Spotlight Series: Two Dads Dominic and Anthony

The Next Family
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The Next Family: How did you start your family?
 
Anthony: My husband Dominic and I met in 2005, started dating in 2008, and married in 2012.  We always knew that we wanted to be dads, and for us, adoption was the best way to do that.

The Next Family: How did you two meet?

Anthony: I went to college with my husband’s brother, and he introduced us.  We were friends, and then best friends, and then something more.  We had an immediate connection and knew we needed to be in each other’s lives for a long time.  It’s something you hear people talk about, marrying their best friend.  I’m so lucky to know that I was able to.
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The Next Family: Did you always want to have kids?
Anthony: We both have always wanted to have children.  I’m an older brother, and when I was younger, my brother and sister just fascinated me.  My husband Dom is a high school teacher, and I’ve watched in amazement at the ways in which he is able to make a difference in the lives of kids.  I knew he’d be a great father, and I’ve been so happy to discover over the last few months with our son, that my suspicions were right.
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The Next Family: Where do you live?
Anthony: We live in Central New Jersey, not far from New Brunswick.  We live in a great community with other kids in our neighborhood, close to parks and playgrounds, and not far from our local library.  As avid readers ourselves, and now having fallen in love with reading to our son every night, we’re very grateful.
 
The Next Family: What is the greatest (and the toughest) thing about being a parent?
Anthony: I think the greatest part about being a parent is being able to do it alongside my husband.  We’ve learned that our parenting instincts are really good, a testament to the ways our parents raised us, for sure.  And we’re so lucky to be able to network with other dads. We’ve received so much love and support from around the country, and it lets us know that there are other families just like ours.  The toughest part is that the little guy doesn’t talk yet, so when he cries, you just have to run through a list of possible stressors for him, and hope that you’re doing your best to help him as quickly as you can.  You can feel powerless sometimes as a dad, but as soon as you get his crying to give way to a grin and giggle, everything else fades away.
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The Next Family: Does your family feel adversity?
Anthony: We fought for marriage equality for a long time in New Jersey, trapped under the weight of some very real gubernatorial political largesse.  We had to have our wedding in New York in 2012, because we couldn’t legally marry in the state where we lived.  Things have changed since then, and not just in New Jersey but nationwide; we always remember to be grateful for the members of the GLBT community who have fought for all of us, so that my little family can enjoy life to its very fullest, with full legal protection.
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The Next Family: Do you have any advice for LGBTQ youth?
Anthony: We are so grateful to be living in a world that is evolving as quickly as it is, but we are never owed more than we’ve earned.  Be respectful, and be kind, and be good humans, because the world can be hard and lonely for other people, and you never know when a smile or a laugh is going to make all the difference for someone else.
 
The Next Family: What’s one life lesson you want to teach your children?
Anthony: Say thank you.  We go nowhere without gratitude and humility in life, and we are going to teach our son to hold doors, to say excuse me, to say please.  Live like you’re in a small town, and remember that everyone has their own story, and they deserves respect.  It’s easy to be kind.
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