TNF: How long have you and Dan been together?
Charles: Dan and I have been together for 23 years. We plan to legally marry in May. We have six adopted kids. Our family was featured in the HBO documentary “All Aboard Rosie’s Family Cruise” in 2002. We only had five kids at that time. Our kids are Ray 19 a United States Marine, Maggie 16, a junior in high school, Kayla 15, a freshman, Justin 14, a freshman, Jayda 11, Nekos 5.
TNF: How did you and Dan meet?
Charles: Dan and I met at a gay club. I basically watched him for over a year but was too shy to ask him out. I asked him to dance and he said yes, I then asked him to dinner and he turned me down. The following night he came up to me at the bar and asked if the invitation was still good, he had broken off with someone he was dating and we have been together ever since.
TNF: Where do you live?
Charles: We live in Little Ferry, NJ and are very accepted in our community. From the beginning we knew we wanted a family. I never dreamed we would have six kids though. Four are biological siblings and two are also biological from a different family. Our goal was to have them grow up together.
TNF: What has having a family meant to you?
Charles: Having a family has changed our lives in so many ways. First off, the amount of love in our home has been multiplied 8 times. It has brought Dan and I such a sense of accomplishment. We have been able to take our love and give six wonderful kids a forever home. Having a family has made me fight even harder for our legal rights. I have become very protective of our kids and made my voice loud and clear in New Jersey. Putting our families to a [popular] vote would not be in the best interests of any of our children and that doing so would put our families into a very vulnerable position. We are thankful it was overruled allowing us to finally marry in May 2014. Our family was honored to be a featured family in the HBO documentary “All Aboard Rosie’s Family Cruise” and what makes it really special is we plan to have the exact ceremony with Cindy Love performing the ceremony. What’s even more special is the kids are all older and our son will be our best man. Our kids are an example of our 23 years together, our love and our strength as a couple. Our children are our lives, they are every breath we take and we are just thankful that we were able to first become foster parents legally and the be able to adopt our kids legally as a couple.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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