Adoptive Dad Dreamed A Dream That Brought Him A Son

Adoptive Dad Dreamed A Dream That Brought Him A Son

4:19pm Apr 12, 2013
John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.
John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.
StoryCorps
  • John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.

    John Curtis with his 11-year-old son, John Wikiera.

    StoryCorps

  • Curtis and David Wikiera arrive home from Vietnam with John in 1998.

    Curtis and David Wikiera arrive home from Vietnam with John in 1998.

    Courtesy of John Curtis

In 1998, John Curtis and David Wikiera adopted a son from Vietnam and named him John Wikiera.

"I had always wanted to be a parent," Curtis tells his now 11-year-old son during a visit to StoryCorps in Rochester, N.Y. "So it was a dream I had, but I never dreamed would come true because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption and that got us thinking.

"So, we started into the process," he continues. "And one day, a FedEx truck came down the driveway. And they ... had a little picture of you, and I knew that I was going to get to be your dad. And it was wonderful."

John — who wants to be an astronaut and go to Mars or maybe a video-game tester — asks how parenting changed his dad.

"Oh, it changes everything," Curtis says. When asked whether he thinks about having a family of his own one day, the pre-teen says "sometimes."

"And like when I have kids, you will get to meet them," John tells his dad.

"That's my dream, too. I love you very much," Curtis says. "We were always meant to be together."

Curtis married his partner in 2011 in Rochester after 22 years together. Both their sons — John and Joseph, who was adopted from Guatemala — participated in the ceremony.

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Michael Garofalo.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On Friday mornings, we hear from StoryCorps, capturing conversations between loved ones across the country. Today's interview comes from Rochester, New York. That's were John Curtis sat down with his 11-year-old son, John Wikeira, who was adopted as a baby from Vietnam.

JOHN CURTIS: So what are some of your dreams?

JOHN WIKEIRA: Well, I kind of want to go to Mars and be an astronaut.

CURTIS: What do you think it's going to be like on Mars?

WIKEIRA: Red. Yeah.

CURTIS: If you don't go to Mars, what else do you think you might want to do?

WIKEIRA: Maybe a video game-tester.

CURTIS: A video game-tester.

WIKEIRA: Even though a video game-tester might be very exclusive.

CURTIS: It might be tough. I don't know how many of those job positions there are.

WIKEIRA: So do you remember what was going through your head when you first saw me?

I thought you were so - can I say beautiful, or do I have to say handsome?

It doesn't matter.

CURTIS: Well, you were both. I had always wanted to be a parent. So it was a dream I had that I never dreamed would come true, because Papa and I are gay. But we had some friends who started thinking about adoption, and that got us thinking. So we started into the process, and one day, a FedEx truck came down the driveway.

And they had a little picture of you, and I knew that I was going to get to be your dad. And it was wonderful. And the first time I ever got to hold you, when I got to feed you your first bottle, I guess in a way, I was concerned that you might be scared or nervous with these new people. But holding you up against my chest, it was just like you fit, like we fit.

WIKEIRA: How has being a parent changed you?

CURTIS: Oh, it changes everything. Do you think about having a family of your own?

WIKEIRA: Yeah, sometimes. And, like, when I have kids, you will get to meet them.

CURTIS: That's my dream, too. I love you very much.

WIKEIRA: I love you, too.

CURTIS: We were always meant to be together.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: That's John Curtis with his son, John Wikeira. John Curtis and his partner were married in 2011, and they have adopted a second child. This interview will be archived at the library of Congress, and you can get the StoryCorps podcast at npr.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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