The Unexpected Dad Life

Updated: Apr 7, 2021

You never know what life will bring you, sometimes struggle, heartache, and sometimes joy and happiness. And sometimes through the struggle and heartache, you find your true joy and happiness. After coming out, what I did know was I had was my two kiddos. For me, having kids was far from conventional. Laney and Cooper came after a lot of waiting and heartache including seven years of trying, failed IUIs, and a very expensive IVF cycle. Laney and Coop grounded me, and I thought despite being alone in this new chapter of my life, they completed me. Well, the planner that I am, I was destined for a sudden turn in the road.

Well, most of you are well versed in the love story that came with Joey and the joy that he brings me as my husband - so I won’t bore you with that right now! What he also brings with him are two little nuggets that I get to call my own - adding to the way I unconventionally gained daddyhood! But here’s the kicker...they were 5 and 2 when they came into my life - and I was 45!!! So let’s do the math...I’ll be 62 when he turns 18...yowser! Getting ready to turn 47, chasing these two in the back yard of my in-law’s house, I’m definitely feeling my age!

As we were embarking on a blended family, one thing that Joey and I both agreed to is that the terms “step-dad” and “step-children” would not be a part of our vernacular. For us, each other’s kids are simply our kids - our sons and daughter. For the kids, we prefer to be referred to as their “bonus dads”. For both of us, becoming bonus dads took on different journeys. I was stepping into two “littles’’ lives that have yet to really form opinions or world views. For Joey, he was coming into the lives of teenagers, well into their formative years with opinions, beliefs, and perspectives - but I’ll let him talk about that later. I had to brush up on my diaper changing and car seat buckling skills. I had to refamiliarize myself with Disney and the cartoon side of Netflix! One thing I didn’t have to remember already having a boy, albeit “prepubescent” as Laney refers to him, is fart and poop talk!

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the little bits as often as we see the older kids, since they live in Louisiana. The time we do get to spend with them is precious and always fun. We realize virtual communication doesn’t substitute physical presence, but we try to make the very best of it. We haven’t seen the boys since the wedding in November and were very excited to get to spend the Easter break with them in Louisiana. Lot’s of happy little faces and giggles to last a lifetime!

We’ve both been criticized for choosing not to live near our children, but what we believe with everything that we are, choosing to find happiness in each other, we are able to be better daddies to our four children. It’s very easy to sit back and examine other people’s lives against your own, but what I strongly believe and you’ll hear me say over and over is that “we are each on our own journeys, as long as we are not hurting ourselves or others, DO YOU!” It’s impossible for me to discuss in one post, being a bonus dad, blended families, and co-parenting - we’ll both cover those in future posts. But what I do know is, I couldn’t imagine my life, not being a biological dad and a bonus me there is no difference!

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