Fatherhood Adventures – March 10, 2017

Fatherhood Adventures – March 10, 2017
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I like to think of this parenting thing as a journey involving many twists and turns, all of which include transitions.

We are always in flux, moving ahead to one aspect of life while juggling the changes that seemingly come every day.

Fortunately, with our 8- and 7-year-olds the changes aren’t necessarily dramatic over the short term, but when considered with perspective and over the long term they are a big deal.

As silly as this might sound, one of the most embraced changes that have come about in recent months involves the parents of the house actually having time to do something as simple as showering when the kids have the man up advantage.

Up until about four months ago, neither Pam nor I felt comfortable leaving Carson unattended for any period of time. We are conditioned to expect the unexpected and learned over the years in painful fashion to be this way. A microwaved iPad, a Kindle destroyed after being thrown across the room, a few horrifying sprints out of the house when he was younger and dozens of other broken keepsakes from around the house helped whip us into shape over the years.

In recent months, major changes have taken place with Carson. He is maturing and is more aware of the consequences of misbehavior. He’s intent on being better because he doesn’t want to be treated like a baby anymore. He doesn’t want to upset us. He sees his brother being trusted and given more opportunities to be independent. He understands now what we mean when we say, “let’s do what’s expected Carson.”

It’s a major change for me, or Pam, to be able to shower or take care of other household chores while Beckett and Carson are in the house. Beckett is independent and does his own thing often. It’s been that way for a few years. Carson is now becoming like his big brother. It’s a day we never thought would come, but it’s such a relief for both of us.

We have a long way to go in our journey and there are trials and tribulations every day. However, we count this as significant progress. It’s one of life’s current blessings and we are sure to count them as often as possible because what lies ahead is never really known.

All I knew about Kristen Chenoweth before National Adoption Day in November was she’s an excellent singer.

When I read her blog about her views of being an adopted child five months ago, I knew I eventually wanted to share her thoughts in this space. Her views hit home for us as we adopted both our boys at birth, and we have always felt blessed by God to have had the opportunity.

On her blog, Chenoweth wrote, “I’ve always known that I was adopted. It was never a secret or held from me.

“I knew that my birth mother loved me so much that she wanted to give me a better life. And my parents, Jerry and Junie Chenoweth, were looking to adopt a baby and found me – literally less than one week after I was born.

“Growing up, my parents explained my adoption by telling me, ‘We chose you.’ It was a wonderful way to put it to an adopted child. And I think it’s true. An adoption is a full-circle blessing.

“First of all, it’s a blessing (and a huge sacrifice) for a birth parent to make the decision to give his/her baby a better life. Sometimes people can’t take care of that baby just yet. (And their circumstances might change in 15 years.) But what a gift they are giving to both that child and the family who wants to adopt.

“Next, if you’re thinking about adopting a child, remember that it’s a gift you’re getting and it comes with just as much responsibility as if you had your child biologically. On top of that, it’s a beautiful blessing that you were chosen to take care of this child and become his or her parent.

“And then, lastly as an adopted child I encourage other adoptees to remember what blessed lives we have. We weren’t abandoned; we were chosen. We were given a chance. I’m not saying it’s not hard or that it’s easy for people to understand. But it really isn’t for the world to understand; it’s for the people who are involved.

“People always ask me: ‘Have you ever wanted to find your parents?’

“I have discovered a little bit about my biological parents and each piece of information helps me, but ultimately I tell people: ‘I have my parents.’

“If anything, I would thank my birth mother for loving me enough to make such a huge sacrifice. It’s a great gift for me to be able to say: ‘I know that I came from love, and I know that I have love.’

“In fact, I’ve always felt this deep desire: that if I were to have a baby, I would adopt. That’s the way I would do it, 100 percent. But I have a lot of kids in my life who I love and mentor. So, in a way, I feel like I’ve done it, even though I don’t have a child who lives with me.

“Whether we decide to become parents or simply volunteer our love and time, it’s our job as a community to take care of our kids. On National Adoption Day, I hope you remember just that.”

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.