Risk Services Of Arkansas June 2018

SPECIALIZING IN YOU Agriculture Ministries Education Environmental Hospitality

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JUNE 2018

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Transportation

CELEBRATING THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE THERE FOR MY KIDS The Blessings of Fatherhood

W ith Father’s Day right around the corner, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how blessed I am to have not only my three biological children in my life, but also three stepchildren as well. During those years when I was a single father with custody of my three kids, I felt like I had a unique opportunity to develop a special relationship with each one of them. But then I got remarried six years ago and I got to start my new “stepdad” relationships with my wife’s three daughters. It’s been an adventure. At first, I had no clue how the “step” relationship should work, but as time went on, and after we faced real life together, I feel like we have really settled in. Doubling the size of my family wasn’t a commitment I took lightly, but it’s been consistently rewarding in ways I never could have imagined. I’m aware of how lucky I am to be relatively close with each of my stepdaughters, as I try my best to meet them where they are and where they need me. Their biological father hasn’t been present in their lives since shortly after he left his family, which was when the oldest was a freshman in high school. That was obviously a devastating event for them, so I take my role of stepping into the hole he left in their lives quite seriously. My goal is to be present and available for each

worked cooperatively to create a new family. We have certainly made our share of mistakes along the way, but we think we might be on the right track. It hasn’t always been easy and smooth, but every once in a while one of them will say something so kind and gracious to me that I’m caught off guard. ” I am still an awfully long way from being the father that I want to be, but I feel like there is no greater investment opportunity in the world than the opportunity to invest my time, my energy, my resources, and my love in all six of my children. That’s what Father’s Day means to me, and I get to celebrate it every day!

of them individually as needed, but especially right now for my 15-year-old stepdaughter who’s trying to navigate her high school years here in Little Rock. It hasn’t always been easy and smooth, but every once in a while one of them

will say something so kind and gracious to me that I’m caught off guard. Those are the moments that make me feel as if I just might be making a difference in their lives — that maybe our relationship is something good and encouraging that has developed out of what was a terribly difficult situation. Meanwhile, my relationships with my biological children

continue to grow and mature, as do their relationships with my wife, their stepmother. She is trying to do for them what I am trying to do for her children, and I think she is succeeding. Even though my children are now mostly independent and living on their own, I know they are enjoying having stepsisters and a stepmom. Our family gatherings for the holidays and for family vacations are certainly different and better now than when it was just the four of us! My wife and I are very grateful that all of our children have accepted each other and have

–Brad Johnson

President, Risk Services of AR Specialized Insurance Programs for Specialized Industries. • www.insurica.com • 1

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