A few weeks ago, Richard was at work when he received the following text message from his son, Jonathan, who had recently joined the navy:
"Guess what dad, I'm getting a tattoo."
"Don't you dare," came Richard's knee-jerk response.
But it was too late: Jonathan had already booked the appointment.
Richard makes it clear that he's not "anti-tattoo." He likes them, in fact. "It's just that when it's your own child, and they are permanently going to alter the look of their body, all sorts of thoughts start going through your head," Richard told us. "How is it going to look when he is older? What is he going to choose? Will he regret it? Will he be able to cover it up? Will they see it on a job interview? How did he choose the tattoo artist? Is he just getting one due to peer pressure?"
"It's the Jewish mother in me," he laughed.
Two weeks later, he got another text from his son. Despite all his warnings, the deed had been done.
Richard was fuming: what was his son thinking? His anger was quickly tempered, however, when Jonathan sent him the following picture from the tattoo parlor, surrounded by his fellow sailors. On his side, tattooed in roman numerals, was the date of his adoption:
"I was so taken aback," Richard said. "My fear that he was going to get something ridiculous, something he would regret, shifted and I could not be more proud of him. What an amazing tattoo!"
When Jonathan was younger, Richard explained, the two of them would celebrate his adoption date every year. As Jonathan got older, however, he didn't want to celebrate that specific date any longer. "As years passed," Richard said, "I even wondered if he remembered the date of his adoption. Well, he remembered. It was a reminder to me, as to what an amazing son I have."
Jonathan posted the above picture on social media that evening, with the following caption:
"So I got my first tattoo!! This date is the day that my life changed. This is the day my dads adopted me. The greatest day in my life knowing that for the rest of my life I would finally have a loving family that loved me for me!"
Richard has also had another significant development in his life, since we last featured he and Jonathan on our site: he's engaged! "I found love again, and Kevin and I are engaged to be married in March 2019," he told us. "We recently moved from New Jersey to Bentonville, Arkansas and have another home in Palm Springs, CA."
We'll be sure to bring you some updates of the happy couple's wedding, but in the meantime enjoy some of the family's recent photos below: