Mothers are often considered to be more natural at raising kids, but fathers shouldn't be overlooked. This single dad's story of looking after his daughter has gone viral and inspired parents the world over.
1. A Happy Beginning But...
21-year-old Richard Johnson felt he was the happiest man in the world in January 2015 when his baby girl Persephone was born. But his happiness soon vanished because Persephone's mother fled to California with her a month later. After a while of wondering if he would ever see his daughter again, he got a message.
2. Becoming A Single Dad
Persephone's mother threatened to put her up for adoption if Richard didn't come and pick up his daughter right away. Without a second thought, Richard boarded a plane and brought her home. But soon, reality set in - he had no idea how to raise a baby!
3. Why Did The Mother Abandon Her Baby
Richard wasn't sure why Persephone's mom had decided to abandon her daughter, but he suspected that "postpartum depression played a part." Alone, nervous, and terrified, Richard stumbled upon a Facebook Community Page called "Life of Dad." What happened next will certainly surprise you.
4. You Can Do It
Richard soon found on the Life of Dad page that there were other men out there like him, and it was possible for a young single dad to care for his baby. Little did he know that his story would go viral after sharing it with the community. Here is his message...
5. His Open Letter
He posted the message in the form of a letter, starting with: "Life of Dad, I'm a single father to a beautiful little girl named Persephone." He then talked about her mother's departure, suspecting that she was depressed. Finally, he expressed that he wasn't sure he could take care of his daughter alone.
6. Learning To Be A Good Parent
He continued by saying, "I've read every 'new parent' book I could find and clocked in over 1000 hours in YouTube videos from everything to braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues."
7. Life Of Dad: You Helped Us
"I always look forward to photo submissions and reading the stories of some of the awesome dads out there in this community. You truly helped my daughter and me through a very difficult time," added Richard.
8. From Novice To Veteran
Under the careful care of her father, Persephone was growing into a healthy and happy little girl. Richard also mentioned in the post that when Persephone was 10 months old, his friends even asked him for parenting advice. He didn't expect his post to receive so much attention.
9. The Post Went Viral
Richard's post got nearly 100k likes, and it started a conversation where other dads shared their stories. Richard was so touched by the blessings he received, that he added a new post to express his gratitude. His words will make you cry!
10. Thank You All!
He said, "Thank you to each and every single one of you. You truly can't understand how much everyone's words mean to me. I am constantly criticizing myself on how I can be a better father, and this was just the right medicine I needed." He continued, "I spent more than a few nights holding my little girl as she slept weeping because I wasn't sure I was going to be a good enough father for her." You won't believe what happened next!
11. Sharing His Sorrow And Happiness
After seeing the outpouring of support that the internet had shown for his story, Richard decided to start a Facebook page to document their father-daughter journey. There, he opened up about some of the medical hardships Persephone endured, and how she came out even more resilient, "I am proud to announce after a 3 hour long ultrasound, grunts, and groans from our Doctor, Miss Persephone Lilith Johnson's heart is now at 100% health." When it comes to birthdays...
12. Heartwarming Messages
Richard's post to celebrate his baby girl's birthday melted everyone's hearts, "You calmed a storm within me. I can never understand how such luck was bestowed upon me." He also promised her the world, "Everything you can ever want will be yours, or I'm going to die trying." But the story didn't end there!
13. Little Persephone Chose Her Mommy
Richard's fans started to notice a lady often appeared in the photos that Richard shared. Yes, that was Richard's new girlfriend, Jennifer, and Persephone's new mom. "Upon meeting her, Persephone had made the choice that this would be her mommy. The first time they had met, Jennifer had cried to be held by Jennifer...When she cries out for Mommy, it is Jennifer that she requests," Richard said. He even shared their funny first meeting.
14. A Meet-Cute
"We had met at the mall while I pathetically attempted to catch her attention by asking if she could help me pick out clothes for Persephone. I explained that I wasn't sure what actually matched and need some pointers considering my own closet had consisted of nothing but black, faded black, and dark black clothes," Richard wrote.
15. Happy Faces
More than two and a half years had now passed since Persephone was born. In the meantime, the dad-daughter duo played around, ate delicious food, and tried on crazy costumes. His Facebook posts attracted over 9k followers, who all eagerly awaiting his updates. However, his fans received some bad news...
16. A Sad Announcement
On July 6, 2018, Richard announced he would stop updating the page, "We have decided to let the page go silent. I will certainly save everything, so Persephone can see everything when it's finally time to tell her the story." He then thanked everyone for their support.
17. Still Not The End
Although their online life is over, their real life has just entered a new phase. We wish the happy family all the best!