Skip to main content

My fourth Father's Day

Adoption Day for The Kid,
Ema the Great's 88th birthday
This Father's Day is a happy one while being a great day for personal reflection. The Kid could hardly contain her excitement waiting for me to wake up so she could give me her gifts. Church, lunch at the Original Buddy's Pizza and kayaking on Lake Muskoday made today happy.

I also can't help reflect on the past. Four years ago today, we were at Lincoln Hall of Justice, Family Division in front of Judge Christopher Dingell to finalize The Kid's adoption.

It was a strange day. Our adoption could have been over a few weeks before if we had opted to have Wayne County Courts mail us her new birth certificate, but we decided we wanted to hear it from the judge himself. What we assumed would be a joyous occasion wasn't, the Judge was annoyed we wasted his time and told his clerk as soon as he decreed our adoption final that he never wanted to do another hearing like that again.

Still, it was a joyous day. Adoption Day unintentionally fell on my grandmother's birthday, so we had that to celebrate, too. She had done a 180 degree shift from her initial stance on our adoption. I think the jovial, attentive little girl who always found Ema the Great's lap with a book in hand was all she needed to change her mind.

As it turns out, this day was in the middle of one of the most tumultuous periods of our lives. Just a year before, I had changed jobs and we had moved to a more kid-friendly apartment. We turned in our paperwork to become foster parents with the intention of adopting if the opportunity presented itself.

We never dreamed a year later we would be celebrating milestones like Mother's Day, Father's Day and Adoption Day. We had no idea Gladys' mom would pass away six months later or Ema The Great a few months after that, either.

My reflections run a little deeper today. It is the first time that Father's Day has fallen on Ema the Great's birthday and Adoption Day. My thoughts go to Gumpy, as he gave me such a strong example of what a father should be. A dear friend of mine had to put her husband in hospice, and both of them have been in my prayers the past few days. The call from a friend, who I respect as a father and who has a more hectic schedule than I could imagine, meant the world to me.

If all of my reflection today has left me with on thing, it is that there is no such thing as balance in life. The pastor at our church, Rev. Janet Gaston Petty, spoke recently about finding the flow of Jesus. That resonated with me when she preached about it, when I listened to the sermon again a few weeks later on a podcast, and yesterday when I was thinking about how busy my life is going to be again as I embark on earning my MBA.

All I need to do now is make sure there is plenty of time to sleep while I'm trying to find and stay in the flow.  

Popular posts from this blog

Our family became whole because another family fell apart

A co-worker shared a powerful story from Huffington Post with me today. It was one adoptive mother's account of the days from meeting their birth mother to walking away from the hospital with their soon-to-be-adopted daughter in tow. I almost cried reading it because I can relate to the story in many ways, especially the feelings of uncertainty that are ever present until you see the amended birth certificate in the mail. 
"Bearing witness to her sorrow, I realize BabyMama is also experiencing three days of labor. As we text and grieve, we experience the contractions of the heart and body and mind together." -Kathleen Dennehy 
Our situation was different. The family in the story had to wait for three days in the hospital while the birth mother had to make the impossible decision to surrender her child for adoption. The Kid's foster mom had taken her home from the hospital and cared for her until her birth parent's legal rights to custody were terminated. We met h…

To a generous young trick-or-treater for his kindness

Our neighborhood is unbelievable on Halloween night. Starting about 6 p.m., our street is packed with trick-or-treaters. If you don't start stockpiling candy early, you could go broke trying to keep up with the crowd.

The Kid doesn't really like the trick-or-treating part, she loves to hand out the candy. She ventured out twice, once with me and once with Grandma, but returned because she loved being the helper kid who was making everyone enjoy their holiday.

One young man hesitated at our door after she stuffed a few treats into his bag. If I had to guess, he was about 10 or 11 years old himself. He started fumbling in his bag, pulled out a treat and said, "This is for her since she hasn't been out trick-or-treating for herself."

I think he was a little embarrassed by our effusive praise of his generosity. He didn't have to do that for our little Wonder Woman. She was having a great time and has a boatload of candy from her two tours of our block. But he wa…

A random conversation at the Peninsula Grill

There were four of us seated at the bar last night at the Peninsula Grill, a regular on the end to my left and a couple at the other end on my right. I purposefully picked the middle of the bar so I could watch the Tigers game while journaling in peace. Between finishing my soup and my whitefish arriving, I had managed to fill almost an entire page.  

I write letters to The Kid in the journal. Someday, I will probably give it to her. Many of my letters are simple remembrances of the funny things she said, accounts of the astute observations she's made or me reminding her future self of the giving things she did as a four year-old. Some of the content is about my journey to becoming her Papa, and that can be deeply personal. She's also getting to an age that blogging all of it is no longer appropriate, she deserves her privacy, so I decided several months ago to start an old-school journal to preserve my memories.  
After dinner, which was excellent, I continued to pour my hea…