guest post: creating my family through adoption

On May 13, 2007, I met the most important person in my life. On
that day I met my son for the very first time. It was far away, in
central Vietnam. He was just shy of five months old, I was just
about to turn 31, and we were just about to become a family. On May
14, a traditional ceremony called the Giving and Receiving Ceremony
was held, and according to Vietnamese law and tradition I became
Parker’s Dad, and he my son. Two weeks later we returned to the
USA. My time in Vietnam was magical, not only did I gain a
wonderful son, but I got to experience an amazingly beautiful
country and people.I adopted Parker An (‘An’ was his given
Vietnamese name – now his middle name) after a process that took
about nine months. That time was full of lots of waiting, very
anxious waiting…for paperwork, approvals, for his placement with
me, to travel, and finally to meet him and bring him home, back to
NE Ohio, where we live. I had thought about having children for
years, since high school at least, and later it was something I
planned on once I settled down with a husband. It even entered the
discussion with a couple of guys I dated. I ended up not waiting
for the husband, and decided to adopt on my own.
It’s been a wonderful decision, and an amazing journey. I can’t
imagine my life without Parker An. He just makes the entire world
seem like a better place. I hope to adopt at least one more child,
hopefully from Vietnam, again. I’m sure Parker would love a
sibling, and I’d certainly like more kids.
My family has been amazingly supportive of me, and my decision. My
parents are in love with Parker; he is the first grandson and gets
doted on quite a bit! His three cousins adore him, and my friends
have all been incredibly supportive and helpful.

Parker is just about to turn eight months old, and he’s grown so
much in the time I’ve known him. He’s crawling, mimicking
sounds and movements I make, beginning to eat food, and pulling
himself up to stand. Watching him grow is a real joy. I am very
lucky to have him.

I can’t encourage would-be parents to consider adoption enough.
If you do the research and are prepared, it is an amazing,
wonderful, and fulfilling thing to undertake. I am also a sperm
donor to a lesbian couple, two of my best friends…and I
considered surrogacy or some way of raising biological kids, as
well. After having adopted Parker An, though, I no longer think of
having biological kids as being any different from having a child
who came into your family through adoption.
I really didn’t encounter any issues relating to being gay.
Vietnam allows single persons or heterosexual married couples to
adopt; since I’m single it wasn’t an issue. More of an issue
was simply being a single man. Very few international adoption
agencies will work with single men, and there are only a handful of
countries that allow single men to adopt. As more single men (I
know a few others) venture into adoption, perhaps that will change.
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