This post is in honor of Blogging For LGBT Families Day
While Kristin and I were on our night-time tour of Portland, N took us around some of the neighborhoods that she thought we might be interested in moving to. She was right, the neighborhoods are exactly what we will want should we move to Portland. We picked up some fliers on houses for sale and
quietly loudly, with much exclamation and disbelief, had heartattacks over the cost of real estate in Portland. Chances are good, that should we move to Portland, we won't be able to buy a house that would suit our needs, in a neighborhood we like, for quite some time. Especially if we're a two-student family with two young children.
But still, if we're going to move out of Utah, Oregon, the Portland area in particular, would be the smartest place for us to move. Outside of Utah and Houston it's the only place where we have family. A nascent support network. And though Kristin and I will do it if we have to, we can't imagine moving to a new community, leaving everyone and everything we know and love behind, without some loving faces at the end of our journey. To welcome us to our new home with open arms. To help us settle in and feel as if we belong. To babysit for us when we need to do things sans children. We imagine ourselves moving anywhere but Portland and we imagine ourselves cast away, adrift, alone in our exile. And all the more bitter for it.
Why am I writing about moving on Blogging for LGBT Families Day? Because to protect our family as best we can in the US we have to move out of Utah. Utah does not recognize our family. Utah does not recognize my status as a mother to Julia. Utah claims that the state has a valid interest in providing each child with two parents -- as long as those two parents have biologically different genitalia. So I cannot adopt Julia because my doing so -- my having the legal right to protect her, make decisions for her, leave her my social security, call her my daughter -- would forever preclude her from having a father. It doesn't matter that she will never have a father. It doesn't matter that she has a plethora of loving, interested, non-father, male family members already. The state, and many people within the state, would rather Julia have less family, less protection, less love, less legitimacy than less of a chance to call some male "Daddy." So, we're moving. Hopefully not before Kristin finishes her Master's degree in two years, but perhaps as soon as next summer.
Lying in bed with Kristin last night, she turned to me and said something along the lines of it's exciting to live in a place as progressive as Portland, it's a beautiful city, but the thought of moving, of packing up our entire lives, is overwhelming to me. It'll be good, but it'll also be a huge loss, and I'm worried about navigating that.
And I replied Yes, I know. I'm trying to focus on the larger picture, the long-term good of our family, and not the loss of this house that we love and have worked so hard on, not the loss of proximity to our family and friends, not the loss of the canyons and desert and mountains that feel like a part of my soul. I know I'm going to be crying as we pack up because I know that even though we're telling people that the move is only temporary -- just until the adoptions go through-- we most likely won't ever call Utah home again.
Or maybe as we settled in for the night she just sighed heavily and curled her body into mine as I cried with my hand on her hip.