Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dear Dad,

***Let me begin this post by stating that when I first started this blog, my intention was for it to be used by family and friends to track our progress through our long journey of international adoption. But to be honest, it has turned into more than that for me. It has provided me with an outlet to speak my mind about God, poverty, adoption, planning for new parenthood, new cultural experiences,and today, my grief. This post is intended for my dad. However, I feel compelled to share my feelings on the blog because one day, I want my son to read through these blog posts (hopefully in book format) and understand more about not only the journey in  bringing him home, but also our thoughts, feelings, concerns, fears, and grief’s through the process as well.***

Happy Birthday Gar Bear!

Well dad, today is your birthday, I can’t believe you would have been 61! Oddly enough, I still remember your 38th birthday party at the cabin down in southern Ohio (I know weird birthday to remember, but I do recall reading your cake upside down and thinking you looked pretty good for being 83! I was only six or so at the time). A lot has gone on since we last spoke. Jay and I, as I’m sure you are aware, bought a house and are currently in the process of starting to fill it with kiddos. We did not go with our initial plan to have a biological
child first and adopt second. God called us, as He often does, to do things His way instead of our own. But we are beyond excited! Ya know, to be honest, we have been thinking a lot lately about you and Jay’s sister Becca. As our excitement grows for our new baby, we cant help but think about the amazing people in our heavenly family that he will meet long before he ever meets us, and the ones that are (hopefully) preparing him for the mess he just may find his new parents to be (at least at first anyway). Don’t get me wrong we are doing our research, but every time we have a friend’s child over, they show us how ill prepared our house is for a mobile baby. We still don’t know what an “ergo” is or a “diaper genie” but we still have time and our biggest goal is just getting him home all the way from Africa!  We may not know what the heck we are doing at first, but we plan to love our kiddo with the same love that both of you have shown us over the years. 

I’m not going to lie dad, there are still really tough days for me since your passing. I swear every time I hear the song “Over You” but Miranda Lambert, I burst into the loudest rendition my lungs can bellow, sob like a baby, and all while trying to maintain a moving vehicle ( I hear it mostly when driving).  I just really wish you were around to see what your little girl has turned into. I graduated with my masters last year, we are homeowners and fix things that break (by calling in someone to do the fixing that is), and I’m going to be a mommy in  about 18months (hopefully). But it's not just the big events in life that I miss you most, in fact its mostly just the small everyday ones. For instance, I really wish i could send you a picture message of a handmade wooden jewelry organizer I recently made, and then proceed to call you afterwards to walk you through how to actually open a picture message. After much frustration, and perhaps some choice words, I know you would be proud and show everyone you ran into the next week or two whether they wanted to see it or not.  But the future is what I've really been thinking about most today.  I wish our son could have met you here so I could see how he would light up like every baby you ever met lit up. I wish I could have watched you teach him how to fish and hunt and how to make stuff out of wood. Side note:  I think you would be pleasantly surprised with your son-in-law. We have made a point to do all the things you wanted to teach him. He recently shot a gun for the first time (he is an excellent marksman), and I even took him fishing (and actually made him touch the fish himself). He is going to be a wonderful father. He is so loving, caring, and selfless, a lot like how you were to me. Don’t worry dad, you were absolutely right when you told me on my wedding day that Jay would take excellent care of me…he does daily. But Dad, I wish, more than anything, that you could just be a part of our son’s life. I remember when I was 16 and you told me that when I had children you were going to duck tape them to the wall so they wouldn’t get into your stuff like I always did. I didn’t mention that to the social worker, didn’t think she would find it as entertaining as me and mom did.
But, with all that said, I think Jay and I are going to be alright. We know that both you and Becca are close to us all the time (please tell me that’s one of you guys who messes with lights when Jay is out of town) and we know you both are having a lot to do with our adoption
journey. I will smile the day when I see our kiddo look up and smile at seemingly nothing and know that its probably just you making some goofy face at him like the ones you always made.
Do me a couple of favors would ya pops, 1.) Please stop messing with lights..i get kinda scared sometimes when im home alone. 2.) Tell all the grandparents, Aunt Sheryl, Mike, OZ, and Carol I said hello. 3.) Please continue to bless and watch over our adoption. 4.) Tell Becca I am very excited to meet her one day. I feel like (and have been told) we would have (and eventually will) get along great. Her family is amazing and they continue to be touched daily by the impressive woman she was. 5.) Continue to watch over mom, and work on getting her to move to Columbus near us, would ya…maybe try the light trick on her or

I love you dad, and miss you everyday since June 14th, 2011.  I look forward to the day we meet again, and expect your face to be one of the first I see when I get called home. 

Love Always,


  1. What a beautiful letter, Ileah! You have such wonderful memories of your father that you will be able to share with your son someday.

  2. Ileah! I love this letter to your dad. Thank you for sharing it on your blog! Love you!

  3. Ileah, this was beautiful! One day your son will read this and get to know his grandpa a little better! What a gift! I can't wait to meet your little guy! I know you will always miss your dad, but I'm keeping you in prayer that your heart will heal with time! Miss you!