Our A Man’s Take reflections this Father’s Day weekend recall the life and fatherhood of St. Joseph. We ask for his intercession for all men struggling with infertility and loss. Today we lift up in gratitude all fathers, physical and spiritual, and especially fathers through the gift of foster care and adoption.
There is so much to admire and contemplate about the life of St. Joseph. From the beginning of his marriage, St. Joseph discovered that his plan was vastly different than what God had planned for him. Instead of focusing on what might have been, St. Joseph surrendered his will to God’s will and immediately obeyed the angel to become the foster father of Jesus.
All fathers, whether biological or not, are always on the “outside” of the miracle of life that is occurring during the many months of a woman’s pregnancy. Whether a man becomes a father through relations with his wife, fostering, or adopting, he always has to willfully accept the life of another that has grown outside of himself. He must also provide, sustain, and protect this child all throughout his or her life. To be a father is not simply a matter of providing DNA. Being a father means intentionally loving and supporting the children entrusted to you.
Every child has a right to a father and mother, but it is easy to forget that none of us has a “right” to a child. Foster and adoptive fathers not only experience true fulfillment and love in being a Dad, but they also make a profound difference in the lives of their children by simply being a loving and present father. Let all men heed the words of St. John Paul II, quoting Jesus, “Be Not Afraid.” Let us step up to become a father for our modern-day orphans. Let us ask the intercession of St. Joseph to give us the humility, trust, courage, and selfless love to carry out this needed role of foster or adoptive father.