Thoughts on Father’s Day from an adoptive dad:
My journey into fatherhood was somewhat nontraditional and caught me by surprise.
I received a phone call in November 2009 from an out-of-state family member who had invited trouble into his life. He was on his way to prison, and his girlfriend was addicted to drugs and six months pregnant. They were desperate, out of options, and searching for help.
Three months later, my wife and I were standing in a delivery room holding our daughter — this tiny, newborn miracle that would revolutionize our thinking and our lives.
I walked into that room selfish and fearful. I was unsure of what being a parent would do to my way of life. I was afraid that she might not seem completely “mine.” But then I held her in my arms and I knew. I knew that she was mine, and I had a new duty to protect her and care for her. I had been given the great privilege to watch her grow and to help form her character and shape within her a heart for others. The love I felt for her was overwhelming, natural, and enough to conquer all of my ridiculous fears. In that moment, I found the best station in life. It was my finest assignment. I was her dad.
Three years later, I am the adoptive dad of two beautiful, healthy girls, and the foster dad of a third. I have had friends tell me how fortunate our girls are to have been “rescued” by my wife and me, as if we have done something heroic for them. The reality is that we are the lucky ones — we have been blessed beyond every measure and the love and joy in our home has been multiplied to the moon and back.
According to the Department of Children and Family Services, there are close to 4,000 children in foster care in Louisiana, and hundreds of those precious children are waiting for adoption into loving, stable and caring families. Adoption and foster care had never been my Plan A, or even Plan B, for that matter. But on this Father’s Day, I am dad to three beautiful, loving, curious, giggly girls. And I am ever thankful for my journey.