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Spotlight Series: Lori and Melissa
TNF: Tell me about your family. Are you married? Do you have kids?
LORI: Melissa and I have been together since 2002. We are not currently married. We both agree that marriage isn’t something we are willing to do until everyone can freely marry whom they love regardless of the state they choose to reside in. It’s our hope that our country can move forward and give all people the right to marry whom they choose.
We welcomed our first child, Avery, in July of 2013. After a year of failed insemination appointments, we found a live donor in our area and became pregnant just after 2 attempts. It was a great relief and marked start of the wild ride of parenthood.
TNF: How did you meet your wife/partner?
LORI: Melissa and I met in Baltimore, Maryland thru mutual friends. At the time Melissa was a musician, playing often in various clubs and bars around Baltimore. I remember going to see her play before ever meeting her. She had a pretty large LGBT following in the area. I remember one night traveling to Baltimore from my college in West Virginia with a mutual friend and no ride home. I gathered the courage and called Melissa to see if she could take me home. She said yes and the rest is history!
TNF: What do your children call you? Do you feel different from other families? If so, how so?
LORI: Avery is just now starting to babble we both are mama or mom. We are going to let her decide what she wants to call us, although I really want to be called mama.
I don’t really feel different from other families. I’d say I realize we are different when looking for clothes and finding something super cute, picking it up and it says “Daddy’s little princess” on it … things like that. We had to make our own baby book because it seems everything in retail stores is geared towards the “traditional family”. I know that there are going to be times in the future, such as daddy daughter dances or donuts with Dad, where our family will feel a little different. We will tackle those instances with amazing grace I’m sure.
We currently live in Austin, Texas and despite being in such a non-progressive state, we haven’t had any issues living openly gay. I feel completely accepted in every aspect of my life, from my job as Executive Chef of a public charter school system to the staff at Avery’s daycare, business encounters, neighbors, etc….
TNF: What has having a family meant to you?
LORI: Starting a family with the person I love is the best decision I have ever made. Every day I learn something new about myself. I find it really rewarding teaching Avery and showing her all the world has to offer.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful family with us!