First of all, I want to say I love you. Because I do not say it enough.
You weren’t the first man that I called “Dad,” but you were the first one to earn it.
Thank you for always having an open listening ear, for all of the late night drives around town where I could talk to you about anything and everything happening in my life – from all the juicy gossip to my hopes and dreams. Although you do not always get enough credit for all that you do, I really do appreciate you, Dad.
Thank you for loving me as your own.
I understand how hard it can be to love and accept someone else’s child, and I thank you for never making me feel like I didn’t belong.
Thank you for teaching me that I am worth something.
Thank you for always put my happiness and wellbeing before yours throughout the years. Thank you for making sure I never went to bed sad, for sacrificing sleep just to stay up talking to me about the things that were bothering me. Thank you for giving me the most honest advice you possibly could give, and for giving me the strength to face life head on.
Thank you being so forgiving. For all those times I lied, the endless nights I was late for curfew, the arguments we would have over whether or not my clothing was acceptable. Throughout it all you never left. You never made me feel like I was a failure and you always, always apologized for making me feel belittled or upset.
But most of all, thank you for stepping up and taking his place.
You showed me that a man could be kind, and a father could stay. You picked up all of the broken pieces and filled the void in my heart from my absent father. For that I cannot thank you enough. Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. Over the years, we struggled to bond. I wanted my father. I pushed and pulled your love away. But you remained steady. It’s taken me years to realize that when a parent abandons a child, it shows that child that they aren’t worth knowing. But Dad, you never left. You knew how important it was for me to encounter a father figure that would never leave or forsake me. And that was the greatest gift you could have ever given me. That is more precious than having my biological father in the picture. For that, I can never thank you enough.