Spotlight Series: Billy & William
William: Billy and I met in 2007 and went on a few dates before we fell out of touch. 4 years later we reconnected and have been together ever since. We live in Marietta, Georgia near Atlanta and bought our house in 2013. Billy is an accountant and I work for Home Depots Store Support Center. We have two dogs and enjoy music, video games, gardening, and sports. Billy and I both knew we wanted to be dads and after beginning our careers and getting engaged, we decided to begin looking into different options. We signed up with a private adoption group but during the process, realized that we wanted a different experience than just filling out paperwork and waiting. We withdrew our application and decided to begin classes to become foster parents.
TNF: Tell us about your family.
William: The day after we became certified foster parents, we got a call about 2 little boys who needed placement. They were with us for 3 months and during that time, we had 2 other kids come and stay with us for short periods of time. The week that our boys went home, we received a call to foster a 6 month old….how do you say no to that? Our 6 month old was with us for 5 months and during that time, we received a call that there was a newborn in the NICU that needed a family. Because we were the first family to volunteer to foster him while he was in the hospital, we were approved to begin visiting him in October. The night that we saw Deacon in his incubator, we knew he was meant for us. He was hospitalized for 97 days and we were there almost every day. The staff at his hospital never referred to us as anything but his dad’s and treated us with the upmost respect. He had two surgeries while hospitalized and while we did not know about him during the first, the second was one of the scariest days of our lives. I remember them taking him back knowing that he had no idea what was going on but hoping he knew that someone thought that the world was a better place because he was here and wanted nothing more than to just hold him and let him know he was going to be okay. His surgery was a success and a month later we were headed home.
Currently, Deacon is home with us and is a healthy 6 month old. We are in the process of adopting him and look forward to finalizing our family. We absolutely will foster again once we get Deacon situated. Fostering the kids that we got the privilege to meet helped make us better parents, individuals, and couple.
TNF: Where do you live? Do you deal with adversity being a gay couple?
William: Even though we are in the deep South, we have rarely had anything but positive feedback and comments. We make sure we surround ourselves with positive people who only add to our family unit. Of course there are some people who don’t agree with our family and that’s okay, we happen to love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I think it’s when you try to hide something about yourself that people zone in on it and use it as ammunition against you. We are very unapologetic of our family and rightly so, our family is as valid and important as any other.
TNF: How have the marriage laws affected you if at all?
William: While we absolutely plan on getting married, we have discussed moving to a state that recognizes us as equals. If I’m going to pay state taxes, I would like to have the same opportunities as everyone else.
TNF: What has having a family meant to you?
William: Everything that Billy and I have done in our lives have been to get us a step closer to being able to have a family. We both have degrees and work for companies that support and assist us with our dreams. While our family may not look like others, it’s differences is what makes it so great. Our son will grow up understanding the importance of social responsibility and surrounded by people who love and support him. He will experience unconditional love and every opportunity to discover who he is and who he wants to become.
TNF: Any advice for other couples looking to have children?
William: Our advice for other couples looking to have children is to explore all options and keep yourself open to what comes your way. We had not planned on adopting a newborn but things fell into place and while we waited for him, got to experience some incredible kids who so badly want to be loved and feel as important as they are.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful family with us!