Fullness of life: A new father's story

Editor's note: In honor of Father's Day, Pato Isquierdo, a communications officer in Ecuador (pictured above with his wife, Karly, and son, Matias), shares with us how becoming a new father has changed his perspective and lent new meaning to his work with World Vision.

The bus was already entering Quito, Ecuador, at 9 p.m. I was fully loaded with cameras, a laptop, and back pain.

But it was OK -- I was finally arriving home. It was my first trip to a World Vision development community since I became a father. I just needed to get home and rest for the next day.

But while riding the bus home, I found a whole new level of understanding of the depth of a part of World Vision's mission statement: “life in all its fullness.”

Yes, I know that this is our goal with everything we do at work. But what about "fullness of life" for my own son? Then, it all made sense! Everything I've learned during my time with World Vision had a new angle.

Matias Nicolas was born at 1 a.m. on January 25. It was a life-changing miracle -- my own personal miracle -- after all my wife and I went through that dawn. I don't think anyone is prepared to be a parent in a blink of an eye. And without knowing much about parenthood at all, I was finding many clues to help me.

Pato with his son Matias.

As a communications officer, I’ve been exposed to so many different topics -- nutrition, health, hygiene, advocacy, children’s rights -- and all the information was kept deep inside. All the knowledge applied in my work has become a tool for me to learn to be a dad.

Believe it or not, it was in that exact moment, tired and uncomfortable on the bus, that I realized my real job was yet to start!

But then I thought of how blessed I have been. The children we work for have to face different conditions. Some of them live in dysfunctional homes; some suffer from malnourishment and diseases and have faced poverty since birth.

Yet, the concept of fullness comes to life every time I see them smile. Every time I talk to them or take a picture of them -- and mostly when I show them their picture -- I see the ultimate symbol of fullness: a smile.

Having a close, effective relationship with a son or daughter leads to well-being for the child. As a dad, this makes sense every time I work with parents -- in every meeting, and in every workshop I teach on the importance of breastfeeding, good hygiene habits, and treating children with love.

That night, after a long day of work in the communities, I arrived home and forgot about stress, pressure, and pain. I focused on being with Matias -- sharing and enjoying time in all its fullness, and showing him my love in all its fullness.

Happy Father's day to World Vision dads around the world!


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