UPDATED November 2013: Since Josh & Johnathan shared their story with Freedom to Marry, same-sex couples in Hawaii won the freedom to marry when the Hawaii Legislature ruled in favor of marriage in November 2013.
Three months ago, Johnathon and Joshua, who serves in the U.S. Army, welcomed a baby girl, Kylie, into their lives - something that "certainly reshuffled our priorities - a tough thing to do for two new dads in their 40s," Joshua laughed.
The men, who have been together for over ten years and married in Washington, D.C. in 2011, had been in an adoption pool for three strenuous years in Portland, OR before they joined a new domestic adoption program in early March of 2013. Soon after, they were matched with a birth mother, who was due to deliver at the end of April. In late March, Joshua and Johnathon took a trip to the Big Island in Hawaii, where mobile reception is spotty. "Once we hit a certain part on our run together, my phone beeped to say I had a text," Johnathon said. "It was from our birth mother: ‘Sorry guys, my water broke.'"
They raced home to the hospital to greet their newborn baby, Kylie, and she could come home with her dads three days later.
"Being a father is both joyous and frustrating," Joshua and Johnathon said. "Here you have this new being in your life that has turned everything upside-down. Sleepless nights, a screaming child having a meltdown , wet and poopy diapers. But then there are the amazing moments. Her smile that melts your heart, starting to reach milestones, sleeping through the night. Your life is now on her schedule, wants and needs. Singing silly songs that make no sense. Calming a screaming child. Working out what is the matter and finally making it all right. Holding her and hugging her. Having her fall asleep on your chest. She is now our world. The one whose future we are planning for. Hoping that we make the right decisions for her. Hoping that she makes the right decisions in life."
Now, Johnathon and Joshua live in Hawaii, where their marriage is not respected - and they need that to change.
"Marriage matters to us because it is the legal and symbolic representation of our love and commitment to each other," Joshua explained. They hope that the Hawaii legislature stands on the Right Side of History and grants them the freedom to marry so that their family can truly begin with the same legal respect that other families are granted in Hawaii.