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Elena & Liz – two years later... EQ: They do have ‘parent’ and ‘parent’ on the final birth certificate. But on the application for the birth certificate, it said ‘mother’ and ‘father.’ The director of the hospital told us to cross out ‘father,’ which we did. So, on the final birth certificate which was mailed to us later, you can’t actually tell which one of us gave birth to Eli. But on June 19th Liz will formally adopt him. We decided to do this, because the birth certificate would hold up under New Jersey law but not in other states. LQ: Say I was driving Eli through another state and there was an emergency… I might not have the same rights as a (fully recognized) parent to take care of him. EQ: So we have to go for a second parent adoption. Liz had to go through everything like a regular adoption: luckily at her job they offer legal aid where we could pay $25/month and it happens to cover adoption. This ended up being a couple hundred dollars rather than $6K. RWNM: That brings me to my next question… Do you mind sharing a ballpark figure on just how much this pregnancy ultimately cost? EQ: Over $100,000 easily. Our insurance only covered the basics, like ultrasounds... No med/s like the follistim or the progesterone, which I needed to hold on to the pregnancy. RWNM: So now what? How is Eli doing? How is everyone adjusting? EQ: We’ve switched our work schedules so that we trade off time at home with Eli. My company allowed me to switch hours so I’m there now from 7:30-3:00 with a half hour lunch. Liz drives to Justine and Patrick’s school and brings the baby, so after work I pick up all the kids and take them home with me while Liz works second shift. The school is just five minutes from my office. Daycare is so expensive... $95/day for four hours. And I didn’t have the opportunity to stay home with my other two kids, so I feel blessed this time. And Justine and Patrick are a big help in the car. They switch and take turns in the back seat with Eli, feeding him during the long ride. LQ: Eli does have serious allergies, so he has to be fed often. It took us awhile to figure it all out, but he is allergic to dairy and soy and such. Even with special formula he has trouble, but

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he’s getting better. EQ: The formula is from the pharmacy: it’s a liquid, and one can lasts about 2 days. Each can costs $60. RWNM: Oh my gosh, the bills just keep coming! EQ: Yeah, but it’s definitely been worth it. Eli is amazing and it’s great to see Liz with him. They look so much alike! LQ: Yeah, just watching him grow everyday – it’s a miracle, it really is. It’s a gift. RWNM: And do you have advice you’d offer other couples who are considering bringing a child into their lives? LQ: Don’t wait! -That’s my advice. I know a guy at work and he’s twenty-five years old and he and his wife just think because they are young they’re not going to have any problems… I tell him not to wait. You never know what’s going to happen or what it’s going to be like. That is my only regret. Elena actually wanted to become a surrogate mother for a gay couple, but at this point I think it’d be too much for her body. RWNM: Again, our Congratulations to you all! We know that Eli is an adored and cherished little boy. EQ: Words can not come close to describing the happiness that we feel in our hearts. We have become so much closer during the whole pregnancy. There were many times along the way that we didn’t think we were going to make it; as a matter of fact before we got pregnant, we had decided that this was going to be our last try. We were so drained, emotionally, physically and financially that we just couldn’t keep going. But our Faith and Love through it all kept us strong. We could not think of anyone else in the world that we would want to share this amazing, life-changing experience with than one another. ...And of our course our family at Rainbow Wedding Network Magazine! Thank you for giving us this opportunity once again. RWNM: Thank you! And again, All the Best to the entire Quinones Family!

Volume 4, Issue 2 (Summer/Autumn 2009)  

Heartland in Gay America

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