Life with two moms

Ru­ral N.L. has wel­comed this two-mom fam­ily with open arms

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY MAR­TINE BLUE mar­tineblue­news@gmail.com

Mother’s Day is dou­bly spe­cial for three-year-old Brook­lyn Mur­phy-Rober. That’s be­cause she has two moms. She calls Tracy Ro­bar ma­man (the French word for mom) and Sherry Mur­phy-Ro­bar mommy. The small fam­ily lives very hap­pily in Winterland (pop­u­la­tion 337) where they feel ac­cepted, val­ued and where, “Brook­lyn is be­ing raised to be a con­tribut­ing and proud mem­ber of the com­mu­nity,” Sherry stated.

Sherry ad­mit­ted that she and Tracy weren’t sure how well they would be ac­cepted. Their fam­ily’s con­fig­u­ra­tion is rel­a­tively unique in ru­ral New­found­land and Labrador. “We were re­ally wor­ried about mov­ing back to a small town and rais­ing Brook­lyn,” Sherry stated. “Wor­ried about how the com­mu­nity would re­spond to a same sex cou­ple be­cause there isn’t a lot of it out here. How­ever, when we go out in the com­mu­nity the ac­knowl­edge­ment is there and the pos­i­tiv­ity is there. It’s been re­ally sup­port­ive. No-one’s been neg­a­tive to­wards us.”

Sherry is see­ing a shift in at­ti­tudes from when she grew up in nearby Burin. She didn’t come out un­til her 20s but re­called, “There wasn’t a whole lot of talk about it when I was grow­ing up. Now we’re see­ing a lot more aware­ness. When we show up to pick Brook­lyn up from day­care, the kids will say, ‘Brook­lyn your other mom is here.’ Kids are be­ing taught that there’s all dif­fer­ent types of fam­i­lies.”

The most awk­ward el­e­ment of their two-mom life has been for the com­mu­nity to grasp the cor­re­spond­ing shift in lan­guage di­verse fam­i­lies ne­ces­si­tate. “When we first had Brook­lyn,” Sherry re­called, peo­ple were more un­com­fort­able with what to re­fer to us as. I even had some peo­ple who asked, ‘Who’s the dad’ kinda thing. They didn’t know how to ad­dress us.”

The cou­ple finds that shifts from the top of or­ga­ni­za­tions in the area trickle down and help morph res­i­dent’s at­ti­tudes. Marys­town Cen­tral High School per­ma­nently flies the rain­bow flag. “Even in day­care,” Sherry ac­knowl­edged, “the pa­per­work has changed to ‘the par­ents’ as op­posed to say­ing ‘mother and fa­ther’ so that’s pretty cool.”

Sherry and Tracey have no thoughts of mov­ing to a larger cen­ter such as St. John’s where they would likely find a larger com­mu­nity of same sex fam­i­lies. “We’re pretty com­fort­able here,” Sherry main­tained.

They are so com­fort­able, in fact, they are plan­ning to add a sec­ond child to their brood.

“We had a por­tion of Brook­lyn’s donor’s sperm frozen and we are plan­ning on us­ing it this sum­mer. We haven’t told a lot of peo­ple yet, so this will be break­ing news,” Sherry gig­gled.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Tracy Ro­bar (top), Brook­lyn Mur­phy-Ro­bar and Sherry Mur­phy-Ro­bar (bot­tom).

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