OK, so maybe I wasn’t there from Day One in her life, but for the past six-plus years I’ve been there for every important milestone in her life, as I’ve watched her evolve into an extraordinary young woman.
This past weekend was one such momentous occasion. When she left our house with her date for her senior prom, I was trying to play the role of “cool, laid-back dad,” yet on the inside I had this undeniable feeling in my gut that was an equal mix of happiness (for her), sadness (that she was growing up too fast) and nostalgia (thinking about how far we’ve come as a family).
God has blessed me with a pair of kids that are more incredible than I could have ever envisioned or asked for. Chawney and her brother, JR (now 15) are amazing blessings in my life. Not one time have I heard the ever-popular stepchild phrase, “I don’t have to listen to you … you’re not my father!”
In fact, I can only think of one time that I’ve ever even felt it necessary to really raise my voice. Really. Only once in more than six years. That’s unheard of – and it is a tremendous testament to my wife and her determination to raise them the right way.
So when Chawney approached me about adopting her some time ago, I was flattered. I was honored. I still am.
In the weeks leading up to this event we’ve both been a bit cavalier about it, thinking that nothing will really change except her last name. But right now, I can think of very little else, as my excitement builds more and more.
I love you, Chawney. Thank you for being you, and thank you for wanting to be my daughter. You’ve made one of my lifelong dreams come true.
You’ll have to excuse me for bragging about my kid. That’s just what dads do.
Congratulations, John. You are the proud father of a beautiful girl!