Father of Mine

Posted: July 28, 2011 in Family, Life
Tags: , , , ,

I’m about to drop a bombshell. Actually, for those of you who know me and are reading this, this will be yesterday’s news. And by yesterday’s news I mean it’s about 22 years old. Either way, here’s the scoop. My dad, the guy who would do anything for me and my brother and sister, the guy who will STILL play catch with you if you ask him, the guy who has one of the most recognizable laughs I know–not mine. I’ve only known him since I was five or so, which makes my brother and sister my HALF brother and sister. (Insert audience gasps here).

The first five years of my life, I didn’t have a dad, which I think is probably why my grandpa played such a huge role in my life. I remember my real dad (a term I hate and will explain why later) being around when I was four or five–and when I say I remember him being around I remember a guy with a big black beard and that’s about it. You know what though? I don’t ever remember caring a whole lot that he wasn’t around. In high school I went through a phase where I wondered how someone could just give up rights to their kid (which he did when I was six so that I could be legally adopted by my dad). He lived in the same county we did and with all the sports I played and with how consistently I was in the paper–I didn’t understand how he could see that and not have some sort of emotion evoked in him. Although, to be fair, maybe he did.

Of course sometimes I wonder about how things would have been different, and I know that I have other siblings–but at the end of the day, I don’t want things to be different. There’s never really been a part of me that wants to be that person who starts some crazy cross country search for their real dad. Going back to up above and the reason I hate the term “real dad,” for all intensive purposes…he’s not real. Not to me. I have no memories of him except that beard, and as far as I know, I don’t look like him, or possess any of his traits. Instead I get told I look like my sister. I get told that my brother and I are pretty much the exact same person. I can sit and talk about sports for hours with my REAL real dad.

Here’s the thing. There are plenty of people out there right now who don’t have anyone in their lives that they can even come close to referring to as family. So automatically, just by having the family I did growing up, even without a dad…I’m luckier than most. But than you know what happened? My mom married someone who didn’t shy away from the fact that she had a six year old daughter. In fact, rather than shy away, he adopted me–and from that day forward, I was his. I’ve never called him by his first name, I’ve never referred to him as my stepdad–because he’s not. He’s the guy that shaped the morals and values that I have today. He’s the guy who taught me how to throw a softball (it should be noted here he did a damn fine job in that department). He’s the guy who helped me carve pumpkins at Halloween and taught me how to wrap the ends on presents (he’s an excellent present wrapper). He’s the guy who even when I got in trouble didn’t judge me–he didn’t throw up his hands and walk away. It wasn’t always easy, but that didn’t have anything to do with the fact that we’re not blood related–that just had to do with the fact that I was an adolescent and he was one of my parents. He’s the guy who now I think I appreciate even more than I ever have. He’s my dad and if you know me, you know he did one hell of a job in raising such a fine young lady. πŸ™‚

I don’t know how many of you are in a situation where you maybe don’t know one or both of your biological parents. And if you want to go find them, that’s your choice. I will admit that sometimes I’d like to know purely from a medical history standpoint, but I figure if I end up with something that doesn’t run on my mom’s side–I’ll know where it came from. But know this. Someone contributing to the fact that you were born doesn’t equate with them being your parent, your confidant, or your friend. You may feel like you were abandoned, or like you weren’t good enough, but then you know what you do? You turn around and you look at ALL the people who were brought into your life as a result and you sigh. A happy sigh. A content sigh. Because you know. You know it doesn’t matter that you don’t have a “real dad” or a “real mom” because you have all the real you need right in front of you, and you thank God for that every day.

  1. cdub says:

    This brought tears to my eyes Steph! My oldest was adopted by my husband, who is the ONLY dad he’s ever had. His “real dad” didn’t bother to stick around. And we are all better off πŸ™‚

    • Stephanie says:

      Thanks Christy! I agree about being better off. Who knows…if things hadn’t panned out the way they did for me I maybe wouldn’t even know you…and who wants that?!!? πŸ™‚

  2. Angie Winkler says:

    *tear* This struck home for me as Lydia doesn’t “know” her “real’ dad, she just knows who he is. He is the guy who gave up his rights to her when she was 4. Her only Dad is the one that adopted her that very same day πŸ™‚
    “Any man can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a Dad” ~Unknown

    • Stephanie says:

      I’m glad it hit home Angie! I mean in one sense…it sucks…but everything played out for the better…so it’s a good thing! Here’s to “real” dads we don’t miss! πŸ™‚

  3. wmarsau says:

    Outstanding Blog Steph! Sometimes dads are physically there, but not fully emotionally there. This can be very hard on the child. Somehow with time and God’s influence they can come around so you really shouldn’t ever give up on them. I am so lucky to have one of the kindest, most caring servants of God I know for a dad. I would not change him out with anyone. He is truly my hero.

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