It all started in 1983...
When I was three years old I was abducted by my biological father.
That began a 49 month nightmare for my mother, and catapulted me into the realm of a ‘missing child’, complete with poster and all.
To put things in context for 1983 when this all happened, there were no laws about parental abduction and as far as the police were concerned, the child’s father had taken him and that was fine. Even though the courts had ordered my dad only had visitation rights.
So, for four years and one month I lived with my dad as he moved from New York City, to Kingston Jamaica, and then finally St Louis Missouri.
Then one night it all changed.
All I remember from that night, as I watched TV with my dad and his girlfriend, was a knock at the door, and then police storming into the house. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in the front of a police cruiser on my way to a foster home. I spent two nights in two different foster homes, then on the third day I was at a court house. After playing with toys and not really knowing what was going on for most of the day, I was brought to a room and re-introduced to my mother. A woman I vaguely recognized, but didn’t know.
Within an hour I had my first limo ride, led by a police escort to the St. Louis Airport for the flight back to Toronto.That was June 24, 1987.
That began the start of the rest of my life. And while it’s hard to believe the story I just told is what I experienced over 35 years ago, I feel honoured to share it with you. You see, I believe it’s part of the purpose for my life and the main reason I’ve created Connected Dads.
I don't know your story. But I know you have one.
And it may be more painful and traumatic than mine. Even if it’s not, you’ve experienced some form of pain. Like me, it may even have been as a result of your dad. That scar is still evident no matter how many years ago it happened, and how far you’ve tried to distance yourself from it.
If that's you, I simply want to say you’re not alone! I feel your pain, and I also know you can overcome it.
If you’re a dad, have a dad, or are about to be a dad you know the awesome power we have to shape the destiny of our children. For better or worse, the actions we take in our family shape the future. That’s why I believe becoming a Connected Dad matters more now than ever.
It’s really hard to be a dad. It’s scary, overwhelming, and debilitating at times. Especially if you haven’t had a great example to follow in your own dad. If that's you, my guess is you feel like a ship without a rudder. Like you have no safe place to express the fear, doubt, and uncertainty you feel trying to navigate fatherhood.
I know because I've been there
I’m blessed to have beautiful six year old twin daughters and a three year old son, but when the pressures of life hit everything became so much harder. My wife lost her dream business, my grandmother died, then suddenly my wife's uncle died, and then our daughter had health concerns, ultimately being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. All this happened amidst the most stressful period of my career where I was being asked to take on more leadership and responsibility. Within 18 months we went from blessed to broken. Through it all I tried to remain positive and hopeful, while keeping our family strong through it all. But it was too much. For some reason it always felt like one step forward, three steps back.
The deeper I fell, the more I questioned if I was cut out for this dad thing. And the more stresses came, the harder it got at home. It got so bad I wondered if my kids would be better off without me around - even though deep in my soul being a great dad was the thing I wanted to succeed at more than anything.
That’s when I reengaged with my mentor John C Maxwell. He’d been in my life since 2011, but I jumped in with both feet thanks to the encouragement of my wife.
I hired a coach, began talking to other dads, and researched support for dads. Surprisingly, there wasn’t much.
As I worked to overcome the pain of my past and reconcile it with my current reality, I saw many dads going through similar struggles. It's from this place that I learned what made the single biggest difference in showing up at our best for those who matter most. As I said, being a dad was the one thing I wanted to succeed at more than anything in life. So I got to work. What I’ve learned since then has led me to create Connected Dads.
I know dads out there need help. I needed help.
Many of you struggle to believe you have what it takes to make it. For whatever reason you’re stuck.
If there’s one thing I want you to remember it’s this:
You were made for this. You’ve got what it takes to be a great dad. And if no one else has ever told you this - I believe in you. I believe you can become the dad you dreamed of having and create a thriving family.
But you can’t do it alone. We need each other. We need other dads in our lives to support, encourage, challenge and hold us accountable. That’s why Connected Dads exists. To bring dads together in community, so they can become more connected to their families.
No matter where you are in your dad journey, we can help. Schedule a free coaching call today!
The story after my story...
As a certified Leadership Coach, Trainer, and Speaker with a graduate degree in Administration, I've spent my professional career fueling growth in people and organizations. I've helped people see more possibilities, build confidence, and gain clarity on what matters most in the pursuit of their goals. In the process, I've equipped them with the tools, mindset, and practices necessary to keep going in the face of adversity.
One of the strengths I bring to working with people is an ability to recognize blind spots, uncover limiting beliefs, and artfully engage clients in generating their own solutions.
I firmly believe that, "people do not care how much you know, until they know how much you care." That is the premise upon which I base my coaching practice.
I apply the skills of coaching, insightful analysis, communication and pair it with John C. Maxwell's leadership content to help struggling dads break the negative cycle of their past, overcome mistakes, and transform their family life.
I want to held dads begin to see themselves as capable, confident leaders - living intentionally and with purpose. When they believe their value, and act out of that belief, they achieve more and transform their relationships in the process.
My professional background and certifications include:
Currently the Director, Dad Central Ontario
International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach (ACC)
John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker
Certified MBA Career Coach by The Academies
Former Can-Fit Pro Certified Personal Trainer
For details and additional achievements, find me on LinkedIn