As part of our Family Friday series, every Friday, we spotlight one family, share the story of their love and send lots of love and support to them from our own huge family all over the world. Since we've launched our Family Friday series, we've gotten so many beautiful submissions from you. You've shared your families and stories from your lives. We've been overwhelmed and so genuinely touched by your stories. Thank you.
You may recognize this week's family, Marquita and Christa, from our very first Family Friday post as the happy couple holding their brand new baby. When we reached out to them, to dig a bit deeper in what makes this family so great, we were immediately surrounded in the same love that radiates from that first photo. There is a lot of laughter and a lot of love between these three. We're so happy for this couple and their beautiful baby girl. Meet Marquita and Christa's family.
How did you and your partner meet?
We met at a friend's gathering, Marquita was playing hostess and she forcibly made me drink this new beverage that I had no interest in trying! We talked for the rest of the evening and we have been inseparable ever since!
How did you guys decide to get hitched?
We did things a bit backwards, we got legally hitched first and then five days later Christa planned an elaborate secret surprise. She sent me two dozen of my favorite flowers, and a dozen chocolate covered strawberries. I was under the impression that all of this was just for Valentine's Day, which was a few days away. Later on that evening, we went to a friend's birthday dinner at her house. I was ready to go home and sleep because it had been a long work week. Christa said, "I have a question." I was hoping she was asking, if I was ready to leave but instead she put that little blue box on the table and dropped to one knee! We were engaged for one year before we exchanged vows and rings in front of our closest family & friends.
Tell us about your wedding. Did you have to leave your residential state to get married?
We had our official Wedding Ceremony this past February in Smyrna, GA. But legally, we got hitched in Washington State in February of 2011.
Has your extended family embraced your nuclear one?
For the most part our extended family has been very supportive of our family. We found that after we cut ties with those who did not love and support us unconditionally that our lives became so much happier. We have also replaced some of our "blood" relatives with close friends to take the place of those family member who don't love and support us.
What's your favorite memory about your family?
We collectively agree that our favorite family memory has to be a 3 way tie between the day we got Married, the day we found out we were Pregnant after 13 months of infertility, and the day that our beautiful Daughter was born.
You can see some beautiful photos of Marquita's family below. To see more families and learn how to share your own, scroll to the bottom.
Isn't she BEAUTIFUL!?!
REMINDER: If you'd like your own family featured on a Family Friday, please email us at email@example.com. Remember that family is what we make it, so if your family is you and the pack of LGBT folks who you'd go to the mats for, send them over. We want to see them, too.
Michelle and her lovely bride
On their baby's first birthday! You can read more about he and him at his great blog <a href="http://blog.chron.com/heandhim/" target="_hplink">here</a> ()
The Derfler-Murphy Family
The Lake-Cannon Family
Marla & Allison's Family
With their 1 1/2 year old twins! Austin, TX, Summer 2012
The Smith Family
Congrats on their new baby girl!
The Taylor Family
The Ginsberg Family
The Holland-Girardot Family
The Weber-Munn Family
And their dogchild, Francesca
The Spires Family
"For thirty years: One gay Dad; one gay supportive Son."
The Lockwood Family
"My fiance, me and our "adopted" kid. We have been able to give her a stable family life which she hasn't had for the majority of her 15 years. I always dare anyone to tell me that her being raised by lesbians is worse than the life she used to have. We look forward to having more children in the future."
The Price-O'Neil Family
THe Harris Family
"This is our wedding on May 21 2010 our son was so excited to be the ring bearer"
My name is Amber. I am a mom, a graduate student, a fighter, an activist, a lover, a daughter, a friend and a lesbian ... I love my children (Will and Amelia) and they are everything to me!! I could not imagine a life without my children and would FIGHT TO THE DEATH should someone try to take them from me!!
"Here's my beautiful family"
"These are pics of Troy High School's Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) from last year's homecoming parade. This is my family."
