I have to be honest. And hopefully this either answers some questions or kills some curiosity.
I told myself I'd never date someone with a child. For what I thought were understandable reasons- you want your own kids, not someone else's. Zakk told me about Ella on our 2nd date, which at the time, was when he hadn't even been allowed to see her in 7 months... not his doing.
After only our first date, Zakk felt natural to me. He felt comfortable. He felt familiar. He was fun, happy, smiley, playful and I could tell careful. I think back and it's almost like time just kept on. I kept living my life how I wanted and he just happened to fit right in.
After 3 months of being together, Zakk was "reintroduced" to Ella for the first time in 10 months. Very shortly after, I met her for the first time.
Since then, the amount of time we have her just continues to grow. First it was driving to Illinois 3 times a week to see her for 2 hours at a time... then it was back-to-back days for 7 hours at time... then it was an overnight stay.
Sometimes when I think about it, I still have a hard time imaging this life we're creating where I play a parental role to a child that isn't mine. I think how odd it must be or must have been for my family, friends and acquaintances to watch this all unfold. I bet you they'd say they couldn't have pictured me here either. Hell, I was never even a kid person.
Where I'm going with all of this is that sometimes life takes us on unexpected paths. Sometimes life knows better than you do... Sometimes you just have to continue to follow all the good instead of fight it off. Sometimes you have to forget about a vision you once had for yourself. Sometimes you have to finally be happy with the direction your life is growing.
I've always been an old soul. I've always been "older" than my age... growing up too quickly is something I did early and being a 25-year-old "parent" to 1.5-year-old little girl feels much more natural than I ever could have imagined.
This is raw. This is vulnerable. This is real. This is life. I know I'm not alone in this position and I know there are a lot more supporters than not. (continued)