I’ve been richly blessed so many times.
Submitted by: Andrew J. Dykeman

When my birth mom (Brenda) became pregnant, she wasn’t ready to take care of me. She made one of the biggest decisions a person can make. She loved me enough to carry me to term and then gave me up for a family she’d never know – but would be forever grateful. 

Growing up I always knew I was adopted. At the time it was a little confusing, but now that I’m in my 40’s with a loving wife and two amazing kids of my own – it makes sense. 

My parents Edna and Bob treated me like their own for I really was. While I tested their patience time and time again they pushed me and stood behind me the entire way. They also gave me an amazing sister – truly one of the very best in the world. Her dry humor and advice always from her heart was exactly what I needed. Too bad I didn’t follow the advice a little more often. 

I grew up in a loving home. I wasn’t perfect but it was a blessing to have it. When I was 20, I had the chance to speak with Brenda and thanked her for the gift of life. I have also been able to develop a great relationship with my birthfather and his extended family, another blessing. 

Over the years I thought life was about what we gained, but as I approach my 50’s I’m coming to realize life is more about what we give to others. Giving life, giving family, giving solid advice to someone who talked too much and listened too little, and giving acceptance and connection. As an adult, it’s my turn to give to those around me. 

Thank you to all those brave enough to love and give.  

Andrew J. Dykeman

(Adopted, Loved, and proud dad)