|Fathers Day 2011 Photo|
There was once a young man standing in a SuperStore store pacing nervously back and forth just outside of the dirty grungy washroom. He looked to be the age of 16, but in truth was probably closer to 20. His distant stare shifted back between the 4.95$ Timex SPORT watch on his wrist, and the light green door with peeling paint and a slightly off centered iconic woman embossed in white, against a plastic background.
Elsewhere, a slightly older gentleman was sitting in an office, staring at a pile of paper. Government stamps abounded on the paperwork and his hand was slightly tired from signing so many pieces of paper covered in words to which he was still trying to come to terms with. His focused gaze calmed moved from paper to wife sitting beside him - staring at the same stack of papers, with the same questions racing through her head as his.
Slowly the peeling green door started to open. A slightly older woman a little heavy set begins to step out and is startled by the wild eyed young man who instinctively moved towards the door when it opened. As his face fell from the disapproving eyes of the older woman, he noticed a slight figure slip out from behind her. His face lifted as the slight figure was the very reason he had been pacing for the last 20 minutes, as if waiting for the world to change. Her green eyes met his, and in a fluster she grabbed his hand and started walking out from the washroom area as fast as she could without breaking into a sprint.
The slightly older gentleman reached across the table to hold the hand of his wife reassuringly. She smiled slightly and shook her head as if to say "We are crazy for even trying this. Everyone thinks so." With a confident smile he reassures her that this is the right decision, and that despite what friends, family, and even their own doubts think, this is the right decision.
Racing for the doors, the young disheveled man finally plants his feet as asks the only question which can quell his racing mind. "Are you pregnant?", he asks. The young girl nods her head as they stand staring at each other knowing their whole world has changed... hopefully for the better. "Only thing we can do now, is wait.", the young man offers as if to provide a small measure of reassurance to a terrified young woman.
The social worker interrupts the silent conversation the gentleman was having with his wife. The type of conversation which can only be had by two people who had been married for over 15 years, and gone though life together as if they truly were but one person. "All done, you are ready to adopt! All that is left now is to wait.", the social worker offers, as if to provide a small measure of reassurance to a hopeful couple, wanting desperately to hold onto an old dream, almost forgotten, and almost given up on.
Time passes for both couples. Both men struggle to come to terms with what it means to be a father and husband. One young and full of blind optimism, and confidence that all things can be overcome. Lacking in wisdom or any real parenting skills of which to speak. The older gentleman, well versed in parenting theology having consumed many books on the subject matter, yet lacking in wisdom or any real parenting skills of which so speak.
However, as time marches on, both fathers can be found each night walking their new baby girls.
In the aged arms of the other father rests a slightly larger daughter with black hair, brown eyes, and a very different complexion. While she begins to come to terms with her new life, and leaving everything she once knew a half world away, she finds peace in the strong arms of her newly found father who gently Steven Curtis Chapman to her and lays her down with a prayer and a kiss as she drifts off to sleep.
Now, it may be shocking... okay, not really, I'm sure you've figured out the story by now... but, just so the younger readers can follow along, I am both Dads.
Our first pregnancy was not exactly planned. I mean, we were married already, had a 700 square foot apartment which we paid 419$ a month for - but had just bought a 1 bedroom condo, and a two door car. I wasn't even in school, and had no real education to speak of. We had just decided to wait 3 to 5 years before having children. And yes, we really did run to the closest SuperStore and bought a pregnancy test kit. The wife ran into the Women's Washroom (she wasn't gonna wait for us to walk ALL the way home) and pee'd on the stick while I paced back and forth for what seemed like an eternity.
Three biological children later, we started adopting. Our first child is home from China, and our second is still waiting for us, hopefully coming home this fall. Getting these children into the family was a little more... deliberate. Adoption dosn't seem to happen by "accident". I have not run across anyone who said to me "I don't know what happened. My wife and I were at home just filling out paper work and BAM! 27 Months later, a kid showed up! Dang, I should have used a pencil!"
In the end though, all my children know they are loved, growing, bright, confident and exactly where God wants them to be. Which means, I must be the father God had chosen for them... for some reason... I don't always see that reason though. But if I follow Gods leading in this journey of parenthood... then I can be a good father.
There is no wrong time to become a father, nor is there right or wrong way to become a father... if you are called to be a father, then you know what, be a father. Don't worry about being a perfect father... just be a good father.
So, to all you Fathers out there (or soon to be)... good on ya! Cherish every moment you have with your children, however the came into your life, because they will be gone far too soon.
How a father is made is not nearly as important as what the father is made of.
Keep your sticks on the ice, and go hug a child... hopefully, one of yours. If not one of yours, ask permission first.