On this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast, host David Hirsch talks to Special Father, Air Force reservist and stand-up comic Jarrell Roach. Jarell, and his wife Kinesha, have four children; John, Karia, Jeremiah and Karley. Both Karia and Jeremiah have Autism. We’ll hear about Jarell’s family, his military service and about being campus director for Greater Omaha Youth for Christ. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast.
Find out all about Jarrel at: https://jroachpresentations.com
Find out about Greater Omaha Youth for Christ at http://goyfc.org
Dad to Dad 94 – Air Force Reservist, Youth For Christ Director and Stand Up Comic Jarell Roach Has Two Childen With Autism.
Jarell Roach: My philosophy is really like everybody should be mentoring somebody, everyone, everyone realize there is a child behind the special needs. There is a child in there that needs to be raised up and they need to be loved. They did not ask to come into this world and we need to raise them and give them the best shot. Like you said, creating a longer runway for them. That has inspired us to just want to do more for them and for others as well.
Tom Couch: That’s special father, air force reservist and stand up comic Jarell Roach. Jarell, and his wife Kenesha have four children, including two with autism. We’ll hear Jarell’s story about his family, his military service and about being campus director for youth, for Christ. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network, dad to dad podcast. Here’s our host David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the Special Fathers Network.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs.
Through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support dads, to find out more, go to 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help, or would like to offer help. We’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com, groups and search dad to dad.
Jarell Roach: And now let’s listen to this entertaining conversation between Jarell Roach and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Jarell Roach, who’s the father of four, a campus director for youth for Christ in the air force reserve. A public speaker and a comedian.
Jarell, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the Special Fathers Network.
Jarell Roach: Man. I’m totally stoked, man. I’m over here, granted cheek to cheek. This is exciting.
David Hirsch: You and your wife Kenesha have been married for 11 years and have the proud parents of four children. John 15, Korea, 10 Jeremiah nine in Carly for both Korea and Gemara have autism.
Let’s get started with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Jarell Roach: Excellent. Thank you so much. So our family roots come from small town, Clarksdale, Mississippi. My parents moved to Lincoln, Nebraska for work. Um, and that’s essentially where I was born. September 21st, 1982, man.
And, uh, were born in this little community, retired air force community right outside the city of Lincoln called air park. I was fourth of five children. And, uh, yeah, man, I grew up in a really blessed neighborhood that it was a small intimate neighborhood where a lot of great things happen and a lot of great people came from.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So out of curiosity, what did your dad do?
Jarell Roach: My dad, um, he was in the military and then he moved when he got out of the military, they moved to Lincoln. He was working on the railroad with Burlington North, and then he moved from the railroad to Goodyear tire plant where he retired from ultimately.
David Hirsch: Okay. And did you mention in a prior conversation that he was also a union president?
Jarell Roach: Oh, yeah. Which is kind of ironic. Yeah. He was a union president, vice president, if I’m not mistaken and their company was up and down, so they would be out marching and boycotting all the time, which was kind of ironic.
My dad’s a very quiet guy, but, uh, to see that was a really proud moment in his career. And it was also, it made me proud of the son to see my dad in that form of leadership.
David Hirsch: Outstanding. So how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Jarell Roach: One that is ever evolving, probably the best. Now that it’s ever been, just to give you a little background, when him and my mom divorced, I was 13 and we had just witnessed a huge fallout of their relationship.
I would say my mom and dad are probably the black sheep of their, their homes. No pun intended to being black and all, but I would say they’re definitely the black sheep. My mom was a state ward. She lost her parents. Her mother was murdered. Her dad lost his life on his job. My dad, although he was raised in church, good morals.
He was just a different kind of breed of guy. And so when you had those two very powerful personalities in the house, they had a lot of followup that we watched. And so when my mom and my dad divorced, like being a father was two of my goals, a father and a teacher. And that’s something I wanted it to be wholeheartedly.
And so pursuing my father and wanting to spend time with him was something I did all on my own. No one told me that I would go visit him. But when he was in some of his tougher States as a father, so that was hard for me. I challenged a lot of that. I challenged his perspectives and views. I just didn’t really know my father.
So some of that came off very wrong over time. I think by God’s help and God’s hand, we’ve been able to reconcile our relationship. My dad started telling me things like he loves me and he’s proud of me. And that blew my mind. That was like in my twenties when he started saying that, and I could just see God changing my dad’s heart, but I realized I needed my heart change too.
I was so disappointed by him that it kind of made me bitter. I will say this though. He is being the, is his grandfather hood is his best father hood. He’s rocking it, man. And the kids look forward to seeing him when we do see them over holidays typically, and I look forward to as gifts and we look forward to is dry, crazy, witty humor.
Every time we see him. And so as an evolving relationship, I would say out of all the kids, uh, his and I are probably the closest bond intimately because we’ve tackled a lot of stuff in private. Um, that made us bump heads, but really, uh, growing heart. And so I would say we were probably the most intimate.
Some of his text messages are hilarious the way he sends those out. Cause you can just tell, being an intimate kind of dad was something he had to really work through, but I’m so proud of that. He has. So that’s where our relationship is and I’m glad he’s in our kids’ lives and he’s living his best father that right now.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, it’s great to hear that, uh, his fatherhood star is rising. If I can say it that way based on what you’ve shared.
Jarell Roach: That’s awesome.
David Hirsch: And that, uh, by the time it gets to be a great grandfather, the guy’s going to be Bulletproof.
Jarell Roach: Oh yeah, come on, man. I anticipate that he got great blood, you know, like, uh, my grandpa was just my grandpa’s and an amazing man that both sides of our family looked up to my mom’s side.
And his side, they grew up in the same small town community. So yeah, he’s not going to be here. They do no wrong when he’s a great grandfather. Yeah. Yeah, man.
David Hirsch: So when you’re thinking about your dad, uh, are there any important takeaways, something your dad always said or did that, you know, you’ve tried to emulate or you’re trying to incorporate into what you do as a dad?
Jarell Roach: Oh yeah. There’s a few things I can rattle off the back when we were growing up in his, no, I don’t. You want to talk poorly about my dad, but he was, we didn’t spend time with our dad. I had no really big childhood memories with him. We’d go out on the family sometimes, but it had no real childhood memories.
