CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Every dad is different. So is their journey to becoming one. This year, the Howard family celebrated a very special Father’s Day.
“We got married later in life, in our 40s … and we wanted children,” Ganim Howard said.
Both Ganim and Athena Howard have been trying to have a family together for some time, and it hasn’t been easy.
“We lost a child around 7 weeks,” Ganim said, as he remembers a different Father’s Day, not too long ago. “Mother’s Day was fantastic … and then right before Father’s Day … about two weeks before Father’s Day, boom. We lost that child.”
But despite disappointment after disappointment, they never gave up.
“Before we went to bed last night,” Athena said. “And then when we woke up this morning, it’s like … just a whole other feeling.”
After a trip to Baltimore for an In Vitro Fertilization procedure, the couple finally got their missing piece — their daughter Efrosini, now 20-month-old.
“The process changed my life,” Ganim said. “Made me a dad, made her a mom.”
And even though it was a tough, sometimes draining experience for this couple, they say they came out stronger than ever because of it.
“My husband was my rock,” Athena said. “And he never takes a lot of credit. He is a wonderful husband, a wonderful patient father and he just adores his daughter.”
“If you want to become a parent, don’t ever stop until you become a parent. Do whatever you have to do to make sure you get your dream,” Ganim said.