Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

A Letter to My Dad for Father’s Day

Here in the US, it’s Father’s Day this weekend. I won’t be able to tell my dad how much he means to me on Sunday, so, I thought I’d make an attempt to do so, here.

Dear Dad letter for fathers day

Dear Perekums,

You’ve always believed in me, Dad. Even when, and especially when, I didn’t believe in myself.

I thank you for that. For your wisdom, your kindness and patience (ohmygod your patience), humor, love of jokes and swears, and for always knowing that I can do anything, even during the minutes and months when I felt like I could do nothing.

We’ve had magical days, and we’ve had less than magical ones, too. The following are some of the days that I remember.

I’m not sure where we were going, or coming from, but we were in your car, just the two of us. It was a rare treat to have you to myself. I was in third grade, and asked you whether the boy in my class was correct in his definition of a blowjob. Being as I began young with my habit of not letting things go easily, I’m sure that listening to my eight-year-old disgust, horror, and words “B-bu-but WHY would anybody want to kiss a penis?” and “Does mom do that to your penis?” must have really sucked. Thanks for not driving off the road. Or dumping me on the side of it. It must have been tempting.

After Tommy had a mole removed, you came and got me from school. Prepared for news of a mole removal disaster, sure that something was horribly wrong because you came to get me out of school, you surprised us with Star Wars, knowing how disappointing it was that the theater was sold out over the previous weekend.

There was a day in sixth grade, when I got in trouble for passing a note in class. I was called into my teacher, Mrs. Haney’s office during recess. Instead of lecturing me on the import of paying attention and not passing notes, she asked me about being adopted.

She made me feel like a freak.

She was sure I’d never amount to anything.

Thanks for not agreeing with her, Dad. Thanks for calling the school and demanding justice. Were it not for your support, that bitch may have been right about me. It’s possible, and maybe even probable, that I’d have believed her.

She wasn’t right. You saw what she couldn’t.

You saw me.

It was through your eyes that I was able to see my good. Because you saw it, I saw my promise and potential.

Thank you for becoming my mom when Mom had had too much. Too much of life, too much of us. When she wanted to find her passion elsewhere. When she found it.

You stepped up to the plate.

You stepped up, and painted hard-to-find optimism with a broom, because you couldn’t find a fucking paintbrush. I’m sure that work, friends, life, and your identity suffered and sucked and took blow after blow. But you were there. You became Mommy. You were there and you made us remember that we mattered.

You made us matter. You made us important, when we felt abandoned.

You un-abandoned us.

When I was in high school, you noticed a hickey on my neck. You didn’t freak out. You didn’t give me the ickiest of icky sex and disease talks.  It must have killed you a little bit, but you simply suggested that it was time for birth control.

You rocked for that, Dad.

You rocked for a lot.

You’re a wonderful and amazing dad. The best.

Thank you, too, for:

…showing me the power of words. And for teaching me the wisdom of practicing silence.

…knowing that breaking up with the wrongboys still hurt. A lot. For never saying out loud how wrong they were. You were right. I could do better. I did do better.

…for forgiving me every single time I fucked up.

…for helping me out, after my divorce. After my job ended. After my landlord died and I had to move back into your home. After my fight with my my best friend. After my car broke down. After I broke down.

…for all of the times that you held hope in your heart, when give-upness and frustration shouldhave couldhave won.

…for buying us that crappy car. While I hated the crappiness of it at the time, you knew we’d mess it up. We messed it up. And stayed safe, anyway.

…for seeing the magic and brilliance in my little boy. For knowing that he’s fine and perfect, exactly as he is.

…for believing that I can be anything.

That I can be everything I want to be.

That so can Tucker, and that so can you.

That so can all of us.

You make the world better. I am so very lucky to be your daughter. Yesterday, today, tomorrow.

Thank you for all of the days, Dad. Thank you for you.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “Dear Dad.”

