“I want to make a toast to family. Biological families, adopted families, chosen families.
“Kelly and I are somewhat apolitical people. We are fairly private and have never made stump speeches about civil liberties, gay rights, etc. But we have to recognize and thank those that are, because without them our family would still not legally be possible.
“And even though Kelly and I feel like we are just doing what comes as normally, our family makes some people uncomfortable. For others it is an inspiration. And we have to reluctantly accept that our actions and example are influencing people one way or another.
“So yes, two white guys got married and adopted three beautiful black kids. But I want to talk a little bit about what today means and what I have learned leading up to today about family. What happened today. And what didn’t happen.
“I never will forget my last visit with Nona [Kelly’s grandmother]. I think in all my life she was one of the brightest examples of what unconditional love could look like. She could be tough, but from the first time I met her she immediately made me feel like part of the family. She always made me laugh and I really felt like she was a friend and legitimately loved me. We had grown close.
“On the last visit, she was 93 years old and in a hospice care situation. She barely said a few words that visit, as she had a stroke that affected her speech. We showed her pictures of the two foster kids we had recently had in our family that she never knew about, Ja’nease and Ja’naya. She looked through the pictures and made out two hopeful words. ‘For Keeps?’ Sadly for us, they were not, but they helped solidify that Kelly and I wanted to grow our family permanently.
“The second thing she did was something that you think only happens in movies or novels. But she knew in her heart it was our last visit. She knew she would not see her most loved grandson, Kelly, again. And she wanted to give him one last blessing.
“As feeble as she was she picked up my hand, picked up Kelly’s and put them together. And just held our hands there together in an awesome and profound moment that I’m not sure Kelly and I have ever fully been able to describe. That was a wedding. That was a blessing that comes from someplace deep in someone's heart. That was a blessing from God. It was more a wedding than any silly paper license the District of Columbia can provide. It was more than enough.
“But we have more than each other to think about. And for the sake of these kids and our family we want it declared that we are one unit. So if we hit hospital triage with the kids we don’t run into ‘which one of you is the parent.’ So if my Metro car derails, Kelly and the kids are guaranteed certain rights and can in return make certain decisions about me.