This guest post is by Brian Splater, an adoptive parent.
For several years my husband and I talked about adopting a child. As a same-sex couple we knew we could either adopt through an adoption agency, from foster care or through surrogacy.
We decided it was important to adopt through foster care since there are hundreds of thousands of children in America’s foster care system.
Instead of one child we were blessed with two biological siblings. At the time Jaxon had just turned five (a week earlier) and his sister Ellie was six. They moved in with us in May of 2018.
Living in small and conservative Nebraska we experienced people who judged our family because of our sexuality, even a few spewing their hatred on social media about us.
Thankfully, the number of people doing this was few and limited. What’s heartbreaking is our son being bullied by a few classmates at school just because he has two dads. These classmates repeated what they were hearing from their parents to our son at school.
Even with this we did not let the few destroy our sense of Being and our positive ambitions as the first same-sex dads to live on a block in Superior.
As same-sex dads we have the greatest opportunity to educate small and rural counties about diversity, educate communities about same-sex couples, same-sex marriage, and about being same-sex parents.
My family has become a role model for the LGBTQ+ community. These are opportunities we are thankful for and we don’t take these responsibilities for granted.
The adoption process is a long waiting process, filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s a process that no parent has control over.
Ever since our children came in our lives we knew they were our kids. From the moment our children moved into our home, to their adoption finalization was a total of 811 days. This was a journey we appreciated, understood, and we thank God every single day.
On a warm Saturday afternoon, in a town of 1,900 people, there was progress being celebrated. It was also our children’s Adoption Finalization Party. It was progress for same-sex parents. It was remarkable that we were our attorney’s first same-sex adoption.
Since our attorney lived in Omaha, NE., the largest City in Nebraska and three hours away from Superior, it felt even more inspiring that we were his first same-sex adoption.
Even during COVID-19 it didn’t hamper our adoption. In fact it took off in April of 2020, and by the end of June 2020 we were finished with our home study and we were ready for a Court to schedule a date for our adoption to be finalized. On August 3, 2020 we became a Forever Family and our Happily Ever After continued.
Austin Karnatz and Brian Splater have been together since May of 2014 and they have two children through adoption. Living in Superior, Ne., they started their nonprofit “Ambassadors of Kindness” as a way to inspire and spread kindness around the world.
Do you have an adoptive parent or open adoption story? Email us any time or find out more about how to share it with our community.