Your hosts:

Janine: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Kate: Can I get another bottle of whine?
Stephanie: Mommy, for Real
Me (Kristi): 
Finding Ninee

  • Janine Huldie - Ok, the blow job question had to be classic and I think my dad might have had a coronary if I asked that of him as a kid, but still your dad definitely rocks for that and so much more. And I got to ask, what the hell kind of teacher asks a kid about being adopted. I taught and never once would have I ever imagined asking about something like this or bringing this kind of thing up to one of my own students. That teacher sounded like a horror show to me and good for your dad getting justice. Happy Father’s Day to your Dad now 🙂June 12, 2014 – 10:08 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHA to your dad having a coronary if you’d have asked him about blow jobs, Janine! And I know. That teacher SUCKED. So mean. Happy Father’s Day to your dad too (and Kevin!) this weekend, my friend.June 13, 2014 – 5:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - That was beautiful…my favorite line was ” you un-abandoned us.” It sounds as if your dad is far away now, but if or when he reads this, I’m sure he will feel so proud of you for expressing how you feel about him so eloquently. You’re lucky to have a dad like him and he’s equally lucky to have a daughter like you. 🙂June 12, 2014 – 10:16 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw thanks, Emily! Yeah, my dad is in Colorado and we’re not. We’ll get to see him in August though so that’ll be good.June 13, 2014 – 5:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - Sweet! You are both lucky!June 12, 2014 – 10:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Courtney - Kristi, this was so beautifully written. Your dad kicked ass! I love the things you wrote, and the honesty of it all. I agree, I wish we could have had more time to actually talk at BlogU instead of smiles in passing. I look up to you and your resilience.June 12, 2014 – 10:25 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you Courtney, and I agree that he kicks ass!! Me too, to BlogU. Sigh. Sad that it’s already over. And wow – thank you. Your resilience is amazing, friend. You are strong and fabulous. I’ll be thinking about you this weekend and sending thoughts of peace to your family.June 13, 2014 – 5:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Jean - Kristi- what an awesome father you have. My favorite line: You stepped up, and painted hard-to-find optimism with a broom, because you couldn’t find a fucking paintbrush.June 12, 2014 – 10:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Allie - Oh Momma – I loved this and your dad and I have so many, many questions. Get Ready! Cant wait to talk face to face and hear your story. AND I loved the [email protected]!June 12, 2014 – 11:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Allie! Happy to answer all of your questions and can’t wait to meet you in person! I hope your trip is going fabulously well.June 13, 2014 – 5:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly L McKenzie - A complete package of perfection. What a guy. He must be so, so proud of you.June 13, 2014 – 12:14 amReplyCancel

  • Anna Fitfunner - Kristi: what a wonderful portrait of a wonderful guy! Sounds like your Dad has always been there for you. I hope that he reads your blog, because he’ll be really happy to see how his daughter thinks of him!June 13, 2014 – 2:15 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - I remember some of the bits of stories in this one. LOL! I love how he stepped up and un-abandoned you and your brothers. I can’t imagine that my dad would have been able to have any of those conversations let alone suggest I get on birth control. That was a secret between me and mom. Love how he has been there for you through so much and the picture with Tucker and the cigar – too cute! I love seeing pictures of grandfathers 😉 They always look so proud.June 13, 2014 – 7:10 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kenya,
      Honestly, he had to step up a lot when he and my mom were divorced. I think having a daughter was already hard so he just decided to do things like buy tampons and stuff because he had to maybe… and I love the grandfather photos too!!June 13, 2014 – 5:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Tarana - Thank you, Kristi, for sharing this story about your awesome Dad! My Dad also stood by me all the time, so I could relate to this.June 13, 2014 – 7:33 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Here’s to dads who stand by their daughters, Tarana. It’s big stuff and I’m sure much harder at times than it sounds. And thank you!June 13, 2014 – 5:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Alison - Such a sweet, sweet, beautiful and heartwarming letter, Kristi.June 13, 2014 – 8:31 amReplyCancel

  • Joy @ icansaymama - Wow Kristi, your dad must be an awesome father and man! I love you love letter to him! Happy Father’s Day, Kristi’s dad, and thank you for always being there for her, shaping her into the aweseom person she is today!June 13, 2014 – 8:34 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa @ Golden Spoons - Tears. The world needs more dads like that!June 13, 2014 – 8:44 amReplyCancel

  • karen - what a great dad and a wonderful letter to him. Grabbing yet another tissue..sniffles…your dad seems like a great man…more sniffles…June 13, 2014 – 10:28 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - He’s really a great guy, Karen, and thank you so much. Sorry for the sniffles, though!June 13, 2014 – 5:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Natalie D - You are one lucky lady. What an amazing man.June 13, 2014 – 10:51 amReplyCancel

  • Jhanis - Beautiful Kristi! He sounds like an awesome person. So that’s what it’s like to have a dad who have your back. Thanks for the glimpse. 🙂June 13, 2014 – 11:00 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Sorry that you don’t know what it’s like to have a dad who has your back though, Jhanis 🙁
      And thank you.June 13, 2014 – 6:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle AKA Crumpets and Bollocks - Your dad sounds like one amazing man. They are too few and far between anymore.

