My Two Dads

Father’s Day was especially poignant for me this year. My daughter is three, and gets the idea of special days. That made it great. We went to eat, had some fun at a theatre event, but there was an extra facet.

I was adopted at the age of six weeks. I grew up as the son of a pastor who worked for a church in a small Southern Illinois farming community. We moved to the town when I was three, after his wife died of cancer. He raised me and my older sister (adopted from a different family) on his own for almost four years after his first wife died. He is kind, but somewhat unyielding in his convictions, a necessity for his profession. His advanced study (eventually attaining a Doctorate in Sacred Theology) makes him more academic than many religious people I have met, and our differences of opinion have always been discussions rather than shouting matches. He was always very open about the adoption. He was also very kind and affectionate towards me. He’s the man who played catch with me, took care of me when I was sick, and supported me even when I broke the law or did things he didn’t think were quite wholesome. I love my dad.

I just found my biological dad this year. It’s amazing. He is like an advanced version of me. He’s an artist, musician, and writer. When I found him, he was very open to meeting me. When I was growing up, art was seen as a nice hobby, but not something that could be turned into a career. My biological dad is doing just that. It’s weird to see how much we have in common, and great to be able to put a face to this person I’ve been wondering about my whole life. It’s very hard to describe without sounding ultra-hippie, but he’s like the fulfillment of years of expectations. He was exactly who I hoped he would be, and didn’t disappoint. We fell in to step easily, and he is very willing to give me advice about my own pursuits.

I know I’m one of the lucky ones. My adopted father was very open with me about adoption, and supportive of my attempts to find my biological parents. When I found my biological dad, he was happy to hear from me, and very accepting.

I’m grateful for my two dads. I had a nice talk with both of them today. I hope the rest of you had a great father’s day as well.


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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