Happy Father’s Day!
Father’s Day: a day set aside in the U.S. to honor and celebrate fathers with gifts and cook outs. Gifts that can never come close to the significance that fathers play in their children’s lives. Perhaps a new tie, socks, or gifts like my husband often gets – gifts that the children would like to play with their dad. Like a motor boat to race in the pool, or a new Wii game system that quickly becomes the “kids” present. But isn’t that what fatherhood is all about? Sacrificing for the good of your children? Of course it’s not a sacrifice without rewards – the love of a child for their father often cannot be measured or matched.
Today we’d like to honor all the unsung heroes in our foster care program; the fathers who lavish affection and attention on our 300 plus children in foster care. These men are a vital part of our foster care program and play important roles in the lives of our foster children.
I’d like to tell you about two fathers who are very important in the lives of 12 children now in our Anhui Cleft Healing Home. Zhang Ming manages our cleft healing home along with his brother-in-law Paddy. Both of these men have families of their own but spend countless hours at our home. Paddy has a delightful teenage daughter and Zhang Ming has a very handsome little boy. These children spend many hours at the home along with their mothers (one of whom works in the home as well). They are probably there in part to play with the babies and also to see their fathers!
Zhang Ming spends many hours working for the children that LWB serves, not only in our cleft healing home but also throughout Anhui. He keeps our home running smoothly; hiring nannies, arranging for surgeries, ordering formula. He is also the only English speaker in our home so he is the one we communicate with and who translates the wonderful reports our Cleft Healing Home sponsors receive monthly. He is the man behind the camera taking the many great pictures we have of the children’s lives. As we all know, if you are taking the pictures, you usually aren’t in them! So while we don’t have many pictures of him interacting with the babies, I can assure you he is a huge part of their lives.
Paddy is our driver and Zhang Ming’s right hand man. He is a soft spoken, quiet man who loves to play with the babies. It’s obvious from the pictures that the babies love him as well! On this Father’s Day, we’d like to thank all of the fathers who dedicate themselves selflessly to children who will not be theirs forever, but who clearly own a part of their hearts!