I know that you know this story already, but your arrival in my life on Father’s Day in 1998 bears repeating and sharing. Your mom and I had faith that one day we would build our family through the miracle of adoption rather than the miracle of science. We didn’t have enough faith in the timing, though, so the previous month we spent our entire life savings re-doing the floors in our house in San Antonio. We saved that amount pretty easily, so it wouldn’t be too much of a burden to start over; besides - blue Pergo was such a fabulous choice - amirite?!?
Anyway, we were flat broke, and trying to control the situation like every other double income, upwardly mobile, suburban couple. Then LeClair filled up our answering machine with urgent messages that fateful weekend. When we called her late Saturday evening, she explained how she had become your temporary foster mom and that you would be in the Coker UMC nursery the next morning at 9:30am. Three weeks later, we brought you home to that beautiful blue floor where you met your dachshund brother and dachshund sister.
Father’s Day gave way to Gotcha Day as our special family holiday, but it was the former that changed our lives forever. I have tried every day since that day we met in 1998 to be the best father that I could be. I’m proud to say that many days, I exceeded my own expectations, but I am also first to acknowledge that there were so many days where I fell short. Thankfully, we both understand the concepts of grace and forgiveness.
I am so proud of you! You are strong and full of perseverance - and the bravest person I know. What a joy it is watching you grow into a fine young man - excel at your chosen profession; find a life partner in Alaynna; buy your first house. Those are all marvelous accomplishments - but what I am most proud of is that you are kind, compassionate, loving, big-hearted and intolerant of injustice. The things in life will come and go. Your reputation and integrity and moral compass will be with you always. Apparently, all those times I asked you to make great choices, you were actually listening to your dear old dad! That is my best Father’s Day gift!
Thanks for making me a father 24 years ago and thanks for making me a better person every single day since. I love you so much - keep making great choices - you’re really good at it! - Dad