By Brandy Black
TNF: How did you start your family?
Kevin: David and I went to Disneyland for his 32nd birthday, and after watching the infectious excitement between parents and kids, we were inspired to revisit our kids conversation that led to us making a pact at Sleeping Beauty’s castle. We agreed that the next time we came back, it would be with kids of our own.
We began the adoption process immediately in our home state of Arizona. Even though we were both certified, I adopted the girls 18 months later. When we received their profiles, we immediately fell in love with them and we knew before meeting them that they were the ones we wished for. We met them at a local restaurant, and within a second, these two little souls stole our hearts. They were permanently placed into our homes on Valentine’s Day, which has become a special holiday for us.
At that time we learned that David could not adopt them because Arizona did not recognize same-sex marriage. We decided to get involved by joining the lawsuit that challenged the archaic marriage laws in Arizona. Over several months, we told our story, spoke at events, supported community outreach initiatives, and ultimately won the right to marry. As of now, David and I are in the legal proves of having him adopt the girls due our marriage finally being recognized. As a result, my family has emerged as leaders for the foster and adoption system in Arizona.
TNF: Did you always want to have kids?
Kevin: Ultimately, yes. It took us a few years to get the timing felt right. As mentioned previously, Disneyland reminded us of how special and magical it would be to have kids, and refocused on our decision to go down this path. That trip became our defining moment and served as the catalyst to make a plan.
TNF: Where do you live?
Kevin: Phoenix, Arizona
TNF: What is the greatest (and the toughest) thing about being a parent?
Kevin: The great thing about being a parent is getting to play a key role in their development and watching them grow into the people they are going to be. In the three years we’ve had them, it has been so gratifying to watch how they have learned new skills, excelled in hobbies and passions that fulfill them, and have evolved into intelligent little ladies. The toughest thing about being a parent, for us, is not knowing much about their past. Without this information, it’s like not having the first chapters of their lives. We have no idea how this time will impact them in the future. Therefore, we have to do the best we can with the information we do have.
TNF: Does your family feel adversity?
Kevin: If we looked for it, I’m sure we would. Our experience: however has been very accepting and encouraging. We live in a part of Phoenix where LGBT families are considered commonplace, the girls go to a progressive school, we work for an organization that promotes diversity and inclusion, and we have several ally families with kids that we raise as a community. We feel empowered, included, and inspired that maybe adversity is on its way out.
TNF: Do you have any advice for LGBTQ youth?
Kevin: Do you! Celebrate you! Find those who will love and accept you. The world is full of possibilities and we will find what we are searching for – if we want persecution, we can find it. If we want love and acceptance, we can also find that. Find what fills your soul and reminds you of your authenticity.
TNF: What’s one life lesson you want to teach your children?
Kevin: Find what you love to do and what you’re good at, and do that without reservation. Don’t wait for the world to define you or tell you what you need to be.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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