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The Road to Fatherhood and Me

by Dr. David Baker-Hargrove

Being a dad is something I always wanted.  Growing up, for the first 12 years or so of my life, my mother raised me as a single parent.  She worked hard to provide for me and make our lives special.  I was fortunate to live where I was surrounded by my extended family.  For 15 years, I was the only great-grandchild, grandchild, nephew and child of my family.  This gave me an amazing sense of family and the love that family gives.

So fast forward to my adult life and coming out as a gay man.  I was not sure I would ever become a father and find someone who would want to be a co-parent with me.  That all changed in the spring of 2013 when my husband, after 20 years of marriage, came to me and said, “Let’s have a baby.  I am ready to be a father!”  You could have knocked me over with a feather because after 20 years, I had resolved myself to not becoming a father, but now, he had other thoughts.

So the journey began. In June of 2013, we made our minds up to adopt a child.  What we did not know was the large number of questions we would have to answer, not just for ourselves, but also the for the adoption agency.  Do we want to do international or domestic?  Do we want a boy or a girl?  Do we want an infant and if not what age range are we interested in?  The list of questions seemed endless. But we focused and listened to our hearts and answered what we felt would work for our family.  Now that the questions were answered, the preparation needed to begin. Over the next couple of months we had a garage sale and cleared out our home office to become the nursery.   And in October of 2013, we got the call.  We had been matched and the birth mother was due in late February 2014.  It was now becoming reality.  We did all the standard preparations to set-up a nursery and even had 3 baby showers.  The final and largest shower was a classic Winnie the Pooh theme, the same theme we chose for the nursery.  We did not want to know the baby’s gender, so we chose something very inclusive.  As January came to a close, we began joking as to whether or not we would go to full term.  Not only did we not go full term, but our beautiful baby girl was born on Valentine’s Day 2014.  The one I had waited for, for 42 years. And, what makes this so interesting is, from the time we made the decision, started the process and her birth, it was exactly 9 months.  She was exactly where she was meant to be.

This beautiful baby girl was in my arms and now looked to me to be a father.  The father I had always hoped to be.  I was now responsible for teaching and sharing the heart of what true family was to this little human being.  An infant, who was a blank sponge and ready to absorb all the love we had to give. And in no time, she had proven to be the joy, the light, and the love of my life.

She has a sassy attitude, a love for all things feminine and girlie, the mind of a strong and willful person, and a heart full of love.  She has taught me to see the world in different ways and has inspired me to make changes in the world that I want so she can have a better tomorrow.  Part of the change for a better tomorrow was the inspiration for us at 26Health to become a child placement agency. Our vision is to help other LGBTQ+ people and allies experience the pure love and joy in creating families that are meant to be.  In March of 2020, 6 years after our daughter’s birth, 26Health got its license as a child placement agency. 

There were some very tough issues we dealt with during our process. However, we never doubted for one instance that we would achieve our license and that there was very special child waiting for us. And we know there are many more children waiting for other loving families.  The road to fatherhood was a 20 year journey for me, but once I got here, it took my breath away. And it continues to do so every day.

Let 26Health help take your breath away and help you on your journey to parenthood.


Share your Story with us…

Real stories are a powerful way for families to understand the benefits of foster care and being adoptive parents. Whether you are a birth parent, adoptive parent or adoptee, adoption changes you. Each time you share your story with someone, you will be reminded how all the pieces of your adoption or foster care journey came together.