This doesn't start like most 'how babies are made' stories. It begins with a super janky dating website because the early 2000s didn't have many options. Once upon a time, two single people signed up for a dating website and ended up coming out on the other side soul mates — Johnny from Cape Cod & Nikki from Maine.
Johnny had a sweet yellow lab named Hannah. Nikki had possibly a hamster at the time, but the real plot twist is when I tell you Nikki had not one... not two... but FOUR kids. I was one of those four kids, the oldest.
I was about eight at the time and watched this dude not only treat my mom like a QUEEN, but I watched him jump full force into "step-dad" mode from the moment he met us. The only father figure I had known was a deadbeat drug addict who caused more harm than good.
"Actions speak louder than DNA."
He later fought alongside my mom with everything they had to get full custody to keep us safe. Then he went a step further and legally adopted us as his own. This guy went from single life with a dog to married with four kids at lightening speed. I still remember sitting in the courthouse that day. The day my last name changed to Bean. The day it was official that I had a real dad.
He dove head first into parenthood. He orchestrated these fun family outings, cooked meals, and ran errands. Even dealing with the not such fun stuff like setting boundaries and cleaning up enough bodily fluids for a lifetime when everyone in the house but him got sick with a stomach virus.
He coached soccer teams, did carpool, helped us make dorky gifts for our mom on holidays. Read us bedtime stories. He was there to buy tampons and chocolate. Bought me flowers when I got my heart broken by a silly boy.
He always made sure we had what we needed.
He was there for it all.
Happy Father's Day!
Thank you for not being scared off and taking a chance on a crazy situation. You jumped into this and always made us feel like we were a bonus to mom, never something negative.
Thank you for never loving us any less when you and mom had another baby.
Thank you for being a rock through the tough times.
Thank you for being the type of person to drop everything at a moments notice because one of us needed something.
Thank you for teaching me how to drive and dropping all your life advice into our car rides.
Thank you for being there through my phase of crappy boyfriends telling and me they weren't good enough. And for walking me down the aisle on my wedding day when I found my one.
Thank you for being the type of man I wanted to name my Son after, and for being the best Poppi ever.
But most of all, thank you for stepping up and for choosing us when you didn't have to. For loving us and fighting for us.
Thank you for giving me a life with a real dad.