Blogging for #LGBTFamilies: Juan del Hierro

LGBT parenting blog Mombian, which received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Blog, is taking Monday, June 3rd to show the world for the 8th year in a row that LGBT families are just as loving, supportive and valuable to our communities as straight families. Mombian is asking LGBT families, straight allies and all other supporters to write and submit to, a blog post on any topic relating to LGBT families.

Juan del Hierro is the Sacred Service Ministry Director at Unity on the Bay.

Extraordinary: Today We Became a Forever Family

Today was a special day.  It was special in how extraordinary it was and yet how ordinary it might have seemed to the outside world.

Today my husband and I adopted our son.  We met Lucas on his 5th day in this world. He was in Florida's foster care system. It was love at first sight.  For almost six months, we have cared for him, we've showered him with love, we've nurtured him, and every day we have appreciated his very existence in our lives.  Day by day we began to realize what being “daddy and papi” meant and it brought us the deepest sense of joy we have ever experienced.  And so today, the court finalized what was already etched into our hearts – we are a forever family.

My husband Tom and I were always treated well although in Florida adoption by a gay couple is not allowed because our marriage is not recognized. So today I became the adoptive parent first, then within minutes, the judge heard our second petition which made Tom a co-parent.  

Both my husband and I will be on Lucas’ birth certificate.  From now on, both of us will be seen as a family and the family we have created will be recognized as one based on love and responsibility. 

Until today, no legal entity had told us we were a family.  The judge was the first government representative who out loud and in writing congratulated us for taking responsibility for the life of our baby boy. 

It was extraordinary in that we never thought we would be told by the judge that “Lucas was a lucky boy to have found you.”  Our friends and family had said it but there was something special about hearing a government representative say it also.  To the judge it might have been an ordinary process—he treated us with just the same kindness he probably has treated hundreds of families before.  His smile as he congratulated us seemed as if it was the same smile he used to congratulate hundreds of other couples before us.

And that in itself is extraordinary. Today, our family was treated like any other ordinary family.  And that made all the difference for us.

Our experience of love continues to expand every moment we hold our baby Lucas, and so too does our deep sense of gratitude.  We are so grateful for having Lucas in our lives, for the fact that my husband and I have been together 6 happy years. We are also so grateful and moved by the ways in which our community works tirelessly so that ordinary LGBT people like ourselves can have extraordinary days like today.

This blog post, as well as our lives now, is dedicated to the loving presence in our lives of our son Lucas Gabriel.