Things Ruben Wants You To Know #1~ What My Father Taught Me

First, I shall tell you about some of the things my father taught me. Then I’ll proceed to my recommendations for you, Jacob.

My father taught me kindness and compassion, appreciation of my fellow human beings, the joys of service to others, patience, tolerance and understanding of people, even if their outlook on life, politics,
religion, nationality, race, or sexual orientation was different from mine. In addition, he impressed upon me that it is utterly self-destructive to carry a grudge. Also, I learned from him that though it is all right to dislike a person or thing, I should never hate.

I further learned, both by his teaching and by his example, consideration and charity, as well as honesty, sincerity, optimism, fairness, tidiness and many other positive things, all of which made me into an extrovert and, hopefully, a decent human being. In other words, he shaped my personality and my interpersonal relationships – plus my philosophy of life. To this day I still live by that, and I enjoy life and the many friends I have.

This is what I would like you to know: You may disagree with your friend – about politics, religion, or whatever – but you should respect him/her for his/her belief, and remain on friendly terms with your friend. You should never carry a grudge – once something is over, it’s over. Carrying a grudge or “hating” is totally
self-destructive.

Life is full of challenges; never despair, but meet those challenges head-on – remember that your glass is always half-full, not half-empty, Today’s young people are besieged by electronic instant
communication to the extent that some of them actually lose their humanity. I sincerely hope that you will not be one of these, but will use those marvelous tools wisely and with circumspection.

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Things I Want My Son To Know #4 ~ Remember Your Birth Story

Remember the story of your birth. (This is the short version). Your story is unique and beautiful, it began with acts of open hearted generosity, immense courage and great faith. You have always known you were adopted. At various times of your life til now you have had greater and lesser curiousity about it. You used to speak to your birth mother on the phone. When your father and I were barely new in our relationship, we agreed to foster parent a young teenaged girl who needed a break from her mother. She came to live with us, supposedly for a short time, maybe a week or less. Things came out during that time that made it obvious she would not be returning to her mother’s home and she lived with us for about a year. During that time she became a young woman, she learned how to apply makeup, fix her hair, clean her clothes. She had her first fancy dress and attended her first school dance. Eventually. for various reasons, she moved on to a group home for teenaged girls. We had made a decision that we were done with medical intervention and that we would adopt if we could. We kept in touch with our teenager and one day she appeared, pregnant. She told us we had been her parents and she wanted us to be her baby’s parents. We were all there the day you were born. It was a scary time for all of us but we stuck with it and your courageous and loving birth mother allowed us to take you home when you were five days old. The day you were born you had four parents, that’s a lot of love. Because we were willing to open our hearts and homes to a teen in need of love, your birth mom came into our lives, changing us forever. Because she had the courage and love to do what she thought was best for you no matter the cost to herself, you came into our lives, changing us forever. I hope you cherish this story and that these values ~ compassion, mercy, faith and courage ~ that informed the beginning of your life, inform all your life.

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