The two or three times him and I hung out independently in public. We’re really like they just went South. But the things that I remember about my dad was when he was home and my mom wasn’t, it was at work. He did it. Good job taking care of us. He was neat. And he always took care of himself. And he would, he, uh, he had a way of correcting us that we respect it and I don’t know why I don’t.
We just really respected it as a man. And, uh, I feel in a lot of what he never really Rose his voice a lot, um, which was different from him and my mom’s conversations. He really never Rose in voice. You’d always have to say, Hey, you know, and he’d correct us, you know, make sure we are taking care of our siblings.
And then there a second thing that I remember very strongly over time, whether, well, my dad was in a sober state or whether he was intoxicated. He would always talk about the fact that he gave me my name and how important that was to him. I gave you my name. You carry my last name. And, uh, like I said, whether he was sober or whether he was intoxicated, it meant something to him.
And I think I understood what he was talking about. The more I beat the, you know, the longer I’ve been a father. Um, and then I would say one of the takeaways is just seeing an evolving guy that got up off his back and said, I’m going to be a father I’m going to right. Wrongs. And I’m going to keep stepping in.
And like that has taught me so much more about him as I’ve learned from him and my later years. And so, you know, neatness, meekness, taking care of people, you know, I, I don’t like raising my voice at my kids. Um, you know, and like you were those things about, even though I didn’t have a whole lot of one-on-one experiences with him,
David Hirsch: Excellent.
Well, like you started by saying your relationship has evolved and it’s evolved in a good way, right? In a positive way for both of you as well as your kids, his grandkids. Yes, sir. So thinking of a grandpa’s I’m wondering what role, if any, did your dad’s dad or your mom’s dad play in your own life?
Jarell Roach: Oh boy, big Roach is what we call that’s Prince road.
Printer’s roads, man. He’s a, he’s a big guy. He, he loved like, it was polar opposite of my dad because when we went and visited grandma and grandpa, like he loved, he engaged. He spent time with us. He didn’t move fast for anything. He just kind of moved slow and takes his time. He is known in the community like.
People know him and they love him as big Roach. He was big booster club guy for the high school football team and basketball team and worked hard. They knew him at Cooper tires. Like I was telling you earlier, he worked 40, his newspaper article. He sent to me 42 years of service to that job with less than 15 sick days.
And, uh, he just had this way of loving people in this crazy, like. Gentle way. Yeah. He raised his kids, right? They all have respect for him. They all come around his house to visit him. His grandchildren that we seen, uh, would come around to visit him. They had respect for him. I call him now we laugh and giggle.
We don’t talk about a whole lot. We talk about family, how things dealing. We talk about he’s a widow now. So we’ll talk about Lucille, his wife, every once in a while, I just watched the way he is loved. He’s a, he’s lost his oldest child. Uh, his oldest daughter has oldest son, his wife and his youngest daughter, you know, as children in time.
And I just watched him love. I remember the last time I would second, the last time I went and visited him, we go to the grave sites and, uh, I remember we stood there for a while and he just put his arm around me and, uh, it was a nice sunny day in Mississippi and the summer breeze kicked up and. I just remember feeling so much love for my grandpa that moment.
And he just, I just remember saying Lou Bustille, she was such a good woman and he didn’t say much else. And that was it. And he’s just, that was my grandpa. He never really moved fast. He really never did a whole lot more than that. And he’s just steady.
David Hirsch: So it sounds like you’re a. Grandpa Roche played a big role in your life.
I’m wondering about your mom’s dad. Did he play any role?
Jarell Roach: We never got a chance to meet him. He, unfortunately, he was an electrician and a, um, well known electrician. The stories my mom tells about them is great. She was more of a, of a mama’s or a daddy’s girl. And so, um, uh, said he was a nice man, uh, talked about the way he looked and how he carried himself.
I look like him, which is just crazy. When I see the pictures, we have, you know, stories from her, but he lost his life on his job as an electrician.
David Hirsch: Okay, thanks for sharing. Yes, sir. Did anybody else play a role as a father figure while you were growing up?
Jarell Roach: No man. Yes. You know, and so I would say my mom, because at times she was definitely way more man than me.
And when she put me in my,
I would say, you know, starting from my own household, You know, let me kind of describe this, like kind of this dichotomy. I had a bunch of men that raised me and although they did not always teach me the best values when I look back at it, I learned to be grateful that, you know, they teach me about cleanliness.
They taught me about male, but not always manhood. And I needed that. You know, they taught me about cars. They taught me about mowing lawns. They would. You know, they put my hands to work, you know, they were not the most appropriate man. They did not hold high value. A lot of them weren’t with their own kids, but I was a young man that pursued fatherhood and that connection and that community.
Um, so I, I am grateful for them now. I had a. Kind of a sour patch moment about them at one point, but I’m very grateful for them. Now, then immediately in my home, my brother he’s about nine years older than me, the Marcus. And he was a father figure. He was a big brother. He was a coach. Uh, he was a protector for us.
He endured a lot of things that my mom and dad went through being the oldest child. And he was the first to get married out of a siblings. And so I watched his marriage and he, him flourish as a father and he would have gatherings at his house. He just re really instrumental in showing us the way. And so we had individuals, but we had diversity too, which was crazy.
So pops. He was an older white fellow. He was, he was a widower and he worked on his yard. His yard was immaculate. He would wear the old leisure suits all the time and he would be sweaty. And all the time and he’d always put his arm around me and I got sweaty or with the mint. He always gave us Mitch, but he taught me how to put my hand to work.
He taught me cleanliness. My mom would always say, go help pops with this and go help. Constantly. Deck pops went to church. I learned what it was like to see a man get up and go to church and be steady. I had guys from the Husker, the corn Husker football team, when my mom worked at the university of Nebraska.
She would ask football players to connect with her hardheaded son. That was kind of the way she would describe it. I was like, yo, I feel like I’m being dragged around. I don’t want to do this mom. Is that the way you introduced me? Birkin green, uh, was a football player for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and there were a couple others.
There was a Aaron Davis. Uh, well, let me kind of go chronologically. There was grant Wenstrom, who was, who played for the Rams and was a pro Berlin. Pro bowler and Jason Peters who became a pro bowler himself. If I’m not mistaken. And Tom Osborne, who was a legendary coach from Nebraska, he hosted programs in the summer called Pacific pals.
