Father Figures: Foster Parent

“I’m the adoptive dad of three great kids who came into my life via foster care.

Two boys that I got when they were very young – my eleven-year-old moved in at 10 months and my 6-year-old moved in at just two days old when he left the hospital. Then there is my teenage daughter, whom I got to meet and adopt when she was nearly 10. I’m also foster dad to three kids right, now so our house is very busy.

My wife and I could not wait to be parents. We had a nursery prepared shortly after marriage, just waiting on that first hint of pregnancy. We waited for nearly 7 years with no results. So we became foster parents and bam! We became Mom and Dad to 5 kids nearly overnight. My very first placement was my eleven-year-old.

Fostering truly is my calling. If there are no extra kids in our house, it feels empty, and I look at each bedroom to see how I could maximize space for another child. It’s kind of ironic how most kids in our area come into care because of drug use by the parents, and a foster parent’s drug of choice is the euphoria of preparing to take on another youngster to care for.

I love what I get to do, but there are some really tough times with foster kids, for sure. We rely heavily upon our faith to endure.

Probably one of the hardest parts to wrap around is this: I see a lot of dads talk about their kids leaving home, but I have another anxiousness. Take my daughter for example, I will have only had about 8 good years with my princess before she is gone to reach her own goals. I feel like I’ve been shorted nearly a decade of my time with her.”

– Clint Cousins

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Father Figures: Newfound Sense

Christian Madamba
(Supplied/Christian Madamba)

“When I held my daughter for the first time, I felt this newfound sense.

I can’t really put it into words other than it was like someone put a blanket or cape over my back and I was donned with this responsibility of protecting this being for the rest of my life.

At that moment, I knew that my purpose in life was no longer for me but for her.”

– Christian Madamba

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

A Tribute to Sports Dads, The Raptors, The Blues and Big Papi

Raptors are Champs

It’s only appropriate to take some time on Father’s Day to raise one to all the sports dads out there. Someone has to set up the soccer goal in the back yard, teach the finer points of hitting a fastball to a kid who can barely hit off a tee, and scream belligerently at the refs during a high school basketball game (OK maybe not the last one).

Like most sports fans, I picked up my love of sports from my dad. One of my earliest sports memories was being woken up on a school night because he thought I should see the Stanley Cup presentation (and he was right). He coached my hockey team when he couldn’t skate much better than the sixth-graders on the ice, and years later I got the assist on a goal my dad scored when we were playing on a rec-league team together (when I gave him a pass so perfect even he couldn’t have blown it).

We weren’t even together for one of my favorite memories. As huge college basketball fans, there was one March where our favorite team made the NCAA tournament by blowing out the No. 1 team in the nation. Immediately after the win, my dad called me from the sports bar where he was watching the game and asked if I saw it. I told him I not only saw it, but I had skipped one of my college finals for an impromptu road trip to see it live. I was a little worried he might turn full dad on me for skipping a major exam, but his reaction was one I’ll always remember.

“Oh man, college is the greatest time of your life!” he said.

So here’s to all you sports dads, who truly have your priorities in line. If you’re looking for additional Father’s Day #content, USA Today has a great collection of athletes with their kids and the U.S. Women’s National Team shared some memories of their dads before their big game Sunday.

USWNT Dad Memories
(Fox TV Stations)

Check out the USWNT video tribute here.

Speaking of the USWNT, many were clutching their pearls after the 13-0 win over Thailand earlier this week. There were far too many “pundits” taking the team to task for running up the score and celebrating too much, and whining about “winning with class”, which is such an old man take. Or is it a fair question: did they score too much? Were the celebrations overboard??

No. No, they were not. I’m sorry, but it’s the World Cup, the highest stage for soccer, it’s not exactly the stage where you worry about the other team’s feelings. I could understand the sentiment if this was 11-year-olds playing in a rec league, but this is the World Cup. Most of those players will only get to play in one, so I’m fine with celebrating their moment however they want. Besides, Thailand should be honored, as they were part of the game that broke the record for most combined goals. Sure, they didn’t score any of them, but that record couldn’t have existed without them.

