Gay Dads: First Week With Their Baby Girl
By James Muscolino
Maybe it’s because I am still stuck in Indiana awaiting clearance to leave…but it feels like I am babysitting someone else’s child at times. I had to run to the lobby to print something out, and when Reagan and I walked in, everyone at the front desk went crazy over her! I sort of felt like I was kidnapping her and got caught! When they asked me if she was “my daughter”, I hesitated for some reason. Ah, but when I responded “yes”…well I guess that feeling of pride simply comes with the territory of all parents…
We had quite the week filled with first outing, first visitors, and even a first “gassy” (yet still angelic) smile!
Reagan’s first visitors were my aunt and uncle from Illinois. What a wonderful treat that was! My mother tells the story of the day I was born, and who my first visitors were, and I have always remembered that. So Reagan’s great-Aunt and Uncle will hold a special place in all of our memories. My partner and I are thankful for that. And for them.
Life with a newborn has certainly begun. Sure, everyone warned of sleep deprivation, the joys, the stresses. While I have most certainly taken all of that to heart and under advisement, I am earnestly trying to make this experience for myself and my family (my partner and child) a simple surprise. I’m not ignorant and am fully aware of the sheer level of emotional stress and annoyances having a newborn can place on a household. People still laugh at me when I tell them that is OK! It’s ok that I’m going to be pulling my hair out…I want to. We didn’t work this hard and come this far to be given this perfect gift, for me to hide behind the anxiety of parenthood. I want it to be a surprise, messy, noisy, aggravating. Years from now, I gather I will miss these times in more than any other arena of my life.
“Enjoy it now because it goes so fast”. That is the #1 top piece of advice I have received from everyone. Our daughter didn’t come to us very easily. I don’t think it punishment for me to want to be knee deep in all the parenting triumphs and tragedies! I want to work hard at finding the beauty in each stage of my child’s life. Because in the end, I am sure that one day I will pine for one more sleepless nights with that little angel in my arms. This week, I have found my grace in so many ways. The job that I was always meant to have, I was finally hired to do.
I thank those who have been so wise in their words to me, when the stress level of this adoption was to much to bare. Especially my friends who have been unable to know what to say but reassured me that they were simply there to listen. A special thank you to the staff at lifelong adoptions. Our adoption coordinator was amazing in every way. When I wanted to scream, was confused, scared…he was there to answer all my anxiety driven questions.
A most heartfelt thanks goes to someone who I have been “pen-pals” with since the 7th grade. During that confusing time, when I was bullied, thrown down stairs, called “faggot” every day of my junior high school semester, she was the one who had always encouraged me to write my feelings out and it is solely because of her, that I was reminded and inspired to write this blog. Mrs. Simon, it has truly helped in every way and I am most grateful for your continued support and friendship.
My partner, husband and the love of my life…who has put up with me since January…I ask you now…wasn’t it all worth it? I watch him hold and talk to our little girl and I see him in an incredibly different light. I would never have wanted a family if it wasn’t with him by my side. I am thankful everyday that I waited for him-because no family is worth having if it was having one without him.
On a different note, I’m not going to sit here and be “that” parent who brags on how gorgeous and perfect their child is….but isn’t she the most gorgeous and perfect child?
Article brought to you by From The Stork.