This entry was originally posted on my website on January 31, 2003. It summed up the first 8 months with my newly-adopted son:
Tough but rewarding sums up my thoughts on fatherhood.
A rollercoaster ride of emotions - joy and happiness to anger and sadness - to say the least. With an older adopted child, one is thrown into parenthood. Unlike the 9 months that most parents have to build up to the moment, the wife and I had a few weeks between our first meeting with our CAS worker and our first meeting with our son. It was a flurry of activity. There is no gradual time to adjust or grow into fatherhood with a 3 1/2 year old boy. Yes, parents of newborns are also "thrown" into parenthood with the birth of their child, but can their child talk back to them or run away from them or do things that just plain drive you crazy? Didn't think so.
It has been 8 months since he moved in with us and it has been a struggle for him to accept me as a father and for me to accept him as my son. But the bonds are slowly and surely forming. Just this past week, we finally did some tumbling and roughhousing - any other time he would complain, loudly. This time he was laughing and giggling. It was most uplifting.
As to what the future holds, no one knows. I know that the road ahead will be full of bumps and curves, but in the end, hearing him say "I love you Dad" is worth the moments of agony and anger.