Here's my family on my husband's 50th birthday
Pure happiness: Our wedding. April 30, 2011 Washington, DC
Ned and Frank's Family
This was sent in by their friend Anthony: " I'm sending one of my BFF's family, with his permission. Ned and Frank have been together for 16 years in a stable, committed relationship. They own a home and Frank owns a hair salon. A few years ago, the company Ned worked for dropped their domestic partnership benefits, leaving Frank with no health insurance. Shortly thereafter, a tumor was discovered in Frank's heart. Although Frank's doing well, he never fully recovered and can no longer work, which had a drastic impact on their finances. Ned then landed a new job at Group Health Cooperative, an incredibly pro-LGBT company, which he did to restore Frank's health insurance. Like many families, both gay and straight, this crisis served to bring Ned and Frank even closer together, further deepening their bonds of love and commitment. Ned and Frank are pictured with their foster daughter Rebecca, who they are in the process of adopting. Rebecca is their third foster child and has thrived as a wonderful addition to their family. In her birth home, Rebecca was physically and emotionally abused and was treated like Cinderella. In the years Rebecca's been Ned and Frank's daughter, she's become very well adjusted, respectful and a straight-A student amongst other things. Rebecca has completed their family and continually makes all of us very proud. Ned, Frank and Rebecca's story becomes even more important here in Washington State as our community works to beat back an attempt to take away marriage equality recently granted by our governor and legislature. As I told Ned when I asked if I could send his picture, their family IS the story of why marriage equality is so important! It's been an honor to watch my closest friends expand their family and create more love in the world and I look forward to many more years enjoying their incredible family."
Collage of My Wife and I and our son (our dog) from our wedding!
Holly, Jackie, and Charleigh Chapel Hill, NC
My partner, Bong Hidalgo, of 11 1/2 years and our dog Boomer!
This is my family. Heidi and I have been together for 10 years, Married in Vancouver, BC 8 years ago. Adopted our son AJ 8 years ago.
"My wife and I try to be the best parents we can be to our four children ages 7-21. This photo was taken on our Wedding Day, April 14, 2012. We are grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for allowing us to be legally married. We want this right for all of our community members in this country and around the world. Here's to more love! Larainne, Sheri (and family!)"
"Here's a pic of my/our very close gay extended family, together for Christmas 2011 in Orlando, FL."
"Me with my Family this past May at Disney World. "
Genevieve's Family (almost)
"Me and my wife practicing with my best friend's baby"
"This is our 2011 Holiday Picture. As you can see we are the proud moms of three totally wonderful kids. Katie, 20, is a rising junior at East Carolina studying nursing. Seth, 19, is a rising sophomore at GA Tech majoring in electrical engineering. The youngest, Joshua, is a rising junior in high school. We are just a normal family with above-average kids."
"This picture is of my partner, Trevor, myself, my son Kris, his girlfriend Carly and their unborn baby. We LOVE our family =)"
This was taken on our wedding day. We drove 13 hours to Connecticut from Michigan to get married. My partner, Melissa, is in the blue, and I am the peach/salmon shirt. With out two dogs, Boudicca and Sarah.
We are The Lowes: Frank & Jeremy with son Briggs (Frank is @GayAtHomeDad on Twitter)
We are VERY proud of our gay little family :o)
Here is a picture of me, my partner Vanessa and our son Jayden. Taken in Alma, Colorado.
"2 Moms 2 beautiful babies :)"
My wife (brown hair) Jasmine and I (Heather) with our two beautiful dogkids, Hercules and Dutchess.
Here is a photo of my wife and I totally mortifying my then 11 year old daughter at our wedding in October of 2010. We are a family that loves to laugh and be together and are thankful we live in a state (NH) that recognizes us as a family legally--something we wish for all families across the country.
This is our new gay family!
The Newman- Schilling Family
Never have I felt such love and adoration for one person. Never has anyone made my heart sing as much as she does. To say that feeling this way is wrong, is Wrong. Thank you for sharing our stories and our love. It took me 31 years to find her and I will never let her go :)
With special guest, Dusty!