NoH8

NOH8 Photo Shoot & Wedding Invitations

Today my partner and I were the first in line at the NOH8 photo shoot.  We had a blast, and we, of course, took a lot of selfies.  Our official NOH8 photos will be emailed to us in eight weeks, which will reach us a few months before our wedding! Here are the ones we took ourselves before my iPhone six plus screen smashed into a million pieces.

After the NOH8 photo shoot we headed to our very last Maybe Baby class, in which they had a guest panel of same-sex mothers come in and talk to us about their families.  One couple brought in their interracially adopted twins, and they were just adorable! It was really great to sit down and listen to moms in same-sex marriages talk to us about their trials and tribulations.

We did our wedding invitations yesterday, and may I just complain about how tedious that was? My goodness gracious, typing all of those addresses was not enjoyable.  But our invites have been purchased, they are on their way to us, and they are gorgeous! We’re both pleased with what we’ve chosen.

I’ll close this post with a few more pictures from this weekend.  It was great, but exhausting, and I’m quite ready for dinner, tonight’s new episode of Game of Thrones, and then bed!

Mom

Mother’s Day 2015

Today my partner and I drove to a lovely park and had a Mother’s Day picnic with my extended family.  We did this on Mother’s Day for the very first time last year, and had such a blast that we decided to repeat the occasion.

There was so much food, and even some Indian food. My family has been mixing American food with Indian food on holidays and birthdays for as long as I can remember.

Being around my Mom today felt really great.  She looks good, and happy, and full.  The family ate, and talked, and caught up on each others lives while talking politics and Baltimore.

My Mother pulled me off to the side at one point so we could talk about wedding things. I updated her on everything we’ve gotten done lately, which is so much, and which I feel really great about.

As of this weekend we completed both our registries, got both bridesmaids to purchase their flower girl dresses, and four of our bridesmaids have bought their dresses! We set a date to get our marriage license, we checked my passport expiration date, and we looked up the process of changing one’s last name.

After the picnic my parter and I drove back to my parents house where my Mom gave us a really decent office chair.  My partner is about to start working from home full-time, and my parents have saved us the cost of a really good chair!

My Mom gave us information on getting a prenuptial.  We stayed and visited with her and my Dad for a bit.

I’m so grateful for my Mother, and the life that she’s given me.  She put me in ballet for 13 years, she taught me how to drive.  She taught me how to play the piano, and how to manage my money.  She took care of me like a baby again when I had a motorcycle accident four years ago.

I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without her.  Everything I have, and everything I hold precious and dear I can trace back to her.

It took her a decade to fully accept my sexuality, and when I first got engaged two years ago she was more than unhappy.  She’s leapt over a mountain in the last two years, and now she’s happily and enthusiastically helping me plan and pay for this wedding.

I hope to spend many, many more Mother’s days with her.  Maybe one day I’ll be a mother, and she’ll be a happy grandmother.

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Incubus, Passion Pit , and Transcultural Adoption

My partner and I went to down to Richmond this past weekend to see Incubus, Passion Pit, and Dirty Heads.  It was our first concert in two years, and we had an incredible time.

I love shows, concerts, and music festivals.  I love the energy of the crowd.  I love hearing a band that I love play a song live that I love.  I love being past tipsy, nearing drunk, with everyone around in exactly the same place.  Swaying together, jumping up and down together, and screaming the lyrics together.  I adore smelling pot on the air at shows, and knowing that people around me are having a good time.  I love being with my partner in all of these moments, as we have been time and time again for years now.

Our Maybe Baby class on Sunday was “Transracial/Transcultural Adoption.”  That class was not what I was expecting to be.  Instead, it was absolutely incredible and educating.

That class changed something in the way I view my sexuality, though I can’t put my finger on it or explain it with words.  To sit down with other same-sex male and female couples and hear everyone’s questions and concerns was comforting.  Hearing our class leaders talk about their own transracial adoptions, and parenting an adopted child of a completely different race was both inspiring and grounding.  These classes has helped me to feel less like an outsider and more “normal” in terms of my upcoming marriage, and any future family that may come from it.

I went bowling with a bunch of my fellow therapists/coworkers after work on Monday, because it was unlimited bowling night, and because we all never get together.  It was a blast, even though I suck at bowling, and I think it’s going to become a biweekly thing.

Now that it’s May my schedule is more free, and I’ve slowed down from the craziness of April.  For a split second I felt a little underwhelmed with the lack of being busy and having something or somewhere to rush of too.

But now I’m just soaking it in, enjoying all the down time and free time.  April got too busy, and I got quite tightly wound.