    And you learned about a blow job in 3rd grade? When I was that age, I thought that sex meant peeing on each other, like that’s where I was with it. I did have the blow job talk with my sister in the car. She asked me about it when she was 15, and I basically told her how to give a proper one and then told her not to do it because it’s not lady like. Then I wonder why she grew up so messed up. SMH at myself.June 13, 2014 – 11:16 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHAH to sex meaning peeing on each other and to telling your sister how to give a blow job. Ouch. (still chuckling)
      And yeah, a boy named Brandon told me what it was in 3rd grade. No clue where he learned it!June 13, 2014 – 6:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate (Shakespeare's Mom) - What a truly beautiful post for your dad. It sounds like the two of you make quite a pair 🙂

    P.S. I can’t believe your teacher!! WTF?June 13, 2014 – 11:48 amReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - This is so beautiful! I am crying (you brought a lot of us to tears with this one!). What a great father and what great memories. Thank you for sharing them with us.June 13, 2014 – 1:22 pmReplyCancel

  • Claudia Schmidt - Oh wow. Tears pouring down my face. What a lovely, meaningful and proud tribute to a man who sounds like a great dad. Hugs. PS I love that whole blow job thing – my son asked me when he was about 8 and I have to admit, I said “You’re a little young to understand, we’ll talk about it when you’re a little older” and he said, “Good, let’s talk about baseball instead .” 🙂June 13, 2014 – 1:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Smith Sprenger - OK, I’m bawling here. That was amazing, Kristi, really. Your dad is so lucky to have a daughter like you who has such an incredible perspective on a complicated relationship. That was really beautiful. June 13, 2014 – 2:17 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I remember that blow job story – that alone makes your dad a rock star. But to see You, and your Good – that is what a parent should do. Your dad was obviously a good role model because that is exactly what you are doing with Tucker. I imagine your dad is very proud.June 13, 2014 – 4:52 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - My poor dad, Dana, really. But yeah, he has been an amazing role model and thank you so much. I hope he’s proud!June 13, 2014 – 6:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Drun Kenman - Amazing. You are lucky to have such an amazing daughter, and it looks like he passed the awesome right to you.June 13, 2014 – 6:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerri - OMG You just trumped the siblings as favorite child for the weekend. This is freaking awesome. Such a wonderful gift to your dad. Better than Superbowl tickets, you show him you are grateful for him. That this Father’s day is about you being a mom because he was a rock star dad. Who totally gets bonus points for not driving off the road.June 13, 2014 – 8:11 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Kerri,
      Always hope to trump my siblings for affection so wha hooo if this worked a little! And he might disagree about the superbowl tickets but thank you so much! Huge bonus points for not driving off the road. Huge.June 14, 2014 – 9:27 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life - What an awesome letter. Absolutely and positively beyond amazing. I think I would have driven off the road if my 8 year old was asking those questions…holy cow. That was hilarious!June 13, 2014 – 8:51 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I hope my now 4-yo asks his dad about BJs, Michelle! And thank you so much!!June 14, 2014 – 9:28 amReplyCancel

  • Marcia @ Menopausal Mother - Awwww Kristi, your father sounds AMAZING! I can feel the love in your words. You two are so lucky to have each other!!!June 13, 2014 – 10:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Christopher Blair Maywhort - Gotta say, your dad was an intimidating guy back in those early years. One time, on our way back from a Boy Scout camping weekend, your dad was driving us back from the mountains. Me, Tom, and one or two other guys from our troop. I don’t remember who it was, but one of the other guys was eating an orange as we drove down the mountain road. Every 200 yards or so, he would peel off a piece of the orange peeling and throw it out the backseat car window. Well, your dad got a glimpse of this and slammed on the brakes. He turned the car around and, literally, made the boy get out and pick up every single piece of the orange peel he had dropped out the window. Luckily, I didn’t know the meaning of biodegradable back then or I probably would have had to jog back home. And what’s with your 3rd grade early-bloomer blow job inquisition? There were girls in my junior year of high school who still didn’t know what 69 was! Even my ‘Where Did I Come From?’ book didn’t go into that much detail! I had Miss Haney in elementary school too. She told me I’d be rich by the time I was 40. Bitch lied to us both. Lastly, it pisses me off that your dad isn’t aging after all these years. Guess hair does wonders for one’s appearance. Good blog missy. June 14, 2014 – 1:23 amReplyCancel

  • Chris Carter - Crap. This was freaking amazing and so I am crying… because it was THAT amazing. Oh how I love your dad. I love him sooo bad. Why? Because he believed in you. He spoke in your defense. He showed up over and over again for you. He gave you hope and love and faith in yourself. Oh my gosh how I love him. These stories?

