The fact that I have before contributed to the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union makes me, to some, some kind of activist. To others, acknowledging my life-partnership with a woman is equal to having the audacity to “flaunt my political views” in their face. As if love and commitment are political. Last time I checked, those two qualities were the foundation of Family. Throw a couple kids in that mix and I am practically an extremist, somehow contributing to the collapse of families and good values worldwide. And Recycling? In Texas? SACRILEGIOUS!

In fact, if you took a sampling of our Lifestyle, it would all balance out to the sum of Not Much Different Than Any Other Family.

We work hard. We share in household duties. We communicate. We go to church. We have utmost respect and deep love for one another. We hold our family and friends close to our hearts. We try to be socially conscious consumers. And with kids, our day-to-day now includes changing a kajillion diapers, the ebb and flow of confidence in parenting and lack thereof, lots of cuddling and kisses, and celebrating on those seemingly rare occasions when we do something right.

Our mere existence as a two-mom family, however, makes us different. A few weeks back, I had the bright idea (cue in Not So Bright) of making the kids’ follow-up doctor visit and my doctor appointment on the same day. We entered my doctor’s clinic, a waiting room full of patients, with a twin stroller and both of them beginning to stir from hunger. Bruiser started making his Cowardly Lion sounds, the sounds he makes pre- You-Have-Five-Seconds-To-Get-Me-What-I-Want-Before-I-Erupt-In-A-Volume-They’ll-Hear-Outside-And-By-The-Way-I-Am-Not-Telling-You-What-It-Is-That-I-Need. So the Beloved takes him on a stroll up and down the hall, their presence marked by the waning and acceleration of his hollering like that of a passing fire truck. BUT LOUDER. My whole desire to fly under the radar? Continue being a behind-the-scenes kind of person? NOT HAPPENING.

I began to feed Birdie, her very loud gulping sounds tickling her audience in the waiting room. “Oh, how precious she is,” someone says. “Thanks,” I say, “That piercing of your eardrums? That’s her brother.” “Oh, wow, twins! A boy and a girl. You and your husband must be so happy to have your family complete.” Crickets chirping. A bunch of pregnant women, their mom’s and husbands in tow with eyes on me. Do I step up and say who we are? Or do I say what they want to hear? “Actually,” I say, “that’s my partner with our son outside. She is soothing him while I wait to be called in. And yes, we are incredibly blessed to have them both.”

Yes, having kids puts me on the front lines of various forms of Activism, whether I like it or not. The reality is that things are made a bit more challenging when you aren’t made up of One Woman and One Man. But we owe it to Those Who Have Cleared A Path For Us that we DO get some benefits, some acknowledgment of the family that we are. Example? We have a church that loves and accepts us exactly as we are. We are members of our neighborhood’s Kid’s Group – and we aren’t the only same-sex parent household. We are members of a local Mother’s of Multiples Group and no one bats an eye. We get to use the Beloved’s Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account for the kids even though she is not the biological parent.

Speaking of which, let me just say, I may have been the baby oven, but these kids would not be here without the help of the Beloved. The RaJenBabies were conceived in prayer and love from the both of us. She took care of me during pregnancy. And by doing so, she took care of them. She is as much responsible for their existence just as sure as they came out of my belly. And she is just as committed and involved with their caretaking, and just as smitten as I am. In other words, she is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT PARENT, biological or not.

And that brings up one of those trails worn in by the brave souls who have fought battles before our arrival and because of that, we have the ability to do things we might not have otherwise been able to do: Adoption.

It’s fitting, then, that on this 3rd Annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day that we share our good news: The Beloved will officially and legally adopt the RaJenBabies on Friday, June 6, finalizing a process we began in February. We will have family members there with us to share in our joyous moment and we will celebrate together. By court order, The Beloved will be as much a parent to them as I, forever and ever. Maybe, then, families like mine aren’t going to be different for very long after all.

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