Football has always been something Ray and Todd shared in common. They were both coaching high school teams the year Puppy was born; I remember Ray coming back to the hospital room late one night after a game (which he and Todd promptly spent the good part of an hour dissecting play by play). Every phone call between them eventually turns to football.
Puppy recognized this commonality early on. Not surprising, given that it's nearly impossible to miss. I think it's important to him as a way he can connect with his two dads at the same time. Footballs and football teams and football shirts and football love are something the three of them can share, an overlapping space all of them can comfortably occupy. They throw the ball around in some fashion every time we get together. He can pick out Ray and Todd's favorite teams on the television and roots for them by color.
This picture is from Ray's visit in August. Football was a major theme of the visit. The three of them tossed a ball around in the yard more than once and went to one of Todd's practices together. On this evening, a pajama-ed Puppy had toddled over to where Ray and Todd were talking with this helmet in his hands. I love the symmetry in Ray and Todd as they gaze at Puppy, they way they share the same tilt of the head, the same proud smiles.
I treasure this picture because it reminds me that, as bittersweet as it sometimes is, open adoption makes this sort of overlap possible and real. It's not just us telling Puppy that his birth dad likes football, too. It's him experiencing that for himself, seeing the similarities and differences between his fathers, watching them enjoy each other as peers.
(I'm password protecting the picture because I'm shy like that, but just contact me for the secret code if you don't have it already.)
See other entries in the latest GIMH Adoption Carnival here...