Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Big Daddy!

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Gregg! I know you're in terrible back pain today (again) and it's probably because you've been working so hard installing the new floor in Finster's room. A labor of love though. Was I mad when I found out you've been hiding an Xbox 360 for the last two months? Well yes, but I'm over it. If you would have told me about it you certainly would not have gotten a Wii, but whatever...

Since it's your birthday though I thought I'd list some of the things you'll never get in trouble for. Just for you, me, and Those Wonderful People Out There in the Dark...(I'll give you readers a shout out on your blogs if you can leave a comment and tell me what that means. Gay boys, try and let the straight people have a chance before you go blurting it out.)
  1. Your sense of humor, as evidenced in the above picture. How nice this was our little photo shoot for the birthmother letter, just the most important picture we'd ever take. And how do you start it?
  2. Your hotness. *Sigh*
  3. The way you carry on and on, blah blah blah, everything's my fault...but in the end, you love me more then anything and have made a lot of sacrifices for me. You quit your job, moved out of state, deal with my crazy family, and always put me if I could just get you to stop watching that stupid Hot Fuzz when I'm trying to sleep we'd be golden. That is just the loudest and dumbest movie Ev-ah!
  4. See #2.
  5. That way you smile and I can see right down into your soul when you're really happy. Just like that day I took you to Sharon's house and you picked up little Deja Vu when she was just a six week old puppy out of all the others in the litter. I asked you if you liked her and you just had such a look of love and joy on your face. I love seeing that. (You'll yell but at some point I need to make a post about our beloved Mojo, Deja Vu, and Indy, who would make great playmates for Finster if they were still around...*sniff*)
  6. Making me feel so special when you take me in those big arms of yours and hold me tight.
  7. Talking me into Project Baby. That's the best thing so far.

Now don't get a big head. Just have a Happy Birthday!

We Are So Cute


Monday, February 23, 2009

"Tag Team" Isn't What I Imagined

Proper Tagging Technique
I'm the one. The person you send those chain emails to who never responds to them. You know, "Hey here's an incredibly annoying way to learn about each other. Delete the answers to these 158 personal questions about me and fill it out and send to 47 other people in the next ten minutes or you'll die in a horrible fishing accident." Those emails. Even Gregg will send them to me and there's always that question that says "Person who is least likely to respond" where he's answered "Bobby". Logically he's only sending it to me so he can be right about that question. See how devious these are?

I know, I sound like a fun sucker (and I hate fun suckers: Traffic Cops, the Human Resources Dept., The Pope, etc.). Plus Those Two Daddies has been tagged by a few different people now so in the spirit of fun, here we go...

Tagging Rules:
1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with an “Honest Scrap” Award.
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

  • Mike and Michael's Adoption Blog: I've become good friends with them, and they've helped me out a lot with questions and our BM Letter. They also turned me on to the Proud Parenting site. They are in the process of adopting baby number two. And Christopher...well HOW CUTE!
  • 2 Moms With a Plan: I've been talking with Holly and Becky since I started blogging. They are two great gals, and I totally support their plan of being moms, especially since they're doing it in the Homo Hell of Florida.
  • Michelle's Path: Michelle is the sweetest blogger out there, and she always stands up for families, gay or straight. It's so interesting to hear about her life on a military base in Guam too. My boyfriend also digs her recipe blog. Her husband is getting ready for a tour in Iraq, so we all need to show her some support.
  • Baby Blueprint: Two very deserving, very determined mom's to be.
  • Adoption and My Two Daddies: Andrew showed up 13 months ago and this blog will keep you smiling with every post!
  • The Rantings of Rik: Rik the Lovelorn is a great friend of mine and he's always got an interesting take on stuff. Maybe this will get him off his ass and get back to blogging!
  • Devil's Life: Yeah, I'm hittin' that.

You've all just received this fabulous award. Not as good as an Oscar, but better then a crappy People's Choice Award.

Now ten honest things, let's see:

  1. I don't do well with chain emails. See above.
  2. I really love Cher. No I mean really.
  3. I totally overindulge The Boys and sometimes cut them too much slack, mostly because I love them so much and they really are our children. They know when to quit it, and I'm stern with them, very pack leader. But my world revolves around them.
  4. I'm opinionated and stubborn, especially around politics, religion, and gay issues. And any time I think things should be my way. Which is always.
  5. I'm a gay man who can't fucking stand the following people: Sandra Bullock, Barbra Striesand, Rosie O'Donnell, Bill Clinton, (oh what's her name, the one with the horse teeth...oh right) Julia Roberts, and Aquaman.
  6. I'm convinced my boyfriend has no idea how deeply in love I am with him even after 11 years, and how I don't want to be a father if he's not the other dad. Really.
  7. I absolutely can not go to sleep at night if the closet door is open. I'll get up to check if I'm not sure. A leftover from my childhood.
  8. I'm a nostalgia freak. I love old movies, hearing the history of how they were made, learning about how people did things long ago. Not necessarily historical things, just normal day to day stuff.
  9. I miss my grandfathers dearly, and still dream of them from time to time. So much I still sometimes cry.
  10. I strongly identify with Superman because unlike all the other super heroes who were regular people that put on a costume, he really was the hero, and hid all the fantastic things he could do and tried to be like everyone else as his disguise. Just like a gay kid growing up scared. Like me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Smile for a While and Let's be Jolly

So here we are waiting for Finster's arrival. Or contact by his birth momma. Or something like that.

