A Great Big Impromptu Announcement

At approximately 1:40pm we found out the very county that we live in was issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples at 2:00pm. Now, the Missouri ban was put in place in 2004 and put into our Constitution. Ya know, ridiculous. Right? So, St. Louis has been issuing marriage licenses. And today, my county announced their own intentions to issue marriage licenses in our two court houses; in downtown KC and then in the adorning town to mine.

I called the office in that town to make sure. You can’t always believe the internet. And it was the hot topic of Facebook in Missouri friends and family on my timeline. But, there was no way I could vet the issue until I called the office personally. Besides, it wouldn’t help my anxiety disorder until I figured it out.

So, we looked at each other; Kim and I. There was NO plan. NO more waiting.

This was it. This was the time.

11 years later and a 2 year old later; we were getting married.

20 minutes or so later, we were doing this outside the courthouse:

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We got a nice and pretty new marriage license. We also had an all dressed up Punky holding both our hands. Singing about how she was so excited her Moms were getting married. However, for Punky, a marriage is where she gets to dance. A party where she gets to dance her heart out. She was sorely disappointed. She cried for a good 2 hours about wanting to get married. We tried to tell her we were getting married and we would have a party for her to dance at later. And we will.

She was not at all happy about that answer.

I told her she could help Mommy plan the wedding party. So she will help me plan the wedding party.

Instead, we had our fantastic friends and Punky’s godparents came over and we had a little wedding moment on Kim’s parents’ couch, in their living room. Punky’s godfather is ordained and he helped officially marry us. It was a no fuss event, with pretend sipping of champagne (except that I don’t drink and Kim doesn’t care for champagne). We took a few pictures and now, its official.

Wedding Collage

We announced it on Facebook, made it “Facebook Official” and we have had nothing but love and support from both our family and friends. Its been nothing but excitement and overwhelming love and its the best possible outcome we could have asked for. I called my mom, to tell her – it’s her 21st wedding anniversary today! We got married on my mom’s wedding anniversary. Woah.

Kim and I had a very rough week this week. Its been, tough. Kim had a bit of an episode with her Bipolar disorder and it was emotional, scary, and made me worry that we would break – our rope, on a thin strand of fraying edges, would snap. But, looking at my little girl’s eyes and seeing them light up when she said “My moms are married!” made me remember that we have weathered a lot of storms in the 11 years we have been together.

It made me come to the conclusion, that no matter how much hard stuff comes up, we made the most beautiful thing in the world – we made Punky with our love. We went through a ton of tough stuff to make her. This episode, this scary, emotional, and hard episode is not our first rodeo – its not like it hadn’t happened before.

Besides, we never expected this ruling to happen so quickly. It wasn’t something I thought would happen in Missouri until the last of the states were called for marriage equality, so when it happened – out of the blue…. I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in fate. But, I do believe in instinct, and this felt right today. We have waited 11 years. That wait is over. They will appeal the decision, that is inevitable. It will happen – but it’s also inevitable that we will be married. We ARE married. And though we had a rough week…..

We are strong enough. And after 11 years, we are officially married. I am officially a MRS. and its strange and weird to think of myself as married. I’m a wife. Not just a mother. Not just a daughter. Not just a sister. I’m a wife…. well, shit just got real didn’t it?

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On This … Our Wedding Day.

Which was not to be.

We didn’t get married. We didn’t call to check on the status. Instead, I drove home from my parents’ house 3 hours away with a carsick toddler who had to pee (potty training) every five minutes down the highway.

By the time we got home, I had stopped at no less than 4 gas stations and hauled a toddler and her portable potty chair ring into their bathroom. Sometimes she went, sometimes, she had already gone. Thank goodness for pull-ups on long car rides.

I also got to clean up puke on the side of the highway. Lots and lots of puke. So much puke that I had to change my kid, wipe down the seat, and then put her back in it. Puke in the hair, puke on the hands, puke on her most favorite blanket. But, once she was done puking and all cleaned up, she was better. Feeling better enough to keep watching her movie.

Mommy was tired. Worn out and tired.

We had a nice visit with my family though. Lots of nice times and sweet moments. And it took my mind off the fact that we weren’t getting married. I got to spend time with people I love and people who were equally as disappointed that we weren’t getting married.

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It’s nice to have supportive family who love us so much. I really is. Of course, there are some well wishers and people who really do mean well – but let’s just say the one thing not to say to console a person who CAN’T GET MARRIED is to tell them that marriage is just a piece of paper.

Or that we don’t need a piece of paper to know how much we love each other.

That’s not the point. The love isn’t the point. This marriage, this paper that so many straight couples (who I love dearly and I know meant no disrespect) take for granted gives so many rights and privileges that we don’t have.

So, actually – yes. WE do need that piece of paper. To make our lives complete and legal and as equal in the eyes of the law, we do need that paper.

