The Biggest Changes Come in the Smallest Packages

I know my posts have been lacking for the past year but I have done a lot of soul-searching and cleanup around my home and in my life to prepare myself to become a good father to a child. I can't promise that I'll be writing lots over the next little while, I anticipate life is going to get very very busy quickly and I want this blog to remain a subject of my experiences as a trans person. Any posts that I write in the future will be still be related to how being trans affects my life. I may start a second blog about being a single trans parent but we'll see just how much time I actually have!

Again, I have to say how blessed and fortunate I am to live where I do. Canada is a really great country and in spite of some negative experiences I can't imagine living anywhere else. I really felt that throughout the adoption process. My adoption worker was so excited for me and didn't ask me any inappropriate questions.

I wondered about whether or not transgender people would be "allowed" to adopt a child so I called the department before even bothering to fill out the application forms. Absolutely YES was the answer I received. Thank goodness the priority is on finding children suitable homes and not on what types of genitals a person has.

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it means to be a man, deciding what kind of man I want to be, and then trying to make sure that my actions and behaviour are aligned towards that goal. Is my behaviour reflective of the kind of man I want to be? When I do something or say something I often spend a lot of time worrying that I was insensitive and think about ways I can interact with the world that are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others without neglecting my own. It's a harder balance than you might imagine at first. The thing is, I am now putting myself through another ongoing evaluation about being a parent.

I've always imagined myself adopting a child. Even 20 years ago I was thinking adoption. I never wanted to reproduce biologically. To me it seemed like such a shame to have children when there were so many children already in need of a family. After transitioning, and as a single man, it is my only option – another reason I am so grateful that there was no issues with the process.

When I was finally settled, with a good job, no debt, and happy in my transition, it was finally time to start seriously considering adoption. I had to be really focused and realistic about why I wanted to do this and consider how this would change my life and how having a transgender parent would affect my child. And here's the thing about that. I bet any child won't care as long as they have a happy loving, supportive family and a home. If you had the choice to remain an orphan or have a queer family who will love you and support you forever, which would you choose?

The application process, self-assessment and home study are more than just screening criteria. They are also valuable tools for prospective parents to understand and get at the reasons they want to be parents, the expectations, they have about what parenting will be like, and sometimes a basic reality-check.

So there you have it. Sometime in the next few weeks I'll become a single trans Dad to one special little boy. After all the paperwork, interviews and consideration I have put into the application and the amount of time and preparation I have put into thinking about what sorts of issues I'll have to prepare for, I am both excited and terrified – just like every parent.


Ohana Means Family

Not everyone has been supportive of my decision to adopt. This really really sucks. Imagine you are 40 years old and finally having/adopting a child and some of your friends and family members tell you they think its a bad idea. They think you are too irresponsible, too weak, too selfish, too queer, too unstable to raise a child. They are afraid of how your decision will affect their lives yet won't even talk to you about the reasons you decided to adopt in the first place.

I can't even begin to tell you how much that hurts. The part that bothers me the most is I don't know if the reason these people aren't supportive is because I am transgender or because they really think I will be a horrible father.

Some of my friends are getting cold feet as well. When it was just talk, everything seemed fine, everyone was excited about all the things we could do together. Now with just weeks before a child is actually placed in my home, I feel like some of my friends are stepping back. As if they expect that once I have a child our friendship will be over.

Of course things will change but that's life. People get married, have kids, get divorced, get remarried, change jobs, retire, and die. Life is always changing. Our interests change, our jobs, change, we move. Things don't ever stay the same. But if we know this why are we so afraid of it? I'd like to think that if any of my friends started dating, got married or had kids that I would be supportive of them and their choices and do whatever I could to help them be happy and successful.

I am so very grateful for the handful of people who have been truly supportive of me. They understand that my life is going to change, that it will be difficult at times, that I will struggle. But instead of doubting me, criticizing me and suggesting that my choices are somehow an act perpetuated against them they are supporting me. When I am going through a tough time and need someone to talk to, this small group of people will be there. If I need advice or seek constructive suggestions, I know who I can ask without getting "I told you so" or "don't ask me I don't want to get involved".

It is this handful of people that are going to help me raise a strong, empathetic, kind young man. These people will be the ones to reach out a helping hand so that I can be the best father I can be. I am not asking them to parent my child for me but I am not so foolish to think that I can accomplish this feat alone. And that's how I feel right now – alone.

The irony of all of this is one of the reasons I want to have a family, one of the reasons I chose to adopt a child is so that I am not alone. And neither is my child.