Father Figures: The Long Road

My wife and I had already had 3 children when we started discussing having a 4th. In 2009, we decided to pursue adoption. We finally decided to adopt from Rwanda. We flew headlong into the process, but by the end of the 2nd year, it was clear that things were not running smoothly.

All we wanted was to welcome our son into our lives and give him a forever home.  

After 26 months, our agency encouraged us to travel to Rwanda to advocate for our son. The agency was telling us that the social worker there had a file with the information for our child, but that they were not being efficient because once the stack of files was gone, they were out of job as a contractor. Though there was no guarantee that we would be able to get our referral and adopt our son within a three-week window that would exhaust our finances and strain our family, we decided to travel along with 8 other families.

 

After taking a 22-hour journey from Washington, DC to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Entebbe, Uganda to Kigali, Rwanda, we arrived mid-afternoon on a Monday. We immediately left the airport and went to the agency to talk to our social worker. She had a folder on her desk that had a picture of our son, but she would not allow us to see the information or proceed in the process. We were turned away repeatedly during that week and had to interact with the US Consulate there, which was on high alert because of the recent capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden. 


After 5 days of tearful requests, complying with demands of the agency and various other hurdles, we received a referral for our son Isaac one week later
I saw his picture, and just like with our oldest son, I started crying and could not communicate. I was so joyful that we would finally be able to complete our family. I was excited and scared to meet this little boy who would have no clue what he was getting into.


For the next three days we would visit him in the orphanage and hold and talk with the one-year-old for a couple hours. We would leave each of those days aching that he was being cared for by someone else, but having faith that it would all resolve.


We were finally able to bring him with us to stay, a week after we had arrived in Rwanda and finished the adoption process in Kigali. We now had four days to get his passport completed from Rwanda and get his Visa paperwork from the US Consulate. By a miracle, we were able to get everything we needed (this is a whole other story), and we and the 8 other families left Rwanda to fly back to the US.

 

Being an adoptive parent is different than parenting our biological children, but I would never trade it for anything.

Isaac is our son and he is a brother to his siblings. Mind you, he is the annoying little brother that gets on the nerve of those around him, but he is beloved and a wonderful part of our family. Throughout his life I have cried and laughed tremendously, and there are times my wife and I struggle. As a family, we are also very excited when we will get to take the then 10-year-old boy back to Rwanda to visit the land where he was born in 2020.”

– Jeff Lichty

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

Tweet Roundup: 10 Funny Tweets About Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid

(Getty)

Day going too well? Leather interior of your car looking too pristine? Why not round up the kids and give them a nice coating of sunscreen? Here are 10 hilarious tweets from parents who we assume are counting down the days until fall.

First, a fair warning.

First tip, get a head start the night before.

There are ways around having to do it…

…but remember, you signed up for this.

Your kids aren’t gonna like it…

…even if you let them do it themselves.

Just be sure to rub it in.

Sure, they’ll return the favor…

…but in their own brutal way.

But if all of this seems overwhelming, remember, there is one way out:

20 Heartwarming Photos Of Dads Seeing Their Daughters In Wedding Dresses For First Time

(kristin brown photography)

Get your tissues ready.

Whether she’s a toddler or a fully independent adult, a daughter is always a father’s little girl.

So when seeing her in a white gown on arguably the biggest day of her life, things are bound to get emotional.  Here are 20 of our favorite photos featuring dads who couldn’t help getting a little emotional upon seeing their daughters on their wedding day.

Father Figures: Emotional Rescue

“I’m not an emotional person.

I’m never overly excited, don’t yell at the TV watching football, none of that. But when it comes to my son, I’m an emotional trainwreck.

I’ve always battled anxiety and never confronted it. After my son was born, I had no choice. My anxiety is death and health-based, and my biggest fear was always dying. Well, now my biggest fear is not being there for my son if I do.

It got to the point where I actually sat him down and said “Hey bug, when i’m gone you need to take care of mom…” He was 3 at the time. I would lay at night and cry, never talking about it. After that day, I knew I needed help!

All parents’ greatest fear is not being there for their children. My father was a huge alcoholic, so I never had a role model; I just knew I wanted to be nothing like him. After I opened up to my wife and family, I got help and life has been so much better with ‘Bug’ since.

We quit smoking – FOR HIM, we go on Disney cruises – FOR HIM, we live – FOR HIM. He is my best friend, my greatest accomplishment, and my biggest challenge.

As men, we’re taught not to confront our issues, but as a man, stand up for your family by confronting your demons and becoming a better person, husband, and most importantly, father. It’s the greatest gift in the world!”

– Adam Giere

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

Parents Surprised When 6-Year-Old Creates Lucrative Business After A Simple Lesson About Money

(Bored Panda)

When 6-year-old Emmett told his parents he wanted a bike, they viewed it as an opportunity to teach their son about financial responsibility and earning something himself.

(Bored Panda)

“He got some old toys and stuffed animals together and put them out for sale,” Emmett’s father, Jered, recalls. “He ended up making $70 that day. He made enough to get his bike. The next day, we happened to be walking around Sam’s Club and saw this snow cone machine. He asked if we could get that instead of the bike so he could start his own business and make more money.”

(Bored Panda)

Emmett’s parents agreed to loan him the extra cash needed to buy the machine on one condition: He had to sell snow cones every Saturday for at least one hour. So, with one bag of ice and three flavors, Emmett’s Snow Cones was established.

(Bored Panda)

“His first time out he made $12, then $17, then $25 and he’s been hovering around there ever since,” Jered states. “He’s responsible for tracking his supplies and knowing when he needs to buy more, spending the money for all future flavor purchases, repaying us for the other half of the snow cone machine, and paying ‘taxes’.”

According to his parents, Emmett is saving most of his revenue for college; but little does he know, the “taxes” he has to pay are already going into a college fund for him.

(Bored Panda)

Emmett has since graduated from three to twenty-one flavors and even gets invited to local events around town to sell his delicious wares.

(Bored Panda)

“We would like our son to follow his passions in the future,” Jered says. “Our only expectation for him is to grow up to be a good person who contributes to society”

(Bored Panda)

 

Father Figures: The Little Things

“Our daughter was born at 34 weeks and spent 29 days in the NICU.

Those 29 days were the most emotionally draining days I have ever experienced. Every day was filled with good news, bad news, hope, despair. I cannot describe the emotions I experienced when we got the call that our daughter was ready to go home.

Fast forward to today. Our daughter is almost 7 months old and is the happiest baby in the world. She is such a bright light in this dark world and my wife and I love her to death.

I know I would have probably felt the same way had she come straight home from the hospital, but those 29 days of visiting her and holding her when she was connected to monitors and tubes taught me to appreciate the little things.

The little things are the best things. Every laugh, every smile, every bottle, every time she looks at me, every milestone she reaches; it is all so wonderful and is greater than anything I could accomplish professionally.

In today’s world, you are considered a good dad if you are simply present. I understand it is difficult to do more for some people, but if all you are doing is simply being present, you are missing out.”

– Trey Scott

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

Mom Asks Daughter If She Can “Keep A Secret” From Her Father And Things Escalate Spectacularly

(Twitter/Himynameisnoor & Getty/ljubaphoto)

When your mother calls asking for your help in devising a plan behind your father’s back, you’re bound to be a little bit curious.

So when Twitter user Noor received that very call, she followed the rabbit hole until it was too late to turn back, which resulted in one of the most amazing live-tweeted family adventures the internet had ever witnessed.