Post Celebrating Gay Couple's Recent Adoption Spreads on Father's Day
As so many people are calling up dad this Sunday for Father's Day, one little girl is pulling double-duty.
For a three-year-old girl living in Wauwatosa this is the first father's day she's celebrating with her adoptive dads.
Ivy Schaikowski went up to Fond Du Lac to spend some time on the lake with her family: her dads, siblings, and grandparents. Father's Day is still kind of a difficult concept for Ivy to understand but online - the family's story has gotten around on social media and for some it's come to represent what the holiday is all about.
On Sunday afternoon Ivy gave a little pretend doctor's check-up to who she calls 'Papa'. That's Nick Schlaikowski.
"Ivy is three so she was expecting her own Father's Day gift cause she just knows that there's presents and has no idea what that means," Nick said.
"They all got me a hedge trimmer," Brad Schlaikowski, Nick's husband and Ivy's other father, said.
"That's what I asked for," Brad said, laughing.
It's been about two months since they adopted Ivy. It was April 13 that photographer Meg Strobel took a series of pictures in a courtroom for the family. It was the end of a fostering process started at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
"Well I have three boys. And I always wanted a girl. And Ivy is definitely the diva of the house," Brad said.
"She's three going on sixteen," Nick said. "So we battle that everyday but she is a ray of sunshine pretty much all of the time."
And a Father's Day inspired Facebook post worked to spread some of that sunshine.
A public message from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin showcased the family - including a picture congratulating them on the recent adoption. Brad said he had some fears the post would be trolled by people with anti-gay views.
Instead the opposite happened with the post getting liked more that 22,000 times.
"Literally every single one of them have filled our hearts with love this week," Brad said.
"It cost us $50 to adopt Ivy through this program. But it's not about how much it costs or how much it doesn't cost. People just didn't know this program existed," Brad said.
"I can tell you that I've never been more self-aware - being a parent now. At all. She really brings, makes me a better person. Everyday," Nick said.
To learn more about Children's Hospital's Fostering Programs click this link.