And they spent time with kids. The football players had to spend time with kids. They were young guys, you know, 1920, 21. And I got the chance to spend time with legends and I didn’t even know who they were. And, uh, we would go play. Two hand touch football on the courthouse, your stadium, football field. And for some reason, two hand touch turn into tackle football too much testosterone.
And I’m like, you always show you, show you Dave a concussion, you know, and then I met Aaron who was a former football player as well, who came to visit me through the teammates program once a week, once in one hour, he would check in on me genuinely and care about my situation. He was. Just graduating college.
And he spent time with a guy like me, you know, I had whites Browns and blacks involved in my life. Uh, Aaron introduced me to his father. Yeah. Who was a pastor? His name is miles Davis. And as he was saying, I’m the real miles Davis. I’m the real miles Davis son and his brother Mark and Mark had a love for fishing.
And he taught me about fishing and he gave me like catfish nuggets and he, he was a janitor, but he was. Uh, very well known at UNL. He worked in their business department and I just watched men that love their families that loved their wives that loved God, and that loves people. And they were willing to put you under their arm and spend time with you.
Like they didn’t have nothing better else to do, you know, and, you know, from all those bonds, I say now that my philosophy is really like, everybody should be mentoring somebody every month. Every one of you should be, you can mentor up or you can mentor down, but everyone should be pouring into somebody.
At least one person, Tom folk, another white male. That was my, my, uh, track coach seat value in the USA drill. If you would start getting off track, you’re going to make a great leader. That’s why I made you the captain of this team. He drove me home a few days after practice or several times after practice, just to have, spend time with me and tell me no, you’re gonna make a great teacher one day.
And he paid for parts of my college or credit to my college. And I can go on and on about men that were there. And one day I woke up, you know, in my, my soul. And I realized how bitter I was being about my own dad. When we find out, you know, just me speaking that God had brought all these other dads along.
Oh man. And they were exactly what I needed. And, um, my mom, she just had this way of saying, no, you’re going to get plugged in over here. Then she put me in programs like, you know, she just, she raised me like what a father should be like. So there’s several, I can tell you even more now, today, but man, there’s so many and fathers have been a, such a big deal.
And I can say two goals I had in my life to be a teacher and to be a dad. And maybe that’s why I paid attention to men so much. You know, even the ones that were given the wrong shoes, but thank God for him, man. Thank God for him.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, that’s an amazing list. Yeah. Partial list of the men have had an influential role in your life and your mom did an extraordinary job of putting what I refer to as positive adult now, role models in your life.
Thank you, sir. So my hats off to your mom. Thank you, sir. Let’s talk a little bit about school. From what I remember, you went to Southeast community college, then great Bible college and that college of the air, of course,
Jarell Roach: yup. Wanting to be an educator. And I was paying for my own school. I love community college because it had a diversity, it had different ages and people in walks of life.
And so I finished there with a gen ed degree by joining the military. Two years after joining college or starting college, that shifted my trajection. I feel like I heard from God about going to Bible college and finishing my education there through Bible study and Christian ministry work I’m in the community college of the air force.
That was all tied to engineering my job in the military. And then I will be able to wrap up another degree there. Concerning my new role in the military right now, probably in about eight months. So get my credits
David Hirsch: done. So you’ve been involved in the military for how long
Jarell Roach: DRO? Since 2002. So, um, about 18 years.
And I say, I always have this joke. I said, the only thing I’ve ever done that long is be black. And I said, and handsome. So. Yeah,
that’s great, man. I love you, man. You are amazing. So like I’m approaching retirement, like 20 years of retirement, man, you know? And so I just read up, I’m getting ready to read up for four years extra so I can use that post nine 11 GI bill, you know, I was, I joined after nine 11. So we’re going to use it to continue to help fund my son’s education and potentially my wife’s.
So my son’s getting ready to graduate this year and here we go.
David Hirsch: Excellent.
Jarell Roach: Yes, sir.
David Hirsch: Did you do any tours of duty?
Jarell Roach: I have, I’ve done some state side tours of duty. Um, and then I’ve done combat tour duty in Iraq. In 2009, 2010, and then also a combat tour of duty and Qatar and United Arab Emirates in 2015, right at the brink of 2015.
We’ve had some other opportunities that we just had to capitalized on a is different now as a family, you know, and both times I deployed my wife was pregnant and I said, honey, I promise you, I’m not doing this on purpose. The second combat tour she actually had to baby, uh, that was a really humbling place in life.
It really was. So, yeah. Yeah, man. And, uh, my goal is to hopefully do a, another combat tour, maybe something or maybe peace time. Because my job has changed. Uh, I moved over to the chapel Corps where I can focus more on our people and building them and helping see them have transformed lives and sustainable marriages and careers.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Well, thank you for your service to our country. I’m wondering if you had to reflect back on your tour in Iraq in Oh nine and 10, if there was an important takeaway or something you’d like to share.
Jarell Roach: That he, um, I’ve never experienced, he like that. I mean, indexes of 150, I think that was the, the antecedent to posttraumatic stress man.
And, uh, by God’s grace, that’s something I haven’t encountered myself, but it really woke me up to the young men and women out there, um, that were going to come home different because they, they seen lives lost. And, you know, we won’t. Well, you know, we weren’t infantry. We were engineers. Our goal is fight, build win.
That’s kind of our motto as builders, but we, we build for those that go forward. And so it really taught me a lot about how people’s lives change, go into war and coming out of war you grow. If you’re, if your heart is in the right place, you really learn what it means. To have freedom at different levels, because there are people that are paying prices and they just don’t see necessary, you know, and moms and dads are losing children and it wakes you up.
It wakes you up. It’s real. Yeah.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, it sounds very heavy.
Jarell Roach: Yes.
David Hirsch: Like when you think about it, um, it’s not just like a movie or something you hear about or read about. These are real life. People in their lives are lost right. In the name of freedom. And, uh, you know, freedom is something that a lot of people take for granted.
Oh yeah. Freedom. Certainly wasn’t at no cost. Right? That’s what I heard you saying.
