Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Family Day Chase!

Today is Family Day for Chase. It was one year ago that Chase came to live with us from a couple who didn't understand him or know how to train or teach him. Chase was mildly abused by these people, and luckily they gave him up before they did any real damage. It took a bit to teach him the rules of behavior, but with love, patience, and an understanding of who the real pack leaders are, Chase is a pretty good guy. Plus, Chase and Ripley are more bonded together as brothers then any dogs I've seen.

The Boys can be a good example of adoption to the baby. Two brothers, from different parents, that came to live with us and became a family. The baby will have this example and feel some camaraderie even if they are dogs and not humans. The Boys can teach Finster that adoption is a good, normal, positive thing.

Now, Family Day. Once we do finally adopt, it will take about six months before the court will finalize the adoption. Gregg and I have decided that we will celebrate the anniversary of that date, when it finally comes, as Family Day--the day we legally become a family. The baby will know he or she is adopted, and will have a special day to celebrate our family union. It will be a holiday no one in the family has but us. Kind of neat I think!

Happy Family Day Chase!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So, can they all fit in one closet...?

This just in...

NEW YORK — There won't be much "livin' la vida loca" for Ricky Martin these days _ he's now the father of twin boys. The Latin superstar had the children via a surrogate mother, and the babies were born a few weeks ago, according to a statement from his representatives.
"The children, delivered via gestational surrogacy, are healthy and already under Ricky's full-time care," said the statement. "Ricky is elated to begin this new chapter in his life as a parent and will be spending the remainder of the year out of the public spotlight in order to spend time with his children."
A representative said there was no further information on the details of the children's birth.

Gee, see how easy it is for straight people?

Papa & Daddy to the Rescue

Strangely, there is a question we've been pondering that no one has asked us yet. It's one of the first things we thought of when we started Project Baby. With two dads in the house, who comes running when Finster yells "Daddy"? Yeah never thought of that did ya? At first I'm sure we'd trip over each other to see who gets there first. After a bit when you realize it probably means dirty diaper or some other disgusting situation, I guess we'd stare at each other to see who blinks first. So we needed a solution to this problem. Gregg suggested we make Finster call us Mr. Garland and Mr. Heptig. No. Daddy and Cracka? Um, no. How about All Knowing Master and Whitey? Vetoed.

We started searching around to see what other dads did to fix this. Some were Dad and Daddy. Too confusing. Some used a word from the language of their background. Der Pater and Shaka Zulu? No, too difficult. We decided on Papa and Daddy. Gregg's had a nickname of Papa to a few close friends for a long time, and well, I just like Daddy. So Papa and Daddy it is. We're trying to get The Boys to respect this, but typical Labs, they just respond to who has more food.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Note to self: This is not a political site, this is not a political site, this is not a political site...

Or is it? I guess the test would be to throw out the main subject of this blog to the political winds and see if anyone cared:

A journey of two men (and two Labrador retrievers) in their quest to make their family whole by adopting a baby.

Hmm. Yes, I think we might get some blow back on that one from a certain political faction. I had mentioned a few posts back John McCain's views on homo adoption. He's against it. In the spirit of fairness, what are Senator Barack Obama's thoughts on allowing gay couples to adopt?

We have to do more to support and strengthen LGBT families. Because equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights is not some abstract principle; it's about whether millions of LGBT Americans can finally live lives marked by dignity and freedom. That’s why we have to repeal laws like the Defense of Marriage Act. That’s why we have to eliminate discrimination against LGBT families. And that’s why we have to extend equal treatment in our family and adoption laws.

I’ll be a president that stands up for American families – all of them.

Once again, this is (of course) not a political blog. But there comes a time when you have to ask yourself, who is looking out for my family? Who really stands for family values? Who knows that there are real people, real kids, real families that are impacted by these political decisions? It's great to have beliefs one way or another. But you are affecting real lives. I think we know the answers to these questions.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Let's just go bowling

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Nothing's happening worthy of reporting. The court as our home study in hand. I did find out that they have to make a decision by November 9th. November! Well glad they're not in any big rush. To take our minds off things, we've been trying to ignore the adoption. We've been getting back into bowling, and watching some Olympics. (What genius at Nike came up with those coverall suits for the swimmers? What happened to Speedos? Kill joys.)

So let's all just keep waiting...Tick Tock...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Darkest Before the Dawn?

