He ordered cheese sticks at the restaurant, so of course I liked him. However, I still would not talk to him. All questions and comments from this chick-a-dee were sent strictly through my mother. It would have been hard to talk to the poor man-even if I wanted to- since I wouldn't even look at him! I sat with my back to him the whole meal. Mom had to remind me of his name when we went to the bathroom one time. His name brought about a hardcore giggle fit.
From that date on, he made sure I was included in everything possible and he made sure he was there for all events in my life possible. He never missed a cheering event if he did not have to work and he never missed a band performance in seven years unless he was working or ill. I can't begin to imagine to obscene amounts of band candy the man bought over the years. He watched me attempt a pageant. He dealt with my teenage drama and all of the crazy that went with it. He was there for all of the things that were important to me and supported me the best he could. He even tried to make up for the broken promises and down right hurtful things my birth-father managed to say and do.
Simply, he was and is my dad and he didn't have to be. It is not lost on me that he had a choice. That, at any point in the last 14 years, he could have thrown his hands up and walked away. I wasn't his responsibility, but he made me one. He could have chosen the route my birth-father did, but he didn't. Instead, he chose to love and encourage me in life. When you get down to it, isn't that what a dad is? I mean, this man, who started out as a complete stranger, who I attmitedly put through hell at times, gave me something DNA couldn't. My dad.