Speaking of 8 years ago… it’s crazy to even write because time has flown by…
We started off very typical for two gay men dating in the NYC/NJ area. Having some appetizers and conversation and next thing we knew we couldn’t get rid of each other! In our defense, we had a great connection. We laughed for hours. And, if we remember correctly, way before our first date was over, Nick already had asked for a second date.
It was the beginning of spring, we both worked in Manhattan and lived in NJ, so we took advantage of the weather and shared the enjoyment of just being in the city. The more we did together the more we connected. Laughter is at the core of our connection. Our sense of humor, our understanding of sarcasm and the ability to find humor/joy in situations was something we both knew was rare to find in someone else. Around the jokes, we both started to learn more and more about the man we would one day call husband. Of course, there were all the basic facts that come along with getting to know someone, like Nick being a lawyer who really wanted to be a photographer and being an animal lover . And of course his love of scary movies (good or bad).
As we grew closer, Lou got to witness Nick’s relationship with his, at the time, 8 year old nephew when we visited Nick’s family in Pennsylvania. Nick lit up in a completely different way for his nephew. Nick’s nephew was and still is just as excited to see his uncle. From that moment on, Lou saw Nick as the dad he would one day get to be and that actually cemented a lot for their relationship. Lou knew that this was someone I could laugh, love and raise children with until we were both old and annoying.
For Nick, Lou had the benefit of being from NJ and living a lot closer to his immediate family. So Nick got see his retail buyer boyfriend interact with them more frequently. Nick quickly realized that humor and sarcasm was pretty much how he communicated with his family. Nick also got to see firsthand how the expression “family first” was not only something that was said but was also shown in their interactions.
Lou’s relationship with his niece was not exactly the same as Nick and his nephew, because his niece was already 19 when Nick first met her. The little girl that used to instantly fall asleep on him was working at the mall, going to school and “too cool” for her uncle. Nick did get to see Lou more with his close friends and their kids as it seemed to be someone was having a baby every year.
Nick will tell you he knew he always wanted kids. Lou on the other hand, was hesitant when he was younger because he didn’t want to get his hopes up knowing that he was gay and that he may not get the chance. One day that changed when he was home on a weekend downloading music. He was searching and playing all kinds of music that he grew up with and was passed down from his parents and extended family. At that moment, it hit him… he wanted to be a dad! The things that have been passed down to him were the greatest gifts he had ever received – his huge love of music, his creativity, memories, experiences and laughter. He realized becoming a dad is a gift and an honor and a chance to do what was done for him and pass all this on to a child.
One thing Lou can’t pass on, is cooking. Don’t get us wrong, he has tried it and he can make some dishes (mostly soups), but he just doesn’t see how people love it. In fact, some may even say he keeps sweaters in the oven for extra storage. Luckily, It’s just another thing he benefitted from when falling for Nick – Nick loves to cook. However, Lou does bring cleaning to the table and the next level. He can clean and rearrange/redecorate a room for hours and he finds it all to be relaxing. So we balance each other out that way.
More about our family as it is today. We have two rescue dogs that are the most lovable and adorable you can find (we are bias). Reece, who just turned 11 years old, has energy just like he did when he was 5 months old and his brother Pope, who just turned 9, wants nothing more than to be next to people and see what going on. They have been spoiled rotten even more so this past year with the pandemic because they have both dads working from home. Both are great around babies and children.
Speaking of work, so like we mentioned, Nick is an attorney who has specialized in medical malpractice. For the last few years, he has been working on the insurance side of things. He works from home 5 days a week now and for the foreseeable future. While Lou works as a category director for consumer products. Lou get to be creative in both fun products and running a business. Lou currently works from home, and will be eventually returning to the office 3 days a week. We see the silver lining this year because we will get to spend even more time with the baby than we would have given the huge change in the world. We are so grateful as well, because we live extremely close to Lou’s parents, who have both retired in recent years and are so excited for a new grand baby. Lou’s parents have been married 50+ years and set the bar high for loving couples and defining family. Nick’s mom is a retired ER nurse who will be visiting from Pennsylvania more and more when they baby comes.
So when the world isn’t shut down what do we like to do? So one thing that is important to both of us is being active and working out. We both try to get physical activity in everyday for at least 30 minutes. That could be as simple as walking the dogs or as much as the at home gym Nick has now built since the gyms shut down. When we aren’t doing any of the above, we love traveling and vacationing, that’s everything from a ski weekend, to day trip, to getting on a plane and going to experience a new country. In the summer months, we try and spend one day a weekend (at least) down at the Jersey shore and we can be happy window shopping at a mall in the winter or keeping the couch cozy with the dogs.
Friendships are also a big part of who we are as a couple and individuals, even though over the years our circle isn’t as big as it once was, the love, memories and support are things we truly appreciate and cherish. We plan on leveraging our friends for so many things like parenting advice, different perspective and just connections from family to family.
While we have all these great thing going for us, there is one thing missing – a child.
From first conversations about children, we both immediately said “Well two dads can’t make a baby, so how are we going to do it?” We are two men, so conceiving isn’t an option (obviously, haha). We decided on adoption because we understand that there are mothers looking for good homes for their child and we have a home full of love, laughter, traditions and experiences. Just from that, it is the only choice we could make. We know we will love the child with everything we are and everything we have. In a way, we are lucky because we don’t have the pressure to the “when do we tell the child about their adoption?” The child will eventually start to question why they have two dads and we will have to begin to educate them about how they came to us. There will be so many questions throughout their life and we will take each one on with honesty and take pride in educating ourselves together for any of the questions that we do not know the answer.
Again, while we cannot imagine what the other side of this profile is thinking or feeling, we want to thank you for making this step to consider us. We are honored to be considered for this next step of our lives and building our family.