Same Sex Parents
-Dani is a fabulous artist and she's very musically inclined; she can almost pick up anything and play it. Lea plays the piano, she does African drumming. Lea loves to play more than any child I have ever met in my life. All she wants to do is play. -Hi, I'm Judy. -I'm Donna. -And we're together; we're 30 years in April. We're parents to Danielle who is 14 and Lea who is 7. -Once we recognized that we will gonna be together for forever, we knew we wanted a family. And we first started by each of us trying to have children biologically, either one of us were be able to get pregnant. We've decided to start the process of adoption. It took a while, I'd say probably from the time we decided we wanted to have children and totally, actually, got our first child was probably 7 or 8 years. It wasn't difficult because we were a same-sex couple. For us, when we finally got to the adoption, we ultimately went through, which was-- we actually adopted our children through the Foster Care System. Somebody from the agency that we adopted from said to us, when it came time for the adoption, she said 'I assumed that you want to have both of you as parents' and we said, 'are we allowed to do that?', and she said 'yeah'. And we were shocked. -Right, we thought that one of us would have to adopt and then later on the other one would adopt. -I do think there are real challenges to being two women and trying to figure out the roles and dividing them. I mean, we're very different people and that comes out at our parenting styles but in terms of roles, you know, everybody wants to be the mother. And it's hard to share that role. -Even little things, when Dani would fall when she was little and the two of us would rush over and the two of us wanted to be there. You know, it was hard, it was just hard. -I think the issue of how children deal and how our children had dealt with being from same-sex family, where there is two moms, comes up all the time in different ways and it's on going. It came up recently with Lea in her school. She is 7 and she was saying that she felt like the kids in her class kept saying-- kids in her school were kept saying to her, how come your dad never comes to pick you up and she said-- she kept telling them she didn't have a dad. She felt like they were some judgment there. And, you know, kids-- some kids are just not exposed at all and other kids are and it's, you know, they're really differing levels of understanding about diversity. -She painted her shirt that was match the color of the bird. It's so beautiful. -The fact that people dislike us for whatever reason is much easier to deal with than the fact that they would punish our children in some way. I think that's, you know, we're just regular people. -There's so much more in common than not, as parents, I think. -There is a not a page in this book that isn't-- -To me now is just bizarre to think about living in this house without children. -Right. Right. -But at one point that it was just the two of us, we didn't have a dog, we didn't have children, you know, the house is very neat and clean. Now, I do hardly really remember the days before kids. You know, as Judy said that-- -They were young days. --we wouldn't change, you know, anything. It's phenomenal. -Yeah. -It's s wonderful experience as well. -And we've grown, we've grown so much. I think I would say to other gay couples that they should absolutely have children. It is the best thing that is ever happened to us. It is the hardest thing. You can wait until you're ready, you're not gonna be ready but that's the fun of it. And just, you know, it's just a matter of learning with them and just loving them like any other family. Do it, it's wonderful. I want them to be happy and independent and to do what they love and to appreciate life and, you know, try to enjoy things and to be kind and, you know, to be better than the world that we live in. -Yeah. I agree with all that and I want them to really feel good about who they are in this world, whatever they choose to do. I just-- I want them to feel good and happy and good with, you know, good about the decisions that they make in life. -And they should clean their room.