Anna Marie Bunch wanted people to know that not all families were alike, and not all Kentuckians agreed with Kim Davis.
As a social worker and mental health therapist at the Hope Center, a homeless shelter and recovery program for men, Bunch often works with men who have children in foster care. Their children’s homes may include grandparents, aunts and uncles and parents with same-sex partners.
“Maybe their family is daddy and daddy, or mommy and mommy,” she said. “Little kids who are living with grandma and grandpa, they need to have stories, too.”
That was the impetus behind her children’s book, I Love My Two Mommies.
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Bunch herself lives in a non-traditional blended family. She and her husband, Robert Buckler, have two young children of their own: Leighton, 6, and Avonlea, 5. In addition, Bunch has been a primary caregiver to Bianca, 13, her stepdaughter, since Bianca was 6.
Maybe their family is daddy and daddy, or mommy and mommy. Little kids who are living with grandma and grandpa, they need to have stories, too.
Anna Marie Bunch, ‘I Love My Two Mommies’ author
“She’s my bonus baby,” Bunch said.
Bianca’s biological mom is back in her life, a development that Bunch welcomes.
“I try not to judge people,” Bunch said, while her children, her brother’s family and a rescue dog cycled through her North Lexington living room. “Where I work helps a lot. You don’t know where they’ve been and what their life has been like.”
Because of the international attention received by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her drive to avoid issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, people in other states might have an inaccurate view of Kentucky, she said.
“It’s not all bad here in Kentucky,” Bunch said. “There are a lot of people who support same-sex marriage here. Love is the most important factor.”
Illustrator Martin Gonzalez, a University of Kentucky junior with a concentration in fine arts, came into the project after Bunch put out a solicitation for an illustrator.
Gonzalez said I Love My Two Mommies is the first book he has illustrated. Born in Mexico, Gonzalez moved to the United States with his family when he was 3 years old.
“Because fine art can be a difficult passion to pursue, I worked hard to make my dream a reality,” Gonzalez said. “That pursuit, that kind of hunger I’ve got as an artist, is what brought me here.”
Gonzalez has designed logos and clothing and has helped with a bronze statue of Jim Beam in Nelson County. He said he hopes to use his fine arts degree to become a college professor or a commercial sculptor.
Bunch has written other children’s books, including That Is Mine (about sharing), The ABC Book and Clean Feels Good. She is working on an alphabet book and a novel for adults about a kidnapped girl who is rescued and becomes part of a romantic triangle.
“Basically I’m constantly writing,” Bunch said. “I have a passion for it. It’s so wonderful to write about love.”
‘I Love My Two Mommies’
By Anna Marie Bunch/illustrated by Robert Gonzalez
Available on Amazon.com for download, $2.99