Monday, April 14, 2008

An Intens-ive Weekend--Day 1

So a few words about where we are in Project Baby. We made the official leap at the end of March. We (well mostly Gregg, but what else is new) did the research and signed with the IAC, the Independent Adoption Center ( in Los Angeles. We chose them for a number of reasons. They are the largest and most well respected open adoption agency in the country. They are also well known for helping gays and lesbians adopt. They are also extremely nice, and very helpful. Gregg really researched them out, and we had a conference call with their director at the beginning of March. We liked what we heard, so we signed up and went to our weekend intensive meeting at their office in L.A. on March 28-29th. Do you know how hard it is to have a hotel on Santa Monica Blvd in the heart of Boystown in West Hollywood and not be there to party? We wanted to be fresh for our meetings in the morning so we didn't really go out at all. Actually, thinking about why we were there made it surprisingly painless to stay in and go to bed early.

On the first day we met our adoption counselor, Lane. He put us (especially me) at ease right away. Lane is also gay and together with his partner adopted two children from the IAC before he worked there. He really helped me to allay my fears about a lot of things. Lane thinks we have a good shot at a short wait once we get "in the book". Getting "in the book" means getting signed up, on the IAC payment plan, and having your home study and birth mother letter and website completed. Once that happens, your letter and information is published by IAC and sent out to potential birth mothers. Apparently, gay male couples don't wait any longer then straight people do. I think it's because many woman subscribe to the "gay best friend" theory. I've found it to be true that women, especially single women, feel very comfortable around gay men. I guess it's the whole "no threat" feeling we give them. They listen to what we say and expect to hear the truth from us. I know I can say the most horrible things to my personal fruit fly Angela and she takes me at my word. (Like when she was doing bangs. Oh-my-god. She actually thought she could pull that off. And don't even get me started on those brown sparkle shoes of hers. It looks like they lost a fight with the "Beadazzler".) Then we have that whole rep for being "nurturing". Chicks dig that, or so I'm told. I'm not sure how the most infertile couple possible has a reputation for being among the best parents, but it works for me.

Lane's other remark was also comforting. Telling Gregg that for the first time in his life being black was going to pay off in a good way (Lane--"Oh Snap!" to you!). We are hoping for a mixed race baby and many times they don't go to white couples. I still haven't figured out if that's a tiny bit racist, but OH WELL.

Lane also went over the whole money part. Gregg took it all in, but I've inherited my mother's monetary sensibilities. My mom's a shrewd one when it comes to spending money. If there's a deal, she'll get it. If there is something less expensive, she'll find it. My head starts swimming when large amounts of money are involved. I was still ticked I didn't walk the extra two blocks that morning to get my latte at the Coffee Bean because they are a little cheaper then Starbucks. I describe myself as frugal. Gregg calls me "cheapie". When Lane was talking money Gregg was giving me the stare down. Yeah it's expensive. But I wouldn't care if it cost twice as much. Me and my honey are having a baby...

After lunch it was time to do the group sessions. We would be meeting with three other couples for the rest of the day and tomorrow. I remember telling Gregg I hoped at least one couple would be gay. I was feeling like straight couples might resent us for horning in on their action. You stay away from our babies and we won't attempt dramatic lighting or floral centerpieces. I was pleasantly surprised. All three couples were very nice and didn't seem to be bothered at all by the homos. As the afternoon wore on, we talked to social worker after social worker. We learned about birth mom letters, trans racial adoption, birth father rights, what to do when birth mom's a jailbird, all that stuff. Information was swirling in my head. We were both really excited...this is our first official step to Fatherhood! At least we had time for a nice dinner in WeHo and quick drink at East West lounge (sigh, the old Revolver...gone but not forgotten!) before we were back in our room for the night. Saturday would be a shorter day, but a very interesting one.

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