I didn't get to celebrate Father's Day for myself officially until 2002. Now it is definitely a day I look forward to.

I never thought that I would be a dad. I had no children in my first marriage, and none for the first five years of my second. After a period of trying to have a "natural" child, my wife and I decided to pursue adoption. We wanted to go the foster-adopt route as it was an area where could not only have a family, but be of help to those children. I had also had some good examples of fostering and adoption in my extended family.

We have adopted four children out of foster care, and have plans to adopt another if everything falls into place. It has been an adventure! Our family has had ups and downs like any family, but all in all it has been a very positive experience.

I found a great article by Ken Canfield at fathers.com titled "A Salute to the Non-Biological Father". Here are some excerpts:

There are a multitude of men who have wanted children of their own for years, but for some reason—who knows why—they are unable to do so. That's a sobering thought, isn't it? Well, many of these men take steps to become fathers anyway.

They may be called "big brothers" or "surrogate father figures," but they're fathering just the same. They're acting upon what I believe is a natural, God-given fathering instinct in every man. They know the importance—for themselves and for children—of bonding with a child, caring for him, encouraging him, teaching him about life.

Many join their wives in taking the steps to adopt. They become vulnerable to social service agencies. Their home life will be evaluated for its suitability to raise a child. Then they have to wait. One day they'll get a promising call. Then more waiting. Finally, all the papers are signed, they have the baby home, and these men finally feel the indescribable joy at becoming what they've always wanted to be: a dad.

Here are men who would give anything—and sometimes do—to become fathers. It makes me wonder if the rest of us view our role as a father with that kind of commitment and dedication.

It's tragic how often the rest of us take our children for granted, and don't fulfill our responsibilities. We don't grasp the daily blessings that children bring to our lives. It's a privilege and honor to be a dad.

Canfield puts it better than I ever could.

To all of you adoptive dad's, Happy Father's Day!

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