Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can Two Dads Be Enough?

Jay and I have gotten alot of questions about what it means to be a same-sex couple raising kids and we love getting and answering those questions. We welcome any sincere questions that stay within the bounds of appropriatness. One question we get from time to time from those for whom seeing two men raise kids is something of a shock is, "Who's the mom and who's the dad?" On the surface it seems like kind of a silly question because duh..."we're both dads!"...and that's how we answered it. But as simple as the question may be...and the correspondingly short was not so easy an answer to Jay and myself when we were beginning to think about raising a family. 

It's a question that reveals alot about what we think of the sexes...and most especially how we view ourselves as parents. What are the limits of being a father? Will there be things that we simply will not be able to provide for our kids because we are men? Who disciplines?...who nurtures? How do we divide up the rolls that most people categorize as a moms roll or a dads roll?...or masculine actions and feminine ones? Even though the answers may seem self evident to some but when you really think about adopting you have to tackle them in a more practical and thought out way.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Parenting and Self-Judgement

Sometimes I am not a good dad....At least in my own estimation.

Sometimes, when the chips are down and the stress is high, we get to really see what we are made of underneath. It's during moments like these when we are not at our best that we often behave just the way our parents did to us....sometimes that's a good thing...sometimes it's not. I faced that alot the last couple of weeks as our family conducted a multi-room home renovation at the same time as we were trying to balance the needs of four kids...who quite frankly can get downright fussy with each other sometimes. My husband and I were both exhausted from all the work and were running on empty much of the time. It was during those nights...and especially the ones where I was alone...were I found myself being the emotionally distant authoritarian dictator my parents were to my brother and me. I was barking commands and expecting instant compliance because I didn't have the patience or emotional resources to deal with the fact that life might be hard for them too. I knew that that was not the parent I wanted to be but I couldn't stop myself. I went to bed most of those nights ashamed of myself and wondering if I even had what it took to be a father if this was who I was going to be when the going got tough. I would think back to my own parents and see the seeds of my own behavior.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

California Ninth Circuit Denies Request To Lift Stay On Same-Sex Marriage

As we all know, same-sex marriage is on hold in California until the case can be heard by the Ninth circuit and before we do that, we have to determine if there is anyone who can legally act to defend the law....the process will likely take us to the end of this year and probably far beyond. In the mean-time the legal duo of Ted Olsen and David Boies had submitted a request to lift the stay on performing further same-sex marriages, citing that permitting that allowing the stay to remain would do harm to gay does. Ted Olsen also commented that asking California's gay and lesbian couples to "wait it out" while the California Supreme Court addresses the question of standing in "unreasonable and unjust".

So what did the Ninth Circuit have to say today to such a reasoned and impassioned plea?.......In a move that surprised no one they elected to allow the stay to remain in place. The court justified its decision by claiming that the circumstances surrounding the case have not substantially changed enough to warrant lifting the stay. In other words..."We don't want to deal with the political fall out and general ruckus lifting the stay would create."

This may not have been the outcome that we were hoping for However, it also does not have any bearing on the final outcome of the case. It's just another sign along the way that the wait will be a long one. However, I don't think any of us expected it to be anything less.

Until next time dear readers....

Monday, March 21, 2011

GFV Update...Why We Dropped Off The Radar

Yes...I have been a bad bad blogger. It has been over a week since I have written anything and I feel like I owe everyone an explanation....

Human Compassion..And The Tragedy In Japan

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Cor. 13:2) NIV

It is an unusual occurrence for me to open a post with a Bible verse...especially because I call out people who take single verses out of context in order to use them for their own purposes...and here I am taking a single verse out of a larger passage to make a point. However, here I think it fits the story.

We have all been watching events unfold in Japan with a mixture of feelings. For myself, it was a unbelief mixed with horror...I live in a seismically active zone as well and know full well that all that happened to Japan could happen here. First a 9.0 earthquake, then the tsunami took thousands of lives,...but it did not end there. The nuclear crisis has gotten progressively worse while radiation, poor weather, and tsunami debris have severely hampered recovery efforts. For many there is no running water, and a rapidly dwindling food supply. Its a chain of tragedy that is almost too large to comprehend in it's entirety and will become one of those events that may effect the entire world as well as mark a major moment in history.

What has disturbed me lately are the number of religious folk who want to blame the Japanese people for the catastrophe they are still suffering under. Who would kick someone like that when they are that far down? on.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Uncles Wedding...Zero To Controversy In 60 Seconds

Todays NOM news caught me off guard and made me split a gut laughing. Why? Readers who follow us on YouTube may know that we have been involved with a great children's book called "My Uncles Wedding". The Book, which was written by Eric Ross, is a simple story of a little boy who's Uncle has decided to get married to his boyfriend and the book tells the story of the wedding from his point of view. It's a simple story that is aimed at kids who have gay family members. However, this is not the funny part...

Last weekend our family had the honor of attending the book launch party at A Different Light Bookstore in San Francisco were yours truly got to read the book to a crowd of kids and adults. Afterwards there was a question and answer session with Eric Ross during which many insightful questions were asked of the author and Tracy Greene, the illustrator. I only had one question but sadly, someone beat me to asking it. I wanted to know how long the author thought it would be before NOM picked this book up and attempted to use it as an example of "indoctrinating" children?...and...What would he plan to do if that happened?

Good question find the answer and listen to the story, read on after the jump...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mother Of Exiles

The New Colossus:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
-Emma Lazarus

Most people may be familiar with at least a part of this poem.....Yes, I's a sonnet...but let's not get technical. For many of us, it was required reading in elementary school when learning about civic and American history. It's a text heavy with meaning for us as a nation. While on the surface it gives person hood and meaning to the Statue of Liberty, it also serves as a call to the outcasts and disenfranchised of all nations that America would accept and be a safe home to all who embraced her. In addition, this passage... just as Lady Liberty herself...became personifications of the meaning of our founding fathers when they authored the words..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

How sad then to see that only a few generations is all it takes to forget this important part of what it means to be American.  We were meant to be a land of opportunity and a safe haven for others and yet hatred, bigotry, and ignorance have again gained favor as the path of the patriot. Often  practiced by those who wish to claim a moral and patriotic high ground.

Today I came across a video that has turned my stomach and made me truly sad. In a YouTube video I positioned after the jump, you will see a group a people holding a charity benefit in support of women's shelters and the homeless in Orange County, California. The event was protested by local tea party conservative groups and a handful of elected officials who's behavior included inciting violence and the murder of the charity events attendees. Watch the video and then see if you can tell me just what the hell is going on with our country?!