Born to be a Dad

Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Animal Assisted Therapy | 2 comments

Born to be a Dad

Parenthood is interesting. Some people go their entire lives wanting to be a parent. Some never want to have kids. Some plan pregnancies, and some don’t. But what makes you a parent? I think I had many thoughts on what a parent was before I became one myself. I think it’s fair to say that most of those thoughts have changed. I remember the moment I realized truly what it was to be a parent, to really, fully, 100% be a parent. It was when I saw Jared with Gabi for the first time.

Does it sound strange, considering the fact that I had at that moment already been a parent for 3.5 years? Well, unless you’ve seen him with kids I guess you may not get it completely. Up until that moment I had met a lot of parents, moms and dads alike, most of them wonderful parents. But seeing Jared with Gabi? It makes me tear up every time I think about it.

Yes, it is magical to have kids of your own – but to be a step dad (argh, I hate that word!), and to take on someone else’s kid(s) as your own? It proves that being a parent has nothing to do with biology. It’s way deeper than that. And while I knew that cognitively, Jared was the one who physically showed it to me.

He is born to be a dad. Simple as that. In the time we’ve spent together, I have never seen him deal with a situation with Gabi in a negative way. Humbling – as I make “mistakes” all the time. I get grumpy, moody, angry, tired, selfish – you name it. He doesn’t (at least not with Gabi, haha!).

I’m pretty good at observing, it’s what’s made me fairly good at what I do with dogs. I spend a lot of time taking in interactions between the animals, which are how I learned how they interact. Observing Jared and Gabi was such a new experience to me, so incredibly moving and humbling. It was selfless, playful, caring, protecting, and loving energy. It gave me new meaning of the word parenting.

There’s a saying that goes something like this; “Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.”

When Gabi was born, I left her father shortly after. We were never meant to be together, and it was never love. It made me sad, because of the selfish reason that I had always desperately wanted a family. A family that wasn’t broken. I knew I wanted more kids, not just one more, but several (number unknown). I wanted Gabi to have a dad, more than anything. I looked, was in a relationship or two – that most importantly taught me what I don’t want – and I learned a lot about myself.

When I met Jared, we were both kind of wounded souls. He was broken in ways I wasn’t, and vice versa. I can’t describe it in any other way than that it was meant to be. While we may not have healed each other, our relationship has made us heal (get the difference?) So, while our nuclear family will not be the stereotypical “perfect” family I always dreamed of (for that to happen I would have married my high school sweetheart, who never existed by the way, and we would have had created our little family after graduating college blah blah blah), our family is the most beautiful creation I ever thought I could be a part of.

The day that I took the pregnancy test is a day I will never forget. I just knew that I was pregnant, but was scared to believe it was true. Jared was in disbelief when I asked him to pick up the test at the pharmacy, because he has simply thought (and settled for the idea) that he couldn’t have kids. He was patiently telling me how “Sunniva, the test is going to be negative, you know that right?” while I was (not so patiently) telling him that “no, it will be positive – you just wait and see.”

Two lines. One very faded, but clearly – two lines. “Jared?” I ran out into the living room. “Come here for a second!” The look in his eyes I will never, ever forget. The man I knew was born to be a dad, who had had the desire to be for as long as he could remember, would finally get his wish.

Why was it so important that he would become a biological father too? Well, it wasn’t, not to him. He will always be Gabi’s dad, no matter what. And what made this pregnancy so magical (to us both) was the fact that it was more like a pleasant surprise than a “necessity.” A bonus. A gift.

What a ride it’s been. I sit here today, the day before father’s day, and I thank the higher powers of the universe for my life. Having met the love of my life, and to have started our uniquely perfect (in it’s imperfections) family together. It’s Jared’s second father’s day, but this one will be special. We discovered our path together, and it involves so much – but most importantly, parenthood.

Jared, happy father’s day… You are more deserving of the title “dad” or “father” than any other man I know. And now starts another journey for us. I trust you. And I’ve never trusted anyone. Having our baby here at home is the perfect way to end the pregnancy and start our new life. Just as I always dreamed it could be… I love you, deeper than I ever thought possible <3 The next quote sums up how I see you as a dad – made to be one, and pretty perfect!

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.  Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.”  “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply.  “We’re raising boys.”  ~Harmon Killebrew

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  1. great tribute Sunniva! Im so happy that you have the family you so wanted, and Im so happy that Jared gets his Happy Father’s Day.

  2. Happy Father’s Day , Jared! I’ve known since you were a child that you were born to be a dad. I ‘m so happy you get to fulfill the role you were meant for….the most rewarding, most important job there is. Thank you Sunniva !

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