The Toronto Raptors got to celebrate this week as well, winning the NBA championship over a depleted Warriors squad. I’m not one of the people beating the asterisk drum, but it was such a bummer to see Durant go down in the manner he did and to see Klay Thompson not far behind him. They put up a valiant fight, but those were catastrophic injuries to overcome and it is a sad note for the Warriors dynasty to end on.

That being said, Kawhi Leonard had an insane finals and it was great to see players like VanVleet and Siakam get a championship. Even aged veteran Jeremy Lin, who averaged only a few minutes more than I did in the playoffs, made history, becoming the first Asian-American player to win a ring. So, the Raptors deserve to celebrate.

Rounding out a championship week, The St. Louis Blues capped off a dramatic turn around to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. It’s hard not to get behind stories like that, as the Blues went from dead last to hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. And huge props to the bettor who turned $400 into $100,000 by backing the Blues when no sane person would. He had many chances to hedge that bet but he stuck to his guns, and it must have been a wrenching game 7 for him. He should probably give a considerable chunk of that to Jordan Binnington.

Deadspin had a great video of Blues fans going crazy on local news. This is one of the best parts about a championship-starved franchise finally crossing that line. The pure jubilation when your favorite team wins a title is a level of bliss you experience a couple of times in your life (if that, I’m still waiting for the Bengals to win a Super Bowl.

Blues Fans on the news

Check out the footage here.

And in less than celebratory father’s day news, David Ortiz is still recovering in intensive care. The Red Sox great was shot last weekend, and his daughter took to Instagram with an emotional post about his recovery.


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I would like to formally thank everyone who has reached out so kindly to feed us, transport us, and support us. Those who have extended prayers, thoughts, and love, I thank you. If there is one thing this world should know it is the admiration I have for this man, my father. I find myself complaining on a daily basis yet chaos has struck but my dad hasn’t complained once. I promise on my life he has not once looked for pity, tears, or even indicated how he feels in his current state. He may be hungry (he’s eating only ice right now) and he may be tired but you know what he said not more than 3 minutes ago? “Even the toothpaste tastes good here.” I hoped to share a bit of optimism in a time like this. People keep asking: [if] there is anything [they] can do. There is one thing everyone can do. Anytime you want to complain or feel sorry practice David’s method and turn that sorrow into optimism. #myRemarkableDadDavid #IceChipDiet #ThankYouDoctorsDominicanandAmerican

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Beer-Loving Dad Gets Proper Send-off in Foster’s Can Casket

(Solent News)

Raising a glass to someone who’s died is a common tradition, but literally burying them in a beer can is something new.

Perry Cardy, a father-of-three was buried in a casket resembling a massive can of Foster’s lager—his favorite drink.

(Solent News)

“I think he would have been blown away and I think he would have thought it was really funny,” said Mandy Hunter, Perry’s sister. “It was a fitting send-off for him. He loved a Foster’s top, that was his favorite drink.”

A lager top is typically a summer beverage in which a lager (in this case, Foster’s) is topped with a bit of lemonade or lime juice, so it made sense that someone who clearly knew Perry set a can of lemonade on top of the casket.

(Solent News)

“I spoke to the funeral directors and asked if we could have the coffin wrapped, like you can do with cars,” Mandy continued. “He said it was possible and gave us a quote. While a traditional coffin would be around £400, we paid £700 to have the Foster’s can printed on it.

“We didn’t want it to be a sad funeral, we wanted it to be upbeat and happy, just like how Perry would have wanted.

“We had so many lovely comments at the funeral saying what a lovely idea it was, it will make people remember Perry’s funeral with happy thoughts.”

(Solent News)

On the evening of April 19th Perry was assaulted outside of his local pub. Perry was rushed to the hospital with serious head trauma but succumbed to his injuries the following morning. The man responsible has been charged with murder and is scheduled to appear in court later this month.

Despite his quiet demeanor, Perry was always friendly and well-liked by his community—so much so, in fact, that his sister was surprised by just how many folks wanted to pay their respects.

“Perry was quite a quiet person who kept himself to himself, so I don’t think even we realized just how well liked he was by his friends and fellow workmates. We are overwhelmed with the amount of people who turned up.”

Cheers, Perry!

