Fatherly Hopes

Father’s Day is today and as I ponder about the fact that someday in the future I will get to be a Father, I can’t help to think about my own on this day that celebrates Dads around the world and how, even though it has taken me long to realize this, I feel I am becoming more and more like my own Dad as time goes by.

unnamedHis name is Armando Guerrero Chavez, born in a small town called El Chilar in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, but he grew up most of his childhood in the beautiful city of Puebla in Mexico. My Dad was born to a very large and poor family being one of 9 (surviving) children my Grandparents had (I was always told there was at least a few more that died either really young or at birth). As many children who come from poor families he had to work very hard from a very young age and lived through a lot that many his age shouldn’t have to. He grew up, went to school and worked very hard to better himself so his children would never have to live the kind of life he did when he was a young boy.

My Dad and I bumped heads a lot growing up, specially in my teenage years. I was a brat and like most teenagers thought I knew everything there is to know about everything is the world. As I grew up, got married and eventually started thinking of starting a family of my own, I have really come to appreciate his hard work and dedication for his family.

He is probably one of these hardest working men I know and a good example of someone who will do what he can to make sure his family never has to struggle. We were never wealthy growing up in Mexico City, maybe more like middle class, but we didn’t have as much as other kids I went to school with, but we always had food, clothing and a roof over our head and that is what matters the most. I really hope some day when I am a Father myself I can be as great as you, or even just close at all.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Love, your oldest son,

Luis

(P.S.- The picture above is my Dad holding me in what according to my Mom I was only a few days old and probably just back from the hospital. This picture, among other family pictures of ours is on what we call our “G” wall that keeps growing and will continue to grow as our family grows bigger.)

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A Father’s Tale

I never thought this would be us…

I repeated that many times to myself when we started considering the idea that maybe having our own biological children may not be something in the cards for us. I would say it out loud to myself in my thoughts, when I was by myself driving to work and even with my wife. The thought that maybe there is something wrong was never a conversation that I would be having with my wife or with anyone. It just didn’t seem like this would be our case and our story. I remember feeling insecure and feeling like maybe I was the problem, that I was the reason why we couldn’t have children and that it wasn’t fair on my wife who dreamed of becoming a mother some day, I felt like I was failing her in the duty to give her that.

Although many blogs and books on adoption, pregnancy and even parenting seem to be written in the woman’s perspective, there appears to be very little that is geared to men. Our society seems to really put a lot of the weight of having children on the woman, and that is righteously so since a man will never endure morning sickness, cramps, miscomfort or the pain of giving birth and I don’t think any man would want to, but I feel just like myself there are many men who need to know they are not alone.

Some of the hardest moments my wife and I endured while we started considering we may not make our own children was the news we keep hearing from friends about pregnancies, seeing pictures posted on Facebook of ultra sound or quirky announcements, pictures of newborns and friends posting the many pictures of their children as they grow and reach a new milestone. We really struggles. I really struggled and it was not easy to overcome.

Traditionally, whether they want to or not, the man is who “brings 50% of the ingredients it takes to make a child”. As a man you want to know that you are leaving a legacy in this world, that your DNA and genetic code is not going to end with you and the thought of this possibly not happening can be very hard to accept. You want to give your wife those children she loves and prays for every day even if she has never met them, you dream of teaching them things, sharing your skills and hobbies, watching them play sports or take on an activity or interest that will make them happy. You dream of your son or daughter resembling you and you desire for them continue your legacy in the future. At least I did and I know I am not the only that has. I mourned. I cried. I resented God and kept thinking to myself this was not fair because there are so many people out there who don’t want children. I would think of all the children born out of wedlock that are not wanted by their mother and their fathers and how it was not fair that for some reason people like them would easily conceive, neglect and ignore their children. I would hear stories about some of the mothers about that resented their children and blamed them for their situation and would just see them as a burden to their life style and the men in their life. I would think it was not fair that women like that would be granted children and not us, who are responsible and would love to have kids because we want them.

But something happened the moment we had that honest conversation about adoption. As we have both said before, adoption was always a plan of ours, not a plan B and I always believed that because we talked about it even back when we were just dating and thinking about what our future would be like if we got married. I think like any couple who has adopted first, we deep inside wanted to maybe have one or two biological kids first and then adopt a third one, but I remember realizing that maybe it would be our first and second and possibly third that we would end up adopting and I remember feeling that was fine, that it was exactly the plan for the very beginning and that was perfectly OK. All of the sudden the thoughts, fears and even the sadness of realizing that my “DNA” may never genetically be carried over to the next generation was not something that mattered anymore. I all the sudden seemed to have forgotten why that was a concern to begin with and would not care what our children looked like or even if they remotely looked like us. I don’t care if they share the color of our skin, eyes, hair or even if they are polar opposite to us. Whoever I get to call son or daughter will be just as loved no matter where they came from.

Happy-Fathers-Day-Quotes-From-Adopted-Son-Daughter

I remember getting to that point and feeling an incredible peace and comfort knowing that genes and DNA had nothing to do with my children carrying my legacy and being excited about loving the children that have been hand picked by God to be ours, and to carry our legacy no matter who made them. We can’t make time go faster and wish we could because we have heard from other adoptive parents that is a slow process that will test your patience, but that is fine, it will give even more time for our hearts to grow to loving our children even more with each day that passes.

This has been a huge journey for me and for both of us, and I hope that if you are a man that is going through this situation that you know you are not alone. One of my hopes for this blog is also to reach to others that are in the same situation and be of any kind of help or encouragement, like many others have been to me in this. I believe that God can change our hearts and desires and give us His.

-Luis