Happy Valentines Day! 14 Valentines days together and every year it gets better!

Guest post by @realmoderndads

We met 14 years ago at a summer pool party and never turned back. From that day, we both knew we were the “ones” for each other. We spent the day flirting with each other and making fun of each other. I (Brent) ragged on Doug for wearing Abercrombie and Fitch over the age of 30 and Doug ragged on me for my “party in the front, business in the back” hair (reverse mullet).

We both took the jabs with stride and laughed all day. Later, I asked Doug out on a date. We decided to go to a new Mexican restaurant in a hip area of town. The conversation continued to flow so naturally and enjoyed the evening together than it extended to a nearby neighborhood bar. We took a few shots of liquid courage and Doug decided to lay it all out on the table. He knew he wanted to be a father and wanted a litter of children. I also wanted a family but had different views on the number. It was sealed with a shot of Jägermeister (or maybe a red headed slut) that we would have kids before Doug turned 40 but after Brent turned 30. Yes, we know to discuss family/kids on first date is crazy but Doug didn’t want to waste any time.

The dating continued, the fun continued, then after a year decided to move in together. We continued to build on our relationship and enjoyed our lives together. A few years in, we decided to start exploring adoption as an option to build our family. We talked to a few agencies, went to an informational session or two and started to plan the right time for us. We both wanted to be solid in our careers and financially ready to take care of a child. A few years after that, we were ready. We started the adoption process.

We signed our contact with the agency in late summer/early fall of 2013 and immediately started getting all of the paperwork together for the home study. In February 2014, we were officially approved for adoption, now we just had to wait for a birthmother to choose us. That was a stressful period as it is a waiting game. Month in/month out, no contacts then one day in July a birthmother sent us an email.

With the emotions high, we responded and set up a time to chat. Of course, the conversation was awkward at first, but we all acknowledged that and it quickly became easy.

We had high hopes and continued the conversations over the next few days/weeks. The birthmother was very early in her pregnancy and was going for her first ultrasound. She invited us to come with her. We drove up to Kentucky and met with her and we all knew that she was the one for us and we were the one for her and her baby. From that point we went up for just about every doctor’s appointment and 8 months later (March 2015) we were in the delivery room cutting the cord.

14 Years Strong and Still Going

The next few months were a world wind as Doug turned 40 in May 2015 and we sold our home in June, rented an apartment until we found a piece of property to build on and started construction of our new home. In October of 2016, we moved into our new home and settled in. We loved our neighborhood, home and were making friends in the neighborhood. We got married in Mexico in April 2017 with 100 of our closest friends and a 2 year old that danced all night long at the reception.

In addition to all of that craziness, Doug and his friend, Kecia, started a race to help raise money for individuals hoping to adopt. Adoption is an expensive process and we wanted to give back to those families that needed some help. Their first race was in June of 2017 and have since become the co-presidents of the Georgia Chapter of Gift of Adoption (a 501c3).

Because our lives hadn’t been busy enough, in March of 2018 we decided to start the adoption process for #2. This time, we knew the process and were approved for adoption quicker and for some reason matched quicker as well.

We were matched with a birthmother in April 2018 and we were at the hospital in Colorado for the delivery in June 2018. We were back home shortly after that and Sawyer got to meet his baby brother, Shepherd. Our hearts were filled and our family was finished.

In March of 2020 when the world shut down due to the pandemic, we quickly realized our home without a yard was not conducive to raise children when they were locked inside 24/7.

We sold our dream home and moved to a beautiful older home (with a yard) in December of 2020. Throughout those years, we have definitely had our struggles and ups and downs but we knew we could always lean on each other.

The pandemic made our relationship even stronger as it became an adults versus the children and we had to be lockstep. 14 years down, the rest of our lives to go. We cannot wait to see what our children will become and we hope they will find the love like we found in each other.

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