Father’s Day can be a day that some men look forward to for many years in the journey to grow their family. As with Mother’s Day, this can be a difficult day for those who wish to be a father, but have been unable to do so for a variety of reasons. We want to acknowledge the difficulty for those who are still waiting to become a father.
We also want to honor the brave decision birth fathers made in choosing adoption for their child. We recognize that for many birth fathers, the journey to place their child for adoption may have looked very different than the journey for their child’s birth mother. Thank you to all of the birth fathers who were involved in the adoption planning and process for their child and helped make a brave and loving decision.
We want to recognize the men who have become fathers through adoption by sharing about fatherhood from the perspective of adoptive fathers. We asked a few of our adoptive fathers “What does being an adoptive father mean to you?” This is what they had to say:
What does being an adoptive father mean to me? God has given me the incredible privilege and responsibility of fatherhood. It didn’t come easily, but through a many year journey of struggle and waiting. A journey that solidified my need to call upon my heavenly father and depend on Him first to show me my value of being his spiritually adopted child.
Now, on this earth, there is no one who melts my heart more than my two daughters. They have a special way of showing me the significance of being a dad. They observe what love looks like in how I relate to God, my wife and them. They will have a lot of voices speaking to them throughout their lives. The world has a lot of messages for young girls about love and how it should be sought after, but because they seek to be loved by their dad, my actions and words will speak the loudest. It is a joy to show them that we can love as God intended, because he first loved us, shown most powerfully in His sacrificial love when He gave us Jesus to take our sin to the cross.
So, finding my own identity as a spiritually adopted child of God, gives me the delight of loving my (physically adopted) daughters in a way that they will know how to accept God’s amazing grace to adopt them as his spiritual children as well.
Being an adoptive father means I have more that I get to learn about my children, more to discover with them about who they are, and what makes them tick. Being an adoptive father has unlocked a deeper level of relational parenting within me. It has deepened my appreciation and understanding of the fact that we are all children of God, created in his image. Being an adoptive father means I have grown my family by more than one child, I have grown it by an entirely new family. I am now connected to new people, new cultures, new ideas and perspectives. All because of my beloved children, through the miracle and gift of adoption.
For me, being an adoptive father has been a chance to make a positive difference in the lives of children. In my own experience I never lived with my birth-father, but was raised by my step-father. I looked up to my step-father as someone who chose to sacrifice time and finances to help teach me about life and guide me as I grew up. I always thought of him as my Dad. For my two adopted girls I am their Dad to help guide them through life, to help them experience new things and learn from life’s Journey. Along the way I am also learning things with my interaction with them.
Three adoptions and a biological child shout a story of God making all the sad things come untrue. The Lord has used our family’s story to teach me how he is doing a billion things at once, all the while, caring specifically about me, my wife, my two girls, and two boys. He’s always “on the move” (as CS Lewis said about Aslan). In our lives, he gave us challenges and joys unlike what we could have ever imagined, weaving our family together in a way that shouts His glory.
In a lot of ways, being an adoptive father is just being a dad, but it’s also being something more to these kids, who need me to protect them in different ways, by patiently loving them when they don’t fit traditional categories and supporting them as they figure out their story and place. For me, trusting the Lord to guide me in parenting, when I don’t know what to do, has grown my faith in the Father who does. It’s taught me that His love for my kids is even deeper than mine and encouraged me to continually point them to Him every day. It has humbled me and grown me as a man, husband, and father, in ways that I’m sure I wouldn’t have been without children, or only biological children, and for this, I will be forever thankful.