David Faughn entered parenthood the way many fathers do: suddenly, hopefully, and at a bit of a loss about what to do. Katherine lay on her mother’s belly having spent 40 weeks within it. Her father was a foreigner to her. Or that’s how it seemed to Dave. The “ten months of uselessness” he had felt during Glenda’s pregnancy had not ended in the delivery room, he thought, just taken on a new form. He was as helpless as any new father. Helpless to feed her, helplessly unfamiliar to her, helplessly in love with her, already.

The family’s swift release from the hospital, bearing as it did the shock of responsibility, intensified the sensation.

“At first, we were strangers looking at each other,” he later recalled in a blog post: “me trying to figure out what to do, and she trying to figure out where mommy went.” But a bond was forming. Its profundity hit him one day on diaper duty. Katherine lay on the changing table while Dave made goofy faces, fishing for a smile. She unleashed a raucous belly laugh, a laugh as full-throated as Glenda’s. Dave “literally jumped in the air” and called Glenda in a rush of excitement. Her bemused response didn’t dent his elation. “At that moment, I became ‘daddy,’” he wrote, “and to the most wonderful girl who has ever been or ever will be.”

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