Center offers counseling for new fathers
Since opening its doors in 1995, the Pregnancy Resource Center of Southwest Oklahoma has prayed for a male client advocate to commit time to mentor expecting fathers. After 20 years of waiting, prayers were answered when Cary Adams walked through the door.
"We were grateful. We were humbled. We were excited. We had a flood of emotions because it was an answered prayer," said Rita Willoughby, executive director. "We saw God working in this area, and we were ready for him to roll back his sleeves and go to work."
Adams went through the three-day volunteer training at the center in September last year and took on the position of men's ministry leader by starting meetings for men on Oct. 16. He recently retired from the Army, and he, his wife and four children decided to plant their roots in Lawton. Adams and his wife wanted to volunteer in the community with their newfound free time and decided to check out the center after hearing about it from people at their church who volunteered there. The center and Adams filled each other's needs.
"But once Cary came here the male numbers increased," Willoughby said. "Every guy needs somebody to talk to, too."
As the men's ministry leader, Adams holds classes that are part of the center's already established Earn While You Learn program, which is where expecting parents take classes to earn points for baby items. He also schedules one-on-one meetings with expecting fathers, tailors classes for those with specific needs and has regular hours at the center for men to meet with him. The best part about his position is being able to interact with the men who come through the center's doors.
"A lot of them that come through here are quite young, in the late teens and early twenties, so I see them as kind of a son because I'm old enough to have kids that age," Adams said. "I just enjoy being able to mentor them and talk to them about what they're facing at this time and then about life's challenges, because everybody faces challenges everyday."
Another thing Adams likes to do is teach the men how to tie a tie, just as his father taught him when he was young. He believes it is a simple but valuable skill for men to learn, and he has had enthusiastic reactions so far.
"A lot of guys that come through here have never done that or didn't know how to do that," Adams said. "One young man that came through here recently, after I talked to him I asked him, 'Do you know how to tie a tie?' He said, 'No.' It seems simple, but it's important when you're applying for a job or you're making a first impression. I showed him how to do that, and his reaction was more than I expected. He just felt like that was the greatest thing someone could show him."
One of Adams' goals for the coming year is to establish a quarterly meeting that offers the men skill training and knowledge in areas such as being "better partners with their spouse, better husbands, better leaders in their homes, better fathers, better employers or employees and citizens of society. And then also give them a spiritual backing and support in order to lead their families in accordance with biblical principles."