#DadsDoHairToo Showcases the Mad Hairstyling Skills of Dads

#DadsDoHairToo Hashtag

It’s no secret that more and more dads are becoming involved in this parenting thing. We’ve always been there, but with the culture continuing to move forward, and social media helping expose our efforts, recognition has been growing.

A perfect example of the increased spotlight on involved dads is the popular Instagram hashtag #DadsDoHairToo which showcases thousands of dads helping their daughters do their hair. And that’s not the only hashtag that gathers photos and videos of fathers fashioning the favorite females’ hair into braids and ponytails and more. Others, like #hairbydad, #dadsdohair, and #daddyhairstylist, add hundreds more examples to the mix.

There are famous dads doing their best hair care, including Serena Williams’ husband, who, the star tennis player told Vogue, takes it upon himself to visit Facebook groups that offer tips for doing his daughter’s hair.

Most of these dads aren’t famous or married to celebrities, they’re just everyday dads doing what they can for their daughters, and taking pride in their handiwork! Some of the hairstyles these dads are whipping up are no joke. Bear with me as I make up names for these elaborate braids.

I call this one Lattice Work:

Going with Kris Kross on this one:

Um, Thick AF? No, I’m being informed by the judges that this is actually a “French Braid,” my apologies:

Silent But Deadly:


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Tonight’s episode of Hair styles of the Rage and the famous. Featuring Penelope, Produced by Rage. #dadsdohair

A post shared by Craig Rage McCaskill (@rageoss) on

This dad and his daughter clearly know what they’re doing at this point:


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Our favorite Videos haven’t did one in a while 🤴🏽👸🏽❤️ #tbt

A post shared by TREACH HILL (@breeze_n_dad) on

Thankfully, this ace dad filmed himself at high-speed, because it must have taken him half the day to handle his twins’ hair and their younger sister’s.


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#yup it’s just that #easy #dadlife #hairstyles #tresninas #dadsdohairtoo

A post shared by Mark Well (@birdseyeview4you) on

This is some impressive work. I have two boys, and neither of them has the kind of hair that stands up to much more than some sprayed water and a tussle.

Maybe my wife will let me give it a shot?

Cheers Stepdads, This Tearjerking Bud Ad is for You

Budweiser Stepdad Ad

Today is Father’s Day, and we at The Dad always do our best to celebrate not only the things that make dads special, but also to recognize the many different kinds of fathers, and father figures, that we all rely on. This includes those that aren’t biologically related to their children. Thankfully, we aren’t alone in appreciating them.

It’s always nice to see an undersung portion of the parenting community gets its due. Especially when that due comes in the form of a nationally televised commercial from one of America’s most popular brands.

If you haven’t seen the latest Budweiser commercial yet, get your hankies out. Because this Father’s Day, the King of Beers is paying homage to stepdads, and things get a little dusty.

The ad, entitled “For The Fathers Who Stepped Up” features three kids talking about their stepdads and the role they played in their lives. At the end of each segment, the kids pull out a piece of paper for their stepdad to sign in order to adopt them and “become [their fathers] for real.”

One young woman tells her stepfather: “Everything that my biological father promised that he would do, you actually came through and did.”

“On a day when the world celebrates fathers, Budweiser wants to shine an unexpected light on fatherhood. That’s why this Father’s Day, Budweiser is toasting stepfathers who love their stepchildren like their own,” Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing for Budweiser, told Today by email.

In true dad fashion, after his daughter asks him to adopt her and in the midst of the emotional moment, literally mid-hug, one dad asks, “Does your mom know about this?” Shout out to that guy for not letting the moment get in the way of a killer joke! He truly is a dad.

Before the ad ends, probably right around the time you’re wiping your eyes, Budweiser asks viewers to share their stories about how a father stepped up, and for everyone they get, the brewery promises to donate a dollar to the Stepfamily Foundation to support blended families. The screen momentarily reads “For all the stepfathers” before the “step” is erased and it just reads “For all the fathers. This Bud’s for you.”

Needless to say, some of the more than 1 million viewers who’ve seen the ad have gotten a tad emotional online.

