I believe in the value and validity of all types of families — “traditional,” gay/lesbian, adoptive, single-parent. Personally I believe that loving intention and steadfast commitment are what matter to human development, not the precise gender-mix or blood-match of the parents we have. Today, however, since it is Father’s Day, I want to honor all the Dads out there by specifically thanking my Dads, Robert D. Lavender (my “adoptive” dad), Charles S. German (my “stepdad”), and Mr. Unknown (my “birthfather”).
Gifts from my fathers
Below are some of the qualities I believe my Dads helped to foster in me.
- Dependability and commitment to my word
- Willingness to do my best…and be satisfied with whatever outcome arose
- Appreciation of my physical capabilities and natural athleticism
- Comfort in challenging situations, or at least the courage to work through fear
- Confidence with men in general, seeing them as worthy, trustworthy, and honorable souls
- Confidence in myself as a woman who need not depend on anyone to “take care” of me or make me feel worthy
While I could have made it in life without fathers, I would neither be the woman I am today, nor would the journey to today have been so smooth, exciting, and invigorating. So, thank you to Mr. Unknown for making my life physically possible. Thank you Dad (Bob) for being the first Dad to love me exactly as I was and have me as your daughter. Thank you Dad (Chuck) for opening your heart to me and taking me in as your daughter too. You are wonderful men. And I am eternally grateful to call you Dad. Happy Father’s Day!
P.S. Bruce too has written a piece in honor of our fathers. Please take a read of “Forgiving Our Fathers.”