My name is Fred. I’m from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I can always remember when I first came out, having a conversation with my mom about, you know, just how she felt about everything. And one of the things that she said to me early on was that she lamented over the fact that I would never get married and I would never have children. And, you know, in the late nineties, that was something that I think all of us believed.
Fast forward, you know, my husband when he was my boyfriend, you know, we were dating in late 2000s and in 2013 we got engaged, and then in 2014, marriage equality came and before you know it, we were legally married, which was awesome… very exciting. And at that time, we were already talking about the possibility of having children. And then in January of 2016, we started our adoption journey.
We initially started with a counselor who specified in same-sex adoptions. We thought it was kind of a very good non-committal way to start the process kind of understanding what we needed to do. But we found that with that counselor, there were very few cases that were coming. So around September of 2016, we decided to go with an agency. It was like 20 cases a month that we were able to experience and some we could apply to, some we couldn’t, depending on the birth mother’s preferences. But by November, only a few months later, we were matched which was super exciting.
So we were matched with what would be a baby girl to be born in April. You know, we thought that everything was definitely going to be going through, that she was on board 100 percent, and it turned out probably around March – right before really getting into the final weeks – come to find out that she was not on board, that we found an online registry, we found her social media had all this conversation about her baby, her baby, her baby. And sure enough, she backed out. Which was hard.
Back in the pool we went and sure enough, a few months later in June, we were matched with another birth mother who was also expecting a baby girl, which was great because we already had almost everything that a baby girl could possibly need in the house, ready to go. Her due date was early August. We were definitely interested in a lot – in a shorter case because we figured we would know that the birth mother was serious at that point.
She gave birth on August 9th, which also coincides with our anniversary of our first date. So every afternoon of our anniversary, at least for the past few years, we go to the same restaurant that we went to our first date and we sit there and and have, like, a little conversation, have lunch together. We finished that up and when I got back to the office, I got a phone call that said that she was in the hospital and she was delivering. It was like, Oh my god, it’s time to go. So my husband and I came home, got everything ready to go, and just as we are about to run out the door, the phone rings and they say she changed her mind. Don’t come.
And I think that time was probably the the bigger hit for us. You know, it’s one thing to have a few weeks before you’re due to process that a little bit more appropriately, but that second one – it was like the rug was pulled out from under us. It was one of those things where, you know, you just go back to work and pretend that everything’s okay. And the few friends that you’ve told everything to are there to support you, and everybody else you just put your work face on back.
In the pool we went. You know, you can’t stop. We were very steadfast and we definitely relied on each other. I mean if there’s one thing that strengthens the marriage is going through some rough times and being there for each other and holding each other up and that’s definitely what happened with us. So that takes us to August.
So by September, we got a phone call from one of the OB’s that we knew. So one of the things that the consultant had told us early on was if you know any OBs, tell them that you’re in the adoption process, that you’re looking to adopt, because this way if they get any leads, they can call you. So sure enough, one of our OBs called us and said, “Hey, we have a woman here who’s pregnant and she’s looking to put her child up for adoption. Would you guys be interested in talking to her?” We met with her. We hit it off and she wanted to go ahead and move forward. At the time, she didn’t know the gender of the baby, but she had already started working with an adoption agency, so we got our two agencies to work together and then we found out the gender probably like a week or two before Lincoln was born. And of course, we knew it was going to be a boy because we had everything ready for a girl.
She also invited us to be at the delivery, which was incredible. So off to the hospital we went out that morning, the day that she was due. She actually actually was induced so we were there with her throughout the entire process. She was in labor for about twelve hours and we were right there by her side. And when she delivered, Brian got to cut the cord. And then they took us into a separate room and we got to hold Lincoln for the first time, which was incredible. And it’s been an incredible experience. Lincoln’s almost 2 now. And it’s everything that we thought it could be and more.
One of the things that I take from all of this is coming to realize the fact that, you know, just because people or society say that you can’t do something or you can’t be something – that that doesn’t mean they’re not attainable. And looking at the progress of marriage equality and, you know, being able to take full advantage of that – it’s funny… some people say well marriage doesn’t really change anything. And I think for us, it changed everything and you know it made this amazing family and I hope it’s only the beginning of a family. We are hoping to at least have one more. I don’t think I want any more than one more.
I think the biggest thing that you have to take with you is that sense of perseverance. You know, everyone says, “Well, it’s very common for you to have one failure.” But you have to be ready to just keep going. I mean, if this is what you’re truly – your end goal is, you know, you’re going to have to put in that perseverance to get there. And it was hard. It was definitely something that took a lot out of us at the time.
But looking back on it, now I wouldn’t change a single thing. It brought Brian and us closer together as a couple. It brought Lincoln to us. And everyone said it and we do believe it, that your child is the one that will come into your life. And my son is my life and he is the perfect addition to our family.