Before this adventure scientifically called paternity, I was orphan of children. I was single. I was a dreamer. One day, I fell in love with the love of my life. We were glad we had found each other. It was magical and true. She had two children. She was going to introduce me to them. It was necessary. I was about to step, not in one life but in three. She and I were aware that the following decision had to be made by the kids.
D-day arrived; a day that was both awaited and dreaded. Then, in a magic twist like the one we felt during our recent trip to Disney, they adopted me, one Saturday morning of February during a family picnic right in the middle of the living room. Younggirl had cooked eggs with me, climbing on a cute little chair to see what she was doing. Youngboy accepted to lend me Flash McQueen. We watched Up!, cuddled up on the couch. The love of my life was smiling. I wasn’t an orphan anymore. It was decided on that day that I would become their adopted father. I was becoming a kind of bonus dad because they already have a father. They, Younggirl and Youngboy, had decided.
The adoption process was the first phase. The next one was going to be more complex and would certainly require a very long story to explain it and I would probably bore you. So let’s keep it short by saying that it wasn’t over after I had been adopted, because even when they adopt you, you can always go back to the starting point. Becoming the bonus dad of two children is kind of like adopting a little dog. At first, the new dad is cool so we keep him, but what if he doesn’t listen? What if he’s not clean? We take him back to the shelter. Oops!
Oh yes, stepping in an existing family is like getting on a battlefield, or almost. You have to keep in mind that they already existed before the bonus dad appeared. They have experience together, in their respective role. So it’s easy to panic when you realize that you must become a perfect dad in no time, especially if you are a person with high standards. It’s also very hard not to compare yourself with the “real dad” even if he practiced for a few years to become what he is now. But me, I had become an adopted father overnight and I had to act like an experienced dad with two children. I wanted to succeed. Not for people to look up to me. I just wanted us four to be as happy as possible.
I went ahead with trials and errors but aren’t that what new parents do too? I kept going with my eyes wide open.
My love and I had agreed that it had to go well with us two as well as with us four. It was easy for a while to feel like I was sitting on an ejection seat. To feel like a new member of the staff who didn’t know yet if he would pass his probation.
But in this adventure, I followed my instincts. And I can confirm that since our family picnic, I am a happy adopted dad. Younggirl and Youngboy have grown, I have too. I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I enjoy every moment spent talking about Black Sabbath and playing guitar with Younggirl. I smile every time Youngboy asks me something about superheroes, as if I was a specialist. I am happy every time I walk around a book fair with them because we all love books. I am more excited each time we talk about a new trip with the four of us. I love to work in my office and hear Youngboy and Younggirl invent stories and draw in the next room. I love cuddling while watching a movie with my love who falls asleep after fifteen minutes, Youngboy who screams at the TV and Younggirl who hurts my ribs when she seeks shelter because she is afraid of what will happen in the next scene.
Being adopted, really!
To be honest, we had our share of rough patches but, fortunately, I understood that these children would help me learn how to be a dad, that I wouldn’t be alone. My love also put her experience as a mom to contribution. We worked together, as a family.
Maybe it wasn’t the scream of a newborn that made me a dad but the smile of my love, the bright eyes of Younggirl and Youngboy authorizing me to play with his little cars did.
One day, you dream about true love. One day, you dream about being a dad. One day, you wonder if you will ever get that chance. One day, you are the father of two children after only three seconds and three smiles. That’s who I am. And I call this adventure… happiness.