I distinctly remember the first piece of knitting I ever created resembled a tattered piece of carpet, jaggedly torn from the living room floor. It was supposed to be a scarf, though I highly doubt anyone could look remotely fashionable with that stiff and crooked piece of knitwear around their neck. Alas, it never made it beyond the front door of my parent's house, though I would be curious to see if it still lives somewhere, hidden at the back of my childhood closet. I have certainly made great strides since that first project.
A part of almost every adoption is the home study, a comprehensive screening of the home and life of prospective adoptive parents prior to allowing an adoption to be processed. Casey and I have been working steadily on the pile of paperwork involved and much of it requires us to dissect every aspect of the past, present and future. Easy? No. Necessary? Absolutely.
So as I reflect upon my past, I come to realize how far I have come over the last 32 years. I was a pretty awkward and emotional kid. I had my share of ups and downs and for many years I felt like they were mostly downs. My main struggle was within myself, truly discovering who I was as opposed to who I tried to appear to be. I kept all of my feelings bottled up inside and did not learn to speak up until many years later. I was picked on by my peers for being "different" , and I wondered -- why was I so interested in that boy? Did I want to be his friend? Did I want to look like him? How confusing to not even know what it meant to be gay. Gay in 2015 is very different from being gay in 1995. The world has changed in such a positive way. Granted, we have a long way to go to reach true equality but in so many ways gay is starting to feel like the new normal.
I consider my first summer working at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan to be the major turning point in my life. I had just completed my freshman year at Trinity University and landed a summer job as a camp counselor. There were four sessions lasting two weeks long and I was responsible for 13 teenagers at a time, some of whom were taller than me (although that is not a very difficult feat). I was at first pretty apprehensive to how I might be perceived but quickly bonded with the boys over our mutual love for the arts and music. That summer, one of my campers confided in me that he was struggling with being gay and that he had never told anyone this before. I suddenly felt a purpose. The obstacles and emotions I faced growing up allowed me to truly empathize with him and offer firsthand experiences and advice. I told him to stay strong, to make his own choices in life and that it does get better in the end. We are still in touch to this day and I am so proud of all he has accomplished as a middle/high music teacher. He is an incredibly positive influence in his students' lives.
I have already thought about how incredible it would be for our future children to attend a few summers at Blue Lake. I imagine us watching them perform at Stewart Memorial Shell, the large outdoor theater nestled amongst the trees. They perform with a distinct intensity (much like their father Casey) and smile as they take their bows. We walk as a family, hand in hand, along the moonlit lake back to their cabin and kiss them goodbye. What an incredibly proud moment that will be someday.
KNIT FOR BABY is now a reality and I am motivated and inspired to create beautiful designs. I am excited to start revealing pieces from THE DEBUT COLLECTION in the coming weeks leading up to our first auction on 5-15-15. Please continue to spread the word for us and also take a moment to like our page on Facebook and follow us on Instagram (knit_for_baby).
All our best,
David (& Casey)