Exploring Adoption, and Adoption through Foster Parenting

Monday, one of my daughters went into the hospital for minor surgery, as an outpatient.   We were home four hours later and thankfully, the surgery went smoothly.

By now, I’m a  reluctant veteran of waiting rooms and hospitals on my daughters’ behalves. There have been four sets of ear tubes, two endoscopies, one set of collarbone fracture X-rays, and one harrowing four-day hospital stay that I don’t even want to think about.

As I sat there waiting for the doctor to take me back to the recovery room to be with my daughter, I reflected on parenthood and the unexpected emotions and realities it brings.

When I was without children, time seemed to pass more slowly… I had fewer physical and temporal reminders of time’s passage.  Yes, there were holidays, but there were no quarterly report cards or picture days, there were no outgrown shoes and clothing to replace or regularly-scheduled dental appointments, band concerts or intramural practices to attend. Time did not swirl with the same crazy intensity.

When I was without children, I was invincible, or at least could pretend to be so.  My daughters are my Achilles heel…their physical or emotional suffering pains me far more deeply than my own.

I am also at my strongest. I swallow fears and tears to give my children strength.  I become part lioness, part super hero, to keep their world safe and happy.

As a parent, I push to become my best self…trying to love, protect, encourage and inspire them…trying to be someone they want to look up to and emulate.

Such is the role of parents since the dawn of time.  And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Comments on: "Reflections on Being a Parent" (4)

  1. Peter F. Eder said:

    What a wonderful reflection. It reminds us that when we do something like adoption, we get so much more from the act of doing, far surpassing the opportunities we have given others.

  2. Yes, so true and well said. As a single dad who in his bachelor days never intended to have children, I now know that parenting is one of the most common ways to find and develop the “super”human powers we possess. For instance, I’ve never liked the sight of blood and it could always make me queasy. But from the first scraped knees and bloody noses to the first hospital visits for broken arm, gashed forehead, and bicycle accident (hit by an SUV!), my three, now teenage, sons have kept me on my toes and developed my bloody metal. I don’t know who I might have been without children, but I know that I am a better teacher, a more empathetic person, tougher, softer, kinder, more creative, more flexible, more loving, and I like myself more having found the strengths to be the dad my sons have needed me to be.
    I truly admire those parents who adopt. Bless you and your family.

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