The job as a dad is pretty tough going as it is (I imagine), but this guy had it a lot harder than most…
This is Richard Johnson. The 21-year-old from Las Vegas expected a pretty normal life as a father, but only a month after his daughter Persephone was born, he realised this was going to be a bit more difficult than he first imagined.
The daughter’s mother fled to California with the child and Richard received a message from her to say she had changed her mind on having a kid and was going to put their child up for adoption unless he came out there to raise her himself.
Of course he dropped everything he was doing and immediately flew to California to claim his child. Like anyone would, he had some proper fears about becoming a single dad, so he turned to the internet and found a site called “Life of Dad”.
The website helped him out that much that he even wrote a letter of thanks to the founder of the website and has amassed 96,000 likes on Facebook and thousands of supportive comments from other members.
Not only do you sound like a great father, but also a compassionate person,” wrote one woman. “It probably hasn’t been easy for you, but I think you deserve extra props for speaking like a true father & man on behalf of your daughter’s situation/relationship with her mother.
Another added: “You sound like a very positive person, your baby is lucky to have a dad like you.”
In an interview with Yahoo Parenting, Richard explained how it was difficult to adjust to his new parental responsibilities as a single dad.
At first, when I was alone, I was so depressed that I didn’t want to see a bunch of happy couples with their kids. But as I came out of that, I was checking Life of Dad and saw there were other single dads out there. There’s such a terrible stereotype of deadbeat dads, but I know that’s not always the case. Sometimes people are dealt a terrible hand, and it’s inspirational to read their stories.
Eventually, things began improving for he and Persephone, and they soon moved in with a woman who has a six-month-old son of her own. The two are not dating, Richard said, but they are each other’s ‘rocks’ and shared childcare duties.
I was never around babies, I certainly did not know anything about girls, but I asked around to older friends who had raised girls. I practiced braiding hair and, I’m not bragging, but now I can braid hair better than most women can. She still has no hair, but I want to be prepared!
Richard added that while he still has rough times, ‘weeping because I wasn’t sure I was going to be a good enough father for her’, he eventually made the decision to stop crying and ‘fight to be happy’. The support he’s received from his Life of Dad post is making a lot of difference.
This will be something I will always remember and cherish for the rest of my life. I’ll be saving all of this. I can’t even begin explain how much this means. You’ve all really lifted up a guy who was just trying to be the best father he could be. I’m indebted to each of you. Thank you.
It sounds like he’s doing just fine now and is performing his fatherly duties to a tee, whilst finding ways to be the best parent he can be.
You can tell he absolutely adores his daughter:
Now I look forward to every day because it’s so incredible to see her. She smiles when I look at her. She’s my best friend and my little shadow. I talk to her about everything – I know she doesn’t completely understand what I’m saying, but one day she will…
What a great guy.