Becoming a Dad

Quotes on fatherhood.

Sarah M. Baker June 13, 2014

Becoming a dad is achieved in many ways. Not every family starts the same. Here is my husband’s journey to becoming a dad. This tribute is for the man who completes me and has eagerly opened his arms and heart to love children that do not share his genes. Thank you, Joe. Happy Father’s Day!

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." - Unknown
1. "A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." - Unknown

When I met Joe, I just knew he was the man for me. We became great friends and fell in love. Since I have a biological son from my first marriage, it was important to me that they get along. Joe had no children when we met even though he, too, had been previously married. I knew a second pregnancy may not have been an option for me, and I wanted Joe to know that right from the start. He didn't even pause. He just said he didn't "need" biological children. Becoming a dad was something he expressed he wanted, though.

"Many Hearts, One Family." - Unknown
2. "Many Hearts, One Family." - Unknown

Our wedding was small and only included the three of us. Isaac, my son, walked me down the aisle and gave me a way to his soon-to-be stepdad. Joe reserved a special part of the ceremony to present Isaac with a gift and read vows not just to me, but to my son. While Joe has not "adopted" Isaac because Isaac's dad is very much in our lives, Joe and Isaac share a wonderful relationship. Isaac says he's lucky to have two awesome dads.

The love Joe had for Isaac was proof to me that it did not matter how we grew our family. We would have another child, and adoption was a great way to expand on our love.

We chose domestic infant adoption because it was important to me that Joe have the experience of fatherhood from the beginning: to be called dad, to understand the unconditional love that comes with spit-up, dirty diapers, and midnight cries that turn to snuggles.

When Ezra was born, the stress we felt for years of trying to conceive and waiting for adoption was all gone. We were complete. He was our little miracle. Through local open adoption, we have extended our family in ways we never knew possible. We don't celebrate just one dad on Father's Day anymore!

I once asked Joe if being a dad was what he expected. He said no, but he didn't offer much explanation. When I asked him to clarify, he stumbled over his words for several minutes then he finally said "I never thought it was possible to actually want to eat someone!" Yeah, our little squishy is edible!

 "The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature." - Antoine François Prévost, Manon Lescaut
3. "The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature." - Antoine François Prévost, Manon Lescaut

"Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it's not something that shakes up my life, but rather, it enriches it." - Andrea Bocelli
4. "Fatherhood is a very natural thing; it's not something that shakes up my life, but rather, it enriches it." - Andrea Bocelli

"What I love most about fatherhood is the opportunity to be a part of the development process of a new life." - Seal
5. "What I love most about fatherhood is the opportunity to be a part of the development process of a new life." - Seal

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass"; "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys"; - Harmon Killebrew
6. My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass"; "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys"; - Harmon Killebrew

"Dad, you taught me the love of a father. In your arms I was always safe. You taught me selflessness. To you I am forever grateful. I love you, Dad." - Unknown
7. "Dad, you taught me the love of a father. In your arms I was always safe. You taught me selflessness. To you I am forever grateful. I love you, Dad." - Unknown

"No word makes me happier than the word “daddy” when it’s directed to me." – Michael Josephson
9. "No word makes me happier than the word “daddy” when it’s directed to me." – Michael Josephson

"I realized at the start that whether a child is biological or adopted, one does not know all the ingredients in the package. That is what growth is all about. A child is the slowest flower in the world, opening petal by petal, revealing the developing personality within." - Robert Klose
10. "I realized at the start that whether a child is biological or adopted, one does not know all the ingredients in the package. That is what growth is all about. A child is the slowest flower in the world, opening petal by petal, revealing the developing personality within." - Robert Klose

"He who can reach a child's heart can reach the world's heart." - Rudyard Kipling
11. "He who can reach a child's heart can reach the world's heart." - Rudyard Kipling

"By choice, we have become a family, first in our hearts, and finally in breath and being. Great expectations are good; great experiences are better." - Richard Fischer
12. "By choice, we have become a family, first in our hearts, and finally in breath and being. Great expectations are good; great experiences are better." - Richard Fischer

Every day I grow to love my husband more as I witness his journey in fatherhood. He is the most amazing dad. He is kind, yet he is stern. He is silly, yet he is serious. He is playful, yet he is hard-working. He shows love. He teaches my boys what being a man is all about.

One thing I find beautiful about him as a dad is that he has no problem whatsoever sharing his title. He is not Isaac's dad. He is his stepdad. He is not called "Dad" by Isaac. He respects Isaac's dad, and they have grown to be friends. When it comes to Ezra, he is so enamored by the love he has for his son that he can't ever stop being thankful to the man who made his fatherhood even possible. Without Ezra's birth father being supportive of the adoption and entrusting this little guy to us, Joe would never have gotten the joy of being called "Daddy."

Happy Father's Day, dads! Whether you are a stepdad, a foster dad, an adoptive dad, a birth dad, or other, you are all DADS! We celebrate you!

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Sarah M. Baker

Sarah is a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com and passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption. She is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys in addition to parenting her niece. She is a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. Sarah promotes adoption education and ethical adoptions. She and her husband were featured on Season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Sarah hopes to bring her personal experience to you and help anyone who wants more information about adoption to find it with ease. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about. You can learn more about Sarah and her family on her blog.


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