Our story begins back in the South African winter of 1999, June 25th to be precise. It was after pay weekend, so I got into my car and traveled about 3 1/2 hours from Mbabane, Swaziland where I lived and worked, crossed the border through to Johannesburg, South Africa. Bunked at a friend’s house for the weekend. My friend is straight and at the time married, so there was no going out with him and his wife. I was in town to party, so bid them goodnight and off I drive to a gay bar in the heart of Braamfontein called Champions!
As the evening wore on, I noticed this handsome blue-eyed guy standing across from the bar counter watching the dance floor, he stood there with someone that could be his wife, later learned it was his close friend. Dancing on with my mates, I noticed he was checking me out. I decided he would come over if he was interested. He did. “Hi I’m Darren” …We chatted. We danced. There was a connection. It was getting late but we wanted the evening to last a little longer. He offered to drive his friend home, then return for us to pick up where we left off. Although I was game, I wasn’t totally convinced he would return. Alas, I was curious, so I told my friends to wait for a little, almost an hour, to see if he would come back. He did! The week to date is a beautiful memory.
I traveled back to Swaziland the next day, but Darren had stolen my heart. Later that week, I told him I thoroughly enjoyed our time and would love to see him again. He wasn’t keen as he had just ended a long-term relationship. Oh well, such is life. At the time Darren was in Events and Sports Sponsorship Management, while I worked for a bank in the IT department. The bank would frequently send me to Johannesburg for training so when I traveled up to Johannesburg, Darren and I would meet up for dinner and drinks, but nothing serious. In October 2001, he finally caught up with me and we started a long-distance relationship. That December we traveled into four African countries and we got to know each other.
In July of 2002, I was seconded to our head office as part of a team that would travel into Africa upgrading systems, and that is when our relationship was elevated from being a long-distance relationship as Darren and I moved in together. We lived together as Life Partners until 2012 when I gave Darren an ultimatum. I wanted to be a dad, he could either join me or we would have to part. Fortunately, it paid off, and we initiated our adoption process with a local private adoption agency. Then August 2012, we tied the knot in a Civil ceremony, unbeknown to us both, our son was going to be born a few months later. End of January 2013 we became a family of 3 humans and 2 dogs, Bruna and Pepe living in Johannesburg, South Africa.
www.twodadsandakid.com was the concept of Emanuel (me) a Business Developer by day and dad blogger by night, supported by my husband Darren who is now a Real Estate Agent. I formulated the blog idea during a time we waited to be placed with a child as a way of documenting our journey to parenthood. It was supposed to have stopped when we became parents, but with encouragement from Darren, the blog has evolved into a platform where I now share some of the highlights of our journey as two gay dads raising a child, a point of resource for others that may want to also adopt and who knows, maybe one day our son will read it and it will help him understand his journey.