The leaves are falling off the trees now. My street looks like it's paved in flame, it's so beautiful in the morning walking the dogs. I've always loved this time of year.
I live on a typical street, at least by Brooklyn standards. It's a family block. Lots of elderly people who have been here forever but lots of younger families too. We all go out with shovels in the winter and clean up wherever it's needed, neighbors there for each other, that sort of thing. A bunch of families on this block grew through adoption and also through infertility treatment.
This is a block where children still play outside. Some of these little ones are growing up in biracial families and a few have two moms. One little boy has two dads and another just has one. That's Brooklyn for you. Not just every color is represented but every shade of every color, and every shade of different types of families too. Some people would call this a rainbow block but I have to say that I'm getting a little sick of the word.
I don't usually think too much about this stuff but this morning, looking down at the leaves, all those colors, all those shapes, I did. Three things happened this week that keep playing in my mind. One was The AFA's Illuminations event. We honored several amazing individuals for their contribution to family building. Dr. Howard Jones and Susan Crockin JD for their book. "Legal Conceptions". We also honored a family. A family that would fit in very well on my block. Lyrical genius and Songwriter Hall of Famer Desmond Child and his long term partner Curtis Shaw, and their two twin boys. The beautiful woman who was the surrogate for these little ones spoke about her experience to a captivated audience. A simple family, living their lives as role models not only for the LGBT community, but for all communities everywhere.
The second thing that happened this week was the introduction of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDF) into the Sentate by Kirsten Gillibrand. I love her. From her website,
- ECDF Defined: ECDF is a federal bill that opens up more homes for foster youth by restricting federal funding for states employing discriminatory practices in adoption and foster care placements based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the foster youth involved.
- Best Interests of the Child: ECDF, a child welfare bill, promotes the best interests of the children in the foster care system by increasing their access to the safe and supportive homes of more than 2,000,000 additional LGBT people who would consider serving as foster or adoptive parents but face barriers due to existing state laws, regulations, and policies prohibiting them from doing so.
The third thing that happened this week. Not a happy thing. In response to the introduction of ECDF, right wing organizations such as the Family Research Council (FRC) urged their members and communities at large to join in group prayer to stop the bill. The reason why? From FRC's website:
- This bill would subject foster and adoptive children to the homosexual indoctrination and behavior of LGBT parents.
I'm just so weary. I used to think that if they would just open up their eyes, they would see. But right now, today, I just don't think having a cup of coffee in my neighbor's kitchen, or in Desmond and Curtiss' kitchen, would teach anybody anything that they don't want to learn.
The AFA celebrates all things family. I'm proud of us. If you distill it down to its simplest denominator, The AFA celebrates love and that's what Illuminations was all about. That's what we are about. That's what our supporters are about and there are a lot of them. The room was sold out and filled to capactiy. Love and acceptance. I used to think if we could just shout loudly enough, all of us together, eventually, people would hear. I don't think that anymore. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that God doesn't hear prayers of hate. For today, just for today, I think that's all I need to know.