Thursday, 6 March 2014

An 'Inspirational Post' for LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week

When I was asked to contribute to the BAAF blogpost for LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, I was also asked if I could make it ‘inspirational’ – “No problem,” I said, “If you need an inspirational piece about being a gay parent then I’m your man!”
Then I sat down to write. But as soon as I sat at the keyboard my youngest son, TJ, decided that now was a good time to tell me that he needed an alien costume for school – tomorrow! Of course, he hadn’t told me when school did, two weeks ago, and, of course, he had lost the letter telling panicked parents exactly what the plans for ‘Alien Day’ were.
So I did what any good parent would do – I got on Facebook and messaged other parents at the school to find out what I needed to do.
“It can be anything, a robot, an alien, an astronaut – the theme is space and you can either rent a costume or make one – but there was a big ‘no’ if you thought you could simply paint your child’s face green and send them in ‘normal clothes – the school wants authenticity!”
I thought that if any alien came to Earth then surely they would do as much as possible to blend in and I was half tempted to send TJ to school in uniform with a note explaining our point of view… Or was I just being lazy?
So we pulled out cardboard boxes and tin foil, paper glue and toilet roll tubes – I felt like I was finally becoming the Blue Peter presenter I had always dreamed of being.
Two hours later my happy little boy was dressed as a cardboard robot and we had had a great time making it together.
Now I had to go back to writing this piece whilst he walked around me shouting ‘exterminate’ and zapping the unsuspecting dog with his ‘laser gun’ (A toilet roll with a lolly stick as a handle).
I couldn’t help but smile at him and at the joy on his face.
And that was my inspiration for this piece.
Gay parenting is no different to parenting. You will experience the same highs, the same lows – yes, adopted children have many more issues but they also bring as much joy.
Don’t be afraid of being a parent. There will be curious stares at the school gate, particularly if, like us, you don’t live in London, there will be difficult conversations about why you are not married to a woman and asking if you and Papa are brothers. You will have all that and my advice is always to be honest, if they are old enough to ask then they are old enough to be told the truth.
But at the end of the day (a horrid cliché I know) it’s the actual having of a family that is the inspiration and I can only hope that by raising awareness of LGBT Adoption and Fostering that more children will be brought into safe, loving, homes where they can experience something that every child has a right to – a loving family.
I hope that’s inspirational enough!

Fisrt published on the BAAF Website :

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