We’re going on a double date this weekend, and we hope to finish our bridal registries.  We’re celebrating Mother’s Day with my extended family, and I’m greatly looking forward to that.

All is well, my fiends are well.  My family and finance are.  I am.

Less than five months till our big day! It’s going to be here so soon.

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Protests and Riots To My North, Pending National Marriage Equality To My South

I’m a half black lesbian who was born in raised in Maryland, in the United States.  I’ll be marrying another woman exactly five months and three days from today.

Between the protesting happening in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray, and the Supreme Court sitting down yesterday to hear arguments about the marriage ban, yesterday was an intense day for me.  It was a typical Tuesday in my life.  I went to hot yoga before work, and then went to work rubbing bodies all day, but it wasn’t just any typical Tuesday.  I felt different, and intense, and emotional all day.

As I’ve stated,  I’m black, and I’m a member of the gay community.  The rioting and protesting happening thirty minutes north of me in Baltimore, and the Supreme Court ruling happening thirty minutes south both have a lot to do with me.  Black people are not treated equally in this country, especially by police.  Oppression is still happening.  It’s 2015, and it’s still happening.  Gay couples are not allowed to legally wed across the nation.

So much about who I am is being fought for.  Why?  Why are we still here? Why and how are we all still not equal?

I can’t even begin to discuss the fact that we’re still debating marriage rights.  I don’t even want to touch on the topic of police brutality in this country, because I’ll never stop.

I’d like to think that any kids I bring into this world won’t know what inequality feels like, regardless of their sexual orientation, or the color of their skin.  But they may.  They could.  At this rate, I think they will.

But maybe what’s happening to the North and South of me is the start of the tide turning.  Maybe this is it.  Maybe we’ll finally get there.

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Wedding Dress Fittings & Second Parent Adoptions

We had this huge hiking trip planned yesterday with a bunch of my massage therapist friends.  It was suppose to last all day and evening.  It was suppose to be some big day, and adventure.

But the weather was cold and rainy, and everyone woke up hungover and tired, and the entire day was cancelled…and it was the best thing ever.

My partner A and I finally had a lazy day off from an overbooked schedule, wedding planning, and bickering.  I finally feel grounded, whole, calm, and happy again.

Wednesday I tried on my wedding dress for the very first time, and there’s so much I want to write about it, but I just can’t.  My wife-to-be and I are being old-fashioned in some wedding traditions.  We don’t want to see each other on the day of the wedding until the ceremony, which is at 6:00 P.M.! We don’t want to know anything about each other’s dress!  Or read anything about each other’s dress either, thus me having to not write about it.

But, oh the way it hugged my….no, I can’t!

I tried on the dress in front of my bridesmaids, and my Mother.  I’m so glad that they were there.  I’m so glad I wasn’t alone.

The dress is perfect, and beautiful, and everything that I wanted in a wedding dress.  I took a huge leap of faith by having my Mother buy me a wedding dress that I had never seen in person, and that I couldn’t try on until it was bought! But everything worked out perfectly, because I felt like a princess, and a fairy, and a mermaid all at once.

That wedding dress fitting was followed by lunch with my bridesmaids, and then hanging out with them all afternoon.  We watched Mean Girls, and made drinks, and stuffed ourselves silly with junk food.  My partner eventually came home from work, and my brother came over after work as well, which led to more drinks, drunken Mario Kart, and a hilarious Burger King adventure that I’ll never forget.

After the lazy day yesterday, and so much wedding planning being accomplished and my dress being perfect, I’m feeling much more calm.  I’m feeling like a happy bride-to-be again.

Today’s Maybe Baby class topic was legal issues.  It was such an amazing class, and A and I learned so much from it.

I learned the term second-parent adoption, which is the adoption of a child by a second parent in the home who is not married to the legal parent of the child. A second-parent adoption allows a second parent to adopt a child without the “first parent” losing any parental rights.

In the case of my partner and I, we will be married by the time we bring a child into the world.  The state we live in recognize’s same-sex marriage, and because I’ll be the biological mother and we’ll be married, my partner only needs to sign the birth certificate to be seen as the other legal parent.

….However, gay marriage is not legal in all fifty states just yet, and it’s also not legal all over the world.  A second-parent adoption would allow my partner to be recognized as a legal parent whenever traveling out of state or out of the country.

There’s also some other legal paperwork we need to look into, like making sure she has rights as a legal parent even before the baby is born! In case of complications with pregnancy.

It’s sad that we have to take so many precautions, especially for our wallets, but it feels great to have this information and to know what to do moving forward.

That was a lot of talk about wedding dresses and same-sex parenting, so I’ll finish this glimpse into my life with some pictures.  I hope everyone had a great weekend, and that you found some time to relax as well.