“I had a pretty rough childhood, and I grew up without a father figure. I ran away from my awful adoptive mother at 15.
I moved in with a friend and her parents, who were foster parents. When they got custody of me, they gave me the option to call them Mom and Dad if I wanted. Because I was trying to distance myself from my old life as much as possible, I did. But I didn’t really know how to fit into a family, and I always felt like a mismatched puzzle piece.
One day my foster father was driving me somewhere (I forget where, school maybe?) and Cherry Pie by Warrant came on the radio. I was a really shy kid, quiet, socially awkward, and easily embarrassed. So when Dad started singing along dramatically (and I do mean dramatically, as in top of his lungs belting it out and leaning over to my side of the car while he did the high notes in falsetto), I was horrified.
I curled up in a ball in the passenger seat and mumbled, ‘Oh my God you are so embarrassing.’
He started giggling like a kid.
At that exact moment, I realized I was having the first stereotypical middle-aged-dad-tortures-teenage-daughter moment of my entire life. This feeling of warmth and belonging washed over me and I will never forget how I felt realizing I actually had a father.
I’m 24 now, Dad is my best friend, and takes great joy in embarrassing the absolute heck out of me regularly.”