A Las Vegas dad is inspiring single parents across the globe after a well-known blog shared the touching letter he wrote thanking the blog owners for helping him become a “better father.”
"They helped me become the father my daughter needed and the man I always wanted to be," Richard Johnson told ABC News. "I am forever in debt to them. I'm shocked at the attention it's gotten. I've gotten incredible messages [from other parents], but they are the ones who helped me.”
Johnson, 21, said he was initially nervous about becoming a new dad, until Jan. 6, 2014, when his daughter Persephone was born.
“When she came out, I was amazed,” Johnson said. “I helped bring this little girl into this world. As soon as the doctor handed her to me, she stopped crying and I said, ‘I’m a dad now.’”
A month after the arrival of Persephone, now 10 months, her mother moved to California, Johnson said. Johnson has now petitioned for legal custody of his daughter.
"From that moment, it was just me and Persephone," he said. "I was more than happy to have my daughter, but I was really sad because she wasn’t going to have that 'family.'
"I continued my research on how to paint nails and braid hair and how to discipline your child," Johnson said, adding, "I read many books.”
Persephone’s mother did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.
Being alone, Johnson said he slipped into a depression until he came across an uplifting Facebook post shared by a friend from the parenting blog “Life of Dad.”
"It changed a lot of my perspective; the loneliness feeling started drifting away," he said. "I would look at the page, and look at comments and it became my daily routine. I'd get Persephone's bottle ready, give her a bath and get her clothes ready and check the page. Before bed, I'd scroll it again."
Earlier this week, Johnson decided to send a message to “Life of Dad” on Facebook, thanking the blog owners for becoming a support system for him as a parent.
With his permission, the blog shared his heartfelt words with its followers on the social media site, where it quickly racked upwards of 20,000 “likes.”
"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," Johnson wrote in his letter.
"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.”
David Guest, co-founder of “Life of Dad,” told ABC News Johnson's uplifting note represented a positive influence on his readers and what the blog represents.
"It felt great," Guest said. "To get an individual story from Richard about how he's doing in his life makes us feel like we are doing something good out there. There's been a great response from dads in our community to their story."
Johnson wrote a follow up post on the 'Life of Dad' Facebook page, expressing his gratitude for the kind words he received from other single parents.
He said he is trying to reply to every dad that has reached out to him so far.