In order for Kim to make medical decisions on my behalf without the hassle of courts and lawyers and still the possibility of a judge declaring its not legal. We do need that paper.

In order for us to be equal parents to our daughter, make decisions in all aspects of her life – financial, education, medical – we do need that paper.

I think people forget, or they are just not aware of the many rights that you are afforded when you get married. It’s not about declaring your love to someone, we’ve been doing that for 11 years. Now, it’s about the same rights. The same standard of care we should be getting from our government in the form of taxes, spousal benefits, and guardianship of our daughter.

Its the legal aspect that means the most.

So do I need a piece of paper to tell the world I love the woman I have been with for the last 11 years? No. That’s a given.

I know the phrase “Its just a piece of paper” is one given out of love and consolation. One that is supposed to make us feel better.

Unfortunately. It only means that there are still people in the world, people who love and support us, who don’t fully understand the ramifications of our being unable to marry.

It’s not about religious beliefs. It’s not about love. It’s not about some ceremony or tradition. Its not about procreation or even raising a kid in the ‘right family.’

You can read about what it’s really about: It’s about the rights we don’t have.

It will come and I think that’s what is so frustrating. This delay is just a delay. An unnecessary waste of energy, time, and emotional heartbreak. In the end, what is another month, really? What has changed? Not much.

Other than the idea that we should have been getting married today. And we didn’t.

If You Are Against My Family, Are We Really Friends?

I’m so upset right now. I can’t decide what to do. I am posting this on Facebook, as I always do, so it’s possible that this person will see the post. I’m not really upset at the person who posted this, I’m more upset with the people she is associated with. I know her to be a decent and kind person. I know her to be a loving mother and a beautiful spirit. And yet, this blog post is something that she posts for the world to see.

The post itself makes valid points, and I don’t know the writer’s stand on Gay Marriage, it makes no difference to me. I think right now, I am more upset about one comment on my friend’s post. A comment that I would hope someone would stand up against. But, it won’t be me. Why? Because I don’t want to blast this friend’s Facebook wall with debates and hatred.

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But, the idea that this had to be said at all, hurts my heart. Make up extra rights?! Really? I’m so confused. I am literally appalled that my friend knows someone like this. She is kind and generous and loving – all the things that I was taught God wants us to be. And this person, whom I don’t know and have never met, shows me what the truth of the church is. What hatred is bred into the church.

I have to wonder, is my friend of the same mind about my family? I can’t bring myself to ask her directly. I can’t bring myself to post a reply to this comment. I want to think that she is associated with people of faith that loves everyone. That walks in the path of Jesus. The way Jesus walked.

How about, if you want to take ‘holy week’ to reflect on something, why don’t we remember that Jesus died for all our sins. How about we remember that Jesus loved the prostitute? How about we remember that God should be the only judge? Or we could remember that Jesus said to love thy neighbors? Love covers a multitude of sins? Or, if you like bible verses with actual locations in the bible, here’s one for you:

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I have never been one with strong opinions in the way the government ran things. I have never been one with strong opinions in religious politics. I’ll be the first to admit that when I went to vote for the first time, I didn’t even know the difference between being a Democrat or a Republican.

But, this hits home for me. I am taking a stand. I have, since done my research and this issue is not about religion, it’s not about politics. It’s about civil rights. It’s about humanity. It’s about fairness, equality, and justice.

I am standing here and challenging those who follow Jesus. I am challenging you that speak ‘the word of god’.

Live by the whole bible. Live by the whole word. I challenge you to re-evaluate your beliefs. I challenge you to look deep in your heart and decide where you lie. Do you lie on the side of fairness and love, as Jesus would have wanted? Or do you lie on the side of lies, hypocrisy and injustice?

So you say it’s not just religion. So you say it’s because children are better off with a mom and a dad. Let’s think for a moment about those children who have been left in a dumpster. Abandoned by their mom and dad. How about those children who were ‘accidents’ and unwanted. Are they better off with a mom and dad?

I think Punky is better off with the many Uncles, Cousins, and Grandpas she has. She is not lacking in male role models. (I hope they all don’t mind me putting them out for the public to see) I am proud that Punky has so many awesome men in her life!

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Do we take away the rights of Single mothers? What about the children who are being raised by their grandparents? Are they less cared for? Single mothers work their asses off. Single mothers are so full of love and life that I just can’t imagine why anyone would say those children need a dad.

Making up rights for my family?

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So, you don’t think it’s a right for me to be able to see my partner in the hospital as you can see your husband or wife? If I am lying on my death bed, my partner could be left with no solace in her grief because she couldn’t be next to me as I die. That’s a disservice to me and my partner. We have been together for 10 years. TEN YEARS.

