In the file, there were two reference letters that were sent to the adoption agency when going through the home study process to adopt Sophia and Olivia. One of the questions on the recommendation form (when adopting Sophia) asked what three descriptive words would describe me. Another asked to note my greatest strength and weakness.
It was interesting to see how my Dad described me – particularly since I don’t remember him ever saying these things to me directly. It’s especially meaningful now to have an idea how he saw me. For me, this truly a gift to find this paperwork.
Prior to adopting Sophia, my Dad used these three descriptive words about me:
Sophia and I playing the gongs at the annual Dragon Festival.
We had a chance to play the gongs (part of the gamelan).
As my greatest strength, he said that I was “…an energetic, creative worker.” (To balance this out, my greatest weakness, according to my Dad, was the “…possibility of overextending herself in work and tasks unless she exercises self-discipline.”)
When adopting Olivia, he said that as a parent to Sophia, I was “…enthusiastic, loving, proud, devoted, and caring. The little one has grown, sleeps well, is healthy, responds to everyone and has adjusted well.” He continued that I had expressed my “joy, thankfulness, pleasure, and satisfaction with the little one and what she brought” to all of our lives.
He felt that “good parenting skills, routines, discipline, and appropriate teaching and learning opportunities” were given to Sophia.
My Dad had to do another recommendation for Olivia’s home study, and had to answer the same questions. This time he said for the three descriptive words about me:
- Talented writer.
- Perceptive sensitivity.
Olivia, Montague, Gretel, and I at a state park on a walk
This was taken in June 2008.
He said my greatest strength was that I was “…a creative, organizational, talented individual, sensitive writer, and people person.” My greatest weakness was that I “…has sometimes taken on too much with work and programs and farm chores, but has recently taken steps to reduce and correct this.”
Sophia, Olivia, Dad, Mom, and me at the
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Wisconsin.
This was taken in July 2010.
On this first Father’s Day without my Dad I was given a wonderful gift by him: what he thought about me. It truly is a gift I will treasure and remember.