Our summer began with back to back birthday celebrations, and ended with some quality time with both sides of our extended family. Both sets of twins had birthday pool parties at our home on consecutive weekends. We enjoyed summer day camp where I was able to drop all four kids off in the same place for 7 weeks before DJ and MJ start elementary school, and JJ and AJ move on to middle school. I think I was more excited about that than the kids were. Next, we had a family reunion with Josh’s side of the family in upstate New York. Finally, we went on a Caribbean cruise and brought along my newly retired parents. It was an enjoyable summer, and now we are looking forward to the next big challenges…kindergarten and 6th grade!
Like every year, I am most thankful for my family and friends. But this year especially, I am thankful that my parents are now both retired and free to enjoy all their grandchildren. That includes my sister’s family, because she and my brother in law are expecting another next year!
Today is the last day of summer for us. Tomorrow, AJ and JJ start 5th grade, and DJ and MJ start Pre-K.
In the aftermath of our wedding this spring, we had a busy summer filled with birthdays, family trips, and even a short honeymoon!
We have spent the last few weeks enjoying the season. AJ and JJ decided on Harry Potter themed costumes this year. Last week we went to New Orleans to visit my sister and brother in law. They are always so great with the kids. I know they will make great parents. I’m thrilled to announce that they are expecting a bouncing baby boy due next year!
To replace my now obsolete page comparing international and domestic surrogacy, I have decided to put up pages about each of our two sets of amazing twins.
AJ and JJ are our first set of twins born through surrogacy in the Summer of 2007. Up until their birth we took turns visiting the surrogate Marie in California to spend time with her and her family, as well as prepare for the arrivals. Josh had in fact spent the weekend before they were born in California to attend the 32 week ultrasound and tour the hospital. Josh returned to our home in Florida on a red-eye flight early Monday morning, only to get that fateful call Monday evening that the babies had decided to make an early arrival! The boys were born premature at just over 4 lbs. each. We both raced back to meet our boys in the NICU Tuesday morning and instantly fell in love. Marie graciously agreed to pump breast milk to help the boys thrive in the NICU. We spent several weeks camped out in an extended stay hotel close to the hospital shuttling breast milk to the hospital every three hours to help the NICU nurses feed and care for our boys. I remember the NICU nurses fondly because they were so kind to us as a gay couple and helped teach us the basics of feeding, diapering, and not panicking when these fragile little babies starting crying. The boys were discharged from the hospital after they had grown to 5 lbs., and we returned to Florida where our parenting adventure continued.
We tried to juggle AJ and JJ on our own for the first few months, but with some of the preemie issues they had feeding and apnea, we felt our sanity slipping by the Fall. We met our wonderful nanny Pat, who has been a godsend for all of our children ever since. These preemie twin boys grew to have some typical speech delay issues, so they spent a year going to speech therapy before entering preschool. They have flourished since, and AJ and JJ are now working their way through elementary school in the gifted program. AJ and JJ have personalities that complement but sometimes clash. JJ has a detail oriented approach to life, and has turned out to be an avid gamer just like his Papa (me!). AJ is an easygoing kid and has distinguished himself as a bit of an athlete. He enjoys basketball, bicycling, and swimming in the pool at our home at every opportunity. They get along well most of the time, but their level of twin closeness naturally leads to occasional flareups as well. I foresee them sharing a special bond as twins and in their special circumstance for many years to come.
For more on our story, keep an eye out for a page about our second dynamic duo DJ and MJ to be posted soon. Our journey to become gay parents will also be featured in an upcoming book to be published early 2016. For more details, check out www.ericrosswood.com