Congratulations to FUANs July 2019 Advocate of the Month, Ryan Rupe.
Ryan joined the FUAN Family earlier this year and jumped straight into the deep end of the family law reform pool. Since then, he's proved he can swim with the best of them. In short Ryan's best quality and the reason that he has been named the FUAN Advocate of the Month is that he is not afraid to make waves.
Ryan has attended every Family Law Reform event within 200 miles since joining FUAN. He is never scared to ask questions, submit ideas, and be there as a motivator and leader for others. He is new, but within the family law reform movement, he has given us all more than enough reasons to be confident that he will evolve into a future national leader.
Ryan was born and raised in Ottumwa, IA. Shortly after he graduated from high school, he knew there was more to life than what the small community he grew up in could offer. Ryan took on his first big adventure and moved to Washington state.
There he joined the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and became part of an electrician's apprenticeship program. He began his education to become a journeyman electrician himself. After seven years in Washington, work dried up. Ryan decided it was time to move back home. He was able to transfer his credentials and continues to work for the IBEW.
Ryan met his wife after a year of living back in Ottumwa. They had been dating for around seven months when Ryan discovered that he was going to be a father, the product of a one-night stand.
Despite the unusual situation he found himself in, Ryan understood the importance of being an involved father. He values the parental bond that every child needs because Ryan's father was absent most of his life. He did not want his son to grow up without a father as he did.
Despite numerous efforts, the mother of the child fought vigorously to keep him away. He was asked to end all contact and blocked him from all forms of communication.
Things have not gotten any better in this situation. Nearly five years in the court system, Ryan is still fighting to be allowed to be a part of his son's life.
Amidst the turmoil of this battle, Ryan and his longtime girlfriend felt the unbridled joy of welcoming their own son into the world. They are experiencing all the joys and hardships that come with being a parent. All of the experiences that he has not been able to have with his firstborn son. Ryan and his girlfriend were married last year.
Ryan has two older step-children and two sons. The dynamic in his family makes him no stranger to how blended families can work together. Successfully blended families depend on the support from the other parents. The lack of parental support has been shown to cause problems for children.
Everyday struggles of the blend are evident, but so is the love and compassion everyone has for one another.
Just by luck, Ryan came across a group page about father's rights and Families United Action Network. He started looking into these organizations. Earlier this year he dove off the deep end, becoming an active advocate and has never looked back.
Ryan realized there are more dads than he thought who are fighting the good fight. Though their battles may not be the same, they can still fight alongside each other and support one another. There is strength in numbers. Ryan intends to continue to become more involved and gather more troops in this passionate fight for family law reform.
All the while, he continues to fight to have more time with his oldest son to show him that his Daddy loves and cares about him and that Dad will never give up on what is right. No matter what the cost.
We thank you for your involvement Ryan and congratulate you for being named FUAN advocate of the month.