Chad is "Daddy". His partner, Eric, is "Dad". And, together, they are been raising three adopted siblings in Oklahoma City home. In the Land Of Kern.
“I think it's the same as everybody else,” Eric said of parenting. "We're two people trying to raise three kids, dealing with the same things you have to deal with on a day-to-day basis: schedules, school things, getting the kids to bed, brushing their teeth, eating your dinner, doing homework. It's the same stuff that you would encounter with anybody.”
And, they are not alone. According to the US Census, there are 1,060 households of gay men were raising children in Oklahoma,and some 1,840 lesbian-couple households doing the same. Take that, Sally Kern. Nearly three-thousand gay and lesbian couples raising children in Oklahoma.
Of course, it isn't all roses. Chad and Eric--who didn't want their last names used in this story--researched adoption for a few years, and even moved to a family friendly neighborhood, near good schools and parks, before they even adopted. The next few years, yes, years, saw a "a flurry of forms, background checks and home studies" by the state Department of Human Services.
“They don't allow any non-married couples--whether they're same-sex or heterosexual--to adopt kids together,” Eric said. “It has to be one (adult) or the other. The state doesn't allow us to do it together. But case workers understand that two parents, regardless of their orientation, can provide good, loving homes.”
And, in the spring of 2010, their case worker invited the couple to an “adoption party,” an informal event where prospective parents can meet older children awaiting adoption.
That's where Eric and Chad met two sisters, now ages 5 and 7, and their brother, now 10. The three were living in separate foster homes before Chad and Eric came along, but over the course of the summer the three children moved in with Eric and Chad.
And made a family. Dad, daddy and three siblings who might have otherwise grown up separately. Chad: “Before, it was just me and him and our dogs, that was our family. Once we got kids, your life becomes centered around the kids. It's been for the better, and we actually enjoy it. Every time I hear them say, ‘Daddy,' it melts my heart.”
Is that so wrong?