This story details explicit gay sex between men, teens and boys. If you find this kind of thing distasteful, or if you are underage wherever you live, then stop reading this now, and delete this file. The story is completely fictional; the author does not condone or encourage any of the acts contained herein.
By: Tim Keppler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Edited by: Bob Leahy
We're having babies! Well, we're getting babies. Can you believe that? I'm actually going to be a father! That's something no one would have predicted. We are all just so damned excited. This was a long time coming, but ultimately it just fell into our laps. I guess I should explain...
A year or so ago, Ian said he wanted children. This was shortly before Shawn joined our family. I don't think my reaction to his announcement was what Ian had hoped for. I wasn't against it, but I wasn't for it either. I'd never really thought about it, I guess. I mean, children? Me? Leslie Fung? A father? But he planted a seed. We were sitting in the Rose Garden, over by Tim's place. We were babysitting "the boys" – Tim's two youngest kids. They were out on the lawn, throwing a frisbee back and forth, and Ian and I were sitting on one of the benches, watching. They'd worn us out shagging the damned frisbee. When Kai throws a frisbee, there's no telling where it's going to end up. It could land right in your hand, and then again, it could end up in the next county. You end up running like a maniac to catch it. Coordination isn't his strong suit, yet. He's really fun to watch, though. He treats a frisbee like a discus. He spins around a couple of times, and then finally releases it in whatever direction he happens to be pointed when he decides he's spun enough. God knows where he got this technique, but it is really cute – exhausting, but cute.
This wasn't our first time babysitting the boys. We've done it a lot. Ian's crazy about them, and Jason knows it, so we have lots of opportunities. I have to admit, I find them pretty adorable. Tim, Kenny, Jason and Dinh have done a really good job with them. They're well-behaved, but also mischievous and fun-loving. With Kenny they get away with nothing. Jason's the same. But with Tim, well, they sort of melt his heart. He'd spoil them if he could, but Jason and Kenny won't have it. They keep these kids on a very tight leash. Watching them today, though, you'd never know it. They are romping, and running, and tripping over each other. The thing about these guys that strikes me as...different is that they're genuinely crazy about each other. They seem to be best friends. The only time they're not together is when they're at school. Ian told me that when he was living with Tim and Co., the boys would sleep together pretty much every night. They started out in their own beds, but every morning you'd find them curled up in Kevin's bed. It got to a point, apparently, where Tim went out and bought Kevin a double bed. "Why fight it?" he'd asked. "If they're gonna sleep together, they're gonna sleep together, and at this point they've outgrown a twin. They're too damned big. Petty soon, one of them is going to fall out."
As we sat there watching that frisbee sail by, Ian brought it up. "You know, I want kids," he said. "I want a lot of kids, but for the moment, I'll settle for two."
It was out of the blue, apropos of nothing. "Kids? Why?"
"Because I like them. They give me a sense of creating something new, of passing something of value back to the world."
I was a little taken aback. I'd never though of kids philosophically. My take on kids has always been visceral – they're cute, or they're fun, or they're funny. They're something to love. Ian wanted kids because they represented a way of giving back to a world that had been good to him. They were a gift he could bestow.
"How, exactly, do you propose that we manufacture kids?" I asked with a laugh.
Kai and Kevin came from Kenny's sister. She died of cancer several years ago, and just before her death, Tim adopted her kids. They are Kenny's nephews, Jason's second cousins, and Tim's adopted sons. They bind their three daddies' together a lot more solidly than any scrap of paper the state might bestow on their relationship. Evan, Tim's 17-year-old, was a homeless kid who used to hang out at the gay center he runs. Tim adopted him, too, just as he did Ian several years ago when Ian's parents were killed in a car accident. These were all kids who basically fell into Tim's lap. They came out of the blue, and I have no sense that he was initially even interested in kids. But, he's interested now. He loves and cherishes his adopted kids a lot more than many biological fathers I've met. But at the time, they were all flukes. He didn't go looking for these children. They came and found him, and the likelihood of that happening to us (or anyone) is pretty slim, at least that's what I would have told you a year ago. And then a bunch of dominos began to fall.
