My Family:
A Special Dad

by Tamara Elizabeth Huckabee

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    I guess I’ve always felt that I’m my father’s favorite child. But I can’t be, because he must be shared with my five brothers and four sisters. I’m number two, a girl, and 17 years old. My name is Tamara.

    When I was little, I was a sickly child. Dad would often give me a blessing while mom held me. He has so much faith. I always got better.

    As I grew older, dad taught me how to throw a baseball, grow a garden, drive a truck, and fish. He even had enough patience to teach me how to fix a bicycle, not to mention how to ride one.

    When I got old enough to drive, he was a stake missionary, and I was able to take the sister missionaries places they needed to go. I loved it. Even when I was a small child and couldn’t understand, dad always told me that the gospel is true. You see, dad is a convert to the Church. Mom and he were baptized after I was born. He has a strong testimony and has shared it with me. He always takes us to church; he always stresses that it is important to go to church.

    I remember when I went to a daddy-daughter date with him. We sang a song together, and everyone there square danced. He was the life of the party. I was so proud. Then there was the time I was going on a pioneer trek with handcarts for a week. He gave me a blessing that I would have strength enough to do it. I got sick, but not so sick that I couldn’t finish. Again I was glad my dad held the priesthood.

    On school field trips, he always came along and would sing songs with us. He has always been a tower of strength and spirituality to me. When we moved to Washington, he knew I felt bad, and he made it easier by just being there to talk to. He always asks me what I’m doing and how I’m doing in it. He cares so much for everyone in our family, but to me it seems he does much more than that.

    The eight children younger than I were adopted. My older sister and I are the only natural children of our parents. Each time we adopted another one, dad would send us to the bishop to get temple recommends. Just recently, the last child was sealed to our family. Now, after my dad says family prayer or holds family counsel, I think of how long it has taken us to progress this far and how much more we must do to gain the celestial kingdom.

    I’m proud of my dad. I love him and he loves us. I hope someday my kids will look at their dad and say, “I’m so proud of him; he’s my dad.”

    The Bill Huckabee family moved to Richland, Washington, a little over a year ago. They joined the Church in 1964 while living in California. Since that time, they have adopted eight children to add to their two daughters, Kim and Tamara.

    To encourage their children and teach them how to work, Bill and Carol bought a hamburger stand. The drive-in is operated as a family project from April to Thanksgiving. The children have a chance to learn responsibility and to earn their own money. Bill is a full-time plant manager.

    Tami is 17 years old and is a big help to her mother while her older sister, Kim, is away at college. She often cares for her younger brothers and sisters while her mother stays in the hospital with the youngest, Jason, as certain medical difficulties are corrected.

    Tami is active in high school activities and was recently chosen to be one of seven to represent the state of Washington in a mock legislature held in Washington, D.C. She sings and plays the piano both in church and at community functions.

    Tell Us about Your Family

    The New Era is starting a new department called “My Family.” this section of the magazine will give the youth of the church a chance to talk about their families or a member of their family.

    If you would like to submit something you have written about your family send it to “My Family,” The New Era, 50 East North Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150. Please include your name, address, and telephone number. You will be contacted and paid if your selection is chosen.

    Bill and Carol Huckabee attend the Richland Washington Fifth Ward, Richland Washington Stake, with their ten children. They are, from left to right top: David, 14; Bill and Carol; Jason, 3; Jared, 13; Lisa, 4; Tamara, 17; left to right bottom, Amy, 5; Amanda, 7; and Bryan, 15. Not pictured are Kim, 20, who was away at college, and Ron, 12, who was at Scout camp (Photo by Brian K. Kelly.)