It’s nice to know we live in a time when gay people can have kids. The big difference that remains between us and straight people, of course, is that we can’t have kids by accident. We’ll never have kids thanks to a busted condom or a drunken night of “What the Hell. Let’s just go for it” or because this girl, Katie, in our fourth period English swore that you can’t get pregnant your first time. All it takes for straight people to have kids is a penis, a vagina and a six pack. But for Drew and me, it will take planning and fretting and a level of dedication bordering on obsessive — thankfully, all things of which we are extremely capable.
We’ve been talking about having kids almost since our first date. The more we talked, the more serious we got. And the more serious we got, the scarier it became. So we made ourselves a promise that we’d stop talking about it and stop worrying about it until 2007, at which point we’d begin seriously exploring our options.
Not talking about kids is a lot harder than we thought. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed it, but kids are everywhere. And the more you try to avoid them, the more places they pop up. At the park, at Arby’s, at the 11 P.M. show of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I’m telling you, someday, these kids are gonna take over the world.
And whenever Drew and I see kids, we share those little, knowing glances that say, “Someday…”, and Drew laughs his Little Kid Laugh, and I toss out some random weird baby name just to see what Drew’s reaction is. “What about Buster?” “No, that’s a dog’s name!” “What about “Dexter?” “No, that’s a serial killer’s name.” “What about Fenster?” “No. Just no.”
So we jumped the gun a little.
On Friday morning, we met with a family planning therapist. Yeah, I had no idea such a thing existed either. But she’s been through this with lots of other gay couples, so she’s going to help us figure out the million little things we need to figure out. Adoption or surrogacy? If adoption, then from where? If surrogacy, then who? Should one of us stay home full-time after we have the kid? And if so, who? Whose last name should the kid have? Do we really want to raise a kid in LA? Can we afford this? Are we ready to give up our lives and our freedom? Formula or breastfeeding? Well, okay, when you’re gay parents, at least there’s one decision you don’t have to make.
So this was a teeny, tiny first step in the process. We’re talking about it. With a professional. And our first session went really well. We discussed our families, why we want kids, what our fears are, what questions we have and why we know in our hearts that this is going to be worth all the trouble. The best part of the session was near the end, when the therapist threw up her hands and exclaimed, “You guys are terrific!” I mean seriously, she actually said that. One of the reasons I’d always avoided any kind of therapy is that I didn’t want someone with professional credentials telling me how messed up I was. It was a nice surprise to find out it could work the other way, too.
And it made me think of this. As an April Fool’s joke a while back, I told people Drew and I were adopting a baby. I tried to make it sound absurd so no one would actually fall for it, but they did. Some people fell hard. And some of them are still mad at me over that prank. They’re not mad because I made them look foolish. It’s because they wanted so badly for it to be true.
One of the reasons I wanted to write about this (since apparently the last event in my life I deemed blog-worthy was getting a new pair of Nikes) was because I know that Drew and I are embarking on our own version of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a long, messy battle that a lot of people won’t agree with and which may never, ever end. And at some point after the ten millionth heartbreak along the way, I’ll want to look back and remember how I felt when this whole process started.
So how do I feel? I feel happy — really happy, so happy that I can’t imagine how much happier I’ll be when and if Drew and I actually do have a kid. After meeting with the therapist on Friday, I buzzed through another boring day at my lousy job as if I’d just had ten Jolt colas — and probably some crack, too, although to be honest, I’ve always been too scared to try either one. And that’s just at the thought of having a kid.
I have no idea how this process will end. Whether we’ll actually have a kid at all, and if we do, then what that little person will be like and what name he or she will have (Mason? Dixon?). But the main reason I wanted to write about this was so that some day in the future when that unknown, nameless kid wants to know why he or she came into the world (or at least into our care), we’ll have something to point to to show him where he came from, and how badly he was wanted by his Dad and — Dad? Pops? Man-Mommy?
Crap. There’s another decision to make.