Fathers Day

Scan 131670000
This was my Dad. He was holding on to my youngest sister, Becki. I think she was one of his favorites. Probably because she was the baby of 5 children, but also because she was the only one out of the 5 that got his blue, blue eyes. My two oldest brothers and oldest sister had brown eyes and I got green. I also think he loved her blond hair--again the only one out of us 5 kids.

The other lady was my Grandma, (my Mom's Mom) my Grandma's cousin in back and my cousin, Danita was the other little girl .
Scan 131670003
My Dad was not a Christian until about 10 years before he died. We only know that, because he signed and wrote it in his Bible and we happened to see it. His life didn't change very much and he didn't start going to church, but he did read his Bible a lot. As a matter fact,  he read the entire Bible through many times. We only know that because he wrote a check by each chapter after he read it. It had a lot of checks and then he started drawing lines through the checks.  He also started "paying" Whitney and Brady to read the 10 Commandments. Anytime they wanted money, which was about every day, they would go sit on his bed and read the 10 Commandments. He would grunt "louder" or "slow down." It may sound weird, but to this day they know their cussing Grandpa believed in the 10 Commandments. Whitney and Brady also attend church regularly still today and they are 26 and 27 y.o.
I took this picture of Becki today.
Scan 131670040
This was Whitney, Brady and Lael and taken about a year after my Dad died. We left to adopt Lael 3 days after my Dad's funeral, so he never got to meet Lael.  He would have liked Lael.  He did see Lael's picture. He only mumbled "good lookin kid." He did say to me,"Where are you getting the money?" I told him we had it and he said, "I don't believe you."

The most comical thing about my Dad and his relationship with my kids is that he was a racist. I didn't even know he was until I was an adult.  He wasn't the kind of man who would ever do anything to anyone or say anything about a person of a different color, but like a lot of people of his generation, he harbored racist attitudes, even if he didn't know he had them.  I'm not making excuses for him or anyone else, just saying it like it is.  Anyone who remembers the show "All in the Family" knows what I'm talking about (although my Dad was no Archie Bunker).

Anyway, when we adopted Brady, who is obviously Hispanic, my Dad never said a word. I really don't understand or respect people who say they wouldn't adopt another race, because of what their parents would think.   Yes, the 5th Commandment is Honor they Father and thy Mother, but the Bible also says in James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

You may be asking, what's comical about all that?  Well things got comical when we brought Brady home from Colombia. Brady was 3 years old.  I was working and Mike was working and going to night school. Whitney and Brady were "dumped" at my parents house every single day of their lives.  All through grade school they rode the bus to and from my parents' house (my Dad usually had McDonalds or anything else they wanted to eat waiting for them ).  My Dad had no choice but to bond with Whitney and Brady.  Brady turned out to be a handful. No matter what kind of trouble Brady got in at home or school my Dad always took up for him.  And I mean always.  He would say the teacher was just jealous of Brady. Yeah, my Dad was a little different.  Brady was so ornery that one of his teachers worked out a plan with us so we would know how Brady was behaving at school.   If Brady was good that day she would give him a sticker.   It took me several weeks to figure out  my Dad went out and found the exact same stickers the teacher was using and was  putting them on Brady's agenda every day.

My Dad never really spanked me, but I was afraid of him.  Then, when I was older I enjoyed teasing my Dad to get back  for my very "unique" childhood. I would usually stand at the door, spout off something and make a very fast exit to my car. Sometimes it was something like "I bet you voted for Clinton." To this day I don't know if he did or not, but I do know it would infuriate him.   Or, I would say something like, "You're such a racist, but any of your 5 kids would date a black person. He hated that one too and I would run out as soon as I said it."   His temper would only last about 5 minutes and then I was safe.

I think there were several reasons why my Dad was willing to have me "dump" Whitney and Brady at his house every day. First he didn't have a choice. My Mom took care of that. The second was he bonded with them fast. The third though was because they were adopted. He felt someone had to take care of them and he thought he was better at it than me.  He however would have killed to have kept them. One time I thought I saw one of their biological parents. I turned out to be wrong, but my Dad all but had his gun out.

Scan 131670041
The day I picked out Lael to adopt, the first thing I did was call my Dad. I said, "Dad guess what?!! I'm getting you another kid to raise!!" He said, "Go to Hell!" and slammed the receiver down. 

The night before my Dad died we were getting ready to leave for China a couple of days later to get Lael.   Whitney was going with us, but Brady was staying with my Mom and Dad. I gave my Dad all the contact information, including our insurance card, if for some reason Brady had to go to the doctor.  His very last words to me were, "We'll take care of him."