It’s All Still True

dad  & child in shadow

Last June, I wrote an article for America Adopts that I titled: “An Open Letter to Our Future Child’s Birthfather.”  The article was published just before Father’s Day, which was fitting, as it was my first Father’s Day of our “official” wait.  This past Friday, on a post on their Facebook page, America Adopts linked the article again, I suppose in commemoration of Father’s Day.   And while I published it on our blog in April of last year, I had not re-read it until now.

After reading it again, I thought about what’s changed and what hasn’t changed in the past year.  It’s true,  I’m not a dad yet, and I haven’t gotten to meet the guy that will be our kid’s birthfather.  But he and I are a year closer to that possibility than we were.

The part of the article that is the actual letter to our child’s birthfather –  all those things I said then seem to carry even more weight now, for some reason.  The hopes I mentioned then continue as hopes now, as do the concerns and our reasons for respecting the decisions this person will make.   And, a year later, I often find myself imagining and wondering what that link to fatherhood between us might be like.  We might not ever meet in person.  We might  or might not be friends if we just met each other sometime.  But we’ll always have one person in common.  Someone who will, and I’ll make sure of it, think of two reasons to celebrate Father’s Day.

With that in mind, although I have no idea who he is or if he’s even an expectant dad yet, I wish our future child’s birthfather a happy father’s day.  And as an ever hopeful dad-to-someday-be myself, I’ll grin at the thought of future father’s days, too.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “It’s All Still True

  1. Happy Hopeful Father’s Day! Thanks for voicing more about birth fathers – but this day more than any other reminds me that the reason we are our daughter’s parents is that her biological father stepped away from his role. When he found out he fathered a child – he advocated for abortion. When he was asked to fill out medical info – he slammed the door in the face of our daughter’s mother who was 6-months pregnant at the time. What I realized during our adoption journey was that, in large part, it was more about finding the (absent) Dad than the replacement Mom – at least for our daughter’s first Mom. And I am hyper conscious that I stepped into shoes that were warm & sadly vacated while my husband stepped into an unoccupied position. That is part of the heart-break of adoption…without the support of our society, the support of a partner – women make decisions to step aside – wanting two parents, especially a great Dad for their child. And you – you remind me of my husband – someone who is going to be a really GREAT Dad. Your time will come!

    • Hi there, Kerstin –

      It wasn’t long after this open letter was originally published that I heard from a dear, dear friend of mine who was fearful of our putting too much emphasis on openness. After spending many years as a social worker, she had encountered stories like yours, and didn’t want to see us build our hopes on a relationship that might not be possible. She even said that we might be hurting our chances at adopting by talking about wanting to stay connected to our child’s birth parents and birth family.

      As someone who regularly imagines the worst-case-scenario, these possibilities have been in my mind since we found out about open adoption. But I also can’t help thinking that maybe it will work out, and if it does, it’s so much the better not for me, but for the most important person in the whole situation – our child.

      I can’t begin to imagine the difficulty of a decision an expectant dad faces when considering what to do, if he and his partner are in a situation where parenting isn’t the best, or even the possible, choice. I’m sure there are so many factors, so many fears in play. Selfishness might be one, but I have to / want to hope there’s more to a decision than simply backing out on a responsibility. I’m sorry to hear that things have worked out the way they have for your daughter’s relationship with her birthfather. Maybe he’ll change his mind someday – you might not ever even know about it. The story might or might not have a happy ending where he is concerned, and to me, that’s one thing that makes adoption sad. You’re right – it’s strange that sadness can be a part of what is otherwise a beautiful story, but that’s how it is sometimes, I guess.

      Thank you so much for wishing me a happy hopeful father’s day, and for your kind words! It’s good to hear from you!

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