But our love is not as committed as yours? Which one of yours? Your first marriage or your third? Our love isn’t the same as yours. For those who feel like this is simply a sexual thing. What goes on in my bedroom is really no one’s business, but we haven’t had sexual things as a focus of our relationship for years.

I love my partner the way anyone loves their spouse. She and I have been through more and weathered more hardships than most straight couples could weather in a year. We stand strong in the face of adversity. We don’t back down, we don’t break up.

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I like to think our relationship and our love is the true interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Stop and think a moment about what will happen to your children if you were to die suddenly tomorrow? Would your child be in the care of your spouse? Of course, no questions asked. Mine will not be. My child is likely to be plucked from the only home she knows. The only family she knows.

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If I were to die tomorrow, my partner has no legal rights to her daughter. She has no legal standing to keep our daughter safe. Tell me that is better for our child’s mind and spirit? Tell me that my daughter is better off taken from the only parent she knows. The one person she loves more than anything and the one parent who has taken care of her, loved her, kept her safe, tucked her in at night, fed her, and comforted her for the entire year she has been alive.

Tell me she is better off in a strangers care. She’s not.

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Now, tell me where the rights are being made up?

My heart hurts. I am sick to my stomach. I have never been more passionate about anything in my entire life. My family’s life is hanging in the balance. My family is being affected and now, my mother’s instinct is on full blast.

I’m no longer worried about making friends. I am no longer worried about losing friends. I am no longer worried about offending people. I am no longer worried about being an outcast. I am worried about my family being accepted.

If you can’t get on board with that, I don’t need you in my life.

Seeing Red For Gay Marriage

CAM00483I  have been sitting glued to my computer screen with live updates on ABC all day. I am in a constant state of nausea and nervousness and I hear the decisions won’t even be made until June. I’m sitting here wearing my red t-shirt, in near tears from the overwhelming sea of red that I find on my Facebook feed from supporters in my own family and friends.

Proposition 8 (commonly known as Prop 8) is before the United States Supreme Court today, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has its day tomorrow. I am on pins and needles, because these things seriously effect my family and it affects my daughter’s future.

The future of my child’s life is in the hands of someone else and it scares me to death. I am still overwhelmed by the different possibilities that may happen as a result of this monumental event.

I can only hope that it will go our way and we can be treated equal, finally. I am dreaming of a wedding. I am hoping for a marriage. I’m hoping to be treated like my family members, like my friends, like my co-workers.

It’s not about religion, it’s not about a GOD. It’s about human rights. It’s about real people, about the rights of my daughter. It’s about the stability of our family. It’s about dignity and about equality. It’s about loving thy neighbor. It’s about being compassionate.

It doesn’t matter your religious views. It doesn’t matter what you belief or don’t believe in religiously. It’s about what is right or wrong. It’s wrong to discriminate. It’s wrong to call me less of an American because of who I love. It’s wrong to tell my daughter her parents are less than normal. It’s wrong to pass judgement on another human being.

We all deserve to be treated equal. We all deserve to be loved. We all deserve to love one another.

Because I am so overwhelmed with this, I just don’t have the words to convey how much this impacts me. Instead, I have decided to let other people say it for me.

10 Ways DOMA Affects Families Like Mine

A Picture is Worth More Than Words

Equality Thoughts from my Straight Friend

How DOMA Hurts Real Families

And the one who said it the best today, was my very dear friend. I found this post on my Facebook wall, and I hope that he doesn’t mind that I stole it. It really puts all my thoughts and feeling into words I can’t really find.

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“This week, I PRAY for the US Supreme Court Justices. I PRAY that of those who are Christian, they look to their morality and Jesus’ teaching that LOVE knows no bounds and all should be treated with respect, dignity, and LOVE. 

For all of the Justices, I pray they will use their internal knowing of what is right and wrong; as well as the Constitution and the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS as a guide. I PRAY they will remember that their job is a legal one and should not be swayed simply because of a belief they hold religiously. They have a LEGAL job to do. It is only God’s decision who shall be judged upon their sins – NOT that of a government, court, or, dare I say, the people. 

My prayers are with the nine HUMANS who have to make a decision about what is LEGALLY and MORALLY right; NOT what is RELIGIOUSLY right. I hope ALL Americans can respect that even if a decision is handed down that doesn’t match your RELIGIOUS beliefs, it is NOT a cause for you to be upset. This isn’t a question of RELIGION. It’s a question of HUMANITY.” — G.A.

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So, with that, I put out my own hopes and dreams and I land them on the shoulders of 9 people. 9 people who can hand me equality or take it away. 9 people who can tell my daughter that she will be okay with her two mothers. 9 people who can say to the world, it’s time to stand up and treat our fellow Americans as one.

I’m no less and no more than you. My family is no less and no more than  you. I just want to be able to stand up and tell my daughter it’s okay to love and it’s okay to be who you are.