I found this I posted on Pappy's (my dad) Facebook wall April of last year:
"Hi, Pappy! I just listened to a Focus on the Family broadcast on which they interview James Dobson re: his new book "Bringing Up Girls". His overwhelming findings after 3 years of research was that girls need to know they are loved by their dads and dads have to constantly tell them, hug them, kiss them, etc. especially during the "awkward" stages when many dads shy away from their girls. Everything I heard made me realize yet again how BLESSED I am to have a dad like you. I never ever once doubted that you loved me and thought I was pretty great, even when I was behaving badly and felt down on myself. You always showed us affection (funny, but I vividly recall car trips where you would reach back and pat us on the knee) and gave us unconditional love. Your love made it easy to understand that God, too, loves me even when I'm at my ugliest. May the Lord richly bless you for teaching your girls the most important thing ever. I love you with all my heart! --Sarah"
Yepper, I was a blessed girl for sure. Now that I'm an adult with a family of my own, I can appreciate even more what my dad did to support us, love us, and help us just have fun.
Contrary to what you see on TV sitcoms and commercials, dads are hard-working, smart, loving, manly men who have an in-grained, God-given desire to protect and provide for their family.*
I married such a man! Ken bears the burden of providing for and protecting his family. I see this in him every day. It's a burden (I hope) I don't place on him, but one that he carries naturally. His loving and caring for us makes me want to do all I can for him. He loves The Brownies well!
Thinking about dads and their nature to protect and provide for family makes me wonder about Tian's and Travis' birth fathers. A lot is written and discussed about birth mothers, but not so much about fathers. I'm guessing because it's easy for a man to impregnate a woman, then be long gone, but we don't think that is the case with our boys' birth fathers in China.
I can assume that when Tian was born, his father was around and helped make (or made) the decision to relinquish him. How did he feel when he heard he had a son? A cherished son. Was he icy and appalled when he saw Tian's ear or was he heartbroken? For the past year, Tian has had a father. My prayer is that the memories of his foster father will be warm and rich.
What about Travis' birth father? What did he name his son? I'm sure he was bursting with pride an happiness during that first year. When did he know Travis was deaf? I wonder the same things about his dad as I do about Tian's. Was he harsh regarding his relinquishment or was he grieved over the decision? From the large number of photos we've gotten of Travis, we can see he has many men of all ages in his life. We are grateful for those "fathers" in his life.
Here's the amazing thing: These boys have a true forever father who thinks about them every day. Not only does he not care that they are deaf, but he is, too! He tells me every day, "I'm ready to go get those boys! I hate thinking of them not being able to communicate with anyone." Hopefully, in less than 3 weeks, those two boys will meet their forever father who will never ever leave them.
The boys also do not yet know they have a Father, God who created them and loves them beyond measure. They will know soon!
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
*I have enough girlfriends to know that not all dads are worthy of admiration and "hero" status. For those who didn't have a dad who modeled what a true father should be, I can only say I'm sorry and it should never ever be that way.