Jarell Roach: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
David Hirsch: So you’ve made reference to your wife Kenesha a number of times, and I was sort of curious now. How was it the two of you
Jarell Roach: met? Yeah, that’s my queen, man. And I was trying to think of something funny to say, but I’m going to just say we met at church and she, we met in choir, you know, which is kind of funny altogether.
Cause she was correcting me on my tone and uh, and then she was like, Hey, by the way I heard you’re moving from Lincoln and Omaha. And I’m like, yeah. And she’s like, you want to come hang out with us sometime? And I was totally like, no, you know, cause I was like, I just need to pull. Cause I don’t want to.
Hang out with, I don’t know how you’re asking me to hang out right now. I don’t wanna hang out with her. I want to go to school. I want to get through college. Finally. I just want to you that I was just in that phase. And then I hung out with her and she reeled me in man. A year later, I was proposing to her man and no, really, and I just felt love with her as a friend.
And we just shared so much in common and it was really just the idea to our hopes, to help people to help one another and just live better lives. And a man, she, she just, she, she really took my heart and she still has it. She still hasn’t. So 11 years later, man. That’s
David Hirsch: awesome. Congratulations. Yes, sir. I’m sort of curious to know what is a Kenesha do for a living in addition to being a mom and a wife.
Jarell Roach: So she is, and thank you for honoring those two. Those are two important things to our world, man. And, uh, she all, she went to school to be a chef. And she also, when I was deployed, had a baby and graduated college, that woman whoo. And so, uh, she went, she’s very gifted from the time I met her in 2000 and the end of 2007 into 2008.
That’s just what something she wants to do. She’s very, very gifted. A palette for cooking has a patient for cooking and she is the bomb. So she has her own catering business cable show catering. She worked for large and small parties. And now we’re really working on maybe doing some coaching and some teaching and things of that nature.
So that’s our big focus and she also speaks and encourages. She’s a wonderful speaker.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Well, the two of you sound like you’re very motivated to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Jarell Roach: We try, and
David Hirsch: that is very inspiring. Thank you. Yes, sir. So switching gears to special needs, I’m wondering. On a personal level before Korea and Jeremiah were born.
Did you have any experience either of the two of you have any experience with special needs?
Jarell Roach: Yes, both of us. Um, when I was 17, I graduated, I started at school early, graduated early. I was 17. I started working with the public schools, transportation system as a afterschool para. I get on the bus, we go pick kids up from elementary school and we dropped them off and it was such a joy.
But even before that, let me kind of step back. I had a learning issue and it came up as behaviors, but the more I look at it now, it was totally a learning issue. I was sitting in 11th grade and between two young men that I think it was a class full, but definitely I was in between them two young men that had downs.
And they were reading. Then I was, you know, and it’s no shot at them because we love the special needs community. But I realized I had an issue there. That was one of my first introductions to the special needs community. I fell in love with this dude named Chad. He was special needs, few years older than me, but he was like, he was like the big bro, you know?
Bodyguard. He would commentate for me where I woke up when he messed with drill, drill, drill. Yeah. He’s calling you. That’s right. Drill drills right here. I mean, he just had this way of commentating man, and I fell in love with that guy. We’re still friends. I met his sister and I remember she just said, man, Chad talks about you all the time, which is crazy.
Cause I talk about him all the time and uh, I don’t know if he just won my heart. I mean, he was the cool kid to me. You know, and although I wanted to up my level out of the reading classes, I mean, those are the cool kids to be like, I stopped and I taught and I hung out with them and I learned the importance of like them reading lips and sign language.
And it just something I fell in love with. I was working and then, you know, 12th grade working as a paraeducator. And then soon after graduating high school, I worked for a group home for almost seven years. And then I moved to Omaha and I started working with those that live were impacted by mental health, through boys and girls town.
So that has really been my life. Kenesha was a para for elementary school students as a parent, as your, as a young man, like just to let you in on my internal process a little bit, I spent so much time with the special needs community, and I would always wonder that how parents did it. And, you know, and so here we are now we’re doing it.
So I’ll go, man, how fair do it, man? That’s just, that’s a challenge there, you know, and Whoa, you know, and so here we are, and it’s beautiful and it’s wonderful.
David Hirsch: One thing, if I can paraphrase what you’ve said to help somebody, right, from a distance who might have a special need, but you’re just there for a very short period of time, maybe hours at a time.
And, uh, the other 20 something hours of the day is when their parents are taking care of them. Yeah. Yeah. Evenings, weekends, over a long period of time. It’s a real commitment. Yes, sir. I think until you’ve lived it, you probably don’t have the understanding or appreciation for what’s really involved. So I’m curious to know how is it, or when was it that, uh, both Jeremiah and Korea were diagnosed?
Cause they both have autism.
Jarell Roach: Yes. Yes. So Jeremiah was diagnosed first. He’s our nine year old. And he was diagnosed probably around four when he was getting ready to go into pre-K and we just, we seen the signs, we would see the repetitive behaviors as a kiddo, and I had to go back to my own experiences and I had to go, yeah, I think that we need to get him checked out, you know, and, uh, just some of the specifics and the particulars as a kid and.
Oh man. Uh, he was a handful and we love our brother and he’s amazing. So I don’t want to give him that reputation of as being a handful. And then with Caria, she is our 10 year old. We were working through the school system, through our IEP team to really give a general diagnosis, but we could see what it was and we drug our feet towards it.
I think out of a little bit of denial, just to keep it honest and a little bit of the. Like, Oh man. You know, and not because we didn’t like our situation, it was just for her. That was really it for her. And just kind of letting you in, on some of our internal process. And so that was more recently, probably within the last it was within the last three years.
Uh, we went through an organization called Monroe Meyers with her,
David Hirsch: so just to get it straight, um, Jeremiah’s nine and he was diagnosed five years ago.
Jarell Roach: Yes.
David Hirsch: And Korea is
Jarell Roach: she’s 10 now.
David Hirsch: And she was just diagnosed more recently. Yes, sir. So his behavior was a little bit more noticeable and if I can paraphrase what you’ve said, um, you were in a bit of denial to maybe come to accept that.
Uh, she also had some, uh, issues, right. That should be addressed.
Jarell Roach: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. Yup. Just being honest. We were a little out, man, man. I always say, I would always say that they’re taking the Hill, they’re taking the Hill and, and you know, my daughter is very much like her daddy, very, very expressive, loves engaging with people, has super tender side to her.
