The influence of a father is crucial for every child. Many of the children we serve have no connection to their fathers. This can make labels such as mom or dad really difficult for the children. At Coyote Hill most of us go by Mr/Ms, followed by our first name. What we become in relationship to the child after that is up to the child.
*After a particularly cold and rainy day my head was throbbing. Trying to avoid cold, soggy walks home from the arena, I was delivering each child to their home, where I’d asked a Home Parent to be waiting on the porch for their arrival. I pulled-up to the first house, and as requested, there was the Home Parent dad waiting on the porch. Then, in the midst of my headache and lack of concentration, I let it slip.
“Look Jackie, there’s your dad.”
The words were out before I realized I had said the “d” word. Dad.
“That’s not my dad.”
Although it was an innocent slip of the tongue, it hurt her more than my headache bothered me. I told her she was right, apologized, and asked for forgiveness.
As I pulled up to the last house, another Home Parent dad stood waiting on the porch for his child. My previous slip made me hesitate.
“Look Miranda, there’s your… umm…”
“It’s really okay Ms. Rebecca, you can call him my dad,” she stated matter-of-factly. “He’s basically become my dad. You can call him my dad.”
Before I could say anything else she smiled, hopped out of the car and ran up to her home. Her dad waved at me as he opened the door for her. A dad who’s loving dedication to her had demonstrated what a father’s love looks like. He didn’t know it, but as he stood there opening the door of his home to her, I realized he had also opened the door to her heart.
*told by Equine Program Manager Rebecca Buchholz; names changed for sake of confidentiality
The men who work at Coyote Hill engage all of their ambition into the lives of the children in their home. It’s a unique and difficult role for men. At the end of each day they can’t count how many widgets they made, or if they hit their sales goals. They can only count the smiles on children’s faces, the high fives they gave, and the small steps a child made to heal from their broken past.
We are not all called to be foster parents, but we are all called to care for children. One way you can do this is by joining our 300 Club. This program enables you to be the supporter of the fatherless in your community by directly supporting the children at Coyote Hill. Click HERE to find out how you can make a difference and be a part of the Coyote Hill 300 Club. You as an individual, or your small group collectively can become one of 300 men who support the fatherless at Coyote Hill with a one-time gift of $1,000 this year.Related Stories View All
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