It never crossed my mind 10 years ago when you came into our lives for the first time that only 3 short years later, we'd be sitting in a courtroom signing papers to make your title "daddy" official. Of course, we never needed papers for you to become her Dad. You picked up that role from the very beginning. You were a young 18 year old boy, getting ready to start the next chapter of your life-college. You had your whole life ahead of you which I'm sure consisted of huge dreams and probably never thought in your wildest dreams that you'd be playing house with your girlfriend and her 5 month old daughter while you were getting ready to graduate from high school.
It was a wild ride from the beginning. You took to Jaedyn from the moment you laid eyes on her, before you even knew that there would be an "us". You understood that with me, came her. We were an item that you could not break up, and you welcomed spending time with the both of us. Even when you had to take a moment to catch your breath, to reevaluate the situation you had been thrust into, you were in love with her, and she knew it.
You introduced us to your family with pride. There was never an ounce of embarrassment or shame that came from your family, and we were welcomed with open, loving arms. I can only imagine the thoughts racing through your parents' heads when you explained to them you were with me. I'm sure there were feelings of fear and doubt and worry that maybe I was ruining your life or taking away your chances to achieve your dreams. At least there would be if I were them. But if those feelings were there, they hid them well. They knew they raised a man of character who had his head on straight, and they let you make your decisions and supported you 100%. I've never felt so much acceptance.
That first year was hard. You stood behind me as I watched my family crumble. You held on tight when I said goodbye to my grandma. You booked a trip to Florida so I could see my best friend over what would have been my wedding so that I wouldn't have to think about it so much, and you picked up the pieces of my soul as I wrestled with depression and all the changes that were taking place in my life. You made sure you were at our apartment before Jaedyn woke up and made sure you were back when she went to sleep as much as you could so that she always knew you were there.
You included her in your proposal, and made sure I knew that you were there to take care of us. She was always the priority. Always. She has stayed Daddy's little girl since the moment you walked into our lives. I'm so proud to call you my husband, my children's daddy. We are so incredibly lucky to have you in our lives.
For all you are. For all you've done. Thank you, Dan. I fall more in love with you every day. You are amazing.