"You know that hard knot that sits in your stomach when you are about to embark on a new adventure, and even though there are maps and systems of navigation you are still not quite sure how you are going to get from point A to B. Mass information can lead to information overload. This is exactly what happened to us when we decided to get pregnant. But, as they say, when the student is ready the teacher appears.
I don’t remember who referred us to Heather and Emily. I do remember both Emily and Heather taking turns answering our many phone calls and emails about the legal changes we had made in Florida and how to ensure they continued in Maryland. Name changes, living wills, wills, property ownership, estates, civil unions, legal marriage, and finally adoption. You name it we had a question and a follow up question for it and they answered all of them, over and over, with patience and respect until we felt comfortable with the information. Heather and Emily drove to Baltimore and met us after work, in between night classes, at dinnertime, in the middle of rush hour. They were dedicated lawyers with a mother’s heart who understood taxing work days, budgets, and the worry of creating a beautiful life illegally, since at that time Maryland’s gay marriage laws weren’t as hip as they are now. Selfishly, I didn’t even think to ask them during our rush hour meetings how they were going to make it to dinner for their kids. I had tunnel vision at the time or dome vision since that is what I looked like in the last trimester.
We felt ready though. If we didn’t have the answer we had a team of people that did and had already been through what we were trying to accomplish. Onward we went. But, what good is preparation if you don’t get to use it? Even after all our detail checking and prepping our birth became a Lifetime special horror story with a child who couldn’t breath and a hospital who decided to deny access to my wife because she was not the birth mother and not legally family. As our child was being transported across Baltimore City from Franklin Square Hospital to the University of Maryland Medical Center we received a phone call from University of Maryland Medical Center head NICU doctor letting us now that she had also delivered Heather’s triplets and we as a family were completely welcome (apparently a connection was made for us in the midst of the craziness). At the same time Emily left a meeting in DC and came to us to get our adoption papers signed and verbally defend our right as mothers to anyone who questioned it. I will never forget that.
You better believe it that four years later—with a completely healthy and nutty four-year-old princess— when we decided to “get married” after fourteen years of a life together we immediately called them to ask about all our legal issues.
I’m so thankful for that referral five years ago. But, I will never forget Heather and Emily’s attention to detail, patience, clarity, perseverance in helping us create our little family and our marriage. Going on an adventure, such as marriage and having kids, can be daunting but when you have the right guides, even with its bumps and detours, you can relax a little, breath, and enjoy the beautiful journey you worked so hard to create."