An elementary school in Arizona had a party to celebrate second-grader Addy Loncar, who was adopted by her father last week.
Last Friday, Addy, 7, was surrounded by classmates and teachers at Val Vista Academy in Gilbert, Arizona, to celebrate an adoption that had been three years in the making.
According to KPHO/KTVK, Addy’s mother, Emily, married Branden Loncar approximately three years ago.
Loncar wanted to formally adopt Addy as his own daughter, a process that took some time but has been worth the effort.
— Val Vista Academy (@AcademyVal) February 8, 2020
Loncar said that he seized the opportunity to be a father, especially in light of his own upbringing.
“[With] the absence of a biological father in her life and in my own life, I’ve always told myself that if I had the ability to do so, I want to be the good father that I never had,” Loncar said.
Emily spoke about the adoption process, which she said was a long journey.
“A lot of court hearings and dates, and then after we got the ok, it still took about a year into our marriage before he was legally allowed to adopt as a spouse,” Emily said.
At school, Addy’s classmates were eager to celebrate alongside their friend and planned a sweet surprise.
“We made her a big card, and they all signed it, and then they decided, ‘Well, we can’t stop there. We need to have donuts,’” Marie Greiling, Addy’s teacher, explained.
Loncar believes the milestone day will be a memory Addy remembers her entire life.
While Addy’s legal status has changed, Loncar said their relationship will continue as it has been from the start: as father and daughter who love one another.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Loncar said. “I’ve always treated her like my daughter, and she’s always treated me like her dad.”
Clutching the hand-made card in her hands, Addy read the sweet notes her classmates wrote, congratulating her on her big day.
“I love my Dad and he is grateful for me,” the beaming second-grader said.
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