Name: Shawn Huff City: Torrance CA | Instagram: Aquarius Noble
What does being a father mean to you?
Being a father to means committing to the journey of love. Acceptance that I knew nothing about being a father and realizing my son is my purpose. Along the way we have grown but the lessons I learned and continue to learn are all part of my own healing.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
At birth I was placed into the foster care system in Texas. At the age of six I was adopted by a military family (husband & wife) in North Dakota. I struggle daily with knowing I never bonded with them. Especially my father who was beyond strict to say the least. There were times of grace, but the affects of abuse left me scared emotionally. I wanted his love but often got his anger, threats, and physical punishment. It hurt me to the core as a young child. I felt betrayed because after all they came to adopt me. They chose me. To this day at 51 years of age we have no relationship. It so happens in my late 40’s I found my birth dad through an online search. He was in Texas and we briefly reunited for about a year and then lost communication. When we first met I knew he was my birth father. He was tall and skinny like me and same shaped head. I hugged him and he cried – he noticed my Right eye was missing. “What happened he yelled?”, I could only muster more tears. We walked through the airport where he explained how broken his heart had been knowing he lost me. And after seeing me he could finally be ok. But wait—,there’s 10 other siblings of varying ages!
What things/tools/gems did you take from your experience growing up into your Fatherhood journey today?
There is no way to explain my fatherhood experience other than to say I had to make it up as I went along. I had no support from my adopted or birth father to reach out and ask for guidance and more often help over the years. I was determined to raise my son right regardless of all my faults, disabilities, failures, fears, and heartbreaks. What I take from being a father still, is how much more I love myself through the process of doing what I refused to fail at. To change the path of my son and show him truly unconditional love that he will carry for life.
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey? If so, explain.
There were different chapters of my fatherhood. The biggest obstacle I faced in my fatherhood was a disastrous divorce when my son was about six years old. This divorce had so many impacts on me and my son as he went through detrimental and prolonged parental alienation behaviors by my ex- wife. I battled the courts for my son even while homeless and eventually won joint custody of him. I walked daily to the courthouse with nothing but 10 cents in my pocket for about 2 years. But I was determined to be on my son’s life. No snow, heat, rain or cold was enough to keep me from fighting for him. And I won! I battled all the lies and attempts to label me as crazy and abusive. When I demanded a family investigation to clear my name the court finally was able to see that many were behind the attempts to keep me from my son. But I would have none of it. I fought for my son because I didn’t want him to remember me dying behind a dumpster in the snow homeless. So I fought with a tiny yellow pencil in the self help center of the courthouse daily. My son lived with me throughout Highschool and graduated!!! He was a dynamic athlete and student who now exemplifies my fight, kindness, and determination. I love my son dearly.
What advice would you give other Fathers on their journey?
No matter what be in your sons life! Do not relinquish your title to any other man or person or group. That is your King to love and learn from. Being a father does not have to be perfect!! Be who you are, be ok not knowing but be willing to find out how to be a better father. Give more unconditional love than anything else. Cry through the tough times, but stand with your son all the way through life. Never bail, never belittle your next generation, and show kindness to him when sometimes a hard hand is required.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father(s) – Adopted and Birth.
Much of what I went through with you was because of your own pain with your Father’s. I know my purpose was to change this for my son and I did despite not having the support from you to take the fatherhood journey. I hope as you look at my son you see the positive of who you are. I hope you understand the mountain I climbed to stand my son up was worth the climb. He (my son) will face the world with courage, determination, empathy, energy, faith, and resilience. Not because of what you did, but because of what you didn’t do in my life which allowed me to become his Father. May you both walk in peace all the days of your life.