Its just so pure. As soon as you hold a baby in your arms, how could you not bond? Biology doesnt make a difference. No paper would legitimize what I already felt inside. I already knew I was these kids parent.
Child and Shaw selected eggs from an anonymous donor and asked their close friend Angela Whittaker to be gestational surrogate. On the second attempt, she became pregnant with two implanted embryos.
Roman and Nyro Child were born May 8, 2002, in Miami Beach. Child (Daddy) and Shaw (Papa) decided to raise the boys in Tennessee the belt buckle of the Bible Belt, Shaw says.
Hes made the sacrifice to let us be where we want to be, Shaw says of Child. I prefer Nashville to anywhere else weve lived. The kids do, too. Its easier, people are nice. If Im less stressed out, things run more smoothly.
The family lives on eight acres weve collected over the years, Shaw says. The kids share a room, theyre in the same class at school and the same soccer team. Both take guitar and piano lessons and Spanish lessons.
The dads and their sons remain close to Whittaker and her mother. We believe were part of the same family, Shaw says.
From the start, Child, Shaw and Whittaker documented their journey on video. These home movies became the basis for the documentary.
Being handed 300 hours of footage is a daunting challenge to say the least, says TWO director and producer Heather Winters, who also grew up in Miami Beach.
In a central scene, superstar singer Jon Bon Jovi, one of the boys two godfathers, blesses the babies in 2002 by reading a poem he wrote called Two, from which the documentary takes its title.
Winters, the mother of two sons, ages 7 and 15, says shes impressed with Shaw and Childs parenting skills.
Theyre raising their children the way I hope all parents raise their children, the way I raised my two boys. To realize that people are different and theres no one way to love or do things, the filmmaker says. Thats what makes life and being human so important. Thats one of the universal messages of our film.
Its about a modern family, but its about the ultimate triumph of love, she says. There have been other films about gay dads. What makes it different is that I wanted to tell it from the perspective of the children.
Nyro and Roman are bright, precocious and a bit uncomfortable promoting the film.
Too many questions, Nyro says. No offense, but I dont like being interviewed.
Roman thinks the film is pretty cool and so is its message: Everybody has rights. They should just be inspired by this movie. People say gay parents cant have children, and we proved them wrong.