You'll Be In My Heart
For one so small, you seem so strong. My arms will hold you, keep you safe and warm. This bond between us can't be broken; I will be here, don't you cry.
Disney's Tarzan took me to a whole new world as a child. It awoke in me a passion I've yet to satisfy: the need to be a dad.
Phil Collins roars from the speakers as I jam out in my bedroom to Disney's Tarzan soundtrack for the twentieth time in a weekend. Belting at the top of my lungs, swinging from my bunk bed, sliding across the magenta carpet that covers the floors of my childhood home. I've probably watched this movie a dozen times this week, but I sit down to watch again.
Moments in, the gorilla Kala happens upon an infant, a human, a creature totally different yet somehow familiar. The gentle cry of this baby clutches the heartstrings of this want-to-be mother. Moments later and without hesitation, Kala erupts to protect this child from the terrifying fangs of a jungle leopard. This instinct is something I could recognize in myself as a young boy. I knew then and there that I wanted to be able to do this for a child one day.
Looking back I can't be certain that it was Phil Collins rockin score, Kala's impassioned fervor to save this infant's life or the impossibly trimmed body of a certain jungle-dweller that first grabbed my attention, but I can say looking back that this movie truly made me want to be a dad. I wanted to be able to stand tall and defend.
As a child, I was often found in the play kitchen, or playing house with neighbors, or making fucking fruit pies (great story, ask me about it sometime). Fatherhood was something I just always saw for myself. When I was nearly 8, I got to meet someone that would drastically change my life: my littlest brother, Tristan. Now I had other siblings, but the age difference was much tighter and we lived in separate homes. Tristan became something I wanted to take care of. And my parents appreciated it (for the most part).
We developed a way of communicating, I just knew what he wanted as a baby. As we both grew, this instinct took over a little too often and I'd find my parents telling me to stop parenting. It was hard, because I just felt this urge to help. Being a parent came so naturally.
As I became a teenager, I would often find myself thinking about being a dad. At the same time, I began to find myself and realize that being gay was going to make that much harder. I remember when I first came out to my mom. She sat on her bed, crying, "I just wanted you to be happy and have a family!" It took time and understanding and growth from us both to know that all that was still possible.
Put your faith in what you most believe in
College took me on quite the journey, but eventually led me to the Twin Cities. It was only months into moving here that Ben and I met. Our connection was instant. His friend group welcomed me in and embraced the pair of us without hesitation. We talked about fatherhood as an inevitable! He felt as strongly as I did, if not more so, about experiencing parenthood together.
We watched our friends get married. And then we got married!
We watched our friends buy homes. And then we bought a home!
We watched our friends have kids. And we couldn't.
Growing our family has been a process already. We've explored every avenue and we know we can't accomplish this on our own. As we've dug in, it has only made me want a kid more. The work we have to put in drives my passion toward fatherhood even more than can be measured.
We are surrounded by friends and family who love and adore us and want to see us bring home a kiddo, too. This blog serves to help us put our faith in what we most believe in: each one of you. Please share this with whomever you wish to. Every set of eyes helps bring two worlds closer together to create our one family.