    Powerful testimony to the power of a dad.

    Still crying.

    I love your dad.

    So much.


    I really really love you.June 14, 2014 – 1:25 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw Chris, thank you so much, friend. I love you, too! And yeah, my dad is awesome for sticking up for me and for showing up over and over and over again…June 14, 2014 – 9:30 amReplyCancel

  • Tamara - I love him and I don’t even know him!
    The blowjob story is a favorite.
    The Star Wars story is making me cry right now. That’s the kind of parent I want to be.June 14, 2014 – 7:46 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - The Star Wars story is awesome and I hope to be that type of parent, too, Tamara! Happy Father’s Day to your dad and Cassidy this weekend!June 14, 2014 – 9:31 amReplyCancel

  • Jamie Miles - What a wonderful real relationship you have. It’s fine line to walk — balancing between being a parent and guiding children and being understanding and letting us fall and make mistakes. And always being there with unconditional love and an affirming nod that things will work out. I confess to falling short of that standard some days. Sounds like your father is a loving compassionate man — who did the best that he could. I hope my children feel that way about me some day. I’m not so sure.June 14, 2014 – 9:08 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Jamie,
      I think we all fall short of that standard some days and are just doing the best we can. I’m sure that your children will feel that way about you because you’re awesome. And I think they know (I hope so anyway) that we’re winging this parenting game most of the time. I hope you have an amazing weekend!June 14, 2014 – 9:38 amReplyCancel

  • WTF words thoughts feelings - What a gift to your dad! I’m sure no tangible gift could ever beat this one. Despite the hardships, you were given an amazing gift to make up for it all…your dad. Beautiful. Now how do you suppose YOU would handle the BJ question from your child?? lolJune 14, 2014 – 11:25 amReplyCancel

  • Mike - This has me bawling crying! I lost my Dad several years ago to Parkinson’s. This will be the first Father’s Day that I won’t have my step father, John, either (cancer).

    You said it…and channeling your blog to both of my Dad’s above…

    “…for forgiving me every single time I fucked up.”

    I turned in all of those fuck ups into a huge success. I love you and miss you more than you can possibly know.

    Happy Father’s Day to your Dad, Kristi! 🙂June 14, 2014 – 6:48 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw Mike. I’m so so sorry for the loss of your dad and step father. That’s so unbelievably hard and here’s to our dads forgiving us for our fuckups. Happy Father’s Day to you, my fabulous friend. I hope you and PDawg had some amazing time in the sun today.June 15, 2014 – 7:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Ruchira Khanna - This was such a lovely letter to your dad, Kristy.

    I have always admired you in many ways…your resilience to withstand anything. This FTSF is another attraction for me to swing by your posts 🙂

    TGIF!June 14, 2014 – 7:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Katia - Hard to write something eloquent after reading this. “You have “unabandoned us”. Wow. So moving. Beautiful beautiful tribute, Kristi. What a man and he should be so proud of his daughter.June 14, 2014 – 8:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Katia, I so very much appreciate your comment and friendship. And you write eloquently all the time you. All the time.June 15, 2014 – 7:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Christina Morley - I can see by the photos that he was and is a very proud dad. What kind of teacher doesn’t think an adopted child can succeed? That kind of teacher shouldn’t be working with kids! I’m glad your dad was always there for you. Enjoy today with your dad!June 15, 2014 – 12:32 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Christina, I know to the teacher, right? What a jerk! And thanks so much – I think he is a proud dad. I hope so anyway.June 15, 2014 – 7:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Brittnei - Oh! This is a tear jerker. How awesome is it that your Dad was there for you through all of this! He seems like he truly tried to be the best Dad ever and succeeded at it in your life. I’m so sorry that he’s no longer here for you to be able to tell him how much he means to you.June 15, 2014 – 9:57 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks, Brittnei, and yeah, it was very awesome that he was there for me all these years. He’s still with us – just lives far away. Hope your weekend’s been wonderful.June 15, 2014 – 7:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Gary Sidley - A magnificent tribute to your father; he should be proud to have you as his daughter and, based on your description of him over the years, I’m sure he is.June 15, 2014 – 10:52 amReplyCancel

