As June is associated with Father’s Day it makes me think about all the kinds of fathers out there. In this space, I really want to scream HAPPY FATHER'S DAY - to all of you out there who have children: birth, adopted, step..... any combination!!
To this day, I still have very mixed feelings about my own birth father. He was never a dad to me, or a husband to my birth mother, he tried to be a father to my half brothers - but still he "fathered" me. So I respect him. And in the end, he did try to fit me into his family. Denial for him, for so many years, was easier than acceptance. Maybe this is why so many birth dads get a bad rap.
Most of the time, I can say, birth mom's and birth dad's come to their adoption decision together. But some times, they don't. I can't tell you how many times, in this very site ARSS, we have found a birth father who 1. didn't even know he had a child, or 2. was told AFTER adoption, that he had a child. Or on the other side 1. he didn't care enough to be a father, or 2. wanted nothing to do with his child.
It goes both ways. Birth mom's and birth dads both have the same issues. However, thankfully more often today, I see birth dad's who have joined our group, our website, our Instagram - in search of their lost birth children. They want to talk about it, they WANT to search. And they do - believe me or not - have all the same feelings birth mom's have when giving a child up for adoption. When finding out after the baby is gone, they had no choice, no say, and especially no recourse. They grieve, they mourn, and yes, they too, search. They get a bad rap!! There are some who deserve a bad rap (I can name a few), but really, more do not!!
So every good birth father, (as I said above) deserves to be celebrated. So please remember Father’s Day is yours. There are many “stand-up guys” in our world and we want to recognize them and for them to know their feelings are understood. I want to say "bravo" to all those brave dad's out there, who made a not so simple choice, who went against society, and who made a commitment to either finding their lost children or raising their children. They are still father's.
For me, I know my birth father tried to “legitimize” me. And as complicated as it was, in the end, I feel he realized he messed up. I just wish we had had more time to figure it all out. RIP Ron, 2008.
So calling ALL dad's, Happy Father's Day - I hope you can hear me.