Ever since I became a birth parent, my viewpoint on fathers' day has completely changed. It used to be just a day every year where I made a nice card and dinner for my dad to let him know I appreciate him. It's not so simple anymore.
Fathers day makes my heart hurt. I hurt for the little family I could have had with Ryan* and baby R. There is a part of me that will always feel connected to baby R's biological father. I carried his child for the better part of a year, and as much as I sometimes want to, I can't deny that I will always feel bonded to him. I wonder what it could have been like if we had both been a little more mature. I feel angry and robbed and hurt. Sometimes I feel so abandoned and sad that he wasn't ready to become a father.
But as hurt as I am, there will always be a part of my heart that is grateful. Without him, I wouldn't have had the experience of giving life to sweet little R. My birth daughter is the light of my life, and I wouldn't be the same without her. And, in a way, I am grateful that he wasn't ready to be a dad. Because I wasn't ready, either. The life little R would have had if he and I had stayed together wouldn't be nearly as wholesome as the life she has with her adoptive parents. Since Ryan left, I now have the chance to grow up a little, to find the true, lifelong, mature love that I deserve.
I am also so, so grateful to little R's adoptive father. He gives me so much hope and faith for the family I hope to have someday. There are men out there that really want to be fathers. Men who would do anything for their children. Baby R has him completely wrapped around her finger, I have never seen a father so in love. He is such a hands on daddy, and I am so grateful that little R will never have to wonder even for a second if she is loved. She will have a very strong male role model in her life, and I will forever be grateful for that. I am also so grateful for how he treats his wife because she will learn that she deserves to be treated the same way. I am grateful for the way he treats me. He is so supportive of little R and I having a wonderful open relationship, and he is like an older brother to me.
I am grateful for my own father. He shares so many traits with little R's adoptive father, and I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is a hard worker and a loving father.
Fathers day is hard. But fathers day also reminds me not to take the good men in my life for granted. How have good men blessed your life, and how will you celebrate them this fathers day?
*names have been changed