To my Loving Husband,

I think that sometimes you feel taken advantage of, pushed aside and maybe even forgotten. I know that life gets very hectic and I often get wrapped up in our boys or some project I have on the go. But please know that I see you and I appreciate you.

When we adopted our first son it quickly became apparent that he was having difficulty bonding to you. He saw you as competition, not as an equal caregiver worthy of his love and affection. As hard as you tried to make a connection he would push back even harder. There were many days where he would literally try to fight you and you were left warding off the punches of a particularly strong Kindergartener. When we tried to seek help you were left feeling that there was something wrong or missing in you – for that I will forever be sorry. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

When we spoke of having another child through adoption I cannot believe your bravery and your faith in me and the system. While I absolutely adore both of our children – I wanted for you to have a more “typical” parenting experience with our 2nd child. That took quite the leap of faith for both of us but I recognize that it would have been harder for you. What would have happened to our marriage, to our family had our second son presented with similar challenges?

The newest addition to our home brought much laughter and joy. We were able to delight in him and enjoy each moment for the blessing that it was. He took to you right away when he met us and I have the pictures to prove it. We began to plan and have dreams. We did typical things like take vacations and play with the train sets. Life with our second son was as typical as it could be.

Then came the dark times with our oldest. The months of struggle and rage and having to hospitalize him 2 hours away overwhelmed us. He took all of my time and energy and everything at home fell to you yet you still found the time to be there for our younger son, sharing a love in music and hockey. It was because you were such an amazing father and husband that I was able to leave my job and devote, for a short while, all of my attention to our oldest son.

For years you loved a boy that didn’t know how to love. You showed him. You kept trying no matter how many times he pushed (or punched) you away. You loved his mother and showed your affection. You loved his little brother and showed your affection. In time he came around and he was able to accept and reciprocate your love.

Through you he learned how to be a man and what a fine young man he is.

Tina Szymczak

Tina Szymczak is a wife and mother of two very spirited teenage boys. She is passionate about disability rights; inclusion; adoption and infertility. Also she blogs about her struggles with mental illness, namely Bi-Polar depression. She works as an early interventionist in Ontario Canada. Writing has always been a passion and she enjoys scrapbooking her family's adventures as well. You can find her musings at