What I Want For My Son And The Daddies Who Adopted Him


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I want my son to know that families can look like anything. Families can be a mommy and a daddy, one parent, four parents, or — in our case — they can look like an interracial gay couple and a birth mother who visits every couple of months, not to mention all his godparents, aunties and uncles, and grandparents. I want his concept of family to exist independently of any gender norms or expectations.

I want my son to have male role models, which he fortunately has in spades; his daddies are kind and brilliant. With a surgeon for a daddy and a papa in theater, he’s growing up with both art and science in his home, and truckloads of love.

I want my son to have female role models — also covered. The two men raising him have plenty of sisters and friends, all of whom are warm, hilarious, and accomplished badasses. And I’d like to be one of those role models. I’m working hard to be someone my child can be proud of, even though I’m not raising him.

When my son has his own kids (not for a while — he’s 3), I want it to be intentional. I want him and his partners to grow up with awesome, comprehensive sex education and free birth control. I want them to be able to enter a Planned Parenthood without being harassed. And if their procreation is unintentional, I want them to have more options than I did. I had no money, no partner, two roommates, and no desire for an abortion. How was I going to live with a newborn without leaving behind the life and community I’d spent the previous five years nurturing and fighting for in New York?

I want my son to grow up in a world where paid parental leave is a given. I never want my son, or his partner, to do the same mental math I did when I was pregnant: calculating how much unpaid time I could take off from my job, wincing because even two weeks would cost me dearly. And if his partner is a woman, I want them to live in a world where nobody expects her to take on the bulk of child care.

I want my son to graduate college without the debilitating student loan debt his mom had. As a writer, I want him to be able to pursue an artistic profession without accepting poverty as his default. I want him to enter a workforce where the women make as much as he does. I want him to know single mothers who raise their children with nary an eyebrow raised in their direction, free from slut-shaming or single-mother-blaming. I hope some of those single mothers are artists and that they don’t live below the poverty line.

I want my son to know that I love him more than I knew was possible to love another human. I want him to know that him having the best life possible was more important than my getting to see him every day. I want him to know that I couldn’t come up with an equation where one loving parent made more sense for him than three loving parents. I want him to know that relinquishment is not abandonment and that I will always be there for him, no matter what.

And, of course, I want a million things for my son that have nothing to do with the circumstances that led me to place him for adoption. I want him to know he can love anyone, be anyone, change his gender identification and his pronouns and his name if he wants. I want him to follow his dreams, to live a life that is exactly as exciting or stable or weird or conventional as he wants.

Mostly, what I want for my son is a shiny, loving, explosively happy life. Just like any other mom.

Mariah MacCarthy wrote this article for “Gender Justice,” the Summer 2016 issue of YES! Magazine and is reprinted under Creative Commons license. MacCarthy is a playwright, producer, curator, storyteller, burlesque dabbler, rapper, birth mother, immersive-party-play-maker, and creatrix-of-all-trades. Her work has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Upworthy.

See also:
Why Gender Matters — It’s About Every Student plus LGBQT Glossary
The Kids Are All Right (And These Surprising Statistics Prove It)

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October 22, 2018

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October 2018

October 21 - 22 (Workshop is 10-5 daily) This is one of Sergio's most powerful workshops, where you learn to use the sacred Toltec map of transformation. The crystal skulls symbolize...

Where:
Natick Mariott Courtyard
Natick, MA


Contact Name: Sandy Corcoran
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With Yogi Amandeep How many burdens do you carry? When stress, obligations and responsibilities become really heavy, are you wise enough to let go? Free the mind from burden and experience...

Where:
Yoga at the Ashram
368 Village St
Millis, MA  02054
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Telephone: (508) 376-4525
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Kinetic Chain Release, moxibustion and past life regression at Leapin Lizards. Every third Sunday: 9/16/18 10/21/18 11/18/18 12/16/18 For information, call Leapin Lizards at (207)...

Where:
Leapin Lizards
449 Forest Ave
Portland, ME
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Telephone: (207) 221-2363
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The investigation continues… A skeptical ghost hunter teams with a medium to investigate paranormal mysteries. More Ghost Chronicles will provide a unique perspective...

Cost: $10

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Six-mile Stonewalk in honor of victims of violence begins in Boston and ends at Boston College on October 24, UN Day. In July of 1994, a contribution was made to The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, MA...

Where:
Garden of Peace
64-98 Somerset Street
Boston, MA  02108
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Sponsor: The Peace Abbey
Telephone: 508-259-8508
Contact Name: Lewis Randa
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Ever wonder why some places are haunted, even new houses or businesses? Or some people? What do you do if your business is haunted? Shamanic practitioner Deb Fate-Mental of Elder Grove Shamanic...

Cost: $40

Where:
Perfect Fit Pilates
85 Main St
Ground Floor
Hopkinton, MA  01748
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Sponsor: Perfect Fit Plates
Telephone: 508-948-0568
Contact Name: Judy Malcolm
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The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
Amesbury, MA  01913
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Contact Name: Brad Fanger

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The H.E.A.R.T. Program® (Health Empowerment and Real Transformation) is an innovative holistic curriculum addressing the current health crisis and epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Wilbraham Senior Center
45 Post Office Park, #4502
Wilbraham, MA  01095
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Sponsor: Harmony Way
Telephone: 413-636-2475
Contact Name: Michelle Caron
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Daily practice for peace, healing, Christ mindedness, meditation, awakening.

Where:
Milton, MA


Telephone: 617-696-5685
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October 26 - 28 14 PDAs! This weekend is a full immersion into the Daoist arts of qigong, meditation, Daoist  philosophy, and tea ceremony. Drawing on Solala’s 28 years of study of...

Cost: Please see our website

Where:
Eastover Estate & Eco Village
430 East St.
Lenox, MA  01240
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Telephone: 866-264-5139
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With Master Glenn Mendoza and Angel Mystic Birkan Tore Learn how to heal with angels in this talk facilitated by Master Pranic Healer Glenn Mendoza and Angel Mystic Birkan Tore. Learn to invoke...

Cost: $97, bring a friend for free

Where:
Homewood Suites by Hilton
145 Beech St.
Chelsea, MA  02150
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Telephone: 877-787-3792
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Alexander Dreyshner, Dima Klim, and Mitch Nur on the world’s storehouse of indigenous musical instruments. This ambient mode soundscape includes didjeridoo, gongs, harmonic overtone singing,...

Cost: $38

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
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Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
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Bee Kind Music Class with Carrie Rowan inspires a love to music in little ones. 10am on Fridays for 8 weeks at Playtown Express in Southboro. To register call (508) 480-0022 or...

Where:
Playtown Express
150 Cordaville Road
Southboro, MA
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Telephone: 508-273-2610
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The class is a combination of qi gong, yoga, meditation, and relaxation followed by a cup of healing tea. The class, developed by Korean enlightened master Ilchi Lee, is based on Sundo, a...

Cost: $10

Where:
Divine Paradigm
58b Macy St
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Contact Name: Brad Fanger

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October 27–28, 2018, 9AM–6PM Unlock your inner healing abilities and learn from one of the only eight master pranic healers in the world! What is Pranic Healing? Pranic...

Cost: $75–$350

Where:
Homewood Suites by Hilton
145 Beech St.
Chelsea, MA  02150
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Telephone: 877-787-3792
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