To me this is kind of a time of transition; a time when one journey ended (eww paperwork!) and another began. A comment was left on my last post by Jason, someone new to the blogosphere and the adoption world. He said he read my entire blog start to finish (poor bastard, but then again he lives in the South, so it's not like there's anything else to do...{Note to self: That's mean, better make sure to delete that comment before publishing this post.}) Jason and his partner Chad are just starting their trek to adoption and are using the same agency (IAC) that we are. It made me think back to March of last year when Gregg and I started out. We felt like we were the only ones doing this. And then I met all my blog friends, and my Gay Dad's Group friends, and other adopting / adopted already friends. I had so many questions and was so nervous about the process. But all the great support you guys all gave whether through comments or just by reading your adventures made me feel just that much better. And I feel like we're all going through different stages of the same kind of adventure together. Some are adopting, some are doing IVF, surrogacy is alive and well, Holly and Becky are into Abercrombie & Fitch (not sure what that has to do with babies but whatever) and some are adding siblings to already completed additions to their families. So I hope the story of our journey so far can lend some comfort to Jason and Chad as they begin their adoption adventure.

Jason started his blog yesterday, and I encourage all of you to pop over and give him some good words...I know it helped me! (Now wasn't there something I was supposed to delete? Oh well.)

Jason lives here:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wii Are Ready And Waiting...

Well as I said, we're off and running. Today our profiles were linked to IAC, and we're waiting to hear from Birth Momma. It's been about 10 hours and no one's called yet. Wonder if I should start to panic. After all, we are on the last page of families. Actually, we are the last family on the list altogether! But that's OK. Long as we're up there.

In the meantime, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and the end of the month is Gregg's birthday (Feb. 28th). We got our tax refunds, and I got a nice bonus from work, so we've got some money in the bank for the rest of our adoption stuff. (Although, at the rate we spend money on this, it seems never ending!) We said we were going to take it easy on spending, but he's so great with helping me deal with all this and he's so loving that I broke my own rule and got him a Wii, which he's wanted for a while now. It's worth it to see the smile on his face. I just love that. Giggle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

OK--Let's Go Adopt a Baby!

Eleven months of work and patience has finally paid off. All of our references have been checked, we've gone to seminars, we completed our home study, we created, printed, and sent our letters to the IAC, passed interviews, took medical tests, talked about alcohol and drug pregnancies, talked to our parents, friends, and relatives, started blogging and met great new blog friends, read books, argued and made up, wrote checks that rival the economic stimulus package, watched Juno, learned about gay penguins raising chicks, laughed, cried, made lists of names, haunted Targets baby section, survived Paintgate, made friends with lots of great families with two daddies and two mommies, bonded with other IAC clients, built a website, decided on "Daddy" and "Papa", stressed over business cards, got a crib, elected a president who is in favor of gay adoption, fought against religious nut jobs, and explained to The Boys more the once that they're getting a human sibling, and can't have a kitten.

Whew--That's one run on sentence! Well, everything is finally done. Today the IAC cleared our file, and we are officially in the book! What does that mean? It means, fellow bloggers, that our letters are ready to be distributed to potential birth moms, we'll have our profiles up on the IAC site, and our website will be linked to theirs! Thursday we're having a conference call with our counselor Lane to discuss speaking with potential birth moms. On Friday, our website and profiles will be up on the "Choose a Family" page of the IAC's site.

Get ready Little're close to meeting Those Two Daddies!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Mackerel Sky

I took this picture yesterday afternoon. Back on Long Island this is what we called a "Mackerel Sky". When I was a kid my grandfather told me that the old sailors said that if you saw a mackerel sky, it meant rain in the next three days. Well darned if it didn't sprinkle late last night, and then give us a thunder and lightning downpour this morning as I was getting ready to take my nephew hiking. We still never made it to the "Wind Cave" over on Usury Mountain. Well I still owe him one I guess; maybe next weekend. Instead, my sister dropped him and his sisters off and we took them bowling.

You know, it's been almost 21 years since Gramps passed away. Every time I see a mackerel sky, it makes me think of him. I miss you Grandpa.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Don't Divorce Our Friends And Families

Please take a moment to watch this incredible video.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Ken Starr (yes that Ken Starr) and the "Defend Prop. 8" in California people have decided that it's not good enough that people who love each other need the government's permission to get married, but those who already got married last year (18,000 + couples) should be forcibly divorced. Please take a moment to watch this video, and make sure you pass along the word that this is not only unfair, but in my view, un-American.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Our Letter Building Party

