This I Believe

Erica - Bismarck, North Dakota
Entered on January 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

I believe that father’s are a critical part in a child’s life. Not for just wrapping bruises and wrestling on the carpet until you have rug burn from your ankle to your hip, but for their role in modeling what it means to be a man.

Growing up, I had both parents, one I shared blood with, the other I did not. He never ever brought up the fact that he had adopted me around the time I was three, and it was never put in front of me that I had come with my mom like sort of combo meal at McDonald’s. Then came my half-sister, Somer, who was nothing less than daddy’s perfect little helper. I was often highly jealous of her, because I could never share that kind of bond that the two of them did.

Turn the clock ahead to the summer after I turned that wonderful age of inquisitorial wonder; sixteen. I was sitting in the car with my mother as she drove me to the local shelter’s at the zoo to meet my father. My pulse was skyrocketing–I was finally going to meet the man who helped create me. My hopes were flattened. He was nothing like I had expected, and yet he seemed so eager to meet me. Why had I been forced to make the first move? Instead of a proud and heroic figure, standing before me was a man who was frightened to even meet me, to even look at me at times.

For years I’d questioned what it would be like to really have a father, one I would share things with and be happy with, one I’d call ‘dad’ and really mean it. I later realized I had

had a father all along. One who raced to finish shoveling the rest of his client’s driveways so he could see my band performance, one who made me coffee for no special reason, one who showed me what being a true father is. His blood isn’t in me, but that doesn’t matter–he and I share a bond through the heart, and I‘m perfectly content with that.