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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Dads Who Are Up for the Job

Fatherhood is not for the faint, nor for the fearful.  Particularly adoptive parenting calls for manly men who are willing to be sensitive and strict, serious and silly.  It’s not an easy job.

There are one thousand important things that a man has to do each day:  work, think about lunch, consider if he’s balding, think about the weekend, work, receive a reminder call of some sort from the wife, finish a massive project, ponder how to keep other family members out of his toolbox, computer, or wallet, work, think about dinner….  Children are not always up there at the top of the list.

Today, we tip our hats to every man who has made his family a priority.  After all, there’s no point in working to distraction each day if you have no family to return home to at the end of the day.

Here’s to the guys who can make a cup of hot cocoa, remember to give the kids vitamins, will read a bedtime story, and pray with the children.  They take a few minutes to toss a ball outside (outside!), have a tickle fest (which often leads to a tinkle fest—thank you), and toast a mean slice of bread.  These dads run alongside the wobbly child on training wheels, sit through school assemblies, and dance recitals.  They are coaches, and mentors, and therapists all rolled into one.  They are patient and kind, but have a short enough fuse to not let the kids get away with murder.  The fathers review report cards, roughed-up knees, and music recitals.  They are strong, and handy, and smart.

Boys learn early on that they’re going to have to be responsible in life, and that’s why they try to remain in boyhood for as long as possible.  Benedetto was at a men’s breakfast recently, where one of the fathers was asked what his boys were doing that day.

“Building forts in the backyard,” he replied.

“That’s what mine would be doing, too,” my husband laughed, noting that our oldest was on a youth trip at the time.

“We all build forts,” another man chimed in, “but when we get older, we call them garages.”

In order for a man to be a real father, he’s going to need his space at times, he’ll need support from his significant other, and he should be willing to take a stand.  Margaret Thatcher once said that the middle of the road was the most dangerous place to be, because you were in danger of getting hit from both sides.

I love a father who stands for something, and doesn’t fall for everything.  He can read between the lines and back up his wife when necessary.  He teaches his kids how to love God and respect others.   You guys are appreciated more than you’ll ever know (note to self:  tell him more often).  You’re much “larger than life” than your wimpy TV or movie-dad counterparts.  You try to be fair and fun, without being a pushover who craves his children’s constant praise.

You know how to say “no” and do the hard things even when you don’t feel like it.  You love the children, and guide the children, and encourage the children.

Okay, so there are times when you’re not perfect, but that gives the rest of us hope, too.  Thanks for always ‘being there”.  Happy Father’s Day!



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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Ivanka says:

    I can only imagine who those fort building boys might belong? It is a gift to see real men being great dads. Alexandria referred to Ivan as “PaPa” today! At first I thought she was speaking of her bio-father. It was so nice to hear, after I realized she was speaking of Ivan.
    Still “Ivanka” for moia…maybe by Mother’s Day.

    • avatar admin says:

      And Ivanka is back-! Folks she’s still “over there” and could use some prayers, but it sounds like she’s doing fine despite some trying times…. Yes, she has some fort-building boys, too. Isn’t that fun? I can only imagine our neighbors calling the neighborhood association and complaining about these monstrosities that crop up from time to time.

      Translation for inquiring minds: Ivanka is saying that her new daughter, Alexandria, is calling her husband “Papa” for the first time, just in case anyone thinks that I, Alexandra, call her husband “Papa”. That would take some ‘splainin’…. And don’t worry, she’ll call you “Mama” soon, it’s better to have it come from the heart and be natural to her than to force it. I’m sure as soon as she is depending on you to take her from plane to plane, car to car, meal to meal, she’ll be feelin’ the love…. 🙂

      • avatar Ivanka says:

        While playing a game with some of the children here, I foolishly joked, “who is your momma?” Don’t you know I almost cried right on the spot as I thought, “they do not know!”
        So that has to be 100x’s worse than you calling Ivan “papa”.
        Alexandria left for “camp” this afternoon. Ya ne pa ne Mia yo! I know He does.

        • avatar admin says:

          Just to keep everyone up to the short form of what’s happening with Ivanka. There’s a minor paperwork snafu and she’s coming home without her daughter. They’ve passed court and hope to be back in Ukraine soon when it’s settled. Meanwhile Alexandria is heading out to the summer camp with the other internat kids. Sad for all. I know this is a very difficult time for their whole family and no, I don’t understand AT ALL why these things happen. I do trust that the Lord can sort out things that are not comprehensible: why kids are neglected, abandoned, abused, etc., in the first place…. I think it was one of our correspondents, Greg, who wrote to me recently that over and over in Scripture it says that God loves the orphan– and that’s why some of us have quite a struggle in fighting to bring them home. In some cases we are battling bureaucracy… or evil itself. You will prevail, Ivanka! Keep your eye on the goal. Big hugs from all of us.

  2. avatar Sybil says:

    This was such a wonderful tribute to Fathers. Thank you for it. I have been distracted by a few things lately so hadn’t read all of your posts and all of the comments. I am become more familiar with Ivanka and am so very sorry she and her husband have to come home without their daughter. I hope somehow that gets changed before that happens. If it already has, I hope the resolution is super fast and they are off to bring her home within days.

    • avatar admin says:

      I think she’s arriving home today. *Sigh.* My correspondents tell me she was last seen heading across Ukraine in a train compartment with three men, since First Class was sold out. At least she’ll get to regroup and see her husband and 3 children before heading out again….

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