by my Comp. 1 essay. Knowing our story gives me hope that my kids will have a relationship like ours in the future. I just wanted to share.
Love Knows No Blood
Many children come from single parent homes, myself and my children included. At times a step-parent becomes so much more than that. They become a parent, a mom or a dad. My own father and I share no blood, but I took his name and he will be the one I lean on the rest of my life. It doesn't always happen when a child is young, but sometimes when they are teenagers. I am still amazed, and unsure, at how natural it came to call him Dad the moment he said "I do" to my mother.
He started out as Doug. I was unsure how to feel when they first started dating. Things were changing all around me at a pace that was going way to fast. He was kind, caring, and loved us. I never thought I would see a man open the car doors and hold the door for a woman. He changed all that. When I went to Prom he was angry that my date wouldn't open my car door. I told my date to hurry and leave as he was headed out the door.
He rode with me the first time I drove on Kellogg. He sat in the front seat, calmly reading the paper. My mom was a nervous teacher. She would gasp at every little thing. He would tell me what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. When I would turn, I'd hold the steering wheel. "Don't hold it. Let the wheel correct itself," he told me.
That was one of the turning points for me. At this point he wasn't just my mom's boyfriend, but he was Doug. He bought my mom and I tickets to see Nickelback. He told us we needed to spend time together, just mother and daughter. While we were waiting for the concert to start I told my mom that I loved him. I told her that when I get married I wanted him to walk me down the isle. She just hugged me and told me he loved me too.
One day he asked me something very important. "Would it be okay with you if I asked your mom to marry me?" It meant more to me than he knows to have him ask my permission. It showed he respected me and loved me enough to see if I would be okay. The first time we went ring shopping was quite the adventure. I was in a baggy t-shirt and my sleep pants. He wanted to see what a certain ring looked like and I tried it on. The sales clerk thought it was for me. We had a laugh about it as we ate a pretzel in the mall. He kept me informed about when he was going to ask her. My work wanted to send me home early, but I refused to go and told them why. I didn't want to ruin their night.
I was the maid of honor. My brother, JD, was the best man. My mom, grandpa, and I were late to the wedding. There was a miscommunication and I heard the panic in his voice when he called me. October 7, 2007 was the perfect day for their wedding. Tears were in both of their eyes as they said their vows. At the reception I wanted to make a speech. My dad stood up and said "Please quiet down. My daughter would like to say something." That moment I felt like I finally had a picture-perfect family. He wasn't Doug, but my dad.
When I was 18 we went to the court house. We filed the papers to have my last name legally changed to his. The judge asked me why I wanted to change my name and I told him that I wanted the same name as my dad no matter who was listed on my birth certificate. When we went to the final hearing the judge asked me if I wanted it to be changed on my birth certificate. I said yes. No matter what anyone wanted to say, I was now a Helms from birth.
This year I finally got my amended birth certificate. Seeing my last name made me smile. It may not be a legal adoption, but I know I have been. His blood may not run through my veins, but he has instilled ideals into me that a father should instill in his daughter. He has been there to hold me through my tears, to hold the grandchildren I gave him. He has shown me more love and compassion than anyone before him, including my biological father.
Even as I type this tears run down my face. I know I have made mistakes, but he hasn't given up on me. I know he will never give up on me and I can stop being afraid that he will leave me. My only fear is that I don't show how much I love him. I was fifteen when he came into my life and it was an adjustment. It was an adjustment when I first loved him and when he became my dad. I'm very proud of having him as my dad and being his daughter.
My dad and I at the wedding.