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Love Happens

Samantha & Erin, Sierra Madre

Love is universal and it happens in unexpected and unplanned ways. Marriage - especially civil marriage - has evolved to protect the commitments that come from love, including those commitments that others consider unequal.

Samantha and Erin with their children

Our family started with two good friends who happened to both be lesbians and who happened to really like each other. These two, Erin and Sam, eventually became more than friends and realized that they wanted to share their lives together. Sam always wanted children and Erin loved the idea, too. After many years together, they were blessed with their first child, Sophie. Three and a half years later, they were blessed with their second child, Anneliese. They all live happily in Southern California.

But what many people who know this family don't realize until they are told is the amount of extra thought, effort, work, and cost that have gone into protecting this family. Both parents have to make sure they have durable powers of attorney and medical decision making power for the other. Both children have gone through second-parent adoption to protect them. And still, each and every trip outside of California is carefully measured to see if it is worth the risk of travelling when it might include going to or through states with laws denying access for registered domestic partners or same-sex couple adoptions. How many families keep the family attorney's number handy at all times? We'll bet most families with same-sex couples at the helm do because it's a necessity. Now over half the country has made some kind of move to outlaw protections and equality for families like our family. Yet, for all their efforts, it doesn't make our family go away and it doesn't make Erin and Sam stop loving each other or their children. Love is universal and it happens in unexpected and unplanned ways. It is time that our love and our family be offered the same protection.

Date Created: 2/22/2008
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