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Saturday, June 18, 2011

A tribute to parents

My father is a character. In fact I'm a lot like him. We can be "jokers" in a serious kind of way. When I call him I usually ask, "What's for dinner?" "because we're coming, ALL sixteen of us!" My father was and is very important to me. When my parents divorced I wanted to live with my father but I missed my Mother too much. I was definitely torn. I always joke that if I was born a boy, I would have my Fathers name, Gary. Being born a girl I was named "Carrie" after my father. (At least I always thought so) Growing up I experienced fishing and hunting with my father. He guided fishing trips, we travelled high into the forest hunting, we camped and boated. I remember greeting him home after working with his hard hat still on. I was a tom boy and I adored my father. Now he's a Grandfather. He's been very supportive with our growing family through adoption; even when he jokes about our numbers. "So you have twenty six children now?", he would ask. Today I took nine of our children to an adoption picnic, my father and his wife joined us. It's really nice that our children have connected with their Grandfather. It's really nice that my father shows an interest in being a Grandfather. I might not openly express or engage with many words on how much he means to me. This is why I've taken this opportunity to thank my father for being in my life. To wish him a "Happy Father's Day" I know it's Father's Day but I couldn't help think about parents in general. There is so many different dynamics of parents. In my life, I have four parents. My Mother and her husband and my Father and his wife. All my parents have been in my life for a long time. I don't like to introduce, "This is my step father" All four of my parents have been actively involved in my life. My other father is a fisherman and taught me how to make a Norwegian dish called Pototo Balls (Raspeboller). He's an interesting fellow, loving and also accepting of our family and his Grandchildren. He's hard working and I will have to wish him a Happy Father's Day when he returns from fishing. Something that my "step parents" might not know is they mean as much as my birth parents do. I will address them the same way and my love isn't any different. Being an adoptive Mother I've learned to love unconditionally and accept that anyone can make a family, be a parent (if wanting) and sometimes I feel I don't give enough credit to all my parents in my life. (While writing I will refer as "step parents" so we're not confused) I often question after all these years, does my step parents know they're accepted and loved? My step Mother is so cute, she loves to talk, she seems so happy and seems proud to be a Grandparent. She's a lovely woman and needs to be acknowledged especially from me that I love her. I am glad that she's in my life. I am so grateful that I have four parents and that our children have many Grandparents. Adoption is exciting and a happy time but also a time of loss. Most of our children have lost birth parents and other birth family members. This is why it's so important that they receive acceptance and love from our parents. It makes my heart happy to witness my parents accept our children. After all I didn't ask their permission to adopt, I just hoped they'd jump on board! Father's Day - a day to celebrate Dad's......another day to celebrate the meaning of parents, they mean a lot to me and our family.

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