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Spotlight Series: Christopher and Anthony

by The Next Family August 07, 2014

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TNF: Tell me about your family. Are you married?

CHRISTOPHER: Yes we are. We got married last year on May 3rd. It was funny because we were planning on our baby arriving in May and realized how we wanted to get married before the baby showed up, so it was like a gay shotgun wedding!

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TNF: How many children do you have?

ANTHONY: We have one daughter and one son on the way. When we first met we immediately said we both wanted kids, so that was good to get out of the way! We just kind of put it out there and started talking to our friends about starting a family. We met this couple at the local coffee shop by our house; this sweet couple and our dogs played together at the house and we hung out with them. They offered to help us out and have a baby for us. We started working through the process of surrogacy, when my niece (who’s 20 years old) got pregnant, her boyfriend bailed on her but she wasn’t ready to have a baby by herself. She was thinking about adopting and we were thinking about it too, so we put the whole surrogate thing on hold. Once the three of us decided this was what we all wanted to do, we flew her out to live with us through the remainder of her pregnancy. It was great because we were able to go to all the doctors’ appointments and see the ultra sounds. We were there for the birth as well.

TNF: Tell me about the son you’re expecting?

CHRISTOPHER: We continued to talk and plan for a second child after we got settled with Adela, with the original friends we were going to do a surrogacy with.  We talked about who was going to be the father and because Adela was from Anthony’s side, so we decided I would be the biological father. . We were actually just starting to get through the details and start the process of insemination when we get a call from them saying they had got pregnant on their own, but still wanted to adopt to us. So we talked about it and agreed to make one big happy family. They live just a few streets from us, so they will definitely be present in both our children’s lives. The father is British and the mother is Russian.

TNF: Tell me about how you guys met?

CHRISTOPHER: We actually met at a local tequila bar at a presidential election party in 2008. We had some mutual friends who invited us both. As soon as we saw each other, we both recognized there was energy there and we really liked each other, but I was dating someone in a long distance relationship, so we honored that situations and didn’t exchange numbers or anything. It was just very friendly.  A few weeks later, mutual friends invited us to Thanksgiving dinner. The long distance relationship had ended and it was instantaneous that we were a couple after that.

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TNF: How old is Adela?

ANTHONY: Adela is 11 months. Her birthday is on the 29th of May and Alexander is due on the 4th of May. They will be a little less than a year apart.

TNF: When your kids can talk, what do you think they will call you?

CHRISTOPHER: She can’t talk yet, but we have been going by Christopher as dad and Anthony as father. She’ll call us whatever she’ll want to call us.

TNF: Do you feel different from other families?

ANTHONY: You know, not here, not in Seattle, no. We actually participated in a program called PEPS, Program for Early Parent Support, here in Seattle. It’s a non profit for first time parents to get together and be resources for one another. We were the only gay couple in that group with 8 couples total. You get matched up with a couple who had a baby around the same time you did and for 12 weeks. All of the 7 other couples were really wonderful and very accepting.

CHRISTOPHER: We were really like celebrities in the group because of Adela. She has always been such an easy baby. We are bottle-feeding her (obviously we aren’t breast feeding her) and she started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks old. She was a perfect baby at all the meetings and they were like “what are you guys doing?”, We were like it’s not us; it’s just her and her temperament. Even when we are out and about around the city, people ask us about our story, we tell them about our niece and the adoption and they think it’s a wonderful story. We’ve never heard anything negative.

Although when we travel sometimes in the Midwest (I’m from Wisconsin) there have been challenges, not necessarily with people saying things outright, but there have been long looks, like they’re trying to figure us out.

ANTHONY: I think it’s also obvious when people meet Adela and see she’s such a happy and easygoing baby. People easily see that she’s in a good place.

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TNF: What has having a family meant to you?

ANTHONY: Christopher and I both come from big families. I love kids! I have a lot of a nieces and nephews. We’ve had this conversation before, we’ve both really loved kids, we both always wanted a family, but growing up gay you never really knew that was going to be an option. Things are different now than when we were growing up, so we always wanted it, but we didn’t really know it was going to be an option until we moved to Seattle. Seattle really is and accepting and great community. All of sudden having a family seemed more possible. We were just like “Hey, we should get married. We can have a family. We can do this!”

CHRISTOPHER:  The thing I recognize is that we’re very blessed! I’m not religious by any means, but I mean that in every sense of the word that we are blessed, it’s been relatively easy and everyone has been supportive of us to have children and to have a family. I have always wanted kids and to have a family, Coming from Wisconsin, it just initially felt like having a family wasn’t going to happen . We’ve had a fairly easy time with adoption and we realize that’s not always the case for other people.  I think part of it for us is recognizing that and trying to be a resource for other people. We want other people to have this. I’ve never been so happy in my entire life.

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Update from ANTHONY and CHRISTOPHER

Alexander was born May 6th, 2014.  He’s a gorgeous little guy with a healthy appetite – he is growing very fast and will soon catch up to his sister!  Adela likes being a big sister and will bring her brother stuffed animals when he is fussy or crying.  Initially, we were quite nervous whenever a situation occurred that only one parent was home to watch both children…but have since mastered juggling things.  We are pretty evenly split with parental responsibilities are maintaining a good social life with family and friends.  It’s funny, before having two kids, especially early on, we thought it was a lot of work – maintaining schedules and routines…honestly, from our vantage point now, one child is EASY PEASY!  We are super grateful and feel tremendously blessed it has been relatively easy.  Now, all we can hope is that Marriage Equality is recognized nationally, very soon..  When we travel, we continue to bring copies of all our legal documentation so we can verify our families relationships to one another – just in case anything were to happen. Federal marriage equality would eliminate this inequity

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Thank you for sharing your beautiful family!

 

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