  • Brian Sorrell - What a heartfelt and perfect set of memories to celebrate a Dad! You had me laughing and awwwww-ing the whole time. Nicely done.June 15, 2014 – 5:22 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Awww to the laughing and awwwing – thank you huge for reading. And commenting.June 15, 2014 – 10:44 pmReplyCancel

  • Lana - Such a beautiful tribute to your dad. One of the best I’ve read. Have a great day!June 15, 2014 – 7:01 pmReplyCancel

  • zoe - Yknow I read this earlier and I think I never got back to comment … stupid android freezes up… anyhow… if I did or didnt… I will ask again as I thought I asked before but probably only did in my head…Do you think you could get your dad to adopt me? You know me… raised by wolves…
    I love this relationship story and now knowing you better, am not surprised in the least by how lovely and real it is!June 16, 2014 – 1:54 amReplyCancel

  • Seana Turner - Sounds like your Dad blessed you in an amazing way. Can’t believe that school teacher making you feel like a freak for being adopted – really? Reminds me that we all need at someone who loves us unconditionally and is always there for us.June 16, 2014 – 7:59 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I can’t believe that school teacher, either, Seana! What a jerk she was. Really. And yeah, I got lucky with my dad for sure.June 16, 2014 – 8:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi - “Un-abandoned” was my favorite part. It sounds like your dad undid harm more than once. Good for him for taking up the adoption inquisition issue with your teacher. Sometimes classroom projects are insensitive to adoptees (especially older adoptees), i.e., “Bring in a baby photo,” but to have a teacher grill a student on adoption status (and imply that adoptees are less-than), crosses the line from insensitive to downright mean.June 16, 2014 – 12:12 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thanks so much, Kristi! He definitely undid harm (and what a great way to phrase it). That teacher sucked. I hadn’t thought about the “bring in a baby photo” one – thanks for the reminder of that, too, and for your sweet comment.June 16, 2014 – 8:02 pmReplyCancel

  • K - AMAZING, Kristi. I feel so ridiculous because after I read your posts, I often find myself completely lost for words. Your dad sounds like an incredible person, and you are so blessed to have each other! Hope you and your family had an awesome Father’s Day!June 16, 2014 – 1:34 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Aw Kerry thank you huge, friend. My dad is really awesome and supportive. I hope you had a great Father’s Day with your dad! (or maybe you’re still at school???) xoxoxJune 16, 2014 – 8:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Joy Christi - That is amazing. I can’t even be made you made me cry again :’)
    Thank the universe that your dad had the strength to step up and be BOTH. And be fun. Amazing.June 16, 2014 – 5:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzi Rogers - Everything he is, and was and will be – to everything you are and were and will be. You are wonderful. And an absolute credit to him. I hope he loved this.June 16, 2014 – 7:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Sandy Ramsey - Your dad sounds like an incredible man. It explains a lot about the woman you are today and that’s a good thing, my friend. Take it as the compliment it is 😉 That said, let the record show I will never be able to forget the blow job portion of this post..not ever!June 17, 2014 – 9:25 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - I’ll try to, Sandy! Thank you and yeah, I’ll never forget the blow job part of it either. 🙂June 17, 2014 – 11:57 pmReplyCancel

  • Diane Tolley - Wonderful man! And wonderful you to recognize it!June 17, 2014 – 7:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Kristi – this was an amazing post. Oh my goodness, I didn’t want it to end. It makes me think how lucky and blessed you are to have a dad you love so much and who obviously loves you too.

    Also, how did you hear about blow jobs at 8????? I think I was in 9th grade. That is funny and he must have been both shocked that you asked and proud that you were comfortable enough to. Funny stuff for sure.June 17, 2014 – 10:49 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Stephanie!!! Thank you~ my dad is amazing, and the way I heard about BJs at 8yo was from a dumb boy in my class. Poor dad. For real.June 17, 2014 – 11:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Ginny Marie - This letter to your dad is amazing. And if my daughter, who is in 3rd grade, mentioned blowjobs to me, I would definitely have driven off the road!June 19, 2014 – 10:00 amReplyCancel

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