defining need – that of a permanent, loving, stable family. For those who are thinking of welcoming a child into your home, let me tell you that there’s nothing like a child to make you feel both completely energized and entirely exhausted. But at the same time, our adoption has brought us endless joy. We are excited to support HRC’s efforts to create more joyful families with LGBT dads and moms (and granddads!). Happy holidays to all.