For any parent, having a sense of humor is helpful in making it through a day with sanity intact. For my partner Russ and I, given our challenges as gay parents, it is absolutely essential. Luckily, our boys Mason (11) and Marcus (9) say so much funny stuff that it is usually easy to find laughter in our everyday life. Here are just a few exchanges from the past year, pulled from my facebook updates:
Marcus (singing): “I hate you, you hate me, let’s get together and kill Barney…”
Me: “What did Barney ever do to you?”
Marcus: “He stabs people. He’s friends with Chucky.”
Marcus: “It’s true. I heard it on the news.”
Marcus: “If you have a wife, you mostly have to listen to her. Girls are bossy, right?”
Me (in Cockney accent): “It’s time to get ye to school, Harry Potter!”
Marcus: “Dad, he doesn’t speak French…”
Me, scoffing , to our 11-year-old: “Mason, you don’t want to be popular…”
Mason: “Yes, I do. I’m on that trajectory.”
Marcus, to me: “Babies are cryin’–Get a move on, Mama!”
Russ, as Marcus yawns: “You look sleepy.”
Marcus: “No, I just need oxygen.”
Marcus, to me: “You can’t get it, cuz you’re old.”
While at Subway Sandwiches…
Me: “Marcus, don’t play with your privates.”
Marcus: “But they’re jiggily!” (more…)
Dear Mr. Santorum,
You were recently quoted as saying that a jailed parent would be better for a child than being raised by a same-sex couple. You noted that, if a same-sex couple were to raise a child, they would be “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to.” You continued, asserting that “You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”
Mr. Santorum, the only reason my partner Russ and I even have one of our children is because that boy’s birth parents thought it appropriate, when he was a mere six months old, to take him to a crack house, which was then raided by police. He was promptly placed into foster care, and numerous attempts were made to reunite him with his birth parents. However, as one was incarcerated due to attempted murder and the other would not submit to drug testing, that was difficult to achieve. In fact, when they placed this boy into his birth mother’s arms, he would burst into tears. Further, prior to his crack house adventure, his birth mother found time to pierce both his ears, but could not see fit to give him adequate nutritional care, nor to fix his club feet.
Our other child, in case you are wondering, had a much easier start in life. His birth mother recognized, while still pregnant, that her situation was not the optimum one in which to raise a child, and reached out to us, two white gay men, to whom she entrusted her African American baby. My bond with her was so strong that she allowed me to be in the delivery room when my son was born, and I am forever grateful for the gift she gave us.
Apparently, though, you feel that you know better, and that her long-considered, heartbreaking choice was not the best option. Would you have preferred that she have instead struggled to raise her son anyway, when she fully realized she was ill-equipped to do so? Would you also have preferred that my other son have remained with his birth parents, given their ongoing issues with the law, drug use, and poor parenting decisions? (more…)
Thanks to the great folks at It’s Conceivable for their nice interview with me on parenting. For any LGBT folks considering kids, their site has a lot of terrific information and first person stories about parenthood.
Kergan and Russ
Adoption, They Did It · Tagged: Adoption, California, featured, Featured Feature, foster care adoption, private agency adoption, single parenting, they did it, two dads
Kergan and Russ are adoptive parents to two boys in Orange County, CA. Mason,11, was adopted through a private agency, and Marcus, 9, was adopted through foster care. In 2011, Kergan was named one of HRC’s Fathers of the Year.
Name: Kergan Edwards-Stout
Partner’s Name: Russ
Hometown/City: Orange, CA
Number of Children: 2
Names of Children: Mason (11), Marcus (9)
When did you decide you wanted children?
I’d always known, even as a kid, that I would be a dad someday. I’ve always connected well with children–often better than with adults!
As I grew older, the desire to parent became even stronger. I considered it at various points in my life, but after settling down with my now-ex partner, we decided we were ready to parent through a private adoption.
When our son Mason was a year and a half, however, we broke up. I parented as a single dad for the next two years, until meeting my partner Russ. We went on to fost-adopt for our second child, Marcus.
How did you decide to either biologically have a child or adopt a child?
I never considered surrogacy. While I understand the desire some people have to biologically connect with their offspring, there are just too many kids out there who need homes now for me to seriously consider any other option.
Did you share your journey with your family and friends? If so, have they been supportive? I’ve always been open of my desires to parent, so my family and friends were well aware. Still, when it came time for my first son to be born, and that he would be African American, there were a few issues which arose. Both of my parents are from the South, and very religious conservatives. We’d worked through most of the “gay” issues, but this situation brought up racial issues as well. (more…)