Choosing to Adopt was the single most monumental decision I have ever made. Eli has brought so much meaning and depth into “my being”, looking back prior to having our son I used to think I knew what happy meant and I used to think I lived a pretty cool life for the most part. The truth is I did not know what living meant nor did I know what true happiness felt like. Eli has brought more joy in my life in his little 2 ½-year-old self than all of my 34 years of living. I live and breathe for my son, protecting him is my absolute thought when I go to sleep till I wake up and repeat. I want him to have the most love any child could feel, I want him to have everything he needs, I want to keep him safe from any pain or hurt, and I want to help him shape into a compassionate, empathetic, kind, strong, and healthy man.
If you think about it… There is a whole lot of fear, stress & worry involved as a parent (I would not trade). Ensuring his safety is a 24/7 cycle down to hearing a cough in which I find myself running in to check on him to make sure he is not choking. Sometimes I even wake up in the middle of the night to see if he is breathing – there is nothing scarier than the thought of him not being alive. Prior to fatherhood I never had fear in my life because I frankly didn’t enjoy “stress” and truly believed in living in the moment. After having my son keeping him alive seems to be an every second “thought” occurring in my head.
- Playing outside– Eli can’t get to close to the road or I cannot turn my head (because of the fear of that one second that you do).
- Playing in the house– I am stressing and analyzing all dangers (items that could be swallowed and choked on) or did I use chemicals that are dangerous when I cleaned last.
- Sleep Time- Fear of suffocating or getting too hot from blankets or too cold from not enough blankets.
- Bath Time- If I am not the one giving him a bath I will worry about my husband (will he leave the room for a second).
- Daycare- Is he going to get hurt today, is he being taken care of and loved, is something bad going to happen???
I am sure this is a problem we all deal with. Now don’t get me wrong – Eli does get hurt time to time and he is exposed to dirt and germs because not only is it imperative for building his immune system but it is also inevitable to avoid “life”. My son is very active, smart, and has a personality of his own. I know that we are doing a fantastic job raising him and loving him – he is the king and he knows it.
Thinking about life before Eli makes me appreciate my life more & more each day and acts as a reminder to literally enjoy every moment while making it COUNT. I would encourage anyone who doesn’t plan on having kids to consider adoption because as much as that would make a difference in their life, it would make even more of a difference in yours.
- Playing with Dinosaurs, Trucks, Race Car Tracks, Kick Ball- I literally feel young again when I am playing with my son, his imagination is so cool and it certainly allows me to lighten up after a long day working. There is nothing more I would rather do than to spend my evening on an adventure by hanging out with my son and playing with toys.
- Role Play “Eli the Dinosaur”– Eli is now 2.5 years old so this is something that I have noticed him start doing over the past month. However, it is fun to watch them develop their characters and as of right now he turns into a dinosaur and roars around the house with his “claws up” and tries to attack me. The fun part is running and letting him try to capture me.
- Teaching Numbers, Colors, & Shapes- Maybe I am the only one to get excited about Eli learning numbers, shapes, and colors because I am a teacher by profession. However, the fun part is being creative on a daily basis and it also allows me to keep my brain active and creative. I am coming up with random games to help him learn on a regular basis and he is always engaged.
Being a “human” literally in the now is such an incredible gift- I am unable to imagine a life worth living that could bring me, more love & joy, than my life of being a father.