With Father’s Day just around the corner thought I’d reflect on my blessings and challenges of being a father to date. See I thought I was ready to be a dad when my wife and I first broached the subject of having kids. This was 15 years ago when we started the all exciting journey of trying to have children. Well after 2 miscarriages, 3 failed attempts of in vitro fertilization, a depleted bank account and the emotional roller coaster ride we were ready to throw in the towel and enjoy a life of DINK.
However, something kept nagging both of us where we had an unfulfilled need to pay our love forward. So after a ton of research we embarked on our journey to adopt. I certainly was fearful of the process and the challenges that would come with it but my wife Beverley assured me that everything was going to be okay. After a ton of paperwork, background checks and adoption loans we brought our first angel home from India in 2009. Caleb was our pride and joy, at 2 years old and a crafty personality, he made us laugh and cry and more that anything he taught me so much about myself. I believed I was a man who had a fair amount of patience, boy was I sadly disappointed. There was certainly new behaviours that I had to learn as I navigated my way through parenthood. Reading as much as I could on parenting certainly helped but there is no magic bullet or manual when it comes to kids. Needless to say we have both grown as Caleb has gotten older. Now 7 years later he is turning into a little man and as I look back on his videos when he first walked into our lives I am amazed at how much he has transformed our lives.
Soon after Caleb came into our lives and we settled in, we embarked again on the adoption of our second child. A year after Caleb’s turned 3 we received news that a little girl in a tiny village in the outskirts of a town called Ranchi was up for adoption. We of course jumped at the opportunity to have this beautiful little girl join our growing family. The process however, took much longer in bringing Regan home and after 4 long years of waiting we headed back to India to pick up our little chickadee and in 2015. At 4 years old and only speaking Hindi, integrating Regan into our family was certainly interesting. We used a lot of hand motions and interpreters (our friends who spoke Hindi, certainly came in handy). What surprised us is what sponges children are. Regan has now been with us since August 2015 and can now communicate in English in full sentences. She definitely is “street smart” compared to her brother who is more “book smart”. Together they are always up to mischievous activities around the house.
Now that you know a bit about how we got here what has all of this taught me about fatherhood. Three lessons that I carry with me as I continue to grow in my role:
- My children have been my greatest leadership influence in my life.
- My children have taught me to love unconditionally.
- My children have helped me grow emotionally and admit my mistakes – I am not always right and I am allowed to make mistakes.
Happy Father’s Day to all those dads out there. Feel free to contact me as I love to hear your experiences.