I kissed a girl and it wasn’t terrible.

On Wednesday, Virginia’s social services board voted to allow same-sex couples to adopt.

It lost 7-2.

Let me back up here and explain something. In Virginia, only married couples or single people (regardless of sexual orientation) can adopt. So, by default, gay couples are excluded. However, single people who want to adopt for a variety of reasons can.

That’s fine.

What I don’t understand is why we don’t allow unmarried couples of any type to adopt? If a couple has been together for 15 years, but isn’t married because; a) they can’t or b) they just don’t want to, and decide they want a child, why can’t they adopt if they so choose? Just because two people are not married, doesn’t mean they are any less dedicated. The state acknowledges a single parent’s ability to raise a child alone, why do they refuse to deny an unmarried couples ability to do the same?

Okay, for the sake of argument let’s put out there that if you’re unmarried, it’s easier to separate regardless of if children are involved or not. I don’t agree with that, as most people wouldn’t, but I know that’s how many people look at it, so let’s just put it on the table.

This leads me to ask, why do we not allow same-sex marriage? Can someone give me one really good reason?

Other than the fact that “God said it’s an abomination,” because I just don’t believe that. I’m pretty sure God also said “judge not lest ye be judged,” but a lot of people seem to forget that part.

I really don’t think it will destroy how sacred marriage is, considering 50% of all marriages end in divorce and there will be an affair 80% of the time in all marriages. Along with those numbers and the fact that it’s nearly impossible to put a number domestic abuse because so many cases go unreported, it’s safe to say marriage is hardly sacred. Let’s not forget to point out that if two gay men or women are allowed to marry, IT WON’T EFFECT YOUR CURRENT MARITAL STATUS AT ALL.

As a straight, married, mother of two gay marriage doesn’t make an impact on my life at all, except…

Except for the fact that not allowing gay marriage can make an impact on my life in years to come.

Let me break it down for you.

One in ten people identify themselves as homosexual. My parents have 15 grandchildren. I don’t like the number 15, so let’s just say that each of my parents’ children have one more child in their lifetime, that is 20 grandchildren. That means that there would (statistically) be two gay children in my family. It could be any variety of them, but it doesn’t matter. If one of my nephews wants to marry his partner of 5 years, then I really hope he asks for my help planning it because I have some great ideas involving silver hot pants for the wedding party and a drag queen named Daphne as the officiant. Or if Caitlin and her transgendered partner decide they want to have a baby, but want to adopt, I will be there wearing the gaudiest “Proud Grandma” sweater I can possibly find.

The important thing, to me, is the fact that they should have the opportunity to tell me to tone down my pride and excitement. They can’t do that if they aren’t legally allowed to even have those celebrations without leaving the state they live in. And it does bother me because I want nothing more for them to all be happy and proud of who they are. If society is telling them they are wrong for one reason or another, that does effect me. It does piss me off.

It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to my marriage, but it does, potentially, make a difference to people who share the same blood as I do. I would rather any number of them be in a loving relationship with someone of the same-sex than to be hurt by infidelity or abuse, mentally, emotionally, or physically.

And that is something that is worth fighting for to me.

Caitlin is two

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

Caitlin Sono
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day


The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful, and so are you

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes


Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies


The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything


Dear Prudence, won’t you open up your eyes?

Look round, round, round, round
Look round, round, round, round

Dear Prudence, let me see you smile


Dear Prudence, like a little child


The clouds will be a daisy chain
So let me see you smile again


Dear Prudence, won’t you let me see you smile?

Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play?


Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day


The sun is up, the sky is blue
It’s beautiful, and so are you


Dear Prudence, won’t you come out to play??

 

I have sung this song (“Dear Prudence”-The Beatles) to Caitlin from the day I found out she was a girl, to this very day. It was my coax to her to join me in this world happy. Two years ago, she was four weeks early. Today she is two, and I have no words, except that I love you and always will.

Two

My daughter will be two on Monday.

Two years old.

I’m dying inside with every ticking second.

Soon, she’ll be two. And then five. Ten. Fifteen. Twenty.

She’ll be married, with children of her own, watching them grow.

I can’t take it. I look at pictures of the past two years and in nearly every one, there is her face, changing, growing older every day. Yesterday, she was a small, barely bigger than an American Girl baby doll, jaundiced thing with fine black hair. Today, she is solid and strong, with bright blue eyes and a mop of curly-ish brown hair.

She taught me how to be a mother.

She’s given me patience, and taken it away.

She’s given and received unconditional love.

She’s broken my heart.

She’s forgiven me when I felt like I couldn’t do anything right and be her mommy.

She watched me fall apart. She helped as I struggled to put the pieces of my heart, and myself, back together.

She gave me a new way to describe myself. Because of her, I became someone’s mommy. I became a person that someone depends on completely.

I just want time to freeze in this moment. I want to keep her, both of them, like this; perfect in every way.

But, instead, she’ll be two on Monday. Then five, ten, fifteen, twenty.

