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Challenge: My Dad Hero

A letter to my daughter: Being a stay-at-home dad has been one of the greatest blessings of my entire life

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Dear Journey,

Early on in the beginning of Mommy and Daddy's marriage, we decided as a couple that Daddy was going to stay home and take care of you while Mommy pursued her career as a doctor.

This isn't how all families are, but this is what works best for our family. Everything Mommy and Daddy do is done with the thought of how this will be best for you. We know you are not always going to agree or enjoy our decisions, but the question we are seeking to answer when we make those decisions is always how will this enrich Journey’s faith, health, development and over all life?

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Being a stay-at-home dad has come with many different emotions and experiences. Daddy didn’t know this was going to be the most challenging responsibility and job he has ever had, but he also didn’t know it was going to be one of the greatest rewards and blessings of his entire life.

Journey, I chose to write a column and keep videos chronicling your early stages in life so when you grow up and become older, you can always have something to help you remember your childhood. I also aimed for my writing to be a resource and encouragement to other first-time stay-at-home dads. More importantly, I want you to know the bond and love we share as father and daughter started well before you were born and has continued to deepen with each passing day.

Journey, understand there are going to come times when you will be upset with me and I will be upset with you.

There will be times when you will disappointment me and I will disappointment you.

There will also come times when you won’t understand that I am not your pal or buddy, but I am your father and my job is to shepherd and guide you through life.

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My job is also to impress upon you that you are a child of God and you belong to Him first before me.

I want you to know you are amazing, brilliant, flawed, forgiving, caring, kind, compassionate, fearless, gorgeous, funny, remarkable, sweet, gifted, giving, merciful, intelligent and lovable. Journey, when you look back and read these words and remember the times shared with Daddy, I want you to feel and know without a shadow of doubt you are always within the circle of God and Daddy’s love. Always!

I will never abandon you. You are mine. You are my daughter and I am your daddy and that will never change. Out of all the daughters in the world, God blessed me to be your father. So there is nothing you can ever do that will change that. When life gets hard and you make mistakes, there may be consequences, but that’s OK. Come to me first and we will work through it together.

Watching you grow and develop during this first year of your life has been an absolute joy and pleasure. It’s a brand new feeling on a daily basis, and Mommy and I are so thankful to God that He brought you into our lives. Just to give you a little heads up and warning, one day you will likely have a little brother or little sister. They will be an entirely different person from you, and Mommy and Daddy will love them the same. You will both require and need different things, and Mommy and Daddy’s love is big enough to share.

Happy first birthday, baby girl.

Daddy will always love you.

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