Just a quick note...kinda.
We finally got the email we've been waiting for...our letter has been accepted! Finally. When I got home, Gregg was preparing all the final paperwork. I went off to Staples to get the 125 copies of the letter we needed. Thank goodness I had the girl run off one copy first, even though I already knew what it was going to look like from last week's test run. On both sides you could see a faint line cutting the paper in half. I asked the woman, is this my file, or from the printer? "Oh it's our printer it's been doing that" was the response. "125 right?" Um, no. I can't believe it was no big deal to her. How many customers left there today with imperfect print jobs. Well, I needed 130 copies of our main picture, and I dropped them at Wal-mart before I went to Staples. Now I know what you're thinking. If I'm gay about anything, it's Wal-mart. I hate that store. It's just so...Wal-marty. But the digital prints they make are the nicest of anywhere, much nicer then Target, and believe me, I tried to prove to myself that Target's would be better. They're not. It takes an hour for them to finish, so I went to Office Max. Yes, the same one from the business card drama. The one where nobody has a clue what they are doing. After the woman took my flash drive, I had to wait 40 minutes for them to get to me. It then took another 45 to get the job printed because they didn't know how to get the printer to do both sides. I let them play with it while I went to get the pics from Wal-mart. They were just about done when I got back. The woman was so apologetic, then asked me to explain Open Adoption to her because she can't have kids of her own. So we had a nice conversation. Then came the dreaded moment...ringing this stuff up.
"OK, 125 double sided color copies on 85 pound photo cardstock...that's $160.19. Boy sure adds up huh?"
"Well yeah, but honestly I thought it would be more then that."
"Oh it is."
"It is?" Great. More coming.
"Well normally it is. But I feel bad you had to wait so long. And I'm sure adoption is expensive. So I only charged you for one side."
Wow. A $160 discount. My cheapness was doing the happy dance to 3 AM techno music inside my chest. Boo-ya! What a nice lady...guess she just saved a customer!

When I got home, we got out the white paint pens, the glue sticks, and the letters and pics (well and a couple glasses of wine) and started letter building. Paste the main picture on the front, use the paint pens to sign our names on the blue Thanks For Reading Our Letter part, and almost 3 hours later, Voila, birth mother letters!

I took some pics, of course my digital camera decided to kill it's battery now so I had to take them with an actual film camera. Geez. I might as well write this blog on a typewriter and carrier pigeon it to my readers! (The one that goes to Michelle in Guam won't be happy LOL.) Once they're developed, I'll post them.

But tomorrow we mail the letters...finally. We won't make the books this Friday, there's more drama to tell, but we'll be there next week for sure. I'll share the rest of the story tomorrow, right now bedtime.

Good luck letters...find your way to Finster!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Race to Friday

We're in a sprint to get everything done by Friday, so we can (finally) be in the books with our adoption agency. The hardcopy of our letter was sent over UPS and should arrive on Wednesday morning. (OK note here: I actually mailed it on Monday, but UPS wanted $65 to mail one piece of paper from Phoenix to Los Angeles overnight. Are you kidding me? I want to be a father, but I'm too cheap for that. I opted for the $16 two day deal, and that to me is way too much still. I could have done the post office for less. As a matter of fact, I need to google "cost of raising a kid". If it comes to more then $65 a week, forget it. What am I, made of money?)

We've been corresponding with Lane, and he let us know what paperwork we're missing from our file. So we've been faxing and emailing that. I had our local agency, Adoption Specialists of Arizona, fax over some final home study stuff that they should have sent over with the approval notice back in September. If all goes well, we'll be ready Friday. We'll be linked to IAC's website and they will send out our letters to prospective birth mothers (PBM's in official adoption lingo). Of course, we'll have to get 100 copies of the letter printed and mailed to the IAC, so I'm realistically thinking it will be next Friday, the 13th. Oh. That's not good is it? Well if we get a boy we'll just name him Jason...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Post Intended to Make You Jealous and Prove I'm Smarmy

Super Bowl Sunday, and 75 degrees in the Phoenix area. I'm told it's icy and cold and snowy in other parts of the country. We have great weather here in Arizona. On the other hand, I live in Arizona, and you may live somewhere that's...well not Arizona. So you may have the upper hand after all. If you want natural beauty and great winter weather, Arizona can't be beat. As for the rest of it...well let's leave it at the weather and the natural beauty. LA or NY, it ain't (and I've lived in both).

So here's a few pics of what's going on around the house. Cactus and succulent plants have always been some of my favorites, and most of them start blooming in spring. The first one started getting buds this week:

For some reason, my orchid is re-blooming. It had a flower spike over the summer which I cut off after the flowers died (they last a few months) and it's not supposed to get another one until next year. Well it started growing one right away, and it looks like it's gonna have ten or more flowers. A sign?

Gregg's herb garden is starting to pick up. Collared greens and peppers have started growing, and in the spice garden the rosemary is huge (always is) and the oregano has started going crazy again. We bought some parsley, garlic, chamomile, and French thyme but haven't transplanted it out there yet.

On such a great day, I took my nieces and nephew for a hike over at Usury Park which is about 15 minutes from our house. Here's the beginning of the trail and some shots from the hike:

Also, right now it's almost half time an--
Holy crap--what? Did that just happen? 100 yards? Ugh.

A note from Ripley:

"The humans have put their precious spice garden at Labrador level. Here I'm pretending to guard it from pigeons. On days we don't go to the park, Chase pees on the oregano. I say nothing."