Thank you, my friends.
I've never met you, but without you, my life would never have been blessed with the joys of my children. My son, now dead from a run-in with a drunk driver on an L.A. freeway, followed his own path and bore many traits, in body and mind, that you gave him. My daughters (full sisters), hitting puberty, show talents and temperaments which, in part, must have come from you.
I don't know how my life would have been without you, but certainly far poorer spiritually and far less exuberant. My children have filled my life and my heart with experiences and joys I would never have had.
All of the infertility treatments, expenses and strains of the adoption process are nothing compared to what you have done, for you gave my children life. For that I will never be able to thank you enough.
I want to let you know my daughters are happy and healthy, as my son was, before his untimely death; I give all of the love and nurturing they deserve-and more! I will protect them and love them in all the ways a father can.
Birthfathers have a difficult path and I can only speculate how much say you had.
You may have helped make the choice for a new life plan through adoption.
You may not have even known of the baby. The birthmother may never have told you, although you may have had suspicions. Newspaper ads fulfilling the legal requirements for terminating your parental rights may have been published, unseen by you.
Perhaps you knew, but did not know how to assert your rights. Law is often confusing and arcane and in the emotional time when your life was in turmoil you may not have decided carefully.
It may have been easy to deny paternity. Uncertainty will grow over the years and leave you with unresolved questions. The youthful desire for freedom evolves into a different sense of responsibility.
What choices and what burdens you may have faced, I may never know.
I have read many poems honoring the birthmother, but little is said of your gift to me. But man to man, birthfathers will never be forgotten.
I will always remember. Happy Father's Day!
cross-posted at Liberty & Power Blog