First Fathers Day

Quotes from New Adoptive Dad’s About Their First or Second Father’s Day

We have so many new fathers at the IAC Center. This year we have a few new contributors, and some great vignettes from last year’s new dads writing about how they feel about their first Father’s Day, and their thoughts for waiting fathers. This is a heart-warming and an inspiring read no matter where you are on the path to parenting.

IAC Center’s newest Dad, Rick, father of Elisabeth born MAY 7, 2009
About his first Father’s day –
I guess I see it as an opportunity to reflect on how remarkably my life has changed in such a short period of time. Throughout my early adulthood I always just assumed I would get married, have a family and raise kids. As I grew older I wanted both of those things more and more, and yet it also seemed less and less likely that any of it was in the cards for me, so I slowly “managed” my expectations downward, consciously and unconsciously. Now relatively late in life I have been blessed with my wife Catherine and daughter Elisabeth, and contemplating my first Father’s Day brings this tremendous realization that I share the experience of being a father with my late father, and my brother and friends and other family members who are fathers…. in the midst of all the chaos of my new life this realization brings me a sense of purpose and fulfillment – a moment to stop and recognize how happy and lucky and blessed I am!

Being a father is hard work and in six short weeks has changed my life in ways that I never anticipated, and could never have known and will probably continue to do so in ways I am sure I don’t even see coming. It’s difficult to make that adjustment and of course I am still trying to figure out how I can get everything done I need to get speeding train at times .. But I would not change places with where I am now for anything in the world.

How he will celebrate: spend a quiet day at home, my sister and brother-in- law and niece will be visiting from LA, so we’ll have a nice faily day together.
For those who are waiting, Rick says, keep the faith, it will happen and it will be wonderful!

Billy Scheffold, father of Rebecca, born May 20, 2008 –
“This year Father’s day will make my heart feel good, it is my first. Now when the priest asks for the father’s in the congregation to please stand up to be acknowledged I will finally feel like I’m a part of their world. Fatherhood has been a void in my life, but now I feel that what has been missing is now found. That something is my daughter, Rebecca. I feel a new sense of purpose in life – to my daughter, my wife, my family, my community, a sense of sharing and responsibility that I have not felt before, something very special. So when that Sunday service takes place and our priest ask for all the Fathers to stand, I will look at my wife, my daughter, my FAMILY and I will stand and say to myself, YEAH that’s me, I’M A DADDY! That is how I will celebrate my first Father’s day, just a simple acknowledgment, (it’s worth more than anything in the world). So to all the  new fathers, I say congratulations and to our older Fathers thanks for letting me join your club. It is a privilege to be included. And to those still waiting (it took our family 3 years+) don’t stop. The feeling of having a full heart is worth every thing in the whole wide world.”

Another New Dad of a daughter wrote:
I probably need to think about it again after Father’s Day actually happens, but I’m really not really expecting to feel any different just for a specific day. To me, once we saw our daughter born, everyday is Father’s Day. Nothing can trump the feeling of holding your child for the very first time. Everything changes from that moment on. As an adoptive father, I think the natural instinct to protect and care for the child is heightened because a birthmother chose you to raise her child. To me, it’s a special and welcome responsibility that I cherish everyday.

Note from Joni MantellIt is common to think about birth parents on special days and it is notable that this new Dad is so aware and articulate about this.

Joe Tolleson – father of Liam, born March 27, 2008
“I haven’t given Father’s day much thought because every day seems like a day to celebrate being a father (or mother). Regarding how it feels or what it means to me to be a dad after all the years of waiting: “It is still somewhat unbelievable.

I never thought I would just sit and stare at a baby, but now it is just a natural and wonderful thing to do. The thing that has amazed me the most, is how strong a love I feel for Liam. Before he was born I couldn’t predict my feelings. I did fear I would have feelings that I was more of a babysitter than his father, yet those feelings never surfaced. Ever since he was born, I’ve felt a tremendous sense of family and happiness.”

My advice for men who are waiting: “The waiting process can, at times, seem very stressful. The uncertainty can be almost maddening, but know a child will find its way into your heart and family.”

E.I. – father of Nathan, born 1/26/08 was interviewed by his wife Dianne:

  1. Dianne: What are you doing to celebrate your first Father’s Day?
    Dad: I would like to have brunch at my favorite restaurant to share with him and have a steak!
  2. Dianne: How does it feel or what does it mean to you to be a dad after years waiting?
    Dad: Scary, being older and raising a baby. However he is so cute and beautiful I couldn’t be prouder.
  3. Dianne: Any advice for the men who are waiting?
    Dad: It is wise to be patient. Our agency advised 100% success rate and that is true. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be a lot of false positive starts, where you might think you have a situation and then it falls through. That is part of the process and is not to be underestimated.
  4. Dianne: Anything else on the topic you want to comment on
    Dad: I am happy and think about him all the time

Wife, Dianne comments: I can attest to that from the joy on Euclid’s face, and the response and glee on our son Nathan’s face that can only be between a Father and Son. And from whatever causes this NY Attorney to whisk his son around the supermarket with the cart on tilt making broom broom car noises!!

Steven, father of Daniel, March 2009
In a nutshell, Fatherhood is awesome. I don’t think anything can top the feeling of seeing the first smile on my son’s face in the morning. It’s amazing that such a small package can bring great joy. This Father’s day we plan to spend some quiet time together before the rest of the family comes over. To all the potential father’s out there….keep focused, know that you will be a Dad at some point. The waiting period can be hard, but the journey you will face once your child arrives is well worth all the bumps in the road to get there. Your baby has a magical way of erasing all the heartache and pain from the past and all you now see is joy. Good luck.

Larry Wilburn, father of Marisa – born 1-8-07
Larry was interviewed by his wife Diane:
He feels: “Lucky! I don’t know who is luckier...Us or our baby. I am so grateful that we were able to adopt such a beautiful child. Her personality and demeanor are so “us”. And she looks like the perfect combination of both of us too.

Larry has an adopted daughter and two biological daughters. Diane notes: He is even more loving this time around. He always gets questions on what’s it like this  time around and he always says he is enjoying it much more this time. Everyday is Father’s Day for him with our baby. I can see it in his eyes when he looks at her.

Wayne Glass – father of Natalie, born July 28, 2007
“I wish I could come up with the perfect words on this – I don’t think there are any. Watching Natalie “our little girl,” play, crawl, sleep, eat or cuddle is an amazing and indescribable feeling. There is no clever saying on a card that could express how much I (we) love her – no material gift could ever be so sweet.

Happy Father’s Day guys! And a Thank You to the Dad’s who expressed the meaning of Father’s Day so well.

Joni S. Mantell

, , , , ,

Based in Pennington, NJ