"It was the moment my eldest daughter looked me in the eye seconds after she was born, as if asking me who I was. I cried!"
"The first time I felt like a parent was when I got home from the hospital and realized I had no clue what I was doing. It took me a good three months to get into a routine with my daughter. I realized then how much I appreciated my own mother and how it's so touch-and-go as parents...then I did it all over again with my second child and realized how exponentially harder it was with two. And also how rewarding and loving."
"I was dressed in a suit for a job interview, and my wife was changing our newborn’s diaper. She asked me to watch the baby for a second while she got some cream. I picked up our little guy to give him a smile face-to-face when his infant bowels let loose all over my interview outfit. That’s when the reality of this parenthood business hit home, so to speak."
"We met our daughter 36 hours after she was born. We had flown to California on a day's notice when we learned her birth mother was in labor. We were stuck in California for two and a half weeks until all the paperwork cleared. The morning we left, we dropped off the rental car and got on the shuttle with all of our stuff to get to our plane. At that moment, I realized there was no turning back. We were finally headed home to Massachusetts with the daughter we had waited many years to meet."
"Any time I've advocated for my daughter. That's what being a parent is for me — helping her deal with and learn from life's disappointments instead of hiding from them."
"I really felt like a parent the first time I had to deal with my 3-year-old having a tantrum, and just holding her while she screamed and cried and thrashed about. I remember trying to keep myself calm and thinking, Wow, this is really challenging. This is parenting."
Illustration by William Smith / © BuzzFeed.Com