Chad Farquharson (left) and Wayne McGill, with their son Grayson.Photo:
A little boy named Grayson is one of the most special children in the world.
It all started with a haircut. Chad, a 22 year old young man, not out about his sexuality, got into Wayne’s chair at a salon. After discovering a sincere enjoyment of each other, they went on a date a week later. Over the course of a year, they realized their slow moving relationship had built into something very solid between them.
At the time, they had no idea how solid it was going to have to be.
Others noticed their mutual devotion. In 1999, Wayne’s grandmother was the one who popped the question. “When are you two getting married?” she asked them. They politely explained that same sex marriage was not legal and Grandma gave them a look they will never forget.
“She looked at us like we were a dumb as a sack of potatoes,” says Chad, “She asked us if we loved each other, and we said yes, so she asked again ‘So then when are you getting married?’” It was a wake up call for the couple. They had, as they call it, their “aha” moment.
It was not what was legal that was important in building a family. It was the love.
A few years later, they would take this lesson further by demonstrating that family is not doing only what was required, but doing what is mandated by their hearts.
Wayne and Chad married three years before it was recognized in Canada. Wayne had always wanted to be a father as well, and one Christmas, he made a proposal to Chad.
“We have a great life now, but it is time to grow. Do we want to be doing just the same thing in ten years? I want to share new challenges and adventures in life with you.” The proposition resonated with Chad.
Many would deny gay men the opportunity to be parents because they cannot biologically create children on their own. For Wayne and Chad, the ability to inadvertently procreate was not a negative. They found themselves enthused where others had a sense of resignation and defeat.
“As a gay couple, adoption was our version of pregnancy from an excitement point of view. For the straight couples we met, it was the final step in a difficult journey of infertility. When we took our adoption classes (in Canada you have to take mandatory classes in order to qualify for adoption) we were on cloud 9 which was a noticeably different head space than most the other couples in the classes.”
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Their happiness seemed to be fulfilled when a beautiful baby boy was born, and they named him Grayson.
There were problems right away and they were informed that Grayson would require open-heart surgery, on which they signed off immediately. Four hours after the surgery, the men were informed of another issue. It had become apparent to the medical professionals that Grayson suffered from a potentially lethal disease called Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD).