I was originally planning to post this in the trout forum, but I feel like it belongs here much more. Also, sorry this is a long post, and if you want to skip the main story, see the tl;dr at the end
. I don't recall having ever told the first part of this story on this site, but after yesterday with my boy I think it may be time. In 2015, my wife had just graduated nursing school and I was due to earn my -- in Information Technology within the next two years. We decided at that time we wanted to start trying for kids. To make an incredibly long, painful story short, we ended up finding out in the spring of 2016 that natural children were almost certainly completely off the table for us. While we aren't living on the edge of poverty or anything like that, IVF is both expensive and dreadfully scary for a woman, and we had to face one of the most painful experiences of our lives. We both knew the odds of us having a child of our own were now nearly gone, and for months I could do little else but sit in a deep depression that I can only say I made it through due to the prayer and support of my friends and family. I began to understand that in all the things that I have gone through in my life, I had never experienced true emotional and mental pain until that point. I lost the desire to fish, hunt, and pretty much anything else that wasn't just keeping me alive. I have come to appreciate just how strong a woman my wife is, as she never gave up praying and hoping for a child in our lives the entire time.
My grandfather on my dad's side died in June of 2016 and we inherited his home. I had no idea that moving into this house would act as a catalyst for the family that we have today. My wife's step-brother was having his third baby at the time, and he and his wife simply weren't up to the task of taking care of a third child due to their circumstances. The boy ended up staying with my wife's mother, who has health problems of her own and is simply not capable at this point in her life of taking care of a young child full time. In 2017 my wife came to me and told me that her mother was having difficulty caring for him, and that we should start helping out by watching him a weekend or two a month. I'll admit, a painful reminder of what we couldn't have was the last thing I wanted, but I agreed nonetheless. He was 8 months old when we started caring for him. The first weekend was... rough. He had never slept in a crib before (grandma spoiled him quite a bit) and he did almost nothing but cry that entire first night. We spent Saturday playing with him, feeding him, all those things you do for a child, and by Sunday I was convinced: I wanted this boy in my life permanently.
After a long and sometimes painful adoption process, Deklan became our son by name on January 22nd, 2019. Just as I learned that there is such a thing as immeasurably deep pain, there is also such a thing as unbounded joy. My wife and I prayed for so long, for relief from the pain, for a family, to know joy again, and now, in spite of all that we went through over these past few years, we have had our prayers and cries answered. Deklan is almost three years old now, and I had the wonderful opportunity to take my son out yesterday afternoon on the first day of trout with my dad. I spent my time watching him throw rocks in the water, hit the water with his little fishing rod, and run around the lake like a madman. He got to see deer, geese, rabbits, and fish and he loved it. He petted all three trout and said 'bye fishy!!' after each release. My dad helped him reel in two of the three trout, and he absolutely could not get enough. I never thought I would get to experience this, watching my son play and fish with his grandpa, be able to take him out and know that being out with me made his day. I have never felt so blessed in my life, and even though it isn't what I would have chosen in the beginning, I can't believe anything other than that God knew from the beginning what life with my son would look like and He granted me this joy in his infinite wisdom. This first day of trout could not have been any better for all of us!
My wife and I adopted our first child earlier this year and I had the best first day of trout season ever with my dad and my son!