I don't want this Father's Day to pass without sharing how very much I appreciate you. You've impacted my life in too many ways to count. I can't capture all that you've done for me and meant to me, but I'd like to recount a few of your most important gifts.
First, I appreciate that you spent time teaching me to write. I remember many evenings during my high school years when I'd come to you with yet another writing assignment. Writing didn't come easily; I struggled to get my words to communicate what was in my head.
However, I remember you laying down the newspaper and helping me to learn how to craft sentences and paragraphs and even entire papers. I remember the sacrifice of your personal time as you patiently came alongside me. You corrected my grammar. You helped me organize my thoughts. You never wrote for me, but you coaxed me, growing the writer in me a bit with each of your tutoring sessions.
Most importantly, you nurtured in me a love for the craft of putting words together. Even now, I find reward in the wrestling match that writing inherently is. I enjoy the struggle. I love the sense of triumph I feel when I come upon just the right word. I find writing therapeutic, and the therapy in writing for our blog has helped me to process the many twists and turns of our most recent adoption. I'm a calmer, happier mom because I can share our experiences in writing. Thanks for teaching me, Dad.
I also appreciate how intentional you were in making sure we had fun as a family. You carved out time for us to sled and cross-country ski in the winter. You made sure we took advantage of living in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains by getting us out for picnics and hikes in the summer.
Now that I've been a parent for two decades, I know that those family-bonding adventures don't just happen. Life is way too insistent for that. You pushed the daily-ness aside and made time for fellowship. Thank you for laying down your own interests and opportunities to relax so that we could enjoy the camaraderie of being a family. Thanks for teaching me, Dad.
I appreciate your spirit of adventure, Dad. When you traveled around the world for work, I watched you approach the travel with anticipation. When you returned from the long, grueling trips, I noticed that, as exhausted as you were, you were grateful for the unusual experiences that you had in places like Japan, Saudi Arabia and Chile.
I watched you demonstrate respect for the people and cultures of the nations you visited. You probably didn't suspect that you were fostering in me a love of international adventure, but you were. You helped me to see that encountering other cultures isn't a reason to fear. Even back in my childhood, your courage in visiting unknown places was preparing me to be willing to travel internationally in order to rescue orphans.
Thank you for teaching me to face the unknown with courage. Thanks for teaching me, Dad.
Finally, Dad, I appreciate what an open-hearted grandfather you've been to my children. You have loved them...all of them. Starting with our adoption of Anna, you've loved our adopted children in the same way you've loved Joe and Lissie, our two kiddos who are your biological heritage.
With each trio of kids we've adopted, you've gone out of your way to read to them, play games with them, go on walks with them.
I especially enjoyed watching when you held a clinic on "How to Tie a Tie" for Joe and Speedy a few years ago in front of my bathroom mirror.
You've listened to your grandchildren. You've encouraged them. You've celebrated your grandchildren's successes with them.
Now Anna is married, and I may be a grandmother before too long. I want to be the kind of grandparent you've been to my kids. Thanks for teaching me, Dad.
I love you, Dad. Happy Father's Day! I appreciate you!