With Mother's Day being just over a month ago, I want to give equal time and attention to Father's Day as Dads play such a vital and important role in the family. There seems to be an imbalance, of sorts, between the sensitivity that surrounds Mother's Day and Father's Day. For many men, they experienced this past weekend with a void in their hearts - perhaps as birth fathers or waiting adoptive fathers. It is less acceptable by society for men to express their emotions yet that does not make the feelings more insignificant.
I struggle with the reality that there is a Birth Mother's Day (the Saturday before Mother's Day) each year, yet there has not been a declaration of Birth Father's Day. Is it because many in the adoption field still either consciously or unconsciously view birth fathers as villains while birth mother's are hailed as heroes? Every situation is unique and the individuals involved are unique, however, I believe that positive qualities can be drawn out of even the most difficult of circumstances.
It is important to be honest when talking about birth parents, but it is also a conversation that must be handled carefully and delicately. I caution adoptive families from talking negatively about birth parents as the child's DNA is a combination of that of his or her birth parents. For a family to believe that a birth parent is "bad" can translate into the child wondering if there is something "bad" about them because they are connected.
We continue to make a conscious effort to have an open and non-judgmental approach to both birth mothers and birth fathers. I applaud the birth fathers who give us a chance to talk with them about the possibility of an adoption plan, whether they choose to follow through with that plan or not. They deserve the education and understanding about their choices that birth mothers receive.
So...to all the men waiting to become adoptive fathers and the birth fathers who found themselves in uncharted territory last weekend, we honor you and want you to know that you were not forgotten.