You experienced some backlash and quite a few negative comments from that post—how did it feel to have your private life scrutinised by people from all over the world when that image went viral?
Kordale: I don’t think they really mattered to us. We were over it after
a week. There’s nothing people can do or say that’s going to change the fact that these are our kids.
You just brushed that dirt off your shoulder and moved on?
Kordale: That’s pretty much it. If you have kids, you don’t have time to think about who likes you, who’s talking about you. It’s just so much more stress on your plate, and I don’t believe in stress. The picture definitely did cause a lot of unwanted attention—we’ve always posted candid pictures of our kids, but with that picture, people somehow thought it was okay to create all this controversy. If we had the chance, we would do it again.
Kaleb: When you’re a parent you post pictures of your kids—that’s all you have pictures of! It’s just one of those things that you do.
While we’re on the subject of other people’s misconceptions of you, what are the questions you get asked most often about being same-sex parents?
Kordale: Who’s the girl,who’s the man?
Kaleb: Who likes to be on top?
Kordale: How did you have the kids?
Kaleb: Did you guys adopt? And actually, all the kids have the same mother.
Kordale: It’s funny because we’ve had people get in touch online, men and women, asking us for advice on how to adopt. And we’re like, really, we’ve said time and time again that I’ve had these kids from a prior heterosexual relationship. That being said, I do plan on adopting a kid in a few years time, as I spent so many years in foster care; I know those kids are the most disenfranchised. Nobody understands those kids, but I know I would.
That’s really honourable of you. It might put a spanner in the idea of travelling the world and being free and easy once the eldest three have grown up though.
Kaleb: Oh yeah.
I met an amazing couple recently who raised their three children to believe that birthdays are about giving presents and not receiving them. The day I’d met them, it was the eldest child’s eighth birthday, and she’d spent the day at an orphanage giving out presents.
Kaleb: That’s a great idea. We’re trying to raise our kids along the same lines. For instance, I’m turning 29 next week, and the kids have all made money from doing chores around the house. We’re trying to make the point that they shouldn’t spend this money on themselves when they have others, like us, always giving them things. So I gave them my birthday wish list—an $8 shirt, a $2 hat; things like that. We’re trying to get them out of the mindset of everything being about themselves, and to do things for other people. Going out and giving gifts at an orphanage is a great idea and I would like to do that too, to show them not every child has their own bed, or their own TV, or wears new clothes. They’re so happy to have anything—especially if it’s a pair of Jordan’s—even if someone has worn it before.
Can I ask a question you may get asked a lot? Do you believe it’s important for the girls to have a female role model? Someone who they may be able to learn from, and to confide in about the kind of things they may not be able to with you?
Kordale: Their mother, Destiny, moved down to Atlanta three years ago and she’s very much a part of their lives. She sees them primarily on weekends. I grew up without one of my parents, and I know when the LGBTQ community adopts, the child often doesn’t really have that option [of knowing both birth parents]. I think it’s important that every child has a relationship with their mother and father, as I was envious of others as I didn’t know my father. Kids desire and yearn for it.
And can I ask another personal question that you probably get asked a lot? You mentioned earlier that all your children have the same mother—does that apply to Kaleb Junior? How did you go about the pregnancy?
Kaleb: Sure, we’re pretty open. We were looking at IVF, which was about $30,000. As we were also paying the mother, that would have been too expensive. We then went on to try another process, AI (artificial insemination) which is $3,000 a take, and it’s not always going to take. And we tried it once, and it didn’t take. At the time we had some friends who told us about a device called the Stork. Picture a device that looks like an arm with a cup on top. You put the semen in the cup and then it closes, the woman puts it inside her vagina, and then it releases. So we did the Stork plus natural ways to have a child over a course of 10 months. After a miscarriage, Kaleb Junior was conceived in January, and he was born on October 12th, 2016.
One last intrusive question; who is Kaleb Junior’s biological father?
Kaleb: Me. That was the whole point—them two weren’t going to have another baby! [Laughs].
The thing about having another child I can’t get my head around is how I’ll ever be able to love another child as much as the one I have now.
Kaleb: It’s like a mother bear trying to protect her kids; it’s so natural.
Kordale: You’ll love them equally. They’re going to be two different little people, with different personalities. And when they’re six and three, you’ll realise you have two different little people in your house who you’ll love equally—you’ll realise you have to treat them differently, but you’ll love them the same.
The heart grows… Do you get offended when people ask the kind of personal questions we just went through now, or do you welcome the curiosity as a way to educate people?
Kaleb: I don’t mind it because I feel education is key. You’re ignorant until then. People tend to say ignorant things that can sometimes be offensive to people, so I sometimes feel we owe it to people to educate others that we’re normal.
Kordale: I don’t feel like that. Not one ounce of that. At the end of the day, we are all people, and my family and I deserve the same respect that I would give you and your family. I don’t care if you’re gay or transgender…
Kaleb: We’re saying the same thing, man.
Kordale: No, you’re saying that you owe it to people. You shouldn’t have to tell people how we should be treated in the age we are living in now. I’m over all of that. I don’t make it a point to express that I’m a gay parent—I’m a parent. I love my kids as much as you love yours. I want the same great things for my kids as you do for yours. What I do in my bed is none of your business.
Kaleb: I was speaking in terms of educating people that we’re no different than they are. That two people who live a homosexual lifestyle can raise heterosexual children, and we want them to be as successful as you want your kids to be.