The doctors told me that the baby was already going to a good home but said I should talk to the birth mom and tell her of our interest in adopting the newborn. I did just that - I told her about my family, how we wanted more children and how much we would love and care for the baby girl. I then left, hopeful, and returned to work.
You pop to the shops for a tin of baked beans. It takes an hour to walk there because your little one has interacted with all 4176 items on the way there, but you finally arrive just before it closes. Another hour later you arrive back home with numerous chocolate items, ice cream, a box of doughnuts and a 12 pack of cider. But no beans.
And there it is. That first moment in the day when you hear your own dad come streaming out of your mouth like a song you long since thought you'd forgotten but in fact remember every single word to. That's right. Dad phrases are exactly like 'Never Ever' by the All Saints (try it - it's in there I guarantee).
When I became a dad to a daughter I had a friend who said that this would be the greatest love story of my life. At the time I shrugged it off as I am also a father to two sons. However, around the age of two my daughter started spending more and more time choosing to play with me over her mother (which was upsetting to my wife) and I began to understand what my friend had meant.
It reminded me of an overflowing bath. Suddenly, all joy was gone. I went to my newborn daughter, who was lying on my wife's chest, and I tried to talk, but my heart had started pumping ice around my body. I told everyone I was going to pass out and just as they sat me on the chair, I did exactly that.
As I continue to recover from my recent surgery, I have realised in the last week how important my partner's role is for our son's development. Of course, I have always known that my son needs his daddy but when your partner works offshore and you are the one running the household, often alone raising your child it is easy to forget
We discussed me leaving work. I'd never thought about it, and being honest, the thought of it terrified me. I tried to get to grips with it - giving up a year of work - but I really, really struggled. I realised how much I've been programmed to expect a life of 'old-school masculinity', desk- and duty-bound.
For most of us, we change as people when we become parents. On the whole we grow and become better people. However in the transition period, that change in who we are, our identity, can cause great confusion. Once a confident and independent adult, you begin to question your abilities. Failing it appears, is not an option.
For the first time, I noticed my father's vulnerability: we would walk down the street and he'd budge up really close to me like a child afraid of his surroundings. We'd go to the pub and I'd order for him because he wasn't quite sure how to navigate his way around a hipster East London brewery. It felt great. The balance of power had shifted slightly and I wasn't so afraid of him anymore.
It is logical that developing pathways of support for this young man and thousands like him could change the life chances for both father and child. In turn, that would bring cost benefits to service providers like local authorities, as well as creating a positive social value in breaking the negative cycles we have seen for so many years.