Life Happens. The Small Moments That Define Life
I always imagined what being a dad would be like. I had always enjoyed being around kids, whether working with younger kids in my school, or volunteering in our church’s preschool church, kids were full of laughter, innocence, and an unfiltered view of the world that I enjoy.
Long before my wife, Amy said “I do” we had talked about our desires to have kids and several of them. I was an only child but Amy came from a family of four kids. In her extended family, she had several families that had eight or more kids! Yes, they believed in having a quiver full 🙂 We were looking forward to our life together and raising our little family!
Shortly after we were married we began to try to get pregnant. After months of nothing, we begin the endless doctor’s appointments to find out what the problem was. Finally, there came a result… Life happened… In a moment we went from hopeful of finding an answer to hopeless. Due to a medical issue, we would never be able to have biological children.
That is the funny thing about life. Sometimes in a moment, a quick decision, or a single phone call…. life happens. It can change not only the immediate but in our case, a lot of our plans for our family had been flipped completely upside down for the future. Upon hearing the news from the doctor, all the questions begin to flood in. Why us? Why did this have to happen? What was God doing to our young family?
As I had mentioned before I had looked forward to having children but Amy had REALLY looked forward to it. Now in a moment not only was I left trying to cope with my heartbreak but also trying to console my wife. As a husband, what do you say to your spouse when you know what the problem is but you also know there is nothing you can do to change it? There would be many sleepless nights and deep conversations to follow.
As time went on, Amy driven partially by just a desire to have children, begin to look into adoption agencies. To be honest, I was still a little hurt and bitter about the whole thing but seeing a spark of glimmer in Amy as she talked about adoption I just gave the “yes uh huh, and “whatever you think” answers. After some time we settled on an agency and went to our first open house.
As I went in there were a lot of thoughts, mostly negative going through my mind. “How are we gonna pay for this”, “Who is gonna let us raise their child,” “Will I really be able to connect with a baby that is not biologically mine?”
The class begins and I was watching the clock ready for this long day to be over. Then from nowhere… Life happened. A man got up to speak and shared his adoption journey as he and his wife had already adopted children with the same agency. I wish I could tell you his name, I wish I could tell you more of what he said, but all I have to report is this one line. Somewhere in his presentation, he said “What it came down to for me was what was more important…. being a father or being a dad? Any guy can father a child but it takes something special to be a dad.” He then begins to talk about the influence, molding, and relationship that a Dad has with his children.
Now I know it may seem like a small thing but again, sometimes in the smallest of moments is when life really happens. Unlike months earlier, it was if my sails had been filled again with the winds of hope, the prospects of a future, and the joys that could come from being a Dad! Yes, it would be cool to say he has my eyes or she has my smile, but far more than that what I had longed for was the relationship. A child of my own, one that would call me Dad, that I could love and cherish and in return they would love me! A child that I could grow old watching as they find their own path in life. A child that I could proudly boast “that’s my boy or girl!”
That moment was over 15 years ago, yet it changed my life forever. Today I am the proud Dad of 3 kids… an almost 15-years-old, a 10-years-old and a 4-years-old. All brought into our family through the miracle of adoption. From my perspective, I cannot imagine loving a child anymore than I do these three, biological or not. They are all different yet, they are all mine! As it turned out, my oldest turned out to look like me a little, particularly when he was a baby. I even had a distant family friend once tell me on a shopping trip when my son was younger, “You can’t deny that one is yours. He looks just like you.” We laughed and just for fun took the next few minutes convincing them that in fact he was adopted.
Knowing that November is National Adoption month, a few weeks ago, I sat outside thinking by myself about our families journey. I asked myself this question, “If you could go back and change it, would you?” As I looked across the yard at bikes and rip sticks and toys, they represented more than just “stuff” left out. Those were the personal belongings of MY kids. Without adoption, I wouldn’t know them. Without adoption, I would have never had “noses” from my little girl, snuggles from my youngest son, or hotly contested wrestling matches with my now teenage son. I couldn’t imagine life without these three blessings and can honestly say I wouldn’t change it if I could!
Yes sometimes life happens, but looking back on how it brought our children into our lives, I am beyond thankful that it did!
National Adoption Month…
This month, come back each day to read a little more about adoption. I will be sharing stories about our experiences and even have some guest writers who have experienced adoption from all different aspects! I hope to not only bring you “stories” but I hope that you can walk away saying that you are far more educated about adoption. Please be respectful in any comments made below. Remember that not every story is the same and there ARE some out there hurting because of adoption.
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