And sometimes as you may know what our kiddos in special needs community, sometimes the emotions can change very. Uh, rapidly. And so we would see some of that. And so yeah, for us, a little bit of that was just, Oh boy, here we go. So yeah,
David Hirsch: when you say out-manned, what comes to mind is that, uh, when we. We’re just a couple and we decided to have one child.
It was two on one. And then when we had a second child, it was man to man defense. And then when we decided to have a third child, We had to go to zone defense.
Jarell Roach: I love it.
David Hirsch: And we felt out-manned that right? And then we realized when we got to five kids, that that was the end. Because once you go to his own defense, you’re out of control, right?
When they outnumber you, you know, you have to. Have a different strategy for staying on top of things or you just get overwhelmed. That’s what I sort of heard you saying. Bye.
Jarell Roach: Oh yeah, yeah. And we just were, we just didn’t have the knowledge, you know, we’ve had experienced there. I had more, probably direct care than my wife and for several years, but when they’re your kids, it’s just different because you create different norms and different things that you become comfortable with.
And. Before, you know, you’re like, Ooh, I really did need to step up there as a parent and give them the best options that can continue to develop. So,
David Hirsch: yeah. Well, it’s an important issue too. I think that, um, it’s not isolated. I think it happened a little bit more with dads than on average moms that, you know, like, Oh, they’ll grow out of it or, you know, it’s not so bad.
And then at some point there’s a tipping point where you realize. Maybe we’re not looking at this objectively and getting some services and acknowledging that there is a situation is better. And this whole concept of early intervention, which is considered zero to three, right? If you can notice things at a super early age, you want to try to address them sooner than later, so that they have the opportunity with a longer runway to.
You know, make the adjustments and, you know, get mainstream as much as they possibly can.
Jarell Roach: That’s right. That’s right.
David Hirsch: So was there any meaningful advice that you got early on that helped you Kenesha for that matter? You know, embrace this idea of, Hey, maybe, maybe we need to be doing something different.
Jarell Roach: Yeah. You know, the biggest thing is stick together one. I mean, man, we found that out together as parents because then. When you get desperate, sometimes you start parenting from where you’ve been raised and sometimes that’s not even the best way. But then the second thing is realize there is a child behind the special needs.
There is a child in there that needs to be raised up and they need to be loved. They did not ask to come into this world and we need to raise them and, and, and give them the best shot. Like you said. Creating a longer runway for them. And, uh, that hasn’t just want to do more for them, them and for others as well, too, man.
And so that those are the two pieces clearly and prayer. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times people, Oh man, you’re really good parents, which was kind of like a judgment. Like I see you with your crazy kids, man. You got to hold it on great work. So as convenient, just have a way of looking at things funny, but, uh, Yeah.
And you look across at, you know, your spouse and you go, you are a good parent that you are knocking this out. Let’s stick together. Unless remember there is a child beyond just some of this stuff you see on the surface, let’s give them the best we got.
David Hirsch: Are there any important decisions that the two of you made on Korea and Jeremiah’s
Jarell Roach: behalf?
Yeah. Yeah. That was let people into our worlds sometimes out of special needs family, you almost become sheltered a little bit. Jeremiah is a very vocal kid jumps. He’s, he’s a very expressive and our daughter Caria can go from very much a joy to a very much like just, um, what some would say breaking down where I feel sometimes just more emotional expression that we just have a little gap in on how to cope a little bit, you know, just.
But that would happen in restaurants. And that would happen with friends. You know, we found out we were getting less and less invitations to places and we found out it was a little exhausting to bring kids to places because we’re not even spending time with our peers and families. Now we’re constantly chasing down Jeremiah who wants to run and where we’re soothing Caria, who does not want to cooperate right now.
And so those were changing times and. When we learned to open up and let people in, in addition to like professionals, it just changed things. Friends, people, family, church, you know, we took advice. We started letting people when, when people would be like, Oh no, it’s good. And we go, no, no, no, it’s not. I started really going.
Yeah, it’s actually good. You know, and those kids are going to survive and Sarah, we were okay. And that kind of spawn. Some things that we have this nonprofit we created called our gathering. And the idea was we wanted to create an opportunity for families that have kids with special needs to have a popup dining room experience as judgment free, because you don’t box and help me, like I said, cause just a lot of those frustrations.
The knee. I’m a very physical dude. And so, uh, every once in a while you get a stank guy from somebody, it makes me want to go back to boxing mode and I’m like, I just don’t want to be that kind of guy anymore. You know, when somebody says, get control of your kid. Whoo. All right, well, I’m going to keep it PG David.
And so, but my feelings. So instead of. Hiding behind some of that and hiding behind that again, that special needs and looking at the child and go, we want to give them the best experience to engage. We created a whole platform for families too, and what we realized, and there are, there are a lot of families, all sorts of diversity, Dave rich folks, portfolio, parents that were using the same medications or kids were used, not the same, but you know, on the same things I had parents that would say, we have not done this at all, ever.
And we realized that’s not an exaggeration, like that is the truth where they can come get quality food from chefs. Cause my wife obviously has friends at that work together. Um, she works with, uh, a judgment free environment. We let people in to sow into the lives of people and they would just have a blast, kids screaming or running.
We’d be like, Hey it’s okay. Because we to get taught that it’s okay. And we’re parents would go, Oh, I gotta go get him right now. Actually one of our leaders got them. You just relax. Cause ain’t no judgment here. We don’t, your kid’s not going to get judged here. They’re not going to look, get looked at crazy.
Nobody’s going to challenge whether you’re a good parent or not. We know you’re a good parent, right? And, uh, we just want to see your kid and see you all for who you are. And so we’ve been doing that for the last year and a half. What we’ve learned is that we give back to people. Now we create an opportunity for people to have.
You know, judgment free zones now. So yeah.
David Hirsch: So where do these pop-up dining experiences take place in the name of our gathering place?
Jarell Roach: We try to find places that can accommodate a family time. So a community center say, yeah, we’ll open our whole gym to you. We’ll put up volleyball nets. We’ll pull out big trikes for the big kids.
