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?

Reflecting on 2012 Presidential Election Results

I do my best to keep the politics light as a rule. However, this election in particular has been very dear to my heart. Last election, I voted for Barack Obama, not because I really knew what was going on. Admittedly  I am not the most politically minded person in the world. I didn’t pay attention to the issues, because for the most part, none of them effected me.

 I voted Democrat and that was mostly it. Until 2008 – when Barack Obama was a powerful speaker. He swept up this nation in 2008, with an eloquent voice and stance on hope and change. With Bush’s track record, I was just ready for a change. 
This year, I was more invested in the outcome of this election. This year there were so many issues that were going on that actually affected me. Some people have asked me if I was only supporting Barack Obama because of his stance on marriage equality and gay rights.
Well, of course, if you looked at a pie chart of my life, marriage equality and gay rights would be on the top of my list. I am a lesbian mom who has been with her partner for going on 10 years. Why shouldn’t I be able to share in the same rights as any straight married couple? Why shouldn’t I vote in favor of equality for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, religion, race, or gender? The marriage equality vote was a done deal when Barack Obama removed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” When he stood up for the families like mine and said, “I support you.” I never had a president talk to me – speak about my concerns to plainly. He looked into the camera and said, “I will fight for you.”
I personally look up to Barack Obama and his family. I look up to his marriage. I want my marriage to be as inspiring and loving and committed as his is. He and Michelle really give us a great look at what marriage should look like. Devotion, commitment, and genuine unconditional love. I feel as though my relationship reflects the same values and it makes me so proud to know that our President was fighting for me to be able to share in the same happiness he has with his own wife.
So, yes, marriage equality was the main reason that I got up at 5 AM yesterday and voted for Barack Obama. I won’t say that wasn’t the driving force of my voting motivation.
There were other things that were important to me. Just because I identify as lesbian, doesn’t mean that’s all I am.
I am also a woman. I am also a worker in the healthcare industry. I am also a MOM. I am also a person in debt. I am also a person who would love to go back to college. I am also a woman who believes in opportunities for every one, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. I am also a working class person. I am also an American.
It also doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for a woman’s right to choose. I stand up for a woman’s right to contraception. I stand up for a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body, in any circumstance.
I deal with people every day who can’t afford their medication. I deal with people every day who are denied coverage on their life saving medications that are now covered by ‘Obamacare’. I personally know people who struggle every day to pay their hospital bills because they have no access to healthcare. I know people who have to decide between their medications and their dinner. The elderly who get screwed by vague statements by insurance companies and loopholes in coverage. So, yes. I support Healthcare for everyone. Yes, I support asking those uninsured to get insurance. It is just like driving a car. You legally have to have insurance.  
I also believe that people from other countries who come here to make something of themselves should be accepted. If they go about it the right way, they shouldn’t be shunned. Why is it, because we had the luck of being born in this country, we are the only people allowed to live here, work here, be accepted here. I thought our country was founded on diversity. We broke away from England to get away from oppression. Everyone always talks about what our country was founded on. Did we forget that we ‘immigrated’ to America? Did we forget that just because in the modern world we are here, we didn’t start out here. We were just like all the immigrants out there. We came in and made something of ourselves in a new land.

I don’t believe that money makes the world go ’round. Yes, money is important, but only because society has made it so. What about love? What about happiness? What about the compassion you should have for another human being? 
I don’t understand how ‘Christians’ can spout about how they love everyone and then shun those who don’t believe what they do. This whole concept of loving thy neighbor has been shoved under the rug. Its not what Jesus would do. I am no longer identified as a Christian woman, but I grew up in a Christian home with a Christian family. However, Christians are acting very Christian lately and thus, I just decided not to be affiliated with that particular label. It doesn’t make me proud anymore.
Since when did politics and religion get all tangled up in one another? They are completely different topics.
Bottom line, 
I am so happy right now that the man who will stand up for my rights was re-elected last night. I am overjoyed that the man who has the backs of women was re-elected last night. I am ecstatic that the man who cares for the uninsured was re-elected last night. I am so overwhelmed by the idea that people of all religions, races, gender, and sexual orientation will be represented again these next four years.
Barack Obama is not the President of the people who supported him. He is the President of the United States of America. Whether you voted for him or not, he is your President and I believe he will stand up for the people of this country as he has done the last four years.
I am so thrilled to say that I had a hand in this historic moment of a second term for Barack Obama. Its inspiring to me. Its a beautiful moment in my own history to watch it unfold. It restores a little of my faith in Americans again. I just wish we could all be united in the United States of America and put politics aside. 
Work for the people not the politics. Let’s heal this country and go at it from the angle of love and compassion and equality.
Congratulations, Mr. President. I stand behind you 100% just as you have stood behind me as a woman, as a lesbian, as a mom, as a human and as an American.
Take Care ❤
Rachael