Today is the day we as a nation choose to celebrate and appreciate fathers.Fatherhood is a very important and defining aspect of American culture. In many ways fathers or the absence of strong male role models has either made or broken the Structure of the American family. Those of us who ascribe to a biblical worldview strongly believe that a husband and father is called to take the lead in a marriage and stand as the moral backbone for his wife and children. That however in no way diminishes a mother’s role in the shaping and molding of young minds.However there are many lessons each of us learn as children that are traditionally more inclined to be taught by dad such as the first time we ride a bike without training wheels it is usually dad who walks behind us at first ready to catch us if we might happen to fall. I know most kids also learn to fish drive or hunt from their fathers.Most of what my own father taught me however was what was found in the pages of scripture. My dad and I did not in fact meet till after my twelfth birthday and up until that time the concept of “fatherhood” was somewhat elusive to me.My parents were separated since before I was born and my new stepmother was in fact pregnant with my younger sister Tenaya at the time. I remember that I had always wanted a sister and I was very excited when my stepmom let me hold the baby. Even though I had always been the “big sister” because I already had two younger half brothers having a baby “sis” was a new experience for me. Tenaya loved to make me read her every book in her library and to play Barbie’s and play house (unlike my cousin Katie who would play with me,she hardly ever made me be the “baby”.I remember the first gift my father ever gave me was a drawing of Bambi and thumper in the flower patch on a rolled up poster paper that drawing was proudly on display in my room till well after my sixteenth birthday. My relationship with my dad wasn’t always pretty .There were times we argued and butted heads as all fathers and daughters do.I will never forget the day however that I introduced my father to his first grandchild my cousin Sara told me that she had seen my dad earlier that day and he seemed happier than she had seen him in a long time.Never did I dream in that moment that one day I would be asking my father to take custody of my son Nicholas Andrew Casey so that my husband and I did not lose him to the state.At that time Jj and I were in a happy place relishing in our new role as parents and the happiness that ensues every first time parent because our case was complex and contains so many nuances I will not go into detail about everything that occurred besides that information can be obtained by viewing my Facebook channel Cccasey5150 if need be. I have discussed it at length ad Nasuem and am just trying to pick up the broken pieces of our lives in the aftermath. In the end I know one thing Jj and I are extraordinarily grateful that my father and stepmother said yes without reservation whatever differences that my father and I may have had in the past is overshadowed by the fact that in our darkest hour my son’s grandparents were willing to take him in.I do still cry from time to time because my (now 3children) Nick Aiden and Destiny will never know the childhood we had planned for them growing up in Mariposa near Yosemite, the Pta meetings and all the volunteer work I planned on doing for my kids school (just like my mother did for me) but for now I will step aside and allow my stepmom to fulfill that role for them because I trusted her to do so and do not want her to believe that I have any reservations about that decision still there is a part of me that mourns the birthday cakes that I will never get to make the tears that I cannot wipe and especially all the unanswered questions that I know my children will probably some day have.yet if my father taught me anything it is that life does not always turn out the way you planned and even though I will never be that girl who can turn to her dad for every trivial thing it is comforting to know that he did come through for me in a way that no one else in my life ever has.That to me has made my dad quite a hero not just to me but also for his grandchildren.In this instance it is not that our kids were without a mother and father Jj and I were and always are more than willing to fulfill that role but due to the fact that the state chose to strip us of our parental rights, leaving my children “paper orphans” we are grateful that grandpa stepped in because so many other parents involved in our broken system were not so lucky. Happy father’s day dad.