Celebrating Fathers

13
Jun

As an adoption professional, a large part of my job is soothing the frayed nerves of parents undergoing the international adoption process. The roller coaster of adoption is not for the faint of heart and regardless of how strong a parent feels he or she is, all parents buckle under the pressure, whether they are adopting from Congo or they’re adopting from Nicaragua.

During my years working in international adoption I have witnessed both the behaviors of adoptive mothers and fathers. While society has groomed males and females to react differently, both still experience the same anxieties. Our fathers are taught to be the pillars of strength and to not show emotion. I am here to tell you though, that while they may not exhibit the same emotions as our adoptive mothers, they are still dealing with the same stressors and they are dealing with the same emotions.

One of the most cherished duties of my job is to watch adoptive parents as they are finally united with their children. This is just as an emotional experience for fathers as it is for mothers. This is the breaking point for fathers as I inevitably see happy tears streaming down the faces of fathers as well as the mothers. Just an FYI to all you fathers, it is ok to cry in front of me, I won’t tell anyone!

Fathers are so important to a child’s life and for Father’s Day, I want to thank all the fathers out there for what they do.

Thank you to our dads for being the man of steel in the family and holding it together in times of undue stress. Thank you to our dads for being the man that comforts the mothers when they are overcome with the stress of adoption and sometimes taking over to preserve Mom’s sanity (for those of you who can relate, this happens more often than you think!). Thank you, Dad for teaching our little ones to throw a baseball, ride a bike for the first time without training wheels, and for taking our kiddos fishing. Thank you to our dads for a shoulder to cry on for Mom and the children when the going gets rough in life. Thank you to our dads for loving our mothers and showing our children what it means to be a dad and a husband, after all it is said the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. Thank you, Dad for knowing our children learn more through action than through words. Most of all thank you to all our dads for being loving, caring and supportive fathers to our children. Thank you to our adoptive fathers for being willing to open your hearts and homes to a child in need.

I cannot end this narrative without thanking the fathers in my own life. Thank you to my own father for his love and support and for teaching me strength. Thank you to my better half for being a loving father to our own children. Thank you to my brother for being an awesome dad to my niece and nephew. Thank you to the grandfathers in my life for being such incredible influences in their grandchildren’s lives.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads in my life, whether you are a bio father or adoptive father you are such an important part of our children’s lives and all of you have touched my life in one way or another!

Photo used with permission.

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

Sonja Brown works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptionsā€™ programs in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Samoa. Sonja is also proud to work directly with our Individualized Country Program families who are adopting from countries where no adoption service providers currently operate.