On Father's Day this year, I was surrounded by my wonderful wife of 22 years and my four sons ages 14, 13, 11, and 9. They were hopelessly trying to BBQ steak and chicken for me and insisted I not help and not think about the height of the flames or the proximity of the grill to our home! And that's when I thought of you, Dr. Laura.
I feel you should be celebrated for helping me become the father I am today. I started listening to you upon the urging of my best friend in college - a female. Sharon and I would spend countless hours debating over your philosophies and views. I would debate with her that there was no reason why a woman has to stay home with her babies or who cares if you shack up before marriage, etc. One heated debate changed our relationship drastically. While driving Sharon home from school for summer break, I told her I had a great idea! If neither of us were married in 10 years we should live together and have a baby together! She calmly and politely told me she would think about it while I found the next exit so she could stretch her legs. Upon stopping, she asked if I would mind waiting with her until her sister could pick her up as she no longer wanted to ride home with me. I was so shocked! She explained that, as her best friend, she was hurt that I would think an "arrangement" such as that would be okay with her. She was really hurt that after all our years of friendship, it would be okay for her to be just someone’s "baby’s mamma."
I apologized and talked her into finishing the trip home with me. And although it was a very uncomfortable and silent ride, it gave me time to reflect. After four years of calling Sharon for her advice with my girlfriends, talking to her about every topic under the sun, and even asking her to feed me when my money ran low, I realized during the rest of our ride home that what I wanted, what I needed, and what I most desired in a woman was sitting right next to me! We began dating as soon as we returned to school and I asked Sharon to marry me exactly one month later. We were friends for so long, knew each others' families, and thanks to your show and our endless conversations, knew how the other felt about almost every situation – I didn’t want to wait to begin our lives together.
Having Sharon be our kids' mom was paramount for us so we put off having children until we could make that happen. We waited 8 years to have kids until my career was stable enough to live comfortably with Sharon at home. We both wanted to build our family by adopting and having children. Our plan was to adopt one child then have a biological child. We adopted our first son in 1999 at 18 days old. Long story short, we ended up adopting two more infants, both boys, in 2000 and 2002. Then we had our biological son in 2003.
I cannot tell you how much my four sons have changed our lives. Sharon home schools them and I've been fortunate to work from home for the last ten years. I tell my boys they do not know how lucky they are to have TWO stay-at-home parents when many children don’t even have one. They nod their heads, but I know they won't get the magnitude of this blessing until much later.
There's much more to our story and how you have helped us through the years. But I wanted to you to know that thanks to your radio show and books, you've helped this man find his perfect woman and become father to four magnificent men. I'm not a perfect father by any stretch of the imagination, and often make mistakes, but that's okay. I learn from my mistakes and keep my goal of contributing four outstanding men to our society in the forefront of all my decision-making.
There's an African saying that it takes a village to raise a child. I’m convinced you cannot do it effectively all alone. Well Dr. Laura, I just wanted you to know that you have been a treasured part of our village and after all these years of your coaching or nagging depending on situation wanted to officially welcome you to our tribe!