Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, organized the first Father’s Day celebration on June 19, 1909 – her own father’s birthday. The day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. Today, Father’s Day is a celebrated all over the world on the third Sunday every June. (USA.gov)
Originally the household provider, dads have always had a heavy responsibility on the wellbeing of their families. However, with more women in the workforce than ever, dads are now taking on primary care-giver responsibilities too. Currently the estimated amount of stay-at-home dads has doubled over the last ten years, and the number of father-only families more than tripled (athomedad.org). But whether they are stay-at-home or at work, dads are the greatest and this post is dedicated to them.
In expecting families, people often assume women will experience a higher stress levels, but the truth is that every expecting parent faces a roller coaster of emotions: excitement, fear, cold-feet, and impatience. Often times men will face the same nausea, discomfort and anxiety as women! The nature of the adoption process can add some additional hurdles to potential parenthood, resulting in piles of paperwork, the uncertainty of the waiting game, and unique emotions like grief, and identity and attachment issues. Any parent will say it’s all worth it, but the journey may have ups and downs along the way.
As a birthfather or an adoptive father, the better prepared you are, the more you’ll feel ready to navigate your adoption journey. Birthfather’s should know their rights and choices when making an adoption plan. Take advantage of all available resources such as counselors, social workers, information meetings and more. The internet can be a fantastic resource for meeting other adoptive parents to gain insight and advice.
If you have a prospective adoptive father in your life, offer him support with some of these ideas courtesy of Rainbowkids.com.
- Advocate for adoption. There are many ways that you can support the local adoption community; learn about adoption-friendly legislation, make a donation to an adoption non-profit, or attend an adoption event. These will all show your support.
- Share his expectant status. Whether it’s a gift with “dad” on it, an acknowledgement during a community gathering or a prayer at a family dinner or church service – expecting parents are excited! The more they are reminded that the waiting game is not forever, and they are soon-to-be dads, the more positive they will feel.
- Is he adopting internationally? Celebrate his adoptive child’s culture. Take time to learn about the birth country or take him out to eat at a themed-restaurant from that country. Immersing yourself in what is about to become a huge part of his life will be comforting and a fun new experience.
A Fathers’ Journey With AFTH
“I think that all families considering adoption should know that everything will work out in the end.”
Priorities change after you start a family and that was all too clear after Scott and Bill adopted two sons through Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH). “I always thought I’d go back,” Bill said in reference to his position as a music teacher, “but now I do that part-time at church and stay home with the boys.” Now, every day is different and filled with surprises, always out and about with plenty of adventures to be had. “When we adopted, we had to completely change everything about our lives. We welcomed the change, but it was still a change.” When faced with a big change like guiding an adoption plan, or life before and after placement, it is important to welcome all new experiences with an open mind and heart.
“I remember January 17th 2013 like it was yesterday because it was our first educational class at AFTH. We walked in so nervous not knowing what to expect, we left with two huge smiles on our faces and went home to begin our adoption application,” adoptive dad Jeff, recalls. “The summer came and our social worker told us we had been looked at a few times and that was a great sign. It was hard to know we had been looked at and not chosen, we wondered what they didn’t like about us. It was tough to deal with sometimes. Then we got a call in late July that we had been chosen by a family in Delaware. We were so excited and immediately went shopping for the furniture we had waited so long to buy. It was the most exciting week for us. But later that week, we got another call from our social worker saying that the expecting parents had changed their mind and were planning to parent. We were devastated. We went into a spiral of depression but later attended a support meeting at AFTH; it really boosted our spirits and we found out that we are not alone.” Having a support system helped Jeff to better handle the disappointment and accept that everything will work out in the end, and it did.
“On Black Friday 2013, we got another phone call – this time it was the one. We met our birth mother the next day, instantly fell in love with her, and learned she also felt the same. We took our baby boy home on December 4th and it has been a wonderful dream. They always said that it will all work out when it’s supposed to, we never really believed that but it turned out to be 100% true. We have an amazing little boy that we love with all of our hearts; we have an amazing birth mother that we also love with all of our hearts. We email with her, send her pictures, keep her updated, and go out to dinner together so she can see him grow. We can never thank the great people at AFTH enough, they have helped give us a family and we are forever grateful.”
Read more fatherhood stories here:
This father made a big transition when he adopted internationally.
From Bachelor to Father of Three
This single father’s determination to fulfill his dream to become a dad is incredibly inspirational.
Happy Fathers Day
We are forever grateful for every dad and the amazing things they do every day to make their children’s lives better. What does fatherhood mean to you? Share your stories with us on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!