We’re going to open up sensory rooms and some other opportunities and you can have the old place. We didn’t want it to YMCAs that, like, you’re gonna have dining experience here. We’re gonna open up the pool for you and your families. If they want to go down to our game rooms, they can have that. We don’t want at a nature center.
Um, but we just want to switch it up and give some peace, maybe nature a little bit. And you know, when parents used to say, Oh, you smell like outside. We want to give some of those experiences.
We would have been doing our fifth event. 60 minutes, 60, 50 Ben justice coming Easter. Um, but we just mitigated, it, made it real small. We put out a social media post to the families that we had on our, on our guest list. If you will, and just said, Hey, we want to celebrate Easter with you. So we’re going to follow social distancing rules.
If you’d like to come by, we have toys and candy and stuff for you. You come by pop your trunk or throw it in there. We’re going to say hi to you just as community. And we hope you have a good day. So we were able to do that just this last Saturday. And so, yeah, those are kind of a few variations of what we’ve done.
We’ve tried to focus it around at dinner and not so much resources because that dinner time is really that face to face engagement time that a lot of families fight for or can neglect, right. Or can not have, you know, and so. That our goal is to make models and share that around the nation, go to places and help them.
We have our gathering spots. And so we’re under a housing agent right now. We’re in the verge of getting our LLC we’re missionary. So we’re saving up. So then we’re going to get funded. So these are going to be funded to go and travel and help plant. And so we’ll have. Our gathering place night, where we might be in 40, 50 locations around the nation doing it
David Hirsch: well from your lips to God’s ears.
I’m hoping it transpires that way. And I’m wondering, I’m wondering, I just want to drill down on this a little bit more about the guest list you made reference to the people that you invite to these what’s the demographic or who’s on the guest list.
Jarell Roach: I love it. It is strictly towards families or parents, parents to child.
Uh, it can be single parent. It could be a ward of the state. It can be guardian. Um, and then our guests, let’s our volunteers, the volunteer crew is big and the, between our volunteers and our families, it is super diverse and we want to keep it that way. Um, and diversity is not just color, but like demographically, can we have millionaires and welfare families all in the same room, you know, crying because they have relief, you know, So we’re going to do one and say West Nebraska, where it is predominantly a white audience or white families to us, that was so important because I’m moved to diversity area where there’s a different wealth status out there.
You can still say, Hey, let’s work very strategically to reach families that may not have what you have. And that may look differently than what you look because. The first person that one of the first things we’re asked is are you reaching black communities because black communities are a little bit more quiet about this?
Are you reaching communities that sign language or have an immigration background? Let me say it like that. And so we have it all and that’s important to us. We want people to feel reached and loved and engaged and seen. So that’s important to us. I love
David Hirsch: it. Uh, keep up the good work. Um, we’ll have to do a followup interview a year, a couple of years down the road and
Jarell Roach: all
David Hirsch: transpired.
So I’m wondering what impact, uh, Korea and Jeremiah situation has had on their siblings, your marriage and the rest of your family, or a larger family for that matter.
Jarell Roach: Oh man, that’s a loaded question. I’m gonna let you into my internal process a little bit. After we got over ourselves. And what might feel like embarrassment.
We realized we brought those children into the world. You have those moments and they’re very short. Well, you’re just like, Ugh, I don’t, and they’re very short lived there. They’re cautious because you know, your kids can sometimes be loud at a movie theater. But we go anyways and we got to correct the whole time.
We were like, well, we’re not here to watch the movie. So like, but they are, you know, and that’s important. And so when we get over that, we realize we are in partnership with our kids for the rest of our lives. My dad taught me that I watched him get up and still do his work. You know, being my mom, I watched her battle through all she could to still be a phenomenal mother.
It’s woke our church up to the idea of special needs ministry. And so we watched people come around our kids to say, how can we love you? Our two special needs kids get loved in a way different way. You know, here’s a little internal process. My older son said, Hey, man, I like to bring friends over and maybe even a girl once, but I just think the kids would be too loud, you know?
And my first knee jerk reaction was like, how dare you? And I thought, man, I’ve had that thought process before, too. So then when we backtrack. I had to go son, come on girls like your little brother, way more than they like you, kisses and hugs. All right. And, uh, but as a, as a joke, when I really said that, too, but as a joke, as a joke, we said that, but we had to walk through that with him just as an internal process.
I also had to be able to tell our family, don’t give our kids Jeremiah Caria, unneeded attention. They don’t get unneeded discipline. Because, because we’re wondering what people think let’s not do that no more. Who cares what people think. Right. We brought these kids into this world to hold them high with honor as ministers.
We want to do that for anybody else. So how does God look at us, man? You know, he’s not like in public, Hey, be quiet. I don’t know what people are gonna think. You know, he tells us very brightly and our kids are living very brightly. And if someone got to attitude, I might go back into golden glove. I’m just playing.
But like, if someone has an attitude, we go, that’s how we have to learn how to love, consider it. So we don’t let our kids go anywhere and run a muck. Right. But if Jeremiah’s kind of doing his language thing and he’s screaming, cause he’s excited and he screens cause he’s upset. We’re not like, Oh, let’s not protect everybody.
We say let’s guard for his heart. Let’s just realize that they loud too. And let’s just keep it moving, you know? And so those have been some evolving things. We watch families and communities come around and garden love our kids that has opened us up and it is humbled us. We want we’ve helped. We’ve had people come around to help us let go.
You know, and go, our kids are going to be okay. We don’t want to see them get embarrassed and make fun of, because we’ve seen that we’ve seen other kids make fun of our kids. You know, we’ve seen adults kind of poke fun beyond restaurants and you know, that, just that, that just, that tips me so fast. And so I had to work on letting go of some things and it’s really taught us how to be really good parents.
And it’s taught us how to be really good children to, to, you know, cause we’re still children to our parents. They taught us how to appreciate our parents a whole lot more. Oh man. So many life lessons. It’s taught us how to had a guard for all of our kids. You know, how to guard for our older kid who was very intellectual and very independent.
And our little daughter, who’s very independent, how we shouldn’t forget about them and how we should love them with just as much attention. Right. Oh man. Holy moly. That gets me right now. And, um, This is just what I want to do. My whole life parenting has just been so important to me. And, uh, uh, yeah, man.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for sharing. I think what I heard you say is that, uh, you have to take ownership. Yes, you are the parents, but you have to embrace this. You’re the ones that brought them into the world. And at some level you have to get over. The, uh, extra attention that your child or children might draw because of their behavior and get over the embarrassment and just to clip that, right.
