Father’s Day holds special memories
Published 7:53 pm Friday, June 16, 2023
My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it. -Clarence Budington Kelland.
Being a father is not easy. Being a foster father can be even tougher.
On Sunday, Father’s Day 2023, Bobby Poe will reflect on the Father’s Days in his life, those when he was a child celebrating with his father, the special Sundays when he and his sons celebrated the time together and those when celebration was not that easy.
Poe makes his home in Pike County with his wife, Mary. They are foster parents. He is a father whose time it is to be celebrated.
As a child, Poe looked up to his father, who taught him about life and the living of it by the way he lived.
“The skills I learned from my dad, I learned by watching him,” Poe said. “I learned how to live my life by watching him. Children want to emulate their parents. A son wants to be like his dad. I wanted to be like my dad so I watched what he did and I listened to the things he said. He exhibited good character in all he did. I copied the things he did and that made me who I am.”
Poe said parents have the advantage initially because they have their children’s full attention at the time when they are most impressionable, but, when working with foster children, there is usually no basis for the relationship.
“Many times, there was no one they looked up to in a positive way,” Poe said. “Or, no one to teach them or no male figure that exhibited good character traits. Under those circumstances, it can be difficult for a foster parent to gain a kid’s trust or respect.”
To be a role model and to have a positive influence in a child’s life, a foster parent must have the child’s respect and trust. With experiences that some foster kids have been through, it’s often difficult to earn their trust and respect.
For Poe, gaining a foster child’s trust is foremost in the relationship.
“A child needs to know he or she is loved,” Poe said. “Often, a child has to trust you before they can give their love over to you.”
Trust is often long in coming but, once a foster parent has earned a child’s trust, it is easier to gain the child’s respect, admiration and love,” Poe said. “When a foster kid said ‘Happy Father’s Day’ and says it with love, that is very special.”