When I first started blogging I did a very short piece on how we celebrate Father’s Day in our family. This year the dates and days of the week are the same as when we first received our son. All those memories of that first trip, meeting new friends, seeing various parts of the country and more, come flooding back as I look at the pictures. When I teach about Lifebooks, I stress that you are telling the child’s story, NOT the parent’s story. A Lifebook may not be your story as the parent, but it is important to tell your story in a different book, at a different time.
My boys are not interested as much in why we decided to adopt as they are about what happened to them. My story is important to me, and perhaps my larger family. It impacts my children in that we spent time and became friends with people they know and look forward to visiting when we go to Guatemala. We have returned as a family to some of the same places that my wife and I visited before receiving our first son on Father’s Day (in Guatemala it is always on June 17th). That first trip was our introduction to our sons’ birth country and culture. That story ties us to other extended family members who have adopted as well.
Father’s Day for my boys centers around becoming a family. For me it is how my heart and world was expanded to include not just a baby boy, but a country, a culture and a language. People I had never met have become very important to us. People we might never have met here in Arlington have become friends because of adoption. These are things that have impacted me as a father that my boys don’t realize now. They might in years to come, but as I’ve talked to adult adoptees, probably not. I just need to be the best Papá I can be right now. That’s what my boys will remember. That’s what is important to them.
I’ll put my story down in a photo book so that if and when my sons want to know, they can. Until then Father’s Day will continue to focus on us becoming a family. I hope your Father’s Day is filled with happy memories and celebrations of Dad!