That’s just who they are. You’d like to think that everybody has that right level of enlightenment, but you know that if your are not a parent to a child with special needs, How in the world would you get that enlightenment really
Jarell Roach: right.
David Hirsch: What you need to do as the leader, right? The person who’s sort of more knowledgeable and understanding of this has helped protect, not like guard, you know, keep away from, but, you know, um, be that shock absorber, that bumper
Jarell Roach: that’s right.
David Hirsch: I mean, your family. If you will, the larger world, and hopefully there is some learning we’re bridging that gap between the special needs community and the broader community.
Jarell Roach: Yes.
David Hirsch: We’re all beneficiaries. We’re all the benefactors of, you know, these experiences. And, uh, anyway, I admire the work that you do, not only with your own family, but, uh, beyond.
So thanks again for sharing. Were there any supporting organizations that. Your family has relied on, on Korea and Jeremiah. Yeah.
Jarell Roach: Yeah. Um, our autism society here in Omaha, the school system has been phenomenal to our kids. The church is watching the church come around and love our kids, um, small groups. So like we have bounce house night.
Autism moms, I think is what is called Dexter’s dream and hope I’m saying that, right. That was a family that also have the special needs kiddo. They’re nonprofit. They’re in Iowa. They came around to help us fulfill this dream and then get things launched Thanksgiving church right here in our office immunity, man, that says, we want to learn and grow with you.
We want to give you opportunities. We want to stand with you the military and how they’re doing, trying to branch out to say, let’s be more specific to that specialty, these family, you know, we’re not alone family from state to state if you will. But we are very much in our work where in and out of our house a lot.
I guess we do travel though. States and countries do missions work, but yeah, so many different organizations, Monroe Myers, they were a phenomenal organization.
David Hirsch: Well, it’s great that you’ve had so many different supporting organizations in your family. Uh, sometimes like you said, people get isolated and they, um, sort of, uh, not intentionally, but maybe unintentionally, you know, they sort of, uh, Stay home, you know, it’s easier, less confrontational.
And you know, that’s obviously maybe the path of least resistance, but that’s not going to work longterm right. For you or your family. And, you know, so I admire the fact that you’ve just gone out there and live life, right. The way it should be.
Jarell Roach: Yes, sir.
David Hirsch: Those of your typical kids and your atypical kids. So, um, you haven’t really talked much about it, but, uh, a good part of your work that you do is in the name of youth for Christ.
What is it you do for that organization?
Jarell Roach: Youth for Christ? I love it. I work as a campus life director and our goal is to really go where kids are and share the hope of Jesus. But even before kids believe our goal is that they know they belong to community and that they belong. Among adults that they know and they trust because sometimes there’s a disassociation.
And also that they know, and the church knows there’s a bridge there to be built. And we build, we use the campus life model to plant ministry sites at different schools. Or, uh, sometimes churches will allow us to host it, or people will allow us to host it in their houses. And our goal is to do life with kids.
And we have several venues, experiences, events that happen throughout the course of the year, in addition to staying in contact with our kids on a weekly basis. And so I am assigned to a community that I live in called Bellevue, and we currently have three ministry sites and Bellevue could be potentially starting another.
And then I have two sites outside of Bellevue. One’s a juvenile justice center and one’s like a rec center, um, that I’ve visited on a regular basis. And then I will be helping to start sites with the organization as we’re pushing into the bigger, greater Omaha area, you know, cause we are in our surrounding areas around Omaha.
But our goal now is to put into the large Omaha area that has several schools, middle school and high school. And then lastly, I work as a national, like a national representative, so I speak and I share it. Camps and conferences. And things of that nature.
David Hirsch: Yeah. It’s amazing work that you do. And I hope that it continues to expand.
Yes, sir. You do a lot of speaking, not only in the name of youth for Christ, but uh, public speaking. How would you describe that? And the work you do as a comedian?
Jarell Roach: Yes. So it is under the, uh, the J Roach presentations platform is what I call it. And our goal is to elevate. Empower and to entertain. If I’m doing those three in most occasions, I feel like I’m totally doing the will of God.
The bathroom sitting in the toilet.
we’re just starting to kick off this, this idea of hope hood. Is that the hood, if you will, your neighborhood or the people that you do hope with hope is creating standards, raising the expectation and evolving your anticipation, what you anticipate. We want to be able to look at the past and go, we can’t get better because look at what we’ve overcome.
We can be wiser because look at what we’ve done. And we want to be able to share in hood, if you will neighborhood with the people that we do hope. And so comedy speaking, preaching and seeing hosting panels really takes us around the nation to build hope. And so comedy, um, we have this to where that kind of got interrupted, but I’m still working it called the hilarious hope tour.
And our goal was to take comedy and story. Because comedians tell stories, but there’s an intensity about me. There’s this funniness, but there’s this thing. Oh, that’s not funny. That’s actually really serious, you know? And so how can I turn, you know, being a, a father, especially needs father into comedy, but there’s some areas I just don’t touch.
And there’s some areas that I do, you know, like I have a whole bit about potty training Jeremiah. Oh my goodness. Right. And our goal is to take the hilariousness of life in places yet. Share the same intensity of building hope, man. And so, yeah, we do comedy, uh, but at the same time, I might talk about how I overcame my alcoholic addiction and the funniness in that.
But yet there’s a depth and seriousness to that because that’s opened up so many conversations and then. You get invitations to go to drug rehabs, and now people are laughing and crying at the same time and that’s really ugly, but it’s very fun.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, it’s a, it’s a pretty challenging subject, uh, right.
Something serious like drug and alcohol abuse or special needs and mix it or intertwine it with comedy and yeah. You know, you’re gifted in a way that, uh, most people wouldn’t be, and you can relate for your own life’s experience, whether it’s drawing drug and alcohol abuse or being a parent of a child or children with special needs, it gives you the license really on to talk about these things in an authentic way.
No, it doesn’t have to be, the glass is half empty. That’s what I’m saying, right? You’re saying, Hey, I’m embracing this. These are real issues. Come on. We’re going to make a light of this. And hopefully other people are going to be able to see the light and benefit from that too. So I love what you’re doing.
