Happy Father’s Day to the two men who made me who I am.

I do photo and film restoration for Unalome Photography, LLC and these two restored images have a great Father’s Day story behind them.

The first restored image is the high school senior portrait of my biological father Steve Jordon – Milby High, Houston, Texas – Class of 1972.

Not long after this was taken he would meet my mother, a sophomore at another high school. Shortly after they hooked up he would drop out of high school to chase her to Mexico, then he joined the US Army and took her to Germany – where I was born. The marriage didn’t last long – my father was left stuck in the army, my mother left stuck holding the baby.

The second restored image is the high school senior portrait of my adopted dad Steve Baronian – Santa Maria High, Santa Maria, California – Class of 1962.

Dad raised me from age two and instilled in me some of the core values I still live by to this day. Even after my mother and he split when I was 12, I was shaped by this man’s values. They have kept me alive throughout the years.

For instance, take this note Dad gave me in 1983 – I was in third grade:

This was scripture to me throughout my childhood and adolescence. Obviously it carried a lot of meaning to me – I’ve held onto it all these decades later.

When I met my biological father at age 12, he told me something that took some humility and perhaps some vulnerability on his behalf. It’s something I think I never told my dad (aka The Man Who Raised Me).

“I sure would like to shake his hand,” my father said.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because he did such a good job raising you.”

My father is gone now but my dad is still here – and if you’re reading this, may those words above impact you as much as your words on that small 3×5 card from 1983 have impacted me. 

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