Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 2009, article 2

Hi Poppets! Remember last month I mentioned I had been angry recently? My nephew helped with that. Well, this month, I have two stories that have helped some more. Personally, friends of mine have just recently become dads! In the news, Hillary and Julie Goodridge, a couple who were at the forefront of the gay marriage issue in Massachusetts, are divorcing.

Why my friends are adopting gives me faith is obvious. If two people were ever going to make good parents, it’s Rob and Ken. They are intelligent, articulate, sensitive, loving and in love men. They are beautifully balanced, with Rob being heart-based and Ken being head-based. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if they adopted me.

Their story is the (sadly) typical one. The first adoption agency they worked with assured them their orientation wouldn’t be a problem. They met a little boy and all three fell in love – and then the agency “reevaluated” their application and decided that a little boy shouldn’t be raised by them, after all. Needless to say, hearts were broken.

At first, my friends thought they could just switch agencies and find another kid. They switched agencies – but they didn’t just find another kid. When the parent-child bond forms, however it forms, it can’t just be transferred from one child to another. Ask any biological parent, stepparent or adoptive parent. Parents are parents when it comes to loving this specific child. They put their application on hold and took time to grieve the loss of their son. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if they would ever continue the process.

Luckily for their son, they grieved, they healed and they decided they did indeed still want to be parents. They met their son at an adoption open house. As Rob put it, they cornered him and practically wouldn’t let any other couples near him. Last month, it became official. Rob, Ken and their son are legally, as well as emotionally, a family.

Why the Goodridges’ divorce gives me faith isn’t nearly as obvious. Why should the end of a marriage give anyone faith? Isn’t that the sort of thing that actually destroys faith? Well, not necessarily. The whole point of same-sex marriage is that LGBT couples are the same as straight couples. They have the same wants, needs, desires as straight couples and should have the same rights as straight couples. All the same rights, including the right to normalcy, to make mistakes, to realize the marriage isn’t working and to divorce. No healthy straight couple marries with the expectation of divorce. Having watched the Goodridges for the entire time they’ve been public figures, I get the feeling these were healthy women in a healthy relationship. There was never the feeling they wanted to marry just for the publicity, for show, or to be role models. I never felt as if they were marrying just for the good of the community because someone had to do it. Their relationship always struck me as honest, healthy…normal.

And now, just as so many straight couples before them (myself included), these honest, healthy, normal women have realized their marriage needs to be over. I don’t know why they’re divorcing. No one but they know why they’re divorcing and I’m not going to speculate here. The fact is they are. As with any divorce, it’s a sad thing. No one likes to see a marriage break up. Yet, the point is, it’s normal. It’s ordinary. Just like every other divorce ever.

Slowly but surely, the system is beginning to work. I know we still have so far to come. I’m not Pollyanna about it. Far from it. And yet… We’re becoming parents. We’re divorcing. We’re living our lives in normal, ordinary ways, even when normal isn’t only the good stuff. If that’s not what we’re working for, I don’t know what is. And that gives me faith.

Until next month, Poppets, remember I can be reached at and take care of you.

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