*Warning* Birth pictures below. If you're not comfortable with 1 minute old brand new little babies, might want to skip this one!
I was able to be a part of one of the most special days, the birth of my cousin's son. To say the least, it is a long awaited for moment, one I have prayed for him to have for many years. He is such a loving, giving, and caring person and I know this has a been a dream of his for a long time. Sometimes the world can seem like such a cruel and dark place, a place that doesn't make room for common sense or love. It is days like these that make all the hard work worth it. I couldn't be prouder of these two for making the life they have always dreamed of and creating a beautiful life for their son.
On Sunday, October 21st, Landon Dean was born into the world, into the loving arms of his fathers, two people that will always be there for their son and love him as deeply as any two parents could. I felt so blessed to witness something that is always miraculous and, for me personally, an accumulation of all the rights we have fought so fiercely for.
Stephen and Tyler met a few years ago and became engaged in November of 2015. They had a beautiful wedding in November of 2016, surrounded by many friends and family. That day felt like such a triumph, that we could stand next to them and cheer them on and pray for them as we would anyone else, that a world that could be anything but this would one day be foreign and archaic. I knew Stephen still dreamed of children, of being a father and loving someone so dearly. I also knew they would figure out a way to make this a reality. One day Stephen told me his close friend, Nikki, had told them she would be a surrogate for them. It was pretty exciting news, but for some reason, didn't seem like a reality, just an abstract idea.
That someone could give so selflessly and with so much love, it seemed too good to be true. But she was serious, and with her partner Katie steadily by her side throughout the entire pregnancy and birth, she gave Stephen and Tyler the most immeasurable form of love a person can ever experience - that of being a parent.
For the first few months after we found out Nikki was pregnant, I could tell it wasn't really sinking in for Stephen that he would be a dad soon. But to be honest, haven't we all been there? When something so grand is going to happen, we can't wrap our minds around the enormity of it? I felt this way most of my own pregnancy, that I was growing a person inside of me, that he lived and breathed and I created him. My mind shied away from the enormity of it, the miraculous magic of it. So I couldn't blame him. I had been there.
But there is that irreversible moment, when things get real. Like really real. Like HOLY SH** I'm going to be responsible for this tiny human who will look to me for everything, and it is scary. And that moment, when everything you've dreamed of, everything you had hoped for, becomes real.
These first few moments with their son were so beautiful and you could tell they felt like the only people in the world as they held Landon close as he adjusted to being in the world.
Nikki was never far from their hearts as they held Landon close. The hospital was so accommodating and gave Stephen and Tyler a room next to hers so they could all adjust to their new roles while still staying close.
I cannot wait to raise our children together and see the mischief and mayhem they conjure up together over the years. If our own childhood is any indication, our sons will have plenty to live up to. Landon is so blessed to be loved by so many, but none more so than his parents.