Leah AchaneIt's a big win for fathers everywhere! Sgt. Terry Achane, the soldier dad who made headlines last year when his wife put up their daughter for adoption without telling him, has gotten his baby back!

The ruling from a Utah court reverses the adoption of Teleah Achane by Jared and Kristi Frei, who were able to adopt the little girl they called Leah based only on the consent of mother Tira Bland. Bland is now Achane's ex-wife, and it turns out she had allegedly told Achane she was going to have an abortion while he was stationed at a United States Army base in South Carolina.

Instead she gave birth to a baby girl in Utah while Achane was serving our country on active duty, and court documents show she provided an old address for the adoption agency to reach him. When that (naturally) didn't work, the agency pushed the adoption by the Freis through the system.

The judge's decision to return the little girl to her biological dad doesn't fix all the wrong that's been done. The Freis have been hurt. Terry Achane has been hurt. This little girl is no doubt going to be confused and hurt for at least awhile as she adapts to life with the dad she never got to know.

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But it sends an important message to the world. Dads matter.

They're not the same as moms. They're not better than moms. They're a different entity entirely, and they're important in their kids' lives.

Just last night, my husband looked at me and said -- in the midst of a conversation about parenting -- that he really "enjoys being [our daughter's] father." The look in his eyes was one I have only seen a few times, but perhaps the first time was the day I gave birth. He didn't carry her; he didn't go through labor. But he is as in love with and as committed to our child as I am, and he will go to the ends of the earth and back to make her happy, to protect her.

In a world where stay-at-home dads are still called wimps by some other members of their gender, guys like my husband may seem to be in the minority. But I have a feeling it's the other way around.

There are crappy dads out there. But there are millions of good ones out there too. Just look at Terry Achane. He has fought tooth and nail to get his baby girl back after the horror of having her put up for adoption without his knowledge.

Now he can show the world that the court agrees -- he matters. Dads matter.

Check out Terry Achane and his sweetie:

Is there a dad in your life who matters? What would he have done in Terry Achane's shoes?

 

Image via ABC News