Story time

There is something about the way their bodies feel heavy on my chest as we snuggle in to read a story. Kinley snuggled in at the breast, Caitlin holding her milk while one hand with little fingers rubs my back. In that moment we are three bodies, one heart.

They are breathing gently as I flipped the pages of the book, reading the words in an even and softly. The pictures are full of color and images which prompt stops in the words to answer “what’s that?” Little fingers point to objects, littler hand try to grab the book from me, but we continue on and read.

Occasionally, they will look up at me and smile. Their instinct when they see my face, to smile. Gummy smiles and toothy grins, reserved just for me, for mama.

Delicate moments smoothing out the rough edges of our lives.

As I turn every page, I breathe them in, kiss the tops of their heads, snuggle them closer to me. When we reach the final page, little eyelids begin to drop and cover little blue eyes. The final words are read as heavy, sleeping sighs are given.

I love yous are whispered in their ears as they are laid down to sleep. Three bodies, one heart.

A letter to my children

My darling little ones,

Every time I look at you, you impress me with new knowledge, new skills. I see you teach yourself how to play, and watch as you attempt to sit up and crawl; climb and balance. My daredevils.

As this year comes to an end, I can only think of what the next year will bring us. Many more adventures for our family, many more good times than we have had in recent times, many more silent wishes I keep in my heart.

I wish for you to learn without much difficulty.
I wish you success in everything you want to do.
I wish small failures to keep you growing and learning.
I wish for you to never feel you must earn acceptance from anyone.
I wish for you to feel the love we have for you, and to never doubt it.
I wish you never have more troubles than your heart can carry.
But if you ever do, I wish you the strength to realize you are stronger than you think.
I wish for you to find a partner who truly loves you for everything you are, because that’s all that matters to me.
I wish that these difficult years don’t linger in your heart negatively, but instead teach you the ability to be creative when it’s needed.
I wish you happiness, even when times are bad.
I wish you health.
I wish for you to always know you are so loved. So very loved.

When times are bad, I hope you know we will always be here for you.
When your heart is breaking, I hope you know it will be a temporary pain.
When money is tight, I hope you know there is always a way to survive.

There is little you could do to make me disappointed. There is nothing you could do that will make me turn my back on you. You two are my heart, my soul, my world, my everything, and I hope you grow up never doubting that for a second.

When the sun has set, and the moon rises high above you at night, darkening the world around you, I hope the brightness you keep in your heart lights your way.

My little darlings, there is so much love in my heart for you. You are the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given. You are the greatest people I have ever had the honor of knowing. And I am excited to discover what this new year will bring us, together, as a family.

I love you my little darlings.

So beautiful

As I soap up my hands and run the shampoo through Caitlin’s hair, I often find myself thinking back to when she was an infant. A tiny baby, no more than a few weeks old, laying peacefully on the mesh bath supporter. I can see myself, my feet inside the tub, my jeans rolled up, washing her gently. My baby girl. I can see Chris standing, leaning against the doorway, watching us both. He starts to tell me a story, a story he was told at work by a client after it was announced his baby girl had been born.

The client was an older woman with children of her own. She recalls the memory of bath time with her two-year-old daughter, gently washing her hair and rinsing the soap from her.

“You have such a beautiful body,” she tells her daughter.
”Beautiful?” her daughter replied.
”Yes, so beautiful.”

Those were the last words she said to her daughter. The last thing she heard her daughter say.

After bath time, she went outside with a sibling to play when someone (her oldest son, I believe) either drove into the driveway, or was driving out. The details are skewed in my mind, but what happened isn’t. Her daughter was killed.

At the moment Chris tells me that, my heart catches in my throat. I stop breathing. I cry. I cry for the daughter. I cry for her mother.

Because of that story, our bath times are special. No matter what is going on, they are a time of calm and comfort. There is no yelling, no fighting, no anger. Even when misbehavior occurs, it is a time of love.

As we finish bath time, I wrap her up in a warm towel, heated just for her, and dry her off. I breath her in as I pat off her hair, back and belly. The scent of strawberry and blueberry fill my senses and I whisper to her, “You are so beautiful.”

The other day, as I patted and dried, tickled and giggled, I whispered to her. And she smiled at me, as if she knew exactly what I meant and replied, “So beautiful.”

My heart caught in my throat and I began to cry. For the daughter. For the mother. Singular tear drops fell into Caitlin’s hair as I replied, “Yes, so beautiful.”

So very beautiful.

What it is

What it feels like…

Crippling loneliness.
Anxiety.
Fear.
Sadness.
Hollowness.
Destruction of the soul.
Pain.
Helplessness.
An endless war inside your heart and mind.

What it is…

Strength developing.
The soul hardening.
Determination evolving.
Love blossoming.
Life lessons.
Learning to let go over situations you cannot control.
Learning to not let fear control you.
A battle that can be won.
A battle that is worth winning.

It’s fear entering and leaving the body. It’s growing older and stronger in time. It’s believing in yourself. It’s knowing that in the end, this too will pass. It’s holding on to that little bit of you that urges you and pushes you forward.

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