Buddhists believe that a key to happiness is banishing desire, but another tenet of the philosophy revolves around being open to what life brings you. To me, these two positions have always seemed to be in conflict. On the one hand you purge your desires, but at the same time you make clear to the universe what your desires are so that they can be fulfilled. Neither Ian nor I is a particularly-good Buddhist. It's one of the very few rational philosophies / religions, though, so I respect it – even when I don't understand it, and it works, but I have no idea why. Soon after Ian admitted to me that he wanted children – effectively putting a call out into the universe – one of his students came to him to talk. Actually, he came to him to cry. Ian had, by now, been working for the past year as a teaching assistant for Cassandra Moore, one of the remaining lights in the whole Transactional Analysis school of psychology. Cassie was very smart, and loved Ian like a son. She knew us well, knew Tim, even knew Shawn. She was a good friend to all of us.
student, a kid from
Hai hadn't even known that she was sick. Now she was dead. Worse, without his mother's income, he would have to quit school. His father, it turned out, was not a very good investor, and when the market crashed, he was left with next to nothing. With no savings, and no income, there was no money for tuition. Hai's education was about to come to an abrupt halt, or so Hai thought.
The thing about higher education, though, is that the market is awash in scholarships. They're everywhere. You just have to know how to claim them, and how to play the system. You have to recognize your uniqueness and capitalize on it. Honestly, there are scholarships for everything imaginable. There are scholarships for left-handed people. There are scholarships for people going into the field of microbiology. There are scholarships for the overweight. Endowed by private institutions and individuals, there are scholarships for every characteristic known to man, anything that might have caused someone rich some level of angst at some point in their life. So, let's see. What was unique about Hai, Ian asked himself. He was Chinese and he was gay. That's a start. He called a friend who worked at an art foundation, and got the name of a company that specialized in matching applicants with scholarships. Two days later, Hai was "endowed" with at least enough money to make it through to the end of the quarter, and more applications for additional grants and scholarships than he could count. His tuition and living expenses were clearly not going to be a problem. But, they were also not his only challenges.
Several nights after the first call announcing his mother's death, his father called again. "You need to come home to mind your brothers so I can get a job." Unfortunately, his father has no skills. He's done nothing for the past twenty years except play the market and mind children. And he hates children. Hai remembers that hatred vividly from his own childhood.
It's at this point that I became aware of the problem. It's at
this point that Ian mentions it, that he begins to talk about it at home. It's
at this point that Ian brings Hai home – for dinner. Hai is very upset. The idea of returning to
"Well, if he doesn't like the kids, why doesn't he just adopt them out? No need for you to be their mother," Ian says with a laugh.
Hai looks pensive. "Yes. I told him the same thing. But adoptions take time. You have to find someone willing to adopt, and these aren't infants. Most Chinese want infants, like here."
Ian nods, looking thoughtful. "But, what if he had people willing to adopt them?"
"Well, then the process would be very quick. It would probably take a couple of weeks. It's finding the adoptive parents that's the hard part, and doing that for all three of them. It could take years."
Ian looks across the table at me. I nod. "What's the difference, in terms of time, between being adopted by Chinese nationals and foreign parents?"
Hai looks confused. "You mean like being adopted by Americans?"
"Yeah. Does it take longer?"
"I imagine. I don't know." Suddenly his eyes light up. "Do you know someone interested in adopting?"
"Yeah...umm...actually...we are," Ian says.
Hai is stunned. We're eating pork tenderloin, and he simply stops chewing, and stares at Ian blankly. What can be going on in his mind? What can he be working on? Finally, he looks up. "But, you're gay," he says. "The Chinese government doesn't adopt to gay people."
