After speaking at a seminar on open adoption a few months ago, I chatted with a prospective dad who, like my husband, was non-traditional and would be taking parental leave. He thanked me for sharing about my husband’s role in our parenting journey. Then he made a comment that has rolled around in my mind ever since. He said, “Thanks for acknowledging dads. It seems like everyone assumes that we’re just along for this ride, and everything is about the moms.” It stopped me short, and made me sad. Because, you see, he was right.

So today, I’d like to invite a couple of dads, who are very much not just ‘along for the ride’, to share and make their voices heard. I’ve asked them to answer the question – what do you want us to know about being an adoptive dad?

The first person I want to introduce you to is my dear husband. You can read more about him here. When I asked him to answer this question, he answered quickly…


What I want you to know about being an adoptive dad is that I forget my daughter was adopted.

I couldn’t have understood this before I became her dad. Men often say that they don’t think that they could love an adopted child as much as a biological child, and honestly I wondered a bit about that too, even though I knew this is what I wanted to do. It’s totally crazy, but now that my daughter is my daughter, I really do forget how she joined our family – she’s just my daughter. I love her more than I ever thought I could. There is no way that I could love a biological child more. She is amazing.

What I want you to know is that I’m her real dad.

She really is so much like me – we both have hot feet, love our sweets, and hate broccoli. She is 100% my daughter, and totally a daddy’s girl. One time, in a store, someone stopped me to tell me that my daughter was my ‘mini-me’. And she kind of is. And it is awesome.


Paul & Wanda are dear friends who have welcomed a gorgeous daughter (inside and out) through international adoption and are awaiting word on another child joining their family soon (the photo will give you a hint on where the new addition will originate)! Paul’s words to us when we complained a bit about the adoption process were profound. He said, “This is just what we have to do if we want to be parents. So we do it. There is no point in complaining.” I’m so grateful to have him share his heart with you.

What I want you to know about being an adoptive dad is it’s not as different as you think.  

Both a birth dad and an adoptive dad can remember the moment when someone put this little life in your arms and said, “Here you go.  You are now a primary role model and life shaper for this person.”  I had that moment standing in Honolulu International Airport, most dads have it in a hopsital.

What I want you to know about being an adoptive dad is I don’t see how we are different, I see how we are the same.

I look at my daughter and I see so much of myself and my wife in her.  She has taken on my wife’s gift of hospitality.  She does the same little grunt when she gets frustrated as I do.  In my eyes, the ways that she is different from us: her hair, her skin color, make her unique and beautiful.  They don’t separate me from her.  They make me see her as even more special.

What I want you to know about being an adoptive dad is when you ask stupid questions it really makes me mad and makes me wonder what planet you’re from.  
My daughter’s birth heritage is African-American.  I’m as white as shortbread.  When you say stuff like, “Oh you adopted her.  That’s so neat, blah blah, blah,” it makes me think you have no respect for the vast differences in our world that make the world a special place. The truth is I actually WANT to tell you how it all happened because it was such an amazing miracle.  But let ME tell YOU.  Don’t ask a bunch of questions like you’re uncovering a news story.  I’ll tell you (or she’ll tell you) when ready.

What I want you to know about being an adoptive dad is babies are made one way but families are made LOTS of different ways.  And that’s why I love the journey God has called us to travel.  Thanks God for letting me do this.  Being an adoptive dad is a real joy.

This is part of a series of adoption stories on “What I want you to know about…” I’m so excited to introduce you to beautiful people with remarkable journeys – adoptive dads, adoptees, international adoption, and birth family. Praying that we’ll receive their stories with open hearts, and that somehow, through this sharing, ultimately some very special people will have their voices heard and children will find the loving families they deserve. If you’d like to share your story, please contact me about linking up.