Here’s to the husband, who realized a life shift when he heard the sniff, saw the screen glow turned his way, heard the question…..babe, look at this. Can we? Should we? Did you know? How can we not?
And you looked.
Here’s to you, your logical glance preceded by an illogical yearn. No. It’s too much. It can’t be. This isn’t our job…..our plan for our family, my life, our life. I’m too old, we’ve raised our kids, we haven’t had a child yet….
Here’s to the man who struggled deeply, battling the yes, knowing where it came from. Here’s to the husband who tried to want it, but had doubts. Huge doubts. Lingering fears. Here’s to the deep breath and lifted prayers.
Here’s to the hand on the furrowed brow, staring at budgets, crunching numbers. Here’s to the man staring at frightening diagnosis lists.
Here’s to wondering if you could love a stranger’s child like you love your own. Would you? Could you?
Here’s to you, and your brave, blind, faithful yes.
Here’s to the Daddies, the Babas, the Yeyes, the Fathers, the unsung ones that make up the tribe of men who stand in the gap for the calling. The calling to adopt, to foster, to be a father to the fatherless…..a privilege not for the faint of heart, because it takes a real man to do it.
The job is for the strongest of men, who forgo the gym, the game, the golf course for endless therapies, counseling, hospital visits.
The most challenging road where the best is yet to come, where the end game isn’t an earthly crown.
This is for you.
Here’s to the daddies who don’t count chromosomes.
Here’s to the babas who strive for attachment, who celebrate the hard fought battle from fear to trust. (the reward is a jet lagged nap)
Here’s to the fathers who risked it all and won the crown, who have already heard the “well done, good and faithful…” Here’s to your legacy of fatherhood. Here’s to the children you comforted with your last breath. You’ll meet again.
Here’s to you, when you’re not quite sure where to go from here or what’s coming next.
Here’s to the dads who breaks down racial divides. Here’s to the dads who wait for years for adoptions to go through…longing to give their child a permanent name and home. Here’s to the fathers who set the bar high in their communities, who inspire others to follow and meet the need.
Here’s to the oh-so-tired daddies, who work second jobs to pay for home studies, who come home exhausted, pushing through evening medical routines….here’s to the men who can literally sleep anywhere. This is your legacy.
Here’s to the fathers who scarf down leftover hospital food, understand medical jargon, know the ins and outs of wheelchairs, braces, and feeding tubes. We see you. We thank you.
Here’s to the dads who hold up a family at the resting place of a fragile little one. The bravest of the brave. Here’s to the dad who knew the potential loss and chose it, relished it, embraced every moment of sweet life…..only to let it fly away.
Here’s to your silent, streaming tears, your wife on one arm, a tiny casket on the other.
Here’s to Gotcha Day jitters, the flight, the strange land, the questioning officials, the deep breath, the pounding heart. Here’s to the lengths you will go for that first smile. Here’s to taking a small person’s terror on your shoulders, here’s to the first eye contact, the first touch, the first hug….
Here’s to the moment when you realized that your compassion was light years greater than your no.
Here’s to you, father of many yeses…who did it once and went back again, who saw it all and kept offering life.
Here’s to the dads who are wrapped around their little fingers!
Here’s to the daddies who do the fun things, who are goofy, who teach, who love….here’s to the laughter and all the things that memories are made of. Here’s where adventure happens. It’s with you.
Here’s to the songs you sing, the swings you swing, the piggy back rides, and final goodbyes. Here’s to holding on and letting go.
Here’s what you have learned and shouted to the world. That ordinary men, with God, can do mighty things. Your gentleness is your strength. Your compassion is the most faithful of companions. You do brave, difficult, gut wrenching things.
Because of that….
You are our heroes.
Here’s to you.
*** An enormous thank you to the families who contributed their beautiful photos to this blog! The heart and stories behind each one brought me to tears while I wrote this. I pray that God brings more and more men along the way who will be willing to be a father to the fatherless, who would step up to protect and lead precious little ones Him.
And to my amazing husband, for saying yes twice to our two who are rocking the extra chromosome. God is good and I love you so very much.***