My family and I just returned from a trip visiting my parents in Florida. We are extremely fortunate in that they absolutely adore our daughter, and are very supportive of our family as a whole. It is so precious to see my parents light up around my daughter, and to see her beam around them. It has brought out a beautiful side of them I had never quite seen before.
We know not every family is so lucky, so we really count our blessings on this one. It is nice to have a supportive family to share your precious child with--though we haven't been successful in getting them to move back up to "freezing Georgia" so we can reap the benefits of a free babysitter!
I bring all this up because I remember the many times my parents would visit while we were in the adoption-wait process. It sometimes hurt, but mostly was very frustrating. My parents really didn't believe we as gay people could adopt a child. Sure celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell could do it, but they didn't think WE could do it. And when we told them a birthmother would actually choose us to raise a child, they really thought we were off our rockers.
They generally weren't blatant about their disbelief, but it would always trickle out over a meal in some little comment they would make. As many people know, the adoption wait process is already very hard for most people. Having loved ones and friends not believe makes it especially hard. Sometimes we need cheerleaders in our life to keep us going, and the adoption wait process is certainly one of those times.
As gay people, the fortunate ones are resourceful and turn to others to get needs met. We were lucky to have a wonderful support group of other gay and straight people going through the adoption process with us. We were each others best support, and every single one of us eventually adopted!
As beautiful as my parent's relationship with our daughter is, there is always this nagging feeling of how my parents didn't believe it would happen for us. Were we not worthy? Would we not make good parents? Or was it just the gay thing?
It was probably the first time my parents didn't believe in me when I said I would accomplish something, which made it especially hard. Over time, I hope I forget their doubt.
Though I am living in an anti-gay world, I have high expectations for my family.
Whether my parents believed it or not, we are worthy, we are good parents, and we would not give up our dream of children simply because we are gay. Apparently, they just needed to see it happen.
I am sure their recollection of the whole experience is totally different now because none of us could imagine a life without Maggie, and I know they get it now.
I have to remember they don't live in a community where gay folks are falling off the trees like where I live. Heck, my mom's PFLAG chapter even meets on the down low in her retirement community!