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Joy in the Moment

Joy in the Moment

little girl 2

The sound of other kids playing in the room seemed distant, as I attentively watched the beaming 3-year-old twin finding joy in the moment. A few minutes before, I had suggested to him that he could wear the colorful, dinosaur-print underwear, if he would like, but the little guy shook his head stating firmly, “No, I like these.” Holding his hands on his hips, he paraded around in his brand-new white underwear announcing proudly, “My daddy bought this for me.”

Sitting there with tears in my eyes, I knew from my own painful life experiences, why a small gift from a father could be such a big thing to a child.

Let me tell you, helping potty train twin boys is not an easy task. This is not my first set of twins either, but actually my third that I have taken care of in my home over the past 22 years.

I have loved being a part of children’s lives and seeing firsthand their unique personalities blossom as they grow into successful young people. And unexpectedly along the way, I’ve learned a lot about myself, too. For me, it has been healing to finally be able to put into words what I needed from those who were supposed to be my parents.

You know, it’s almost embarrassing to say that technically I’ve had four fathers, but I can only ever remember throughout my life a couple of gifts that were given to me by any father figure. My biological father was never a part of my life. The courts have tried to convince me that the man’s name listed on my original birth certificate (my birth’s mother’s husband at the time of my conception) was legally another absent father. And then there was my first adoptive father — an alcoholic, and lastly, my step dad that my adoptive mother married after her divorce.

Life should never be this complicated and confusing for any person, much less a little girl. I can’t say that I truly had even one father step up to the plate and steadfastly call me his very own with his unconditional love.

I missed out on experiencing that joy in the moment. To all fathers, regardless if your daughters or sons are small or all grown up, I hope that my story will in some way touch your hearts. It’s never too late to share with your child a small, significant gift just from you that they can treasure always out of your genuine love for them. Truly, I believe it is a big thing when it comes from their daddy, like my precious little friend parading around proudly in his brand-new white underwear.

It’s hard to believe that the twin I wrote about in my post from a number of years ago is now in the third grade.

Recently, I received a card in the mail from my close friend’s father thanking me for helping him find his birth family. It dawned on me as I was reading his thoughtful words, I never even received a card from either of my fathers who at different times had been a part of my life. Make it one of those random Hallmark moments today … go down and purchase a meaningful card specifically for your daughter or son and sign it Love, Dad.

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  • Beautiful reminder to fathers, JoAnne, that it’s little thoughtful things that foster security, connection and relationship. The children in your care are lucky that you know that, in spite of the way you were raised.

  • Roz says:

    I totally agree JoAnn, I am so proud to see fathers that are present and loving to their children.

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  1. Well written! Thanks for sharing I really connected with this one. Peace and Love!
  2. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  3. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  4. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  5. I love you❤