If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you know that my husband and I have struggled with infertility. We’ve struggled with the decision to not seek fertility treatments, instead, trusting that Jesus will lead us down a path of His choosing. We’ve struggled with the very, extra, crazy, long adoption process, knowing again that when the timing is right Jesus will bring us the perfect child(ren) for our family.
Sometimes the struggle though isn’t in the processes, or the choices. but rather in the what if’s.
As background, I have always wanted to be a Mom. Indeed, my ideal for my whole life. I love kids, I love being able to love them and raise them. I love watching them grow and learn and change and mature. I’m fortunate and blessed because even though I only have one child of my own, I do have of houseful of children to love everyday that just happen to sleep in different houses.
My husband though wasn’t like me. He never thought about being a Dad. He was quite happy exploring the country, the world, and doing it as a single guy. Meeting me and my son changed everything for him. He stopped being a bachelor and became instead a very good [step] Dad. He went from doing as he pleased, going wherever he wanted, and worrying only about himself…to someone a little boy looked up to, becoming a role model. Only then, did my husband begin thinking about being a Dad.
Not being able to get pregnant threw us both off guard a bit. When you start trying to get pregnant, you just expect it to happen. It might take a couple of months but it’s supposed to happen. We were both healthy and active. Thus, not getting pregnant wasn’t in my plans. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in my husband’s plans either. So we discussed alternatives … deciding to keep trying but looking into becoming foster parents – a plan that later turned into adoption. The wait for a child and/or family though can be very hard and not just on me. It’s been equally difficult for my husband.
I watch him when he’s around my ‘other’ kids. They adore him. In fact, I’m pretty sure they prefer him most days (but he can’t bake cookies like I do….). And he won’t admit it, but I know he adores them too. They follow him around when he is home, always trying to capture his attention in some form. For example, I currently have two 1 year olds, and they climb on him. They smile when they see him (and note, not just any smile, the huge big happy grin kind). He can make them laugh in ways I can’t. And, like any child within a family unit, they always want up. Herein, parents with small children understand what I mean when I say “they want up.”
My three year olds play with him. They help him with his iPad games. They do everything he asks them to do. They even ask me where he is NON STOP, if they haven’t seen him in a while. My school aged kids talk to him more than me. And again, sometimes they don’t stop (this isn’t actually a bad thing …. hahahaha ;))
The other day, I watched him jump on the trampoline with one of my ‘other’ kids. She convinced him to climb the ladder and bounce with her. He pushed her on the swing and I’m pretty sure if she had asked, he would have gone on the slide too. He has spent the last eight years playing road hockey, or catch, or lacrosse, and even golfing with my son. They bonded over Navy League and classic television shows. They played trucks in the sand at the beach and posed in olden day clothes, in one of our very first outings. He has been by my side through hockey seasons, and baseball seasons and lacrosse seasons…..all the while encouraging my son to be the best he can be.
He might have never wanted to be a dad…..but he is one now. And like I said earlier, he is a really fantastic one.
Some days, knowing that he deserves to be called ‘Dad’ or ‘Daddy’, my heart gets sad, because that is the one title he doesn’t yet get to call his own. As much as I want to be a Mom to more than just my son, my heart wants my husband to be a Dad even more. I’m not sure he even realizes that he was born to be a Dad but he was because I observe his interactions with children every day.
And one day, I know that he will be, because I trust in Jesus. He knows that he will be a great Dad, to the exact child that needs him to be their Dad. Until that day though…I will watch and hold in the tears of happiness and sadness as I watch my husband being the perfect ‘other’ dad to all the kids I bring into his life every day️
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whither so ever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)