So under the banner of advice, I’m wondering if there’s any important takeaways beyond what we’ve just talked about that you’d like to share with a dad or a parent for that matter. Who’s raising a child with.
Jarell Roach: Yeah. Um, let me talk from my internal process a little bit, um, and just be very authentic. Um, if I talk around the ballpark, forgive me, but this is what I would say, learn what it means to give a hundred percent of your parenting to that child.
You know, for me, it really is me trusting God. Right? How do you father 14 billion people over history, you know, like, and that might not be everyone’s conclusion. So you have to learn what that a hundred percent looks like and aim towards and go toward three day, every part of the day. Right. And then also in marriage too, like I hide behind the children because that can be really stressful.
I’ve learned that when parents are on a core. And they’re focusing on how they can give a hundred percent to their relationship. It doesn’t mean you spend time together all the time. It just means that you make quality time out of what you have. I would say those are my underlining truth, man, because the people you live with and Dubai with really do matter.
And one day they’re going to remember the way you treated them. And they’re going to remember the way you took time with him. And they’re going to remember how you went out of your way to guard for them and to love them and to give them their best accountability. That was probably one, but the second thing I would say, um, there’s three, take yourself.
Seriously. I know people say, oftentimes take yourself. I mean, don’t take yourself so serious and I know why people say that that’s true because sometimes we can really be hard on ourselves, but realize there is one view to contribute in your daily life, around you. And it really does matter. And the reason I know why it matters is because it always matters when you’re God people remember you for the very best.
And they miss you when you’re gone, whether you’re gone out of home for a long time or your life is so. And so realize that you really do matter seriously. Our days are, are a week. We like to be short, but our days are long. I’ve lived 365 days for 37 years. That’s a long time. That’s a lot of hours. Right.
And my mom, that was a lot of gray hairs. And so my wife too, but she tries to dial them now. And, uh, the last, the last thing is if you, if you, if you can testify to this, there was just something beyond just the physical, social, and mental aspects of life there. To me, there’s something way deeper in the spirit life.
It’s spirit. It’s faith is what we believe in. And I don’t want to proselytize to people, but I just have realized in my life I can not give people just practical things. Like you got to realize there was something deep down in our soul that even yet, even though it’s in us, it is way outside of us. And it is way larger than us.
And it was. It is like a great concoction of what was and is, is to come. And if we, if we take those three things and we focus on those three tanks, you will arrive at your next birthday. Uh, Dave, how old are you, David? How old are
David Hirsch: 59?
Jarell Roach: So you will arrive at the 16 year old version of yourself. I will arrive, arrive at the 38 year old version of myself, giving them what is owed to them because you remember you weren’t asked to be here either.
So we owe it to ourselves to take ourselves seriously and to show up. And I think that’s what it’s about, man. 100%. Because when it’s over, it’s over.
David Hirsch: Thank you again for sharing pearls of wisdom. Great words of advice. So why you have agreed to be a mentor father as part of the Special Fathers Network?
Jarell Roach: Man, because it goes back to my philosophy.
Everyone should be mentoring someone somewhere. And when I realized at that soul level that our lives are so interconnected, then I realized running into someone at a fear, like a wonderfully made conference that says, I got to introduce you to a guy named Dave. And then I’ve earned into a guy named Dave and I fall in love with him.
Cause I’m like, yo, he reminds me of fathers. I grew up with and look, this guy never knew me, but in his soul, as we need to reach men now on. Four 13, 2020. Here we go. So thank you, David. And if you didn’t believe that in your own heart, look at all these opportunities, that would be missed.
David Hirsch: You see what I’m saying?
I get it. Yeah. So let’s give a shout out to that guy at the wonderfully made conference. John Felageller for introducing.
Jarell Roach: Yes. So that’s why that’s when the moment he said that, I said, heck yeah, man, like without a shadow of a doubt, that is my life’s rhythm. Yeah. You just tell me where I need to go.
What I need to do, brother. Literally. That’s what I told him. That was what I told him. Yeah.
David Hirsch: That’s all. Well, I’m glad to make your acquaintance. Um, is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Jarell Roach: I just want to thank you for real. You’re a hero in this nation and I realized long ago, you don’t need to wear a uniform to do it.
You need to show it with purpose and our dads, our fathers. We need to keep pushing in to that man. A hundred percent. A hundred percent. So thank you for your service to this nation. Thank you for being selfless for taking your time to do this for taking your time and say, I will mentor somebody somewhere in here.
It is a young black brother out in Nebraska, far away. Bam. Yeah, man. It look at what you’re doing. Look at what you’re doing. So, thank you.
David Hirsch: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Jarell Roach: Yeah, man.
David Hirsch: So if somebody wants to learn more about youth for Christ, our gathering place, your public speaking, your comedy, or just to contract you, what’s the best way to go about doing that?
Jarell Roach: Oh, most of it is on my website at jroachpresentations.com. On Facebook and Instagram I’m @jarellroach my first and my last name. And I try to keep a journey of the things that we’re accomplishing and the things that we’re doing. My wife is in all my profile photos. You cook there, you find her, you find stuff about her and our gathering place.
She leads that even though
she never includes me, and this is what we’ve been up there, but, uh, it’s great. Um, and so we, we tell people, find us. We, the only reason we believe we exist on social media is to share hope so. Well, you don’t play around, man. That’s what it’s about for us.
David Hirsch: Well, we’ll include that in the show notes. Thank you again.
Jarell Roach: Yes, sir.
David Hirsch: Jarell, thank you again for taking the time in many insights as well. Reminder, Jarell is just one of the dads who’s agreed to be a mentor father as part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs. If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation to your own, please go to 21stcenturydads.org.
Thank you for listening to the most recent episode of the Special Fathers Network, dad to dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know, the 21st Century Dads Foundation is a 501 c3, not for profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free.
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Jarell, thanks again.
Jarell Roach: Thank you so much. Woo.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast presented by the Special Fathers Network.
The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs. Through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers, go to 21stcenturydads.org. That’s 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com, groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: If you enjoy this podcast, please be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen.
The dad to dad podcast is produced by Couch Audio for the Special Fathers Network. Thanks for listening.