Meet Dads From Around The World
Celebrating fatherhood is universal
June 15, 2017
The Nature Lover
Ozgur Cetinel, Human Relations Leader, Turkey and Central Asia
Dad to: Ada Doƒüa (14), and Buse Deniz (4). Ada Doƒüa is learning synchronized swimming and Buse loves playacting. She loves to dress up and act as Elsa who is a character from the Frozen movie.
Why nature: I love nature, especially the mountains. I prefer going to exotic places instead of big cities. Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Canyon area in the U.S. (especially Zion Canyon) and Pilanesberg game reserve in South Africa are some of my favorite places that I've visited. Hiking in the Aladaƒülar mountains in Turkey was also an exceptional experience.
What I learned from my dad: My father is 76 years old and is living in a small fisherman village near Izmir in Turkey. He retired from the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) and always puts his family first. As a kid, I remember going to football games almost every weekend together.
Michael Dennehy, Representative Sales III, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
Dad to: Ten adopted kids and three homemade kids. My adopted children represent six different countries (U.S., Ethiopia, China, India, Thailand and Romania) and five have special needs.
Loves being a dad because: I had the chance to learn the basics of being a dad when my wife and I started off our marriage adventure with three biological children who were smart and active and curious and taught us a lot. They are grown up now, and I get to apply some of what we learned back then to the unbelievable variety of situations that have arisen as we have grown our family from a normal size to size “XXL”. The best part: Giving an orphan who has no hope for a future the gift of a forever family is one of the most satisfying and challenging things you can imagine.
Why coach: Not sports, but somehow we have become parenting and adoption "coaches" and have had the opportunity to do some encouraging videos, some television and radio appearances and speak at adoption conferences. Our main purpose in life is to make other families who hear our story feel better about themselves and think “heck, things aren't so bad with us ...at least we are not as out of control as them.” At one event, someone asked me how we were able to keep on adopting and still have time for anything else. I blurted out “Once you get down to zero personal time, you can't go any lower. We were hit that level a long time ago. So why not keep going?”
My favorite weekend activity: I built the biggest pool I dared to build in our backyard. We try to have an open house all summer, and sometimes the majority of the family (and their families and some grand kids) all gather up and everyone swims and plays games - and I cook a few hundred hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Then in the evening we gather around the fire pit. (The biggest fire pit I dared to build)
Father's Day plan: We have eight kids still in the house and my wife and I have a deal. On Mother's day and Father's day the lucky spouse gets 24 hours of not having to answer any kid questions at all &endash; I get to just say “ask your mother”. Then on Monday morning I'm back in the line of fire.
The Sports Fanatic
Kane Xu, Vice President of Procurement, Asia Pacific
Dad to: Tingting (15) who is in 9 th grade and Dangdang (12) in 6 th grade. Their interests include music, soccer, basketball, badminton and skiing.
What I learned from my dad: [He] is a mathematics teacher and is really cool. He always told stories about the stars and planets, played the flute and was really good at Chinese painting.
My favorite dad joke: My dad asked my older son Tingting, "Do you play soccer because you really enjoy the sport or you just doing it for kicks?"
Father's Day plan: Camping and fishing in Chongmin Island.
My favorite weekend activity: Playing Squash (Racquetball), walking my dog and practicing archery.
Alonso Arredondo Bazan, Tester, Mexico City
Dad to: Jocelyn (12) who likes swimming and Leonardo (3) who likes playing and running.
Loves being a dad because: I am able to wake-up every morning and see their smiles. Every time I come home after work they run to hug me and call out “daddy”, it makes me feel blessed.
Favorite prank: To wear an Iron Man mask and chase my kids. When I find them, they start screaming, but at the end we start laughing, hugging and rolling on the floor.
What I learned from my dad: My father is a great man, who is my confidante and friend. Since I was little, he always treated me with respect, not scolding me, always advising and teaching how to be responsible with love.
Mike Grady, Software Engineer, Illinois, U.S.
Dad to: Fillan (23), a first year medical student at the University of Iowa who loves soccer, hiking, and machine learning software; Patrick (21), a junior studying Engineering at Duke University who loves aircraft and photography; and Adrian (18) a freshman studying Biology at Iowa State University who loves bicycles and hiking.
What I learned from my dad: My dad was the most boring person in the world. When I reached high school and talked more with my peers, I recognized that boring is good.
Loves being a dad because: These three people are beautiful, intelligent, kind, young men. What is not to love?
The Role Model
Priyesh Jani, Research and Development Manager, Gurugram, India
Dad to: Twins - Rishabh and Rishit, both nine and they are currently in 5 th grade. Their favorite subject is math and the older one likes cricket and his younger brother likes badminton and chess.
What's the most important part about being a parent: Coaching and mentoring. For me, it is all about sharing my own experiences and stories from my childhood. More than coaching, becoming a role model for my sons is very important to teach good behavior and etiquette.
Loves being a dad because: It feels like I am reliving my childhood. It is a great stress buster to see my kids after I get home.
My favorite weekend activity: During weekends, my most common destination is the nearby biodiversity park where I jog, play games and spend quality time talking about nature with my kids.
The Music Lover
Sergey Ryaplov, Territory Sales Manager, Russia
Dad to: Daria (18) studies international relations and participated in the Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy in 2015 ;Uliana (13) is in high school and is fond of street dance; Artem (11) and I enjoy beekeeping together; and Gleb (8) has been a street dancer since he was 6 years old.
Loves being a dad because: Being a parent is a lifelong learning experience and an ongoing transformation. My children are teaching me so much and making me a better person.
Sharing music: I graduated from a music academy and play the accordion. Sometimes I even perform at work or business events. My wife plays piano so often that our house has become a party place for friends and family.
Father's Day plan: We do not celebrate Father's Day in June like other countries, but we do have a holiday in February that is considered as a Men's Day. It's called “Motherland Defender's Day”. Initially it was a military celebration, but it is now a day when we congratulate boys and men of all ages. Sometimes, I wear my military uniform that I had 25 years ago during my military service. We share memories from the army times and sing songs.