From very early on in our relationship, we have been very committed to each other. On our 1st anniversary, Josh got us a pair of simple gold bands for us to wear. Seeing us with these rings, I think many people assumed over the years that we were already married. We never saw the need to have a wedding ceremony because we were already very committed to each other, and the only additional benefit we sought was legal recognition.
When marriage equality finally came nationwide in 2015, we did not immediately marry because we did not want to rush, and because we wanted the date to have personal significance. With a new administration in place we have felt the need to gain better legal protection for our family. Our 20th anniversary, March 31st, felt like the perfect date for our wedding.
The wedding turned out beautifully and as planned. Josh and I wanted to blend elements from our Jewish and Chinese heritage into the ceremony and reception. We also wanted to have our 4 kids play an active role. More than 180 of our friends and family gathered on that night.
Photos from that night have been trickling back in the weeks since, and I will update this post if more come in.
Save the date cards
Wedding license at clerks office
We added 4 diamonds to each band
Our social media hashtag and table centerpieces.
Sand ceremony, 7 Jewish blessings and we broke the glass
AJ and JJ were so handsome as best men.
MJ dutifully walked up the aisle as ringbearer, and then ran back to us.
DJ was so excited to be flower girl, she tossed all her petals at once!
Two grooms coming down the aisle
We wrote our own vows.
Sealed with a kiss
Family photo taken right after the ceremony
It is customary for the Chinese bride to wear red silk, so we wore red silk scarves.
Lion dancers and drummers opened the reception
David white wine or Josh red.
Double happiness cake topper
Our favorite flavors. Almond cake, Coconut cake
In March of 1997, Josh and I started dating. After the first couple dates, I knew there was something very special developing between us. On March 31st, we went out and stayed up all night walking in the streets of NYC and talking about “us.” We have always regarded March 31st as our anniversary. Tonight, it will become our wedding anniversary!
I couldn’t sleep last night. I laid awake in bed after the race was called in the early morning hours with racing thoughts. The little ones are too young to understand, but I struggled with how to explain the election result to AJ and JJ. How could a world change so drastically overnight? I decided to suppress my own fears and strike a reassuring tone with the boys. I told them when they woke that the candidate we had hoped for had lost, but what would never change is our love for them.
We will always do whatever we can to keep them safe, no matter how hostile this country becomes to Jewish, mixed race, same sex parent families like ours.
After I dropped them off at school, I reached out to our lawyer to ask about how we can best legally protect our family in the years ahead. Stay tuned.
Josh says we got through years like this before, and he is right. We are fortunate enough to lead relatively privileged lives and will live to vote another day. Nonetheless we are sorrowful for the suffering of more vulnerable minority members in the years to come.
Our family isn’t going anywhere.
Today is the official launch day of Eric Rosswood’s new book, Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood. I was able to receive an advance copy and wrote a glowing review for it on Amazon. Of course, I am somewhat biased given the fact that I contributed our family story to this collection of personal stories about gay and lesbian parents.
With that said and having now read the entire book, I think Eric Rosswood did a marvelous job. I really do wish a book like this existed when Josh and I were originally considering our options for family building.
It is very well organized into five sections covering different paths to parenthood for same sex couples: Open Adoption, Foster Care, Surrogacy, Assisted Reproduction, and Co-Parenting. Each section includes multiple representative firsthand stories by gay and lesbian people that went through it themselves. Each story takes you on an emotional roller coaster toward parenthood that keeps your attention while at the same time informing you of the highs and lows that may occur along the way. I think that same sex couples hoping to have children will have better understanding of practical issues, but especially the emotional complexities that come with each approach after reading these personal stories. Other books may focus on a single approach, or read more like a clinical manual. This book is warm and intimate.
For the detail oriented, the end of the book comes complete with multiple appendices that comment on legal issues, benefits and challenges, and questions to ask yourself when considering each of the five different paths to parenthood.
I encourage any gay or lesbian couples interested in pursuing parenthood to check this book out today!
Since AJ and JJ were born, we have taken family photos periodically on birthdays and holidays. With the addition of DJ and MJ, these photos have become increasingly challenging to stage because of the number of moving parts.
Last week we had our photo session and I was initially displeased because of how restless MJ was throughout the shoot. Somehow, the photographer managed to capture a couple moments of relative cooperation. Of course the beauty of our children won me over and now I love the photos.
Looking over the last few family portraits I am struck by how much the kids have grown over the last couple years!
First Portrait as Family of 6