"The Chinese government doesn't know I'm gay. Not even the American government knows that."
"Yes, but if you're single, male, and American they'll assume you're gay. There have been many examples of this."
They pause, staring at each other pensively. "What if I were single, male, and Singaporean?" Ian asks.
Hai looks lost again, and then gets it. He looks at me. I'm Singaporean. He smiles. "Yeah, that'd probably work."
You cannot know how fucking complicated this is. Ian, a single,
white male is immediately suspect of the Chinese government. They will block
any adoption he tries to carry out in
...or, this is a great adventure, depending on your perspective. We'd discussed this...extensively. We wanted kids, Ian, Shawn and I, but none of us was really excited about infants. Unlike most of the rest of the population, I guess, I'm not crazy about babies. I like them a little older. So, the idea of surrogacy didn't really appeal. Hai's brothers, though were a gift made from heaven. They were just the right age and would, in all likelihood, have a better life with us than they had right now. It's a big decision, raising kids, and it took me a while to cozy up to it. But it's interesting, because once Ian told me he wanted them, so did I. Sometimes this is how you find out about yourself. Someone plants an idea in your head, and it's a revelation. I honestly didn't know what this adoption would entail. I didn't what it would involve. We have all summer to pull this off, though, so I was reasonably confident we could get it done.
I fly over to
Hong Kong is about fourteen hours from
Someone is waiting for me when I get out of customs. He has a sign like limousine drivers use with my name on it: "Leslie Fung". It's written in English. I guess he didn't know my Chinese first name.
"Hi," I say in Cantonese, approaching the guy with the sign. "I'm Leslie Fung. Did Mr. Zhao (Hai's father) send you for me?"
"I am Zhao," he says, crumpling his sign. "Let's go." He takes
me to the train station below the terminal, pays for two tickets, and we ride
at high speed to central
When we reach his apartment, the boys are there, along with
their aunt, Zhao's sister, who has been taking care of them. Another man is
here as well, a lawyer, who has the adoption paperwork in order – all in
Chinese, of course. I scan through the documents. What I want to be doing right
now is getting to know the boys, all of whom look really apprehensive, really
scared. What have they been told, I wonder? What do they think this means? Their aunt looks...grim. She looks like one of those communist
nurses you saw in anti-communist propaganda years ago – a sterile frump who was
paid to take care of your children. No wonder the kids look so frightened.
There is, in fact, an anti-faggot clause in the contract. "I certify that I am
not a homosexual...blah...blah...blah..." Who gives rat dick? What will happen to me after
I sign this? Will the ghost of Mao himself come to
Having read the adoption contract, I sign it, and almost the
instant I do, I am lead out of the apartment with the three boys in tow. I
expected to be housed at least overnight. That doesn't happen. I flag down a
taxi, and we go to a hotel that was recommended to me by a colleague. It's not
so bad. We need to stay in
"Which one do you want to use?" I reply.
He looks completely confused, and I realize that I've given him too many options.
"Use that one," I say, pointing to the larger of the two. He nods, and goes off to pee, marking his territory, perhaps. When he comes back, I smile. "Is Zhao your daddy?" I ask.
"And what did he tell you about me?"
He looks really shy, staring at the ground. "He say you come to take us away, to take us to better place. He say I should go with you." His grammar is what you'd expect of a 4-and-a half-year-old child, but my Cantonese is awful, too. We spoke Mandarin at home, Mandarin and English. Cantonese is a stretch. Having gotten these sentences out, he starts to cry, and then his brothers, seeing him crying, start to cry as well, and pretty soon everyone's crying. Everyone's despondent. It would be tragic if it wasn't so damned funny.
"Mr. Zhao not your daddy anymore," I try to say. "Me your daddy. You eat already? Not hungry?"
He nods again.
These kids are seriously cute. Frightened but cute.
"Let's sleep," I say. Feng nods, taking off his jeans.
