Dear Garry, Dear Dad
I am 27 and my dad is 42. I like to watch people work out the age difference in their head and grow visibly uncomfortable before I admit I'm adopted.
Garry was 22 when he took on a 30-year-old divorcee with two children. My sister was only a toddler, but I was seven; a proper little person with awareness and opinions. We clicked immediately and he moved in with us, provided for us and, after a year of investigation and box-ticking by social workers, adopted us.
Today marks 15 years since that day I got to bunk off school for the afternoon in court. We didn't even have to go in - the case was so strong that they didn't need to see us. My mum says she still remembers the look on his face when they were told.
I have a great relationship with my dad and appreciate him even more due to the fact we were a choice for him. He wasn't stuck with us. He could have decided it was too much for him whenever he wanted, but he didn't.
A good relationship with him unfortunately means a bad one with another dad. Next month will be 10 years since I last saw my biological father (and it's just over seven years since we last spoke). It's something that sits at the back of my mind every day and I have mixed feelings about it. To have someone biologically engineered to care about you slowly lose interest before dropping out of your life completely doesn't feel amazing.
In my case, my dad isn't the guy who rushed my mum to the hospital or saw my first steps but he's the guy who coughed awkwardly down the phone today when I told him I loved him. He's the best.