Dear Sam, Jordan, Joshua, Elijah and Elizabeth,
I want you to know how blessed you are to have a mommy and daddy who are married and love each other. So many of your friends around you don’t have that. You might not understand how important that is yet, since you guys are all still pretty young, but it is, and you will see that as you get older. I want you to know that I love your dad more than anything and I want you to know why.
1. He is faithful and trustworthy. You can count on your dad. He does not commit to things quickly, but thinks through them and decides if he can really follow through. Some people get irritated about that, but what they don’t realize is that some men nowadays just say yes too quickly and then don’t stick with anything. Not your dad. He will be there if he says he will be there and you can always count on his word. I hope you all become like that someday. It’s a valuable trait to have.
2. He loves you guys more than you will ever know. We have so many discussions about how much we love all of you and how special you are. I love him for that. He cares about each one of you and is always trying to make sure he is doing the best he can to spend time with each of you and meet you where you are.
3. He loves me more than he does you. That might sound bad to you, but it’s a good thing. A man should love his wife most, except for Jesus, and then love his kids. You need to know that he loves me and we aren’t going anywhere. You can see that he values me most and that should give you a sense of security. And my hope is that when you all are blessed with mates that you will do the same.
4. He can cry. He has cried at all your births, or adoption days. He is not a man who cannot show his emotions and yet he doesn’t over do it either. He is doing a great job of teaching you boys how to be tough and yet tender, especially with your mom and sister.
5. He loves God more than any of us and seeks His direction for all of us. He prays and reads the Bible regularly so that he can understand what God’s will is for our family, each one of us. He takes his role as leader very seriously and is always trying to make sure he is taking each of our needs into consideration before he makes any decision. He cares what you all think, but most of all he cares what God thinks. You should always keep that first.
6. He drives a minivan. He loves you guys and wants to be able to drive you to school or wherever you need to go and will give up all sense of coolness or style to do it. He doesn’t want to drive minivan, no man does, but he does it to spend time with you guys and help me out.
7. He doesn’t care about himself and always puts others first. He is not selfish and is always more concerned about whether or not you guys have enough clothes or whatever you may need before he considers himself and what he needs.
8. He appreciates being different. Some of you are special and some are more special. Some of you have challenges that the rest of us don’t have and he loves you all the same. He is teaching us all, and everyone around us, that it doesn’t matter the color of your skin or your abilities, you are precious to God and to your dad.
9. He tries to get to know you better by finding out what your interests are and join you in them. He has played countless video games with Jordan, played football with Sam, played music with Joshua, ball with Elizabeth and Mr. Potato Head with Elijah. He makes sure to spent time doing what you all like to do as much as he can because he wants to have a hands on relationship with his kids. He might be tired after work, but he always makes time for you guys.
10. He is an example of responsibility. He allows you guys to learn tough lessons sometimes, by not rescuing you out of your messes so that you can learn how to help yourselves and that there are consequences to your actions. It takes much more effort as a parent not to just step in and fix something for your child than to let them work it out for themselves. I know you don’t like it right now, but you will thank him for that later in life.
As you guys grow up, no matter what you do as you get older, he will always be proud of you. He is your coach, mentor and friend. He loves you deeply and you are special. I hope that someday you can all grow up and be just like your dad.