Today, we’d like to give much respect to dads who….

*saw their new babies and thought “how perfect! Then someone said “failed hearing screen”. Wait…..what?

*heard the words “profoundly hearing impaired” and looked blankly at your partner. And then had to find your way out of the hospital labyrinth to the car, with your partner absolutely going to pieces on you, and carrying your gorgeous baby. 

*walked in our door and looked at our equipment, our staff, the candy colored hearing aids that were so ridiculously small. “Can we really do this?” you asked your partner. “Is this our world now?”

*held your baby when the hearing aides were first put on and had tears in your eyes as he stopped….and listened! Oh my God, he heard my voice!

*sat in on our session, saw the techniques the therapist was using, and saw your daughter respond. And thought “I can do this” as you shaved off your beard so she could see your face.

*changed teeny tiny batteries with giant hands, dropping them on the kitchen floor three times before you finally, finally got them in the device. And your son’s smile when you handed it back to him and he could hear. 

*roughhoused with the kid anyway. You threw the baby up in air to listen to her giggle, wrestled with your toddler, kicked a ball with your 7 year old, taught full-court-press basketball to your 15 year old.

*looked for the tan hearing aid, in the sand at the playground for hours….in the dark…at 10:30pm.

*finally located closed captioning on the TV and left it there for good, even though it interferes with the game score because of where it is on the screen.

*stand in the Verizon store (for two hours you really didn’t have), trying to figure out if the cell phone you want to buy for her 16th birthday will have the adaptations she needs with her implant. The salesman has no idea…..

*put your daughter on the baseball team but then had to cut the helmet foam to fit over the implant (“yeah, I guess it’s ok to do that”), took your son to Boy Scouts and ended up helping because the leader didn’t look at your son when he spoke, “fixed” the hearing aid just for today but called the audiologist for help, or talked your partner off the ledge when the kid really, desperately wants to play football.

We are St Joseph Institute and our beloved, patron saint is a father himself. Selected specifically by God for this hard task, he had a long road ahead of him but he stayed the course joyfully. Today, we give much respect to all the dads who have journeyed down the fatherhood road. We serve for and in honor of you!