This New Year brought me a sense of hope. Hope that more and more people in our country were rejecting hate and division. That our newly-elected House of Representatives would finally bring accountability and balance to our federal government. That the collective actions of fair-minded people in groups both large and small would continue to fight for compassion, love, and fairness.

But most of all, hope through the eyes of babes, including, now, my own. On January 2, 2019, my husband and I welcomed our first child. She was the first to be born in the new year at the small, rural hospital in Georgia where we were. She knew nothing of the world around her yet, but we vowed she would always know she had parents who made a promise to protect and care for her no matter what.

It is that promise that motivates me to fight harder than ever, so that when our child becomes increasingly aware of the country she lives in, it will be a different, more welcoming and just country. So that when she enters school for the first time, bullying behavior will no longer be role modeled at the very top of our country’s leadership. And so that when she decides who she is, and who she loves, those things will be welcomed and celebrated by her community, and will never be a barrier to who she can become.

It is also this promise that reminds me of how grateful I am to the work of countless advocates and lawyers, including those at GLAD, who made our family possible. From the earliest second parent adoption victories in New England, to the historical Obergefell decision, my husband and I would not have been able to adopt our child without the protection of the law. Fair laws matter to our community, and we must keep working to ensure our family laws and child welfare networks provide security for all children, no matter their circumstances or how their families are formed. For my child, and for LGBTQ families across the country, I’m proud to know that GLAD is continuing to lead that critical work.