News & Commentary written by Crystal Hendrix and Leigh Smith

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Crystal Hendrix and Leigh Smith


Both lifelong North Carolinians, Leigh grew up in Greensboro, and Crystal grew up in western North Carolina, a couple of hours away from their current home in Asheville. Crystal, 40, is an elementary school librarian and Leigh, 38, is a kindergarten teacher who has been a stay-at-home mom for the past couple of years. Together seven years, Crystal and Leigh live in Asheville with their children, 2-year-old Quinn and baby Joe, who were carried by Crystal.

The family often visits Leigh's parents, who live on a farm about an hour north of Greensboro and are doting grandparents. Unfortunately, Crystal's parents have never accepted her relationship with Leigh. Their rejection has been a source of hurt and anxiety for Crystal and Leigh. "I love my parents very much, but with second parent adoption banned in North Carolina, I really worry about what might happen to the children if anything were ever to happen to me," says Crystal.