In 2005, Richard Johnson, a 21-year-old took on both parenting roles to a beautiful baby girl, Persephone.
This was after the mother up and out had left with the baby less than a month after birth. After a short period, she then threatened to give the baby away through adoption.
Richard without a second thought boarded the first plane and got his daughter back, even though at that time he was yet to grasp the implications of raising a daughter as a single dad.
Persephone’s mother blamed postpartum depression as the leading reasons as to why she unexpectedly decided to leave Richard.
Richard soon also got into depression as loneliness, and the stress that comes with raising a child alone set in. This was when he realized how unprepared he was to be a support system to his daughter. He felt as if he was walking on the fragile glass every step of the way, and this created a sense of fear and worry.
Fortunately, Richard stumbled upon a Facebook page that in simple terms changed his whole perspective of fatherhood. The page “Life of Dad” encouraged and showed that he was not the only dad out there with this unique dilemma. Indeed, it was possible to succeed as a single, young father.
Richard now had a new lease of life, and Persephone was now becoming his new source of joy. He soon decided to share his life story with “Life of Dad,” and to his surprise, his journey quickly went viral.
Here is Richards’s heartfelt message celebrating his amazing journey of fatherhood to the world. He posted his message in November 2015 and had no idea it would go viral at the time.
“My name is Richard Johnson, and I’m a single father to a beautiful little girl named Persephone.
Her mother left about a month after she was born.
We still don’t know exactly why, but we suspect postpartum depression played a part.
In the first few weeks of it being just her and me, I stumbled upon your page by accident.
I was so nervous and scared about being a father in general, but now I was a single father and had to fulfill two roles. I wasn’t sure I could do it.
I had read every ‘new parent’ book I could find and clocked in over 1,000 hours in YouTube videos from everything to braiding hair and painting nails to theories on how to deal with common parental issues.
I then started to watch your page more closely and saw that there were other fathers out there who were in similar predicaments as me.
The page started to turn into a major confidence booster and really helped me through all of this.
We’re both very happy now and continue to grow together every day.
She’s now 10 months, and I now get asked by my friends for parenting advice constantly.
We’ve come a long way, my daughter and me, and we definitely owe part of that to this page and the people within it.
So from both of us, we wanted to thank you.”
But that’s not where Richard and Persephone’s story ends. Their eager new readers began to notice a woman popping up in Richard’s Facebook feed.
Richards story does not end, a matter of fact, a new chapter had already begun. Many fans and followers of the page soon began to notice a new face in Richards feed. Fast forward 2 years later, he finally decided to let the world know who the mystery lady was.
In April 2017, Richard posted another heartfelt message:
“This lovely lady is my girlfriend and Persephone‘s wonderful and gorgeous Mother Jennifer.
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.
We had talked for months before I allowed her to meet Persephone. Upon meeting her, Persephone had chosen that this would be her mommy.
Persephone wasn’t a fan of women and would normally shun away from them. She had only known her bearded father and his friends.
The first time they had met Persephone had cried to be held by Jennifer.
Fast forward to today, Jennifer has helped us become the family we desperately wanted to be. Persephone knows no other woman other than her as mommy.
When she cries out for Mommy it is Jennifer that she requests…”
Richard in his post goes on to explain the huge role that Jennifer has and continues to play in both his and Persephone’s life. Jennifer bonds so well with Persephone even having them share similar personalities.
He then explains how Jennifer’s family also took up the role of grandparents, cousins and great-grandparents so perfectly by showing her an abundance of love and acceptance.
Currently, other than being the awesome dad the internet has come to love, he also doubles up by helping other struggling single dads and moms and encouraging them not to give up.