The 10 Best Comments of the Week 6/16

Best Comments of the Week

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the 10 Best Comments of the Week:

1. What?!

2. Due Diligence

3. One Leg at a TIme

4. The 2%

5. Crickey

6. Nothing Else Matters

7. Unreliable

8. Happy Thanksgiving

9. No Filter

10. Dad Service Announcement

Check out the previous edition of The Best Comments of the Week here.

25 Years Ago We Lost Great Actor and Dad, John Candy

(Courtesy of the Candy Family/Universal Pictures/Paramount Pictures)

He was a beloved actor in 44 films, but many people don’t know that John Candy was first and foremost a family man. Now, 25 years after his untimely death, his kids are doing their best to honor their father’s wonderful legacy while also making serious waves of their own.

The 1994 film, Wagons East, was Candy’s final movie. Before traveling to Mexico to shoot, the 43-year-old told actress Catherine O’Hara that he felt something bad was going to happen there. He had been away from his family for most of the year and vowed that this would be his last film.

“I don’t know if he was excited to work on it or wasn’t,” Candy’s son, Chris, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Richard Lewis, who worked with him on that movie, told me he was so much fun and so funny, but when he looked at my dad, he looked so tired.”

The night of Candy’s fatal heart attack, he had a brief exchange with the night watchman on the premises before going to his room for the night—his exact words: “I’m so tired. All I want to do is go home and be with my family.”

Chris and his sister, Jen, openly talk about their father’s death and the events leading up to it; they consider it cathartic.

“I was 9. It was a Friday,” Chris said. “I remember talking to him the night before he passed away and he said, ‘I love you and goodnight.’ And I will always remember that.”

Jen added, “I remember my dad the night before. I was studying for a vocabulary test. I was 14. He had just come home for my 14th birthday, which is Feb. 3. So I was talking to him on the phone, and, I hate this, but I was slightly distant because I was studying. So I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, I love you. I will talk to you later. Have a great night.’ Then I hang up, and I go back to studying.”

(Courtesy of the Candy Family)

The news the following day was brutal. The kids were suddenly caught in the spotlight, trying their best to grieve while caught in a whirlwind of paparazzi.

On the day of the funeral, they witnessed just how impactful their father—the man who loved them so intimately—had been on their community.

“I remember when we were ready to take him to [Holy Cross Cemetery], they blocked off [Interstate] 405 from Sunset [Boulevard] all the way to Slauson [Avenue],” Chris described. “LAPD stopped traffic and escorted us all. I still can’t believe that. Whenever I feel like I lose the importance of him to people, I just remember that happened. They do that for the president.”

According to Chris and Jen, Candy was just as warm and endearing as many of his onscreen personas, though no single part nails him completely.

“Johnny LaRue was most him, to an extent,” Jen said. “And the reason I say that is Johnny LaRue was a business guy, he was lovable, but Dad was not smarmy. You mix that with Uncle Buck and Del Griffith [from Planes, Trains and Automobiles] and you’ve got my dad. He brought a little bit of himself to all of his characters.”

While Candy fiercely loved his wife and kids, his family will always remember the way he yearned to help those who were less fortunate through various organizations.

“He was constantly working with some sort of charity,” Jen said, naming Make-A-Wish and the Pediatric AIDS Foundation as only a couple on a long list. “He liked to make people laugh and feel good. And with certain kinds of charity work, especially with kids, he could do that, and that made him feel good.”

While everyone likely has a favorite Candy role, the one that meant the most to him was that of Dean Andrews Jr., the aberrant New Orleans lawyer in Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991).

JFK was my favorite of him for the longest time because he is so good in it,” Jen says. “He worked so hard on that. He had a dialect coach, and he worked night and day on that script. He was so worried about it, getting that accent down.”

In fact, Jen has a clear memory of a night when Candy was working on the part. “We were having water fights with our cousin while Dad was trying to learn lines, and we did get yelled at because we were being too loud. It was a ‘dad’ yell. He never yelled.”

John Candy, writer-director John Hughes, and Steve Martin. (Getty/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

As for Candy’s favorite filmmakers, he had a special kinship with writer and director, John Hughes. In total, Candy appeared in eight films that were written, directed, or produced by Hughes.

