Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What Makes A Father

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across this, a FANTASTIC post about what makes a Father. More importantly, what makes a Dad. It made me weep.

She and her DH are also going to be using DS, and so the question of nature vs. nurture comes up. And I get it. I think there is a lot of both involved, but I think HOW a child is raised can overcome a lot. And I think a lot of behaviors and personality traits come specifically from the nurture side of the camp.

Anyway, back to focus. All of this has been very hard for Hubby. He feels like such a failure. Because even without my tubal issues, he will not be genetically involved. But he's come to accept that, because he knows it is still OUR child. Our sweat, and tears, and blood, and LOVE that are going into making this child (come on, Magic 8 Ball!!!). He is the one who will be there, not Mr. F1738, and that's all that matters, in the long run.

We joked about getting DS from someone who was totally not like Hubby, and then went with someone who, based at least on the very basic description, is similar to him. Just so it's kinda there, that link. And I made a concession...

I am one of the last remaining Binsau's in this country. We have my grandmother (obviously done having kids), my dad (definitely done), and 2 of my sisters and I. Sister has already taken her husband's name, so Niece will have his name. Littlest will most likely go the traditional route, based on conversations we have had. LilSis has a different dad, so not part of the deal. My step-mom (who, btw, deserves massive props for taking care of me at ER - I didn't post about it, but it didn't go well for me, and she took care of me...) kept the last name when she and Dad divorced, but there will be no more kids there. That left me. I kept the name. And our kids were going to have the name, to carry it on.

Until this. What was more important to me? A name? A dwindling name? (Even in Germany there aren't many of us) Or my husband feeling like he has some part of this kid? So I asked him, told him to mull it over, and get back to me. And he did. He would like them to have his name. And I have conceded (though it pains my liberal feminist ass to do so), and when our kid arrives, my family name ends.

He needs that tie, that knowledge that something about this child is part him. And I get that. Even as I know that, regardless, he will be that child's DAD, not just father, and love her and play with her, and somehow figure out how to stop gagging at vomit so he can heal her. And that matters more to me than a name.


  1. Beautiful post. You made me cry. You are so right. I had a father who was never a dad. My hope is that someday I will make my husband a DAD and give him a child that I know he will always appreciate and be there for.

  2. A beautiful concession and a special link between all of you. And, thank you for posting that link. It made me cry and miss my family and feel, yet again, that I desperately want to make my DH that kind of father.

  3. Yeah, my name dies with me (not any longer) which is why we hyphenated babe's last name. I know some days she might get hitched and change it but for now she carries it forth.

  4. Unless my brother has a boy - our family name dies out too (German as well). So I hope he does, I would hate to see the line end.

    I'm glad you and DH were able to make that choice together, already the perfect parents.

  5. We are in a similar situation...CJ's brother has all girls, his dad has only nieces, so us having a boy is the only way the family name will live on...BUT it may live on in a child that is not genetically realated to any of them. Will it matter to them?

  6. Beautiful, I'm so glad my post was meaningful to you! It's important not to underestimate a name's importance, it really does tie a family together. I wonder if you could consider giving your child your maiden name as a middle name? My husband and I kept his last name, but he wants my father's name to be our son's middle name, since I'm an only child and Dad's name "dies" out with me.

  7. This is such a beautiful gesture towards your hubby and I think shows him just how important he will be in this child's life. This child will definitely be his even if not biologically.

  8. Great post to link to...and yours was great too! xxx

  9. I'm in a similar situation with my last name, but instead of choosing one over another, we've decided to hyphenate. Is that an option? Or use your name as a middle name for your babe?

    I got your picture yesterday!! There's something so intimate about holding this object that was sent via snail mail, I love it! Thank you!!!

    Keeping everything crossed for you girl!

  10. Beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    You will be amazing parents to this kid!!!

  11. awe, i love this post! :)

    p.s. what about binsau as a middle name?

  12. I too LOVED Dory's post about what makes a father. Your post is a perfect follow up. I think a lot about the ways in which our parenting choices will be different as a result of our journey, and like you begin to describe, the concessions that we will make to support the bond between our children and their fathers.

    You are in my heart right now as you live this incredible life experience right now. Wish I could reach out and actually hug you - or maybe walk with you for a while.

    PS - Thanks for all your love and comments while I was away. It was so so nice to get a few minutes of cell coverage, download my emails onto my phone, and see your beautiful words waiting for me :).


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