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“Can I Please Call You Dad Now?” A Kid Asks A Man to Become His Son

Being a stepfather entails a wide range of responsibilities and a dedication to making everything work for the benefit of the family. Anyone can learn to be a father, but it takes a lot more effort to be a father to a child who is not biologically yours. This is the case with Derek and Connor, who formed an instant connection and who are now father and son for life.

At Bright Side, we believe genuine affection leads to unbreakable bonds, which is why today we’re sharing a story of a father who finally achieved his dream of adopting his stepson.

On Christmas Eve 2016, their paths crossed.

When Derek met his wife, Sarah, they were still not ready to commit to each other, so they split up after a while. However, a series of tragic events brought them back together, and they have been going strong ever since. While they were apart, Sarah had a child with another man, a little boy named Connor.

Derek first met Connor on Christmas Eve in 2016. They clicked right away after spending the night together, to the point where little Connor was crying and didn’t want to leave.

Their connection was instant; Derek says that over the next few months, they developed such a strong bond that they couldn’t get enough of each other, constantly talking and meeting up.

Connor wanted to be Derek’s son ever since the beginning.

As time went by, they felt like an actual family, with Connor picturing Derek as his own father. Derek still recalls a day in the car when the little boy spoke up while staring at him, saying, “Can I call you dad?”

Derek confesses that he panicked for a few minutes before answering the question because he couldn’t think of anything to say. He told Connor that he would have to speak to his mother about the decision because it was not entirely his. When they got home, however, Sarah reassured Derek that the kid loved him so much that she was fine with it if he was ready.

A week later, the scene was repeated, with Connor saying, “Can I please call you dad now?” Derek replied, asking if he really wanted that. And Connor said, “More than anything else in the world!” Since then, Connor has addressed him as “dad.”

They’ve walked hand in hand through Connor’s entire life path, from his first day of school to their first baseball game together. Derek asked him for permission to marry his mother, and they finally tied the knot in 2019, with Connor serving as Derek’s best man.

After a few setbacks, the family expands.

Aside from being emotionally tied as father and son, they both desired to be legally linked, as Connor had frequently requested to change his last name to Derek’s, writing it everywhere, even at school.

He stated categorically: “Well, of course, I want your last name. But I want to officially be your son.
You are my dad!” When they got to this point, Sarah and he began the adoption process.

Meanwhile, Derek and his wife were attempting to conceive a child and expand their family, but that joy didn’t come without effort. After a string of negative tests and fertility treatments, they agreed to try one more time and give up if nothing worked.

That last time was the one. On a hot August day in 2019, Sarah popped out while Derek was working in the garage, announcing that they were finally pregnant. Everly was born in April of the following year, bringing a load of joy and love to the wonderful family.

They took to social media to share their special bond.

Derek and Connor have always found humor in everything they do, so they thought it would be fun to share their special father-son relationship on social media. They began posting videos of their pranks, bloopers, or them just being themselves on TikTok. They have grown in popularity day by day until they went viral.

Connor and Derek now have over 115,000 followers on their TikTok account, known as BadicalDadical. This new hobby of theirs has heightened their bond even further, allowing them to travel together and meet new people.

The long-awaited day arrives.

While Everly was dealing with a serious health problem, the family was also going through the adoption process. Connor had asked Derek several times over the years why he couldn’t be adopted, and despite the difficulty of the procedure, Derek had always vowed to make that dream come true one day.

Derek had promised himself, as a child, that he would be a better father than the one he had, one who is involved in his son’s daily activities. That’s why he wanted to adopt Connor and raise him as his son, but he had to fulfill one important step first: get Connor’s biological father’s permission.

Derek remembers their meeting fondly, saying that they talked for over 3 hours. He recognized Derek’s kindness toward Connor and agreed to the adoption. That day was the happiest for their family, and when Derek told him the news, Connor did nothing but cry and hug him.

On April 2, 2021, the adoption day arrived, and it was not as they had hoped or planned for, but Derek and Connor didn’t mind, and after hearing the good news over the phone, all they cared about was finally realizing their dream.

Derek finally had the opportunity to tell Connor that he was his son for life. In every way, he was a Julian. Although the road to this point was difficult, as it was hard to answer the many queries about adoption, Derek recognizes that every effort was worthwhile. He reflects emotionally: “He was my son the first time he asked to call me dad.”

On the other hand, Connor never gave up on his dream of being adopted, always striving to encourage his future father to keep going. “Don’t give up hope, Dad, and keep fighting, because we will win!”

Do you have a stepparent? What kind of relationship have you built with them?

Bright Side/Family & kids/“Can I Please Call You Dad Now?” A Kid Asks A Man to Become His Son
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