He gets his brothers out of their clothes, and we pile into bed,
a king-sized bed. Where the hell did we find this in
six days for the wheels of the legal community to spin. The adoptions are
approved. During that time, we go everywhere. We go to
six, I get the certified letter telling me that I'm officially the daddy of
these boys. Next step: ferry them to
She laughs, and agrees that she's been a little too...anxious. "We'll see you tomorrow, Mom, whether we're dressed warmly enough or not."
boys, too, are excited. None of them has ever flown anywhere before, and only Feng has any real concept of what that means. He's excited
to be "going up in the air" and Quan and Tan are
excited because Feng is excited. Feng's
excitement is highly contagious. Me? I'm nervous. I've been assured both by
Zhao's lawyer and by the immigration people that getting these boys from Hong
turns out to be clear sailing. The airline checks our documents, my passport
and the adoption papers, and waves us through. The
My father meets us at the airport. I have Quan slung over one shoulder, and Tan slung over the other, both sound asleep. Feng is holding onto my coat. He's a walking zombie, having woken up only minutes before. He's basically still asleep. When my father sees us, he scoops Feng into his arms. "Hello, little man," he says.
"Hello," Feng responds, drowsily.
time we get to the car, Feng, too, is asleep. My
father lowers the back seat of his Honda hatchback, and we pile the boys inside
where they sleep through most of the perilous drive across town. I've forgotten
It was dinner time when we got to my parents' flat, and my mother had made beef noodle soup. "I'm sorry," she said. "I'm sorry to have made something so plain. I was just so excited and...umm...beef noodle makes itself."
"I LOVE beef noodle," I scream, kissing her on the cheek. "It's exactly what I wanted."
After dinner, we watch a little TV in the living room over tea. Actually, no one watches the TV. We all watch the boys who are all giggles, chatting away, rolling and tumbling. You'd think they'd been with us forever, so comfortable are they with us now. Tan, the three and a half year old, is especially rambunctious. He's learned to do summersaults, and never seems to tire of demonstrating this skill. After a while, though, it's time for bed...for all of us. Between the travel and the stress of schlepping these boys between two countries, I'm exhausted. There's only one spare bedroom in my parents' flat, so it's going to be...cozy. Feng, Quan and Tan pile into bed first, and then Ian, Shawn and I follow, interspersing ourselves between the boys. It is a tight fit in this queen-sized bed, and I realize how sardines must feel. Still, it's very sweet. I couldn't be happier.
us four days to get the passports. I basically camp out at the immigration
office, pushing them along to get it done. We'd gotten photos taken at the
local Kinko's. Who knew there was a Kinko's in
four days, I have their passports in hand and I have visas to get these boys into
And we are okay. All of us. Mom and Dad take us to the airport the next morning. They hug us, every one of us, even Shawn and Ian, knowing full well what our relationship to each other is. They love me, and they love my children, and they love my partners. They really don't care how we have sex, I think. They really don't think about it. They don't think about it any more than they would if I were part of a straight couple. "Hmmmm... They must fuck each other." And that's about it. They love us all, and we love them.
Twenty-two hours later we're home...and asleep. We're all exhausted. Jet lag, stress, and fatigue from carrying children from here to there. Quan isn't potty-trained yet, so there's diaper duty, and Tan is very...reticent. He's still very nervous. The cutest of the three, I think, he's going to take the longest to get to know. Sometimes he runs from me crying, and sometimes he simply attaches himself to me and won't let go. I have the sense that he wants to attach himself to me emotionally, but doesn't know how. He's a very sweet little boy, but very fearful. It's going to take us some time to connect. Feng is the trooper. Feng takes charge. Feng will be the CEO of a large company some day, a captain of industry. When his brothers get out of hand, he reprimands them...in the gentlest possible way. "You need to mind Daddy," he says to Tan. And then he hugs him, and pats him on the back. It's very sweet.
