Sharing a story of a fellow Realtor’s life!
I came in late this afternoon and logged on to my email and social networking sites to reply to the day’s inquiries and activities. I was disheartened to read the below post from a fellow Realtor and Nashvillian about his family’s struggle. We hear all kinds of stories of triumphs and challenges and usually in our mind we say “Oh, that can happen to anybody”; but for this situation – no it doesn’t. I invite you to read the below Facebook post and share if you feel comfortable in spreading the word of one more story in the life of a gay American family!
FACEBOOK POST: BRIAN COPELAND, April 12, 2013
“I can’t say I’ve ever posted anything like this on Facebook. I pride myself on living a complaint-free, low-drama happy life. I spent most of this morning in weeping tears after having the halo of joy pulled from over me at the social security office. What you are about to read broke my heart, broke Greg’s heart and made me say, “I can no longer sit happily silent.”
After receiving Micah’s birth certificate in the mail yesterday, I was the first in line this morning at the social security office to get his social security number. This was my third visit due to the hoops Greg and I had to jump through since second parent adoptions aren’t the easiest processes to navigate. When I sat at the truly awesome man’s desk to proudly turn over the final documentation, he quickly entered the birth certificate numbers into the system. There was no record matching Micah’s.
I called Georgia’s vital records department and spoke to the equally as wonderful man who handles adoptions. After searching he said, “Oh, you have a uh…uh…partner. I had to flag that file. It’s the policy.” Confused, I repeated that information to the SS man in Nashville. He told me to ask when the flag would be removed. Georgia’s answer, “2033.” Yes, 20 years from now. The sweet Nashville man looked perplexed and said, “Mr. Copeland, I have to have that verification.”
I immediately broken into uncontrollable, mourning-death tears. He handed me Kleenex and hurried off for an answer. As I laid my head on the desk, all I could see was photos of Micah in my head. A sweet, innocent child who can’t have certain college funds until he has a social. A little boy who just needs a simple bureaucratic number. A little boy who was part of a loving family, being treated unfairly as an American citizen.
When social security employee returned, he was visibly shaken and his heart was broken, too. He went on to tell me, while the normal process would take 2-4 weeks, he wasn’t sure how long Micah’s would take. We would have to go through a manual approval and another set of red tape and paperwork, all because our family doesn’t share the same equality as every other family in America. As I drove off, I called Greg in even worse tears. To hear the pain in his voice broker my heart even more.
Now, hours later, with pain receding, I know I can’t sit idly. While there’s little I can do in a bureaucracy, there is something I can do here. I can turn to my friends like you who took the love and time to read this post. I can ask you to be aware that equality isn’t something you should take for granted. I can implore you to be as hurt as I was this morning. I can plead for you take that pain into action. Do as I did and call your senators and congressmen and advocate for equality for all families. Will you consider making this simple call to your politician, “Sir or Ma’am, the lack of marriage equality has hurt someone I love dearly and whose family I value as my own. I’d appreciate your support of all families in our country.” It’s that simple. Thank you. I love you all, and this, too, shall work out…in time.“
Source: Brian Copeland, Facebook Post, April 12, 2013 | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee