As I stood outside listening to the words, “You have been chosen,” total shock overtook me. At no other moment in my life had I felt that much joy. “Do you want to meet Mia,” they asked. I yelled, “Yes,” and rushed back to the hospital.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – In the 1990s, most people in my community saw being gay as shameful, a source of ridicule. I battled guilt as a teenager for being this way, keeping the truth hidden for a long time. Family spoke fondly of my kindness and said, “You will make a great father one day,” but I did not believe it could ever happen.
At 14, I found my destiny to help others. I began working at the Volunteer Fire Department and the Red Cross. While coming out as gay proved difficult, it also offered the opportunity to pour that volunteerism into LGBTQ+ organizations. A motivation stirred within me, to make a mark on the world.
Together, we saw to it that the Equal Marriage Law passed in Argentina. With adoption finally a possibility, once again, I envisioned being a father. Determined to start a family, I launched the process to adopt a child. When Mia came into my life, it felt like a miracle.
I waited around for some time, hoping a partner would appear in my life to adopt a child with. The time never came, and I grew tired. Being a father meant everything to me, so I decided to forge forward on my own.
I researched the process relentlessly and consulted with friends who worked in the justice system. I needed to know more about single parent adoption. At night, I read endless forms and imagined moving forward, but fear held me back. When the courage finally came, I filled out the paperwork and dropped it off at Family Court, on top of a tower of other forms.
The moment I left the building, the tears began to flow down my face. After so many, long years, I finally did it. I sat through interviews with an agent who told me adopting an older child could quicken the process. I accepted that and waited for a call. A few months later, a voice on the other side of the phone spoke the words I waited to hear. A young baby girl living in a hospital needed a home.
A surge of emotion swept through my being and tears flooded my face. “I’m finally going to be a father,” my mind shouted. I traveled to the hospital for the official meeting, full of anticipation. The officials sat me down and explained the situation. This 18-month-old baby girl was already a survivor. She endured intestinal problems which nearly took her life. She lived in the hospital for a year and a half as she healed. The moment I heard her story I felt an urgency to be there for her.
I sat in the room with the agent at the hospital, answering all of the interview questions; but when I left, my confidence waned. I worried it might not happen. Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang. As I stood outside listening to the words, “You have been chosen,” total shock overtook me. At no other moment in my life had I felt that much joy. “Do you want to meet Mia,” they asked. I yelled, “Yes,” and rushed back to the hospital.
I opened the office door and saw Mia, in the arms of the nurse, and my eyes welled up with tears. I kept saying, “You are so beautiful,” over and over again. While Mia could not yet walk or talk, she guided me every step of the way. Being so young and frail, they needed to keep her at the hospital a little while longer. Every single day after work, I rushed to her side.
On my third visit, they allowed me to go see her at the baby playground – a place in the hospital where she played with the other children. As I walked down the hall toward her, Mia heard my footsteps. She poked her head out to see who it was. When Mia saw me coming, a huge smile formed on her beautiful face. She dropped everything and crawled towards me. At that moment, it became clear: we chose each other.
Right then and there, in that hospital hallway, she fulfilled my dream. I still feel overwhelming joy whenever I think back on our first meeting. Today, I live happily with my precious daughter Mia in our wonderful home. It feels like it was meant to be. Everything I lived through in my life, led me to Mia. For that, I am eternally grateful.
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