Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you. It is the weekend you dread, isn’t it? “Happy Father’s Day!” you hear people say to the men around you, but you sit there silent, nodding, and agreeing that, indeed, it should be a happy Father’s day to the men you know. Or, it could be, that it doesn’t matter if it is Father’s Day weekend or not.
It could be that you still continue to count the days until you are a daddy. It could be that you have been to the doctor over and over again with your wife, only to walk out feeling empty. It might just be that you have watched your wife sob the heaviest tears that you could not even carry, even though you have tried.
You are strong. You are trying to carry the weight of this burden, and yet, you do not fully understand it.
You are a Father-in-Waiting.
It just might be that you have explored all of the avenues that would lead you to becoming a parent. You and your wife have been to multiple doctors, invested more money than you want to mention, and have given more emotional energy than you ever thought you could extend. You barely mention it to your friends.
Your co-workers wonder why you are not a daddy yet, and as a defense mechanism, you laugh it off. You make excuses for it. You joke about how you want to stay “Honeymooners forever”, or you speak about being perfectly happy without children. The truth is, though, while you are happy, you still are lost in the confusion about parenthood. You wake-up each day with the desire to see your wife happy. You think, “Maybe soon….maybe one day…”
Your wife comes home from work announcing another’s pregnancy. You get the mail, open it, and see a birth announcement. You attend family reunions and are bombarded with questions about when little ones will be bouncing their way into your life.
Still yet, there you are. You are working so hard to heal your wife’s heart. You get angry. You hold it all in, but you would do anything…anything…to take away her pain. Deep down, you are carrying your own pain, anger and sadness. You long to be a daddy.
You are a Father-in-Waiting.
Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you. These things are what you wife needs:
- your attention to her words about the despair she is feeling,
- your arms to comfort her when nothing else will,
- your assurance that when you said “I do”, it truly was forever…through sickness, through health…through barrenness…through it all,
- your compassion, understanding, and empathy,
- your patience…your wife is exploring her own uncharted territory of infertility…just like you,
- your affirmation that she is still the most beautiful person you have ever met, that her worth is so much more than bringing babies into this world, and that you will always be honored to be her husband,
- and lastly, your hope. Keep it up. Keep speaking about your future with children in mind. Even when she loses it, you keep it going.
Parenthood may not come like you want it to. It may visit you through multiple treatments that finally succeed. It may settle itself through the selflessness of your surrogate, or even, to the surprise of no type of intervention. Or, it may come to you through the incredible, unbelievable, awe-inspiring, life-affirming, and glorious blessing of adoption.
No matter how fatherhood comes to you, it is still the most incredible gift. Celebrate it. Cherish it. Do not stay caught up in the facts of the struggle to be a daddy. Instead, stay engaged in the miracle of fatherhood.
Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you. Happy Father’s Day. Happy moment when your wife walks out of the bathroom holding the test that finally comes true. Happy time when the doctor explains that everything is looking good, and there is not anything to worry about . Happy moment when you see the ultrasound, you hear the heartbeat, and you start to imagine yourself as a daddy. Happy time when her water breaks, you rush to the hospital, and you hold a part of your heart for the first time.
Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you. Happy moment when you receive the call that you have been selected by a birth mother. Happy time when you first meet her, talk about your child’s future, and hug her for the first time. Happy time when you watch your wife meet the birth mother of her future child. Happy breath-taking time when you rush to the hospital, hold both your wife’s hand, and the hand of the birth mother. Happy incredible instant when you lift up the gift of life that has been given to you.
Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you. Happy time when you signed on the dotted line that confirms you are a foster daddy. Happy, yet painful moment, when the little one arrives on your doorstep, you hear about the plight of the little one and birth parents that have entered your life, and you sway whatever way the “case” is swaying. Happy occasion when you enter in the courtroom, get acknowledged by the Judge, and learn of the future of the babe in your care. Happy incredible, breath-taking, exhilarating, yet humbling day you learn that biological parent rights are terminated. Happy second that the gavel falls declaring you as a forever daddy.
Psst…Father-in-Waiting….yes, you. Stay true. Stay strong. Stay the husband you swore to be. Hold your wife. Listen to her, and allow yourself to speak about your own journey.
Happy day when you will no longer be a Father-in-Waiting.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
*Author’s Note: Sunday, June 15th is Father’s Day in the United States. I wrote this to be an encouragement for all of the Father’s-in-Waiting.