We are proud to publish this wonderful essay on gay parenting by our own Yanir Dekel, Manager of Online Outreach for A Wider Bridge
There’s an old Jewish saying, “Children Are Happiness.” For the first 6 months of our twins’ lives, that could only have been true for me and my husband if “Happiness” could be defined as a kind of delirium resulting from a powerful desire to turn back time and not have had kids at all.
I don’t know what it’s like for straight couples whose kids are, perhaps, delivered on the wings of a gentle stork. Our babies were dropped from the aptly named “Enola Gay” on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We had talked about this. We had “couple’s therepized” about this. We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on our little “Manhattan Projects.” Friends, family, and random people on the street warned us with eye rolls, cynical laughs and “Wait, wait, you don’t know what’s coming for you.” Still nothing could prepare us for the mushroom cloud of sleep deprivation, lost freedom, and the scorched earth of what used to be a “gay lifestyle” at the gym and out with friends. And worst of all, these “Little Boy”s were living, breathing (screaming) humans, and the guilt of not knowing if we were taking care of them correctly – often not even wanting to take care of them at all – that was almost unbearable.
Our surrogate, bless her soul, lives 600 miles away, so for us, the whole process of the pregnancy itself was rather remote – that is, until we stepped into a delivery room and watched in shock as, 28 hours later, we found ourselves with two human beings that we needed to take care of for at least the next eternity.
But it turns out the worst of the fallout from our new Nuclear family began to subside after the first 6 months. Our two little radioactive blobs started to smile and giggle. Started to show signs that they knew who we were and were pretty happy to see us. And, it’s true, those 6 months changed us as well – made us men who could start to find our way with these new people.