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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.  

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