Fatherhood: The Story of Chris Oliver
Fayetteville, North Carolina, June 13, 2013
Meet Chris Oliver, a WestPoint graduate, former Army man, government contractor, member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., March of Dimes volunteer and board member but more importantly, he is a father.
Oliver’s journey to fatherhood began when he met his wife, Stephanie in September of 2001. “We met at a frat party on a Saturday and our first date was the next day,” he said through laughter. The pair were married 5 years later and decided to start trying for children in 2010.
In preparation for a family, Oliver decided it was time to make a career change. “I decided to leave the Army to focus more on my family. Hats off to those who have families and serve. But for me, I had the opportunity to be at home more, so I made the best decision for me and my family.”
The Olivers were elated to discover they were pregnant in January of 2011 with a little boy. “We were so thankful to have a child on the way,” he said.
According to Oliver, the pregnancy coincided with his wife’s last semester of nursing school, resulting in Stephanie completing her nursing residency while pregnant. Oliver acknowledges that his career transition and Stephanie’s residency while pregnant was not easy. “We for sure had a lot going on, but at the end of the day, I just wanted her [Stephanie] to be comfortable. I wanted to do everything I could to make sure she and our child were good.”
Baby Joshua was born September 21, 2011, exactly 10 years after Chris and Stephanie officially started dating. Joshua not only was full term but made his debut into the world a week later than his Mother’s due date.
“The first time I saw Joshua was surreal,” said Oliver. “I kept thinking to myself, “This is really happening.””
When asked what inspired him to get involved with the March of Dimes, Oliver replied, “it’s important for everybody who has kids to be involved with March of Dimes. While waiting on my son to be born, I met many fathers of preemies. That experience made me so thankful Joshua was full-term. After meeting so many preemie dads, I wanted to learn more about prematurity.”
Oliver is currently a dedicated volunteer and serves as Vice President of the March of Dimes Cape Fear Division’s Board.
Today Joshua is a thriving toddler.
“We are supposed to care for those who cannot care for themselves. Babies definitely fall into that category. Everybody is impacted by March for Dimes,” stated Oliver. “Even people who have healthy babies have been touched by the March of Dimes. For example, the knowledge women got on folic acid consumption to help prevent neural tube birth defects. March of Dimes research funded that! You’re impacted by the March of Dimes whether you know it or not.”
Happy Father's Day to Chris and dads everywhere...
Pictured: Chris with his son Joshua.
Pictured: Chris with his wife and son.