I’m a singer/songwriter and a single dad of Asher Nicoletto, whom I’m in the process of second-parent adopting. I had a partner (and Canadian-marriage spouse) of 13 years. Shortly after Asher was born through surrogacy, my ex broke up with me and left us for a co-worker. We now do a visitation arrangement, but I’m the primary parent. Asher is my joy, my number one. I used to think I was born to make music, but the minute he came out of the womb, he was handed to me and I knew I was born to be a father. Six-weeks old, Asher even came on the road with my last band and me. He can say his first rock concert was seeing his papa perform in Asheville, NC, opening for Travis Tritt!

In New York, second parent adoptions are legal for same sex couples, but I was in the middle of the process when my ex left us. Technically, I have no legal rights right now but my adoption papers are in and the social worker has come to study my home for the first time. Asher will turn 3 on June 15th and my Indiana mother (who used to curse me for being gay) will fly here to celebrate it with us. Once I had Asher, my whole family accepts him and me like I’d never seen. He is spiritually mine and I forget we’re not biologically related sometimes. He’s amazing and hilarious. I fed him his first bottle, stayed with him nonstop through his first six months until I had to get a babysitter so I could do some work. In September, Asher starts pre-K. From day one, I’ve gotten the comment that I have a natural and strikingly maternal instinct. I see this as the highest of compliments.

 “My name is Derek Nicoletto. I was born to be a father and to entertain you. Asher, your constant “I love you, papa” and, “Papa, pancake please” are how “words will wing us high.” I love you, Bubba. (I’ve called him “Bubba” since birth) I can’t imagine a papa loving his son more than I.

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