Twelve hours after getting home, we're at Tim's for dinner, and it is a fucking mad house. The moment our boys catch sight of Tim's boys, it's just all over. Language isn't a barrier here. Everyone (except Tim) speaks Cantonese fluently. The kids are out in the back garden within minutes of meeting each other, racing around, and playing with the cat. Tim's cat – or, actually, I guess it's Kai's cat – is a terror. He loves to play, and is as likely to chase the boys around as to be chased by them. He's a flaming orange tabby, moves at warp speed, and is wont to jump from the ground onto Kai's shoulders. I don't know how he does that without sinking his claws into Kai's flesh, but he never has, Kai tells me. "He's a energetic kitty-cat!" Kai says, swinging a purring Thumper around by his paws as though he's a rag doll.
"And?" Tim says, over dinner. This is a Jason night. We have stuffed Bitter Melon Soup, Shredded Jelly Fish, Stir-fried Pork with Snap Peas, an Omelet with Preserved Eggs, and Roasted Bananas in Sticky Rice for dessert. It's a simple meal, but is done to perfection, like everything Jason cooks. I know what Tim's asking me. He wants to know how I like having these three munchkins.
"I love them more than life," I reply, and Ian and Shawn both nod. "I'm not crazy about changing diapers and cleaning up poop, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. They're just so damned funny. Sometimes, though, you get insights into their past that are pretty disturbing. I was sitting with Tan a few days ago, and I stretched. My arms were over my head. I guess it looked to him as though I was going to hit him. He cringed and ducked. `I sorry!' he said. He started to cry. I was really surprised. I asked him what was wrong. He said, near as I can tell, that he thought I was displeased with him. I hugged him, but I had to wonder what his life has been like before this. Tan has a lot of baggage, baggage I don't really understand, and probably never will. Hai isn't going to be able to fill in the gaps for the two youngest kids. He's never even met them. We're having dinner with him tomorrow to introduce him to his brothers. It should be interesting."
"You going to give them American names?" Tim asks.
I pause. "I don't know. I sort of like their Chi..."
"Yes," Shawn interjects. "Ian and I have already chosen them." I am shocked!
"And...?" Tim says. I look at Ian and Shawn quizzically.
"We'll name them Kelvin, Korrie and Kyle," Ian says with a grin.
Kenny, the original K-boy, has just taken a sip of tea when Ian tells us the names. Thankfully, he still has his cup in his hand, or the tea in his mouth would be on my face. He spits the tea back into his cup and starts to laugh hysterically. It was Kenny who named Kevin and Kai, and at the time I think I told him he was a Narcissist. He needed all our children to have K-names, like his. Only the children don't get the joke. Only the children don't laugh. The rest of us are nearly beside ourselves with laughter.
"Okay," Tim says, still choking on laughter.
"What's funny, Daddy?" Kai asks Tim.
"Nothing, sweetie. Your brother has just decided to name his new sons after you."
"Really?" he says. "You gonna name them all Kai?" he asks, amazed.
"Cool," Kai says, smiling. "We can be blood brothers. But...how will we know which Kai is Kai?"
"Now there's a problem," Ian says, reaching over and tickling Kai, who dissolves into laughter.
"Well, whatever we call these boys," I say, giving Ian and Shawn a mock-angry look, "we're going to need a bigger apartment. A two-bedroom place in Stanford's married-student housing isn't going to cut it with three boys. And besides, I'm not a student. You're supposed to have at least two students living together to qualify for married-student housing. We don't have..."
"Actually, we do," Shawn interjects again.
There's absolute silence. You could hear a pin drop. Jason is grinning, so I assume he knows what this is about, and Kenny, too, is smiling. Tim has a perfectly straight face, but I know he knows, too. He knows...something.
"What the fuck is going on?" I ask.
