I realize that what I am doing is strange and new, and that my situation causes people to be confused. I know that sometimes when people are confused they get angry and lash out. Nancy and I have received dozens of death threats, been called monsters and freaks, and confronted a hatred so deep that it can wish our innocent daughter be damned to hell. As much as we try to steel ourselves against the inevitable backlash our situation creates, we have been staggered by some of the comments directed at us.
But at the same time we have received an outpouring of love and support far beyond what we hoped for in our wildest dreams. We have had neighbors rush to give us hugs and offer to help with yard work; strangers send us baby booties and expensive blankets; people from Fiji and Australia and China write us to wish us good luck. We have had a Christian pastor tell us he is rooting for us. Before our daughter was born we had a baby shower, and we hosted several couples with young children of their own. I had all but given up on ever having a baby shower; I figured it was just something that, sadly, I would have to do without. But my neighbors chose to rally around me, and their support surprised me and touched me profoundly. At the shower I watched all the little children run around, and realizing that they were a part of our world was one of the most emotional moments of our lives. To feel accepted, to be part of a community is—especially for us—a very precious thing.
This book, therefore, will not try to change anyone's mind about us. We know that we will always get our share of good and bad reactions. All I can do with this book is tell my story, plain and simple. It is not for me to force anyone to approve of what I am doing, as if I could anyway. But I do believe that my family deserves a fair shot at happiness, same as anyone else's. I feel that we deserve respect, as well as equal treatment. These are things I have fought for, and will fight for until I die. In this I am no different from any father—I am passionate about my family, and determined to give them a life full of love and happiness.
In the fall of 2007, I went in for a check-up soon after a home pregnancy test told me I was expecting. I had an ultrasound and watched the monitor intently as a grainy image appeared. All I could see were two blurry, microscopic dots, indiscernible as human life but at six weeks all we have to go on<0x2014>an embryo and a yolk sac, either healthy or not. At six weeks there is no allusion to a child, no wishful hints of a family chin, no names that suddenly seem right. No hopes or expectations, other than please, please, let everything be okay.