Charlotte, NC — Throughout my life, I have been called a lot of things. Some of those things include titles like son, student, second baseman, and point guard. I have also been called a technician, paramedic, manager, boss, and husband.
Some of those titles were extremely challenging. I remember studying hard for school and training hard for sports. I recall the difficulties of watching someone face impending death and explaining to a family the passing of a loved one.
Each of those titles prepared me for various aspects of life in different ways, but not a single one prepared me for the latest title in my life. Last year, I had a new title added to my life that has to be one of the scariest that I have ever known: Dad.
After years of wanting to have children with many difficulties, my wife and I adopted from China. The entire process was challenging, but something happened in China that changed my life forever. I became a dad to my son.
A lot of people will make light of the story, or my feelings on the matter. I understand. There are a lot of dads in this world that have a much more challenging situation than mine. I certainly will admit that in advance.
Adopting has a lot of challenges to start. Adoption of a deaf son added a ton of additional challenges. I knew those things going into the situation so please do not think that I am complaining at all.
Those are not the things that make being a dad so scary, however. It’s challenging trying to learn sign language with your son. It’s frustrating to see him want to communicate so bad, but struggle to get his point across.
The thing that scares me the most is every time I am around my son; he copies my every move. He wants to step where I step, he wants to touch what I touch. He likes to eat what I eat and play the way I play. It is almost like he wants to be just like me.
That is the part that scares me to death. Why would anyone want to be like me? There are so many areas of my life that are far from being worthy of emulating. Yet, he is there, by my side, trying to be just like me every day.
When I think about this, I think about 1 Peter 2:21, where it says that Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example so that we could follow in His footsteps. The scripture does not mean we have to be perfect. It does say we should try to follow his example.
As I reflect on this scary new title of being dad this year, my focus is much different than in the past. Before, I always had an amazing dad to look up to and to follow his example. I had a great example in God of how I should conduct myself and live my life as well.
This year, I’m the one that is the example. I am the one that is showing my son the way. I can’t keep him from making mistakes in life. I can’t keep him from making many of the same mistakes that I have made. I can only hope and pray that I set an example where he sees Christ in me.
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