Shawn smiles. "I'm transferring. Ian and Kenny helped me find
scholarships. I'll be starting in the fall. I've been accepted, and I have the
tuition. I'm going to Stanford," he screams, elated. "I'm going to fucking
Finally, we all sit back down and begin to eat. "Well, regardless of whether we're technically allowed to continue to live in married student housing, we're going to need a bigger place," I say between bites of the stuffed bitter melon, one of my favorite foods. "Two bedrooms aren't enough for us anymore. But, I don't know that we can afford anything more right now. We're going to need to get a realtor, and lay out our income, and figure out what we can..."
"Umm...baby," Ian interjects.
I stop and stare at him.
"Do you remember the Sphinctermanns?" Sphinctermann is the nickname Tim gave to Bob and Celia Klemperer, his next-door neighbors, several years ago. During one of the drought years, he forgot to turn off his drip irrigation system. It ran all night, and the next morning he had a nasty note from Celia Klemperer on his door telling him in no uncertain terms to be more water-conscious. Fine. He'd fucked up. He deserved the repudiation. But, two days later he heard water running. He circled the house, checking every faucet, and he found a faucet on the Klemperer's side of the house that had a hose attached to it. The hose led to their swimming pool. They were filling their pool with Tim's water. They figured that they could parlay that accidental water fuck-up into a full swimming pool, that Tim wouldn't notice, that Tim would think that his unusually-high water usage was the result of his all-night drip system mess up. Tim was livid. He had Bob out there to show him the hose, and apparently taught him some new curse words Bob didn't already know. He named them the Sphinctermanns that day, the gentlest way he could think of to call them assholes every time he talked about them, and he talked about them a lot. All the neighbors knew about the incident. He made sure of it. The Sphinctermanns were the local pariahs. No one would have anything to do with them.
"They live next door, right?"
Ian replies. "They move to
I look confused, I guess. "So? Did someone else move in?"
Now I'm lost. "Do we know who's moving in?"
"We do," Ian replies.
"Us. Tim bought the house. He bought it for us."
for the umpteenth time this evening. "He bought it for..."
"...you, yes," Tim chimes in. "Well, Kenny, Dinh, Jason, and I bought it for you. The education fund was getting a little...bloated. Jason and Kenny have been writing a lot of songs lately, and making a lot of money. We had some extra and needed an investment. So, now we own three houses in a row. Ours, the Sphinctermann's, and Ben and Jeffrey's. Well, technically four. I own Norma's house across the street as well. She doesn't know that. I arranged it through her accountant and my attorney. She was near bankruptcy several years ago. Her accountant told her that a state grant had come through. He had her sign a bunch of papers in order to receive the grant. I was the grant, and what she signed was a bill of sale. I was happy to do it. She's 83 now and a lot better off to be out from under her mortgage." I guess I look as stunned as I feel. "Look," Tim says, "my grandmother bought a house three houses down from my parents when they were young. Neither of them were happy about that. I understand why. I bought the house as an investment. If you want it, it's yours. If you don't want it, that's fine, too. I love all of you, and will love you whether you live next door or not."
What do you say at a moment like this? I think what you say is "Thank you." That's what I say. Tim has never been intrusive in our lives, so I can't see that living next door is going to be a problem. And, god knows, this'll make babysitting a lot easier, not to mention playmates. Norma, his neighbor across the street, doesn't even know Tim owns her house, so it shouldn't be a problem for us. And we'll have way more space, and a fucking swimming pool.
"Do you like to swim?" Jason asks Feng in Mandarin. Feng looks confused. Feng doesn't speak Mandarin. Kenny translates into Cantonese, and explains the rule. "Jason will only speak Mandarin to you, so if you want to eat well, you'd better learn Mandarin. And Tim, Ian, Shawn and Evan will only speak to you in English. They don't speak Chinese. Jason wants to know if you like to swim."
"I don't know how," Feng replies in Cantonese.
"Time to learn," Jason replies in Mandarin, giggling.
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