Willie Garson's Photos with His Son, Nathen

The Sex and the City star welcomed his son by adoption in 2009 — and couldn't have been prouder of being a father

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Late Sex and the City actor Willie Garson welcomed son Nathen by adoption in 2010, and often spoke of his love for his son and his desire to be a dad.

"I just reached a point of 'What am I waiting for?' " he told PEOPLE of choosing to become a parent without a partner. "I don't care if I ever get married, but if I never have a kid?"

He met Nathen at an adoption fair in Los Angeles in late 2008, noticing the 7-year-old balancing on a curb, he recalled.

"I was like, 'That's my kid,' " the actor told PEOPLE. "I knew it right then."

Garson died on Sept. 21 following a short illness; prior to his death he frequently posted photos with his growing son, writing of their adventures together.

Here, a throwback from 2010, posted in 2016. "This little dude, @nathen_garson, did me the huge honor of becoming my son," Garson captioned a snuggly shot of the pair, asking people to help L.A.'s Alliance for Children's Rights, because "#everychilddeservesafamily."

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"January 27, 2010. Adoption Day, LA Children's Court," Garson wrote alongside this image. "Best day of my life. Always. It's an honor @nathen_garson, today and every day."

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On the ninth anniversary of Nathen's adoption day, Garson posted this image, joking, "We'll have our traditional dinner when Dad comes home from work. You're buying."

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Garson shared more about the pair's dinner tradition in 2018. "Always the counter, always Musso's ... so thankful to those who've stayed on this adventure with us, and for those who rode part of it with us, you all made and make a huge difference in our lives and are forever in our hearts."

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"I've had a lot of jobs. One matters," Garson wrote on Father's Day 2018. "happy day y'all!!!"

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The two were often in sync, as in this #TBT photo from "somewhere in the Pacific Northwest," as Garson wrote.

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Or here, when Nathen tried on Dad's signature specs, causing the actor to write, "He is my heart, forever."

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Garson frequently posted about the pair's charity work for soup kitchens and Habitat for Humanity in New York, L.A. and beyond. Here, they served Thanksgiving meals at the New Orleans Mission in 2015.

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And more recently, they delivered sack dinners to those in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "He is awesome," Garson wrote of his helpful son.

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Nathen also joined Dad at some of his more glamorous charitable events, like the Elton John Oscar party in 2019.

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And for National Adoption Day events, like this one in L.A. in 2018.

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Garson always gave Nathen a shoulder to lean on.

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And fun adventures, like a 2017 ski trip to Big Bear.

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Garson posted this #TBT just because he "missed this one."

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Not just a regular dad, but a cool dad, diving into some watermelon with Nathen at Coachella 2018.

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The two just had to visit Asbury Park, New Jersey's famed Stone Pony while in the Garden State in November 2019.

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Garson left life lessons for Nathen, like this one in 2020: "It's a big country.....lot of chances to treat people equally, well, and kindly...."

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The proud pop's birthday tributes were incredibly touching, like this one on Nathen's 19th.

"Happy 19th Birthday to this kind, curious, empathetic, caring, smart, athlete, worker, and friend," he wrote. "But what he's best at is being a son. Happy Day, young man, Papa loves you more than anything."

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And this post, from the year prior.

"Kindness, warmth, intelligence and drive. And 18 today. Endlessly striving for inclusion and acceptance. The best heart I've ever seen, a natural curiosity for justice, fairness, and doing the right thing---always. Inspiring to me every day, and to all lucky enough to know him. He's never met a stranger. A keen judge of character, with caring and persistence.

"Happiest of birthdays @nathen_garson, and bless all of your days. I love you beyond measure."

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And Nathen clearly loved him back. On the evening of his father's passing, the 20-year-old wrote in his own Instagram post, "I love you so much papa. Rest In Peace and I'm so glad you got to share all your adventures with me and were able to accomplish so much. I'm so proud of you. I will always love you, but I think it's time for you to go on an adventure of your own. You'll always be with me. Love you more than you will ever know and I'm glad you can be at peace now. You always were the toughest and funniest and smartest person I've known. I'm glad you shared you're love with me. I'll never forget it or lose it."

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