August 17, 2016 was the day my life changed forever. It was the day that my daughter, Hendrix Ari Coleman, was born, and the day I found out the true meaning of love. We prepared as much as we could, the labor was fast ad now, she was here in the flesh. I watched the entire birth in amazement as I saw my daughter’s mother endure pain that I knew I couldn’t even fathom. (Shout out to all the mother’s out there, you are the real MVP’s ladies). As she approached her first breath outside the womb, I was flooded with emotion. I literally made some of the ugliest cry faces known to man and I could honestly care less.

When you grow up your entire life without a Dad, legitimately never seeing the man, this moment means more than you could have ever imagined.

I looked back over my life at all the events I wish my Dad had attended, all the birthdays he missed, all the pictures never taken and I became overwhelmed with joy that this little person was under my watch, under my care. It was the most beautiful moment I have experienced in my entire life, bar none, and it all hit me at once: I am a Dad! It was in that moment, that I knew that whatever my baby needed I would provide or I would die trying. She immediately captured my heart and took over my world. I became obsessed with her. I looked into those beautiful brown eyes and saw the entire universe resting there as she gazed back up at me from her mother’s bosom. I thought to myself in that moment “It’s on!” and I became fully immersed in the process all over again.

Doctors’ appointments?

I wanted to be at every one.

Where is she at?

What is she doing?

She was the crowning jewel of my life and from that first moment onward I couldn’t imagine what life would look like without her. Diaper changes, late night feedings, the first time she rolled over, reading books to her, taking selfies, watching her hold her own bottle, or rocking her to sleep as she gazes back at me before she drifts off into her own wonderland. These are moments I cherish now and will cherish forever.

I was told countless times that you are never ready. Whether that be having a child or any unexpected change that may arise and I think it’s fairly accurate because I was certainly not ready for any of what has transpired over these last 5 months since Hendrix has been here. But, if there is one thing I do know, it is that I am a better man, hell I am better person because of her. Each moment she is with me or I am faced with a tough decision, I think about how it will impact her or better yet- what would she think of her Dad if she knew the outcomes of my decision? With that in mind, my daughter has made me more accountable, more present, and more patient. Things that may have taken me years to master were put on the fast track all because of my little lady.

So, all in all, fatherhood is amazing! There is no way that I would be the person I am nor would I have been spurred to become the person I want to be, had it not been for the impeccable timing of my daughter’s arrival here with us. I used to look at being a parent as a task but it is a gift, a true blessing. It is a role that I have the honor of holding and more importantly it made me realize that it doesn’t matter if there is a lack of a biological father figure. Whether you want to be an amazing Dad or not is up to you. I am eternally grateful for my grandfather and uncle who stepped up and took on that role for me. I am grateful for my step dad who has always been there for me even after he and my mother split up. Lastly, I am also grateful for whoever my biological father happens to be. Because of you sir, I am a father and I have a burning desire to be the best I can possibly be for your granddaughter Hendrix.

We may not ever see each other in this lifetime, but if somehow you manage to see this just know I forgive you.

I don’t know all of the ins and outs of the relationship between you and my mother, but it doesn’t matter. What’s done is done, it is water under the bridge. I wish you the best because at this point Hendrix deserves every ounce of my attention so she knows exactly what it truly feels like to experience a father’s love. To you Hendrix, aka baby Buddha, my darling, my love, if you ever happen to read this, thank you for saving my life.