One Window Closes, Another Opens (and Another, and Another…)

By: John Jericiau

The Modern Family in Los Angeles

My brand newborn son Ryan already had me twisted around his little pinky after the first twenty-four hours of the feeding/changing/sleeping cycle. As a single guy I had spent the last seven months supporting (emotionally and financially) the out of town birthmother but all of that didn’t matter after I first held my new son. I was drained but ecstatic. I was crying but content. And this was just Day One!

On his second day in my life we found our way to his first pediatrician’s appointment. I was excited to pop open the trunk and whip out his brand new stroller, just one of the hundreds (yes hundreds!) of gifts I had received from friends, family and acquaintances who wanted to show support for the gay triathlete/beach lifeguard/physical therapist who desperately wanted a child and chose adoption to fulfill that dream.

The new stroller was taking its time stretching out and opening up at our parking spot after being folded in a box for so long. I almost didn’t answer the phone when it rang in my pocket and echoed throughout the parking structure. I cheerfully answered with one hand as I draped the new diaper bag over the stroller with the other (new dads must multitask, I had been warned!). Whatever contorted position I was in when I answered that call was the position I held for the full minute it took for the person on the line to change my life forever.

What follows is a bit fuzzy. I remember that I carefully clipped Ryan back into the new car seat, and before I went back for the stroller I held his cheeks in my hands and stared deeply into his eyes, as if to burn the image of my face into his memory, and his into mine. I got onto the 10 freeway to return to my house by the beach with the new nursery and new crib, looking more of the time at Ryan in the rearview mirror and less of the time at the road in front of me. Of course when you want traffic to slow you down there is none; I was home before I knew it and was carrying Ryan in through the back door when the front doorbell rang out like the town square bell before a hanging.

The wonderful social worker was there with a used empty carseat, trying to console me with something about one window closing but another one opening soon, and reminding me that, as we had talked about many times, there was always a chance that the birthmother would change her mind and want her baby. She transferred Ryan out of my carseat and into hers, and as she walked with Ryan out the door and to her car, along with him went a piece of my heart.

Little did I know that the window the social worker was referring to had almost immediately begun to open! Almost two weeks later I met Alen (born June 22nd), a fellow triathlete/physician who became and remains the love of my life. Three years later, after several other challenging adoption tries, we witnessed the miracle of birth of our first son Devin (born May 22nd), followed exactly eight months later by the birth of our second son Dylan (born January 22nd) through surrogacy.

And there’s more to come! We are currently working on Baby Number Three (through surrogacy) while working through all the challenges that life as a married couple with kids has to offer. And this gay guy (born December 22nd) hopes to tell you all about it!

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