Facebook | Dylan Lenox

Dad And Stepdad Share How Their Little Girl Brought Them Closer Together

Families come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes, far more than just the Mom, Dad, two kids and a dog that were thrust upon us on TV for decades. In the case of divorce, it can almost seem like a family gets broken apart. But as one family is reminding us, when the parents come together for the kids, it can be a win for everyone.

David Mengon and Dylan Lenox have every reason to have a difficult relationship with each other, and one good reason to put any differences aside: a little girl named Willow.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

David and his ex-wife, Sarah, split up about a year after Willow was born. Four years later, Sarah married Dylan. In many cases, the ex-husband and the new husband have some trouble getting along, especially where it concerns the kids, but in a series of pics shared on Facebook by Dylan, he and David and Willow look like as happy a family as there has ever been.

As they say, it wasn't easy getting to that point, however.

Dylan and David did not get along right away.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

"It was really challenging at first," David told Today. "There was a lot of pain and hurt on my side just seeing my daughter with another guy. He came out with Willow in his arms, and it crushed me immediately. Then as I got to know him and find out who he was as a person and realized it was never a competition of 'who's the better dad,' I started to gain a lot of respect for him."

Dylan credits Sarah with doing much of the work to get everyone on the same page.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

"With David, I just had to put my own personal feelings aside, be an adult and be mature about the situation," she told Today. "I never let my feelings get in the way of raising our daughter. It helped a lot that both sides were so understanding."

David also said that Dylan deserves some credit for being there for Willow when he couldn't.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

David spent nine years in the military and was deployed twice after Willow was born, so he was grateful that she and Sarah had Dylan around during those periods.

"He was there to make sure Willow was protected and Sarah was safe," he told Today. "It's still a hard pill to swallow every once in a while when she calls him 'Daddy,' but I gotta remember it's not a title, it's a behavior. Because he is filling that role of being a good, positive male influence in her life and taking care of her, he deserves the title of 'Dad.'"

The real change for them came with putting Willow first.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

"It was hard at first but the longer we got to know each other things just slowly started to fall into place," David told Good Morning America. "It took a lot of patience, work and love for our daughter to overcome any personal feelings we had.

It's something he hopes other parents in similar situations can be inspired by. "They [the child or children] didn’t ask to be here, and for whatever reason things failed among the adults, you can’t let your child see that," he said. "So be compassionate, be patient, and remember that no matter what, the love for the children should prevail over all else."

From Willow's point of view she just has two dads to go with her mom: her biological dad, David, and her bonus dad, Dylan.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

David visits whenever he can, and when he's in town, he stays in the house with them because he's family.

"We have molded ourselves into one unique family, of only for the sake of our children to know the power of love," Dylan wrote in his Facebook post. "Not only did I gain a daughter, I gained a brother and a best friend."

David said that although it seems like a nice, feel-good story, the Facebook post hasn't gotten 100% support despite being shared thousands of times.

Facebook | Dylan Lenox

"I've seen people commenting that real alpha males wouldn't allow this or do this," he told Today. "I don't think that has anything to do with it. I think as a father, especially in today's world where the idea is to empower women to be strong and independent, we had to swallow that pride together."

"Put your faith and love ahead of personal feelings," he added to Good Morning America. "We are the adults and need to remember that."

h/t: Today, Good Morning America

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