1 Comments | 2 years, 4 months ago

Being a Foster Dad in Public

We know that Father's Day was this past weekend and we hope that you all had a wonderful Father's Day. We asked one of our foster fathers, Jason Brown to write a bit about his experience. So in his words...

At 26 years old I became a father for the first time. Stepping up to the role for a 15-year-old young man in foster care, I remember the looks I would get when I introduced him as we had discussed, as my son. Inevitably, a strange look would follow. Usually, this resulted in a series of awkward and somewhat personal questions about my age, his age, and our life choices.

I distinctly remember the first time he invited a girlfriend and her mother over to the house to meet us. After shaking the mother’s hand, you guessed it; she had to know more about this age gap. As any persistent and thorough mother would, she asked a stream of questions we navigated as best as we knew how. The usual evasive tactics were not adequate and she cornered us by directly asking my wife and I for our ages. No sooner did the number 26 come out of my mouth, you would have thought someone yelled “fire!” As she prepared to find the nearest exit, our son quickly weighed in and explained our unorthodox relationship. After a couple of laughs from all of us and a sigh of relief from the mother, the two were able to enjoy their date that night.

Four foster youth and three biological sons later, I still get excited about being a father. It’s a badge I wear proudly no matter the means in which I am gifted the title. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it is. Fatherhood, in its many forms, is a gift. From the very beginning of my marriage with Rebekah, we decided our home would be open and available for the broken. What we did not realize is how much these “broken youth” would heal us as well. As we celebrate Father’s Day, my wife and I are currently completing our foster care training once again to open up our home. Our hearts are ready and excited. I can’t wait to see the joy, the growth, the challenges, the awkward moments, and the victories that await.

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  1. Bill Rader Jun 27, 2016 at 02:42 PM

    Fantastic perspective. Our family always gets looks (multi-racial family here), but we have a lot of fun with it. I love being a foster and adoptive dad.