Father’s Day used to be a hard reminder of what my children didn’t have. Every year, the daycare would send home a craft that was made for each child’s daddy. I can still hear my kids saying, “Mommy, you can just have it” as they would hand me a baseball cutout frame that read, All Star Dad. I felt my kids deserved to proudly gift their craft to Dad, and having to settle for less hurt my very soul.
Fathers are not defined by shared blood or heritage, but rather by a loving relationship and emotional connection: a sentiment I held onto. I was tremendously blessed with a dad and brothers who took on that role for my children; but as a single mom, I longed for more.
I met my now husband, Ian, when I was a senior in high school, but our lives didn’t intertwine until much later — seven years later to be exact. We went out on a date by accident (a story I will save for later), and from that moment, we became inseparable. Things moved quickly, and after a short time I found myself sitting on the porch swing watching him play in the yard with my kids. I saw a glimpse into my future and the early stages of our family forming.
This Father’s Day, we celebrate the men in our lives. They pour into us, love us. And for our family, we celebrate a father who chose to be a father. My little girl always says, “Daddy chose us” . . . such a special thought she will get to carry for the rest of her life. My kids remember meeting Ian for the first time and still talk about the day they found him. They share a special bond with him and carry memories that many children do not have of their dad.
Nixson and Lily stood by his side when Ian proposed, asking if we could be a family. He asked to be their dad and their mommy’s husband, adding that he chose us. On our wedding day, I was walking down the aisle toward the three of them, looking at a man who made my children his own.
Since being married, I have a new respect for the men who become a father to the fatherless. I have seen, first hand, an amazing man step up to raise, unconditionally love, and nurture my kids, truly making them his own. The saying “blood is thicker than water” means absolutely nothing to us, and whether through family, friends, fostering, or adoption, many men have chosen to create a family and raise children who are not of their blood.
I have heard so many stories similar to ours, and to these special men, I salute you. To the men who help rebuild broken homes, who bring security and strength to the vulnerable, and who provide love to the abandoned, making a better life for their chosen . . . thank you.
To the man who chose mine, I love you. I love you for loving them, for making them yours . . . for making them ours. You have spoken life into darkness and given hope for the future, and you are raising up beautiful little souls who are better because of you. We are whole because of you. Today, we celebrate you!