This month’s family spotlight focuses on an amazing donor egg conceived family. Dads — Burton and Dustin — are raising their twin kiddos in Raleigh, North Carolina. They use their platforms to shed light and awareness about the LGBTQ+ community, gay rights equality, and creating visibility. Follow along on their journey of raising their little Buffaloes.
Dads: Dustin (he/him/his) and Burton (he/him/his)
Kids: Holland (4), Stone (4)
Location: Raleigh, NC
Follower their story: @dustin_patrick_smith + @bbbuffaloe
YouTube: Raising Buffaloes
Q: Why is sharing your story openly on social media so important to your family?
A: Social media for us started just from us being proud parents. Growing up, we never thought this could be a reality, to be married and have children as a same-sex couple. For so long as a young gay person, we lived in fear of people knowing that we were gay. That seed of shame has left an imprint on us. But with that frame of mind now as a parent, what example would that be for our children? We want to encourage people to be proud and take joy in who they indeed are. We feel it's essential to have visibility for families like ours; we hope to inspire others who desire to have a family and break down walls and ideas of what a same-sex family may look like. By all means, we are not a perfect example, but we are one example and bringing awareness to others that families like ours exist helps educate and hopefully allows for a more excepting future for our children.
Q: Who inspires you as a parent? And Why?
A: Before having children, we often take for granted just how much our caretakers sacrificed for us. I know not everyone's upbringing may have been ideal, but I reflect on the ones who cared for me. Not just the good moments, but the painful moments too. Those collections of experiences have inspired me to be the parent I aspire to be. Learning from the hard places and recreating the joyous moments of my life.
Q: What advice do you have for other parents-to-be that are now walking in a similar journey to yours?
A: Show yourself some grace. Parenthood is a rollercoaster of emotions, and there are high moments and low. Just know that your journey is yours, and no two people have the same story. Please don't feel ashamed when needing help because it takes a village. And the biggest lesson I've learned is to trust my gut, no matter what. That instinctual voice is there for a reason. As you navigate caring for this precious gift of life, you are that your child's voice and protector, so never discount your reasoning when it comes to guarding your child.
Q: What would you like people to know about your journey to parenthood?
A: I'm humbled by every cuddle, every piece of refrigerator art, and every lullaby. The fact that I have gotten to experience this unconditional love feels like the most significant gift. And doing this alongside my husband has taken our relationship to a more profound love that was unexpected. For this reason, we use our platform to celebrate these moments of joy and love. But please know, we are human and have our moments of hardships too. But it is the highlighted moments of life that make it all worth the complex parts.
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