Education Posts

How My Adopted Dad Molded Me Into a Man

How My Adopted Dad Molded Me Into a Man

By Roger Flippen

8 years ago




Susan-and-Roger-FlippenMost people would not have chosen my life. In fact, I wouldn’t have chosen some of the events from my past. I am, however, thankful for all that I’ve learned and for how my character has been shaped. My past helped mold me into who I am today.

“I love you, son. I am bringing you to live at this boys’ ranch so you will have a better life.” I was six years old and these are the words that I would cling to for years to come. My father left me; I was scared and alone. The only way I knew to survive was to put my feelings on a “shelf”.

The boys’ ranch taught good morals and values. Thanks to the leaders there, I know what it means to be responsible and honest. I learned attitude is everything, and I learned to value myself. I was fortunate to be responsible for training horses and competed at the state level. My biological dad trained horses and that is part of the reason I chose this activity, allowing me a connection to a positive aspect of him. It was hard work, but I learned that without me, the horses couldn’t realize their potential. This lesson would be one I’d relate to later in life.

My childhood taught me I had a choice about who I wanted to become. I am a man who is motivated to be successful in relationships, academics, fitness and work. I desire to fulfill my potential, and I know attitude is the most significant determinant of the outcome.

My loving parents adopted me when I was fourteen, who ironically, had also founded the boys’ ranch. I remember asking my adopted dad why he built the ranch, to which he responded “because I knew you were coming, son”. As I matured, I realized he didn’t know that I, personally, was coming, but rather he saw a need and built a place to meet the need.  His response taught me about how important it is to have vision and to act on it.

My parents taught me to be giving and compassionate. I am thankful to be someone who beat the odds that say, “a poor Hispanic kid from a boys’ ranch isn’t likely to make it.” I am thankful for people who invested in me…just like those horses; I couldn’t have reached my full potential without others. I’m excited about life and I’m excited to continue my family tradition of investing in others.  I will never regret my past, for if I hadn’t experienced those struggles, I don’t know that I would have the same degree of empathy for others. I know that I have a hope and a future…we all do!

By Roger Flippen

Roger Flippen

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