When we first became foster parents it was with much trepidation. We were entering unchartered territory and like so many, had heard the horror stories of how hard fostering could be. At first Henry adamantly refused my pleading to become licensed as he was not willing to expose me to what he was sure would be painful. You see, we had lost two children before they came to term and we had experienced a failed private adoption. He had seen the heartache first hand. He wanted no part of it. He wanted to protect me.
But, when God begins to move and a call is given, hearts change and when the person loves The Lord, that heart answers the call. So it was that my Henry became Daddy Henry to forty-five foster children. Just like any other dad, he was far from perfect and had to learn as he went. Unlike many dads, he was there, he was present. The impact he has had won’t be measured here on earth.
It was our very first foster child who dubbed him Daddy Henry and that title stuck. It was proper and fitting. Many, most of the children who came into our lives had never witnessed a man who truly provided, came home at night, was devoted to his wife and put his family first.
When we were faced with the possibility of our first adoption, Henry became determined to go back to college and get his degree. For three years he worked a full time job during the day, went to school full time at night and worked an extra job almost every weekend calling ball games, etc. All the while coming home to a house FULL of children.; sometimes different children than when he had left that morning.
Now, seven adoptions later, he continues to give and serve and live with an passionate fervor. He is now called Dad, Daddy, Pops by his forever children. I grieved for many years that Henry could not be a daddy when we faced infertility. Now, that grief is replaced with joy. What this world really needs is more like him, more who are willing to be a Daddy Henry.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (Psalms 103:13 ESV)