Thursday, January 6, 2011


It sounds weird. It feels weird. We are officially church shopping, God shopping if you will.
Just before Christmas, Joc and I saw a lawyer about how to secure Jocelyn's rights as a parent for our child. We are having our lawyer draw up DPOA paperwork for financials and healthcare, we are doing a living will, an "if we seperate in the future this is what you get and this is what I get" document, and a domestic partnership agreement. Which we were also informed, could be thrown out in a heartbeat in any Michigan courtroom. Sigh. Wouldn't it be easier to just let us get married? (Ironically, if we do end up seperating in the future, Joc would have no rights, etc to the kids but she could be forced to pay child support. Right, you won't let us get married nor make her a legal gaurdian but you will force her to pay child support on a child that she can't legally claim is her own... What the hell?) Sigh. We are doing it anyway, at least the DPOA stuff will hold up in hospitals and if either of us die. Joc will always be "mom" in our house but to the courts she's just a friend of the family.

Then, Joc decided if she couldn't legally be "mom" then she'd religiously be "Godmother". So, she made an appointment with our local Catholic priest who dutifully informed her that no child from artificial means could ever be baptized in a Catholic church. And technically, we aren't Catholics anymore because of the way we choose to live (the Catholic church says we can be gay, we just can't be practicing, i.e. sexual relations). Joc, of course, was tearful and heartbroken. I was pissed, irritated, hurt, judged, etc. We aren't that nieve, we knew the stance of the Catholic church on our relationship, but I don't think either of us expected to be told we aren't Catholic because of our committed, loving, monogomous and caring relationship.
We have in the past, talked about attending a church that is more inclusive, less judgemental and more accepting but ultimately, didn't want to leave the Catholic faith. Because of this, we haven't been "good" Catholics, we think about going to church every week, we just never make it. Can you blame us? Would the priest look at us and refuse us communion? Now, we are looking at different churches. And it feels weird. I have to shop around for a church that says, "oh yeah, you're relationship is fine with us! God does love you... well our God, maybe not the other God." Isn't there one God? Isn't he all loving and caring? Doesn't he love us, no matter what?

I told Jocelyn that I don't believe God hates our relationship, that He sees us in a sinful light. Back when Joc and I were just dating and she was living in Chicagoland and I in GR I was out on a walk one evening and I said some prayers. It's not an easy thing to admit to oneself, let alone others, that you are gay so I was talking to God about it. I asked Him if it was okay, if I was supposed to be in this place, with this person. I said, "if this is where I'm supposed to be, if Joc and I are supposed to be together, just let me know." The next week, Joc was offered a job in Grand Rapids (and she had not submitted any applications, her resume had found it's way there from a job search years ago). I took that as a pretty strong sign.

The second reason I don't believe God is against us is this. We went through the artificial insemination process three times. The first two times, I can say I wasn't praying at all, Joc was as she always prays. The third time, as we waited in the office for the sperm to do their swimming thing, Joc and I joined hands and I said, "let's say a prayer". She said simply, "may God's will be done". One month later, we're pregnant. I don't take those signs lightly.

So, hopefully God is pointing us toward Him, maybe not in the way we've always known (the Catholic church) but in a new place. I'm pretty sure we'll be going the Episcopalian Church route, as they are very similar to Catholicism with the gay acceptance piece. I look forward to the path He is setting us on. And hey, if you have a moment, say a prayer for us and our family.
Thank you.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Geez, Jenn. I have this ache in my heart for you guys. I don't know two people who deserve this more than you guys! You are both so loving, smart and above all - giving. You have always been one of the most generous people I know and I will never forget that. I hope you guys find a "church" that is "accepting" of your "lifestyle". It pisses me off that a place can call itself a "church" if it doesn't "accept" certain people... Who can claim to be the representative of God, yet turn people away from His house for whatever reason they feel like... I have never understood the hypocrycies of the Church. I will pray (in my own way) that you guys find what you are looking for and that you are both going to be happy with it. You are going to be GREAT moms! I am so very happy for you both!