Seven years ago, I watched a loving birth mother tearfully place a tiny child into my sweet wife’s open arms. That was the moment I became a dad.
I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility before me. It was an emotional moment for everyone there. I will forever be grateful for the sincere love, trust, and confidence of our daughter’s birth mother in us. She knew that we would give our child everything we possibly could.
I’m now the father of three beautiful girls. When people find out that the oldest two are adopted, there’s a common question that follows almost like clockwork. The conversation goes something like this:
Them: “I didn’t know two of your girls are adopted—that’s so cool.”
Me: “Thanks! Yeah, it’s awesome. We feel like the luckiest parents in the world.”
Them: “So, how much do they know about their real dad?”
Each time, I can’t help but think, “Wait, what? Real dad?!” I’m their dad and I’m plenty real.
But don’t worry, I’m not offended. I know what they mean—they mean birth father. And it’s okay, I’m super secure in my dad-hood. I’m a father and have the dad jokes and dad bod to prove it.
When we put our two oldest to bed and it’s story time, I love to tell them what an incredible gift adoption has been for us. I tell them about the special club they belong to—the amazing adoption club.
“Who else is adopted? Who else is in your club?” I’ll ask.
“Superman!” My four-year-old will start.
“That’s right. Who else?”
“Batman, Spider-Man, and Ironman,” my seven-year-old will add.
“Yep. Pretty much all the coolest superheroes—and who else was adopted who is even more super than them?”
“Jesus,” they’ll say together.
“That’s right,” I’ll say. “Jesus was adopted by Joseph, and His story is true.”
When I talk with my girls, I often reflect on Joseph’s role as an adoptive father. I have always admired and aspired to be like Joseph. He was the man Heavenly Father entrusted to care for, love, protect, and teach Jesus. As the Savior grew, Joseph taught Him and shared with Him all he knew. Joseph was an example. He was a loyal and loving husband to Jesus’s earthly mother. Amidst the judgment of his peers, he was a faithful fiancé, and he trusted and obeyed God.