“I know there were films he didn’t want to do, but with John Hughes, it was always ‘What’s the next one? You gotta hurry up and write something,’ because they were perfect for each other,” Jen said.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), a Thanksgiving classic, is still regarded as some of Candy and Hughes’s best work together, achieving a staggering 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Chris recounts a story Hughes shared about a classic scene from the film: “They were really overbudget and overscheduled, and Paramount was coming down to get everything going. Well, that was the day they were filming the scene with the devil costume. My dad had the idea that it would be funny if Steve [Martin] saw Del as the devil. So [the Paramount execs] finally get on set and Dad is walking around in this devil costume, and they’re like ‘What the hell does this have to do with anything?!'”

Chris and Jen, now both actors and comedians in their own right, are doing their best to honor their iconic father while also forging their own paths in the entertainment industry.

“It took a while for us to even use the name,” Jen said. “I wanted to develop who I was as a person, develop what I wanted to do. We have had people say, ‘Call so and so and have them do this for you,’ and I have said, ‘No, I don’t want to do that.'”

The siblings have both done voice work on their father’s cartoon, Camp Candy, and Jen hosts a monthly talk show at Second City Hollywood called Couch Candy, where she interviews various stars who worked with her father.

“It makes me feel so good to have him as a Dad,” Jen told Ottawa Life. “Everyone says such sweet things and how he was so relatable and found that they could connect with him without knowing him.”

She says hardly a day goes by when somebody doesn’t reach out to her either on social media or in person to describe the unique ways John Candy influenced them.

“He’s not really gone because we talk about him so much, and we’ll always open a box and there’s a billion photos of him. So, it’s like, there he is,” Chris explained.

“As much as he is gone, he is not gone,” Jen concludes. “He is always there.”

Jen, Chris, and their mother, Rose, on their family’s property in Queensville, Ontario. (Courtesy of the Candy Family)

Father’s Day Exists Because a Daughter Wanted to Honor Her Single Dad

Sonora Smart Dodd and William Jackson Smart

110 years ago in a small church in Spokane, Washington, Sonora Smart Dodd listened to a sermon on the newly recognized “Mother’s Day” celebration. Having lost her own mom more than a decade prior, Dodd and her five siblings had been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart. A hardworking farmer and veteran of the Civil War, Smart had moved his family from Arkansas to Washington following the passing of his wife. Dodd, who held her father in high esteem, immediately felt compelled to honor him, and fathers everywhere, with their own special day of recognition.

Following the sermon, Dodd contacted the Spokane Ministerial Alliance, sharing her thoughts on the subject and suggesting her own father’s birthday of June 5th as a possible date. While they agreed with her stance on recognizing dads, the church instead chose the third Sunday in June for an annual Father’s Day service.

The following year, on June 19, 1910, parishioners in Spokane celebrated the very first official Father’s Day. While the event continued on and gained some traction at churches regionally over the next few decades, it failed to attract widespread attention on the national stage.

In 1939, retailers from around the country formed the National Council for the Promotion of Father’s Day in an attempt to… well… sell more ties. From clothiers to sporting goods stores, business jumped at the chance to have an annual mid-year, holiday-driven sales boost. Unfortunately, the endeavor would take quite a bit longer to build up steam than initially anticipated.

Decades later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation encouraging states and municipalities to cooperate in celebrating its observance. However, it wasn’t until 1972 that a permanent, nationally recognized day of observance was established by President Richard Nixon. Sonora Smart Dodd, the woman who is officially recognized as the founder of father’s day, was still alive to see it, passing away six years later.

These days, over 75 percent of Americans will celebrate the holiday, spending an estimated $16 billion on gifts for dad, according to an annual survey via the National Retail Federation (NRF). “Over the past decade, spending on Father’s Day gifts has increased significantly. Retailers are ready with gifts that will have no problem impressing dad,” says NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Father’s Day spending has grown 70 percent in just the past 10 years, a trend that shows no signs of slowing, but still falls short of the whopping $25 billion we spent on moms last year.

While the commercialization of the holiday is far from what Sonora Smart Dodd had originally intended, dads around the world can thank her for having at least one Sunday on the calendar with their name on it… and a few extra silk ties in their closet.