OK, the title of this post is a little dramatic. Maybe even over the top. But hey, I'm gay, I can be dramatic if I want to! But I have a reason. I've really not discussed the giant pot hole on the road to adoption that we could possibly hit. As you know, we are still waiting for our home study to be approved by the court here in Arizona. But I haven't addressed what happens if the home study is not approved. Well what if? If the judge denies our petition to adopt, we'll have to wait until next year and then start all over again. That's an entire year wasted. I guess if we were in our twenties I wouldn't care so much, but yesterday I turned 41 and Gregg is 42. Now being vain, gay, and well, gay, I have to say we of course look fabulous. However, I've been hoping to be daddies before 2010. Also, I just can't wait another whole year. Don't forget, once the home study is approved that just means we can start waiting to get contacted by a potential birth mother. So you could be looking at over a year or longer.

Today I called our Arizona social worker Windsor to see what was going on with the home study report. She said she's already turned it in to the court. However, two hitches. One, we've been assigned a new judge who Windsor knows nothing about. She was very familiar with the last one, but has no history with this one. So we have nothing to judge the judge with. (Is that a dangling participle, ending a sentence with "with"? I have no idea. Interesting though huh? OK not really.) So that starts stuff running through my mind. The biggest thing is, what if he's a Christian? If he is, we could be screwed. Funny how through this entire process the thing that I'm most worried about is what if someone we need along the way, someone who could either move this process along or stop it in its tracks, is a Christian thinking they are doing God's work and keeping a child out of the hands of heathens. If you're reading this and you're not gay, I'm sure you think this is a stretch. Well let me tell you it isn't. A judge can approve or deny a home study for any reason and that's final. There is nothing in Arizona law that says a gay person can't adopt a child, but the judge doesn't need a reason. Personal prejudice can be an unspoken reason to deny a home study as long as they don't say it is. (Another dangler? Dunno.) On this new judge we don't have a clue.

Second worry is that out of the five references we've asked friends and family to complete, only three have come back. Windsor says this is the only thing she's got as a concern (she's not worried about the judge thing, but then she isn't gay and has not seen the unspoken bigotry I have). I'm not going to say who didn't respond to our requests, but I will say I'm a little disappointed. We picked the five we thought would be the best ones. This is the most important thing we've ever asked friends/family to do and two of them blew it off. Maybe not, maybe not, I don't know. But I guess I expected a little more. Anyway, Windsor said we could just give her phone numbers and she could do interviews that way. So we'll inform those people and I guess do that. I've started thinking of backup references just in case.

So, your thoughts? Am I being totally gay about this, or do you think I should be worried? Gregg is telling me to just relax, everything is fine, but that's what boyfriends are supposed to do. What do you think? And feel free to tell me I'm being a fag about it if you think it fits, cause that will probably make me feel better. Just tell me the truth!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dry Run

Sunday August 3rd was our nephew Noah's third birthday. We celebrated it at my parents house. It was a fun day. As we were getting ready to leave, his brother Ethan started grabbing onto my leg and saying "I want to go home with you Uncle Bobby!". Now Ethan is five, and a really great kid. He loves his Uncle Bobby and Uncle Gregg. He's a little, shall we say, "gun shy" about staying somewhere away from his parents. He's also a little afraid of dogs, especially big ones like The Boys. The Boys love kids, and would never hurt them, but they do get a little excited when guests come over. If you're five, short, and excitable, they'll love you to death. Loving you to death means knocking you down and licking your face and trust me, Labrador saliva is not very tasty. Since getting licked in the face is how I usually wake up in the morning, I'm kind of a slobber connoisseur. Anyway, Ethan promised not to change his mind in the middle of the night, and not to be afraid of the dogs. To his credit, he kept both promises.

The visit went really well. Gregg and Ethan played an online game, something about penguins (no, not Tango again!) and then we watched some Boomerang. If you don't know, Boomerang is a channel from Cartoon Network, and it plays all the old cartoons we watched as kids, like Space Ghost and Johnny Quest. Ethan was fascinated by cartoons he never heard of before. He was a little offended that Thundar the Barbarian ripped off the light saber and called it a "sun sword" but hey, no one said they were original. We let him sleep in the other room, and I told him some bedtime stories before we both fell asleep in there.

Next morning, at 7am, the first words out of his mouth were "What game should we play first?". I was about to get a lesson in five year old time management. It seems you go from one game to another, without stopping, until it's time to go to bed. So we played Chutes and Ladders, helicopter, threw parachute guys off the second floor balcony, XBox, and this candy grabber game all before ten o' clock. We took a quick time out for breakfast (Trix) and to feed the animals. Then it was off to the park to go on every swing and climby thing they had, and then back home to take The Boys out for some morning tennis ball playing. Did I mention a spin with the remote control car? All while talking non stop. We would have gone in the pool, but now it was time to go to Dave and Busters at Tempe Marketplace.

D & B's was pretty fun. We played a lot of games, won a lot of tickets, got some crappy prizes, and had lunch. I guess I knew we did a good job because Ethan didn't want to go home. I was out of energy so yes, it was time to go home! Thank goodness we're getting an infant. They don't start talking as soon as they're born right?