10 Things I Wish My Dad Knew

I met my dad when I was 13. Biologically he isn’t related to me. I was 14 when I went to live with him. He was 22. After my biological father lost custody of my younger brother and I we ended up in foster care. My aunt who is 15 years older than me and her husband at the time got temporary custody of us until a permanent solution could be found. My dad was a step father to two children and a first time father to a six month old when we moved in. Due to my biological father being abusive I was weary of being around another man. My new guardians were the complete opposite of the abusive monsters I had sadly become used to. Five kids alone under one roof is a handful and a half. But five kids, multiple court hearings, supervised visitations, foster certification, and two full time jobs was other worldly chaos. Not once have my aunt and her now ex-husband complained about the circumstances or obstacles they faced to get my brother and I home. Home. For the first time since I could remember I had not one but two people that made sure I finished my homework, held me when I was sick or sad, made sure I knew that I was loved every day, and chose to be in my life. After almost two years, they divorced and I expected not to see the only man that had shown me what it was like to have a kind and loving dad. But he didn’t walk away. In the four years since the divorce, he has been there for proms, graduation, birthdays, and Christmases. There are no words to describe the gratitude and love I have for the dad that chose me and never changes his mind. But I decided to try:

  1. When you remember my favorite drink or favorite food it makes me feel more loved than my biological father ever made me feel. You actually pay attention to me and care.
  2. I want to make you proud. You’re opinion of me holds more weight than almost any one in life. I want you to be proud to have me as a daughter.
  3. I hope one day I find a man as kind, hardworking, loving, goofy, and selfless as you.
  4. You showed me how a real man treats his kids, wife, family, and strangers. I know not to settle for less than a real man.
  5. Your time and love mean more to me than any gift or money you could ever give me.
  6. I’m always going to be grateful for you stepping up to be my parent so young. 22 is awful young to be a dad to a traumatized 15 year old.
  7. If I ever get married you’re the man that will walk me down the aisle. No other man could ever be good enough to give me away.
  8. I will come up with a cute nickname for my kids to call you. You’ll be to young and handsome to be Papa or Grandpa.
  9. I love when people ask me who my parents are because I get to tell them I have someone as special as you that loves me.
  10. I believe in myself more than ever because of you. You always support me and cheer me on. You make sure I know that you know I can accomplish things before I start to believe in my own.

Thank you for being you! You have changed my whole world.

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