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When Jennifer Moran met her partner Elizabeth at a Dixie Chicks concert in 2005, she had no idea there was a suburban cul de sac in her future. She enjoyed the excitement of living in the city.
These days the Moran’s agenda involves more car pools than music concerts. The family is a little bit Brady Bunch—minus one plus a twist. The couple brought five kids to the relationship between them; twins Ryan and Quincy, 7; Ellie, 8, Ashley, 11; and Peyton 14. The kids are close and consider each other siblings.
Believe it or not, four of their five kids share a single birthday: September 9. Does Ashley, the lone April birthday feel left out? No, she loves it, says Jennifer: “Everyone feels sorry for her in September so they bring her a little gift, then she gets a birthday all to herself in April.” Birthdays were easier when the kids were younger, they could all have one party. Now Ryan has no interest in sharing his sister’s princess-themed parties.
The family moved from Ballard to Bothell in 2007. Jennifer, the Executive Manager of Carter Subaru and Volkswagen dealership in Shoreline and Ballard, wondered how their “modern family” would mesh in suburbia. She feared her kids not fit in. But things have worked out great. She says a “million dollars” couldn’t get her to move. The kids have lots of friends. Elizabeth, a stay at home mom, is busy with the kids, volunteering at the school, and car pooling. They feel like just every other family in the community.
Why does marriage matter? Jennifer says there wouldn’t be a change in her feelings or her commitment to the relationship or her family. But like any mom, she thinks first of her kids. When Gov. Gregoire signed the bill, they got excited to see their moms get married. The girls even picked out dresses.
“In their minds, they think we’re married, just the same as her best friends’ parents.” If the Referendum 74 failed, Jennifer can’t imagine how she’ll tell the kids. “The devastation and confusion… I don’t know how we’d explain to our kids that it wasn’t OK with people that their parents should be married.”
The couple already had a big commitment ceremony with their families after domestic partnerships passed in 2009. But they do intend to do it again, probably on the water which they love. The family has a 28-foot classic cruiser that sleeps the whole family, if maybe a little snugly.
“It won’t be anything that big again,” Jennifer says, “If I tried that Elizabeth would kill me.”