In case you haven’t heard, Queer Eye’s Tan France and illustrator Rob France are parents! *Insert joyous squeal!*
They announced their beautiful news on their Instagram accounts revealing their son, Ismail, was born via surrogate on July 10.
“Give our son a warm welcome,” Tan captioned a photo of their new little family of three.
“He came 7 weeks early, so he’s been in the NICU for the past 3 weeks. But today, we finally got to bring him home. We love him so, so much. Like, fully obsessed.”
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Tan added that their surrogate “is doing so great post labour and we couldn’t be more grateful for the greatest gift in our lives.”
But in a blog post, the new dad also describes the moment he found out Ismail was born and the heartbreak of being across the other side of the world to him.
“I woke up to my alarm at 7am on July 11th, to a bunch of missed calls from Rob. Rob never calls at night, and texts if he needs me to call him. But, I was completely out of it and called him asking what was going on, not thinking it was probably baby related,” Tan explains.
Rob was calling from the US to tell Tan, who was in the UK, that their son was born early.
“I couldn’t believe it. I cried so hard, at the thought of not being there for our son’s first moments. I cried because I knew Rob was alone and that he needed my emotional support. I cried because I was jealous that he was there with Ismail, and I wasn’t.”
Tan continues to describe how the following hours were a “frantic dash” to get to America – in the middle of a pandemic and various COVID restrictions.
“The COVID testing place doesn’t take walk-ins but thankfully, the guy checking people in recognised me, and made an exception. Yeah, yeah, I used my privilege. I don’t care, I needed to see my son.”
He had to wait until the results came through before he get could on a flight. And even then, there were connecting flight delays which meant two days passed and he still hadn’t seen baby Ismail.
“My heart couldn’t handle the pain I was feeling.”
But it is this exact pain that shows the true beauty of fatherhood which was already consuming Tan, before he’d even met his child.
That feeling of overwhelming worry which is in fact pure love.
That categorical decision to do whatever you need to do, to make sure your baby is safe, to be with them and to hold them.
Yep, there was no stopping Tan and eventually, he did make it the hospital where Ismail was still in the NICU.
“I have no words to describe how I felt when I first saw him, held him, kissed him. I was just so relieved that he was ok.”
You can read Tan’s full, heart-melting story HERE.
(Feature Image Credit: @tanfrance/Instagram)