Adopted But Not Different

Ever since I can remember, my desire was to be just like my dad. To talk like him, walk like him, and grow as tall as he was. I was shaving at the age of four with my plastic razor just to impress my old man and show him that I could do it as well as he could. He taught me to stand up straight, not to slouch and look people in the eye when I shake their hand. He taught me how to swing a golf club but only after my homework and mom’s chores were taken care of.

He taught me that even though I may be a different skin tone than he was, he is still my dad and would watch out for me always. He’s a man of great Godly character, who has invested twenty-three years (so far) into molding me into the man I hope to become. He taught me never to let anyone put me down because I am different, and because he was proud of me, that was all I needed to push forward and not care what other people thought or said. He was proud of me and that is all that mattered.

He has had such a profound influence on my life that it would be impossible for anyone to say that he is not my dad and I am not his son. The fact that my dad is white and I am “tan” is a non-issue because my family chose to make it that way. They refused to acknowledge the stereotypes and encouraged me to not be afraid of being different.

My dad taught me all these things, but above anything else he taught me to love God and, in turn love people, because God made everyone the way they are for a reason. I can only hope to become the man he is, and have people think as highly of me as they do of him.

My adoption has been a huge blessing, and though difficult at times, has been the single most influential and defining event of my life, for which I will be forever grateful.

By Cason Ulmer, Family First Intern 2009

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