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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Heartwarming Video Shows Moment Teen Asks Former Coach to Officially Adopt Her

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When an important family member’s birthday rolls around, do you know exactly what to get them? Do you find something that really suits them, or make something personal?

Perhaps your loved one would appreciate a gift of service, time or an experience. Choosing the perfect present requires skill and insight, both things that 14-year-old Alecia had in spades when it came to choosing something for her foster dad.

The teen, from Haleyville, Alabama, has known Daniel Donaldson since 2019, when he was her coach.

Donaldson is a youth sports coach and has three kids of his own, but when he heard Alecia’s story and the troubles she’d faced in the foster care system, he and his wife Tiffany welcomed her into their home.

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The teen quickly became a part of the family, and when Donaldson’s birthday came around this year, she knew just what she wanted to give him.

With Tiffany’s help, they decided to surprise him with an adoption request during a special beach ceremony held on his birthday.

In a video from the event, Alecia is seen tying a handkerchief blindfold around Donaldson’s head before having him hold a series of signs facing the camera.

“This man here started out as just my coach,” the signs read. “But he stepped up when he didn’t have to.

“He is now not only my coach, my encourager, my protector, my provider, but now the man I call daddy. I have been part of this family for 524 days but today for his birthday I want to ask him if we can make it official.

“He has no clue that I’m about to ask him to adopt me! Please take and read this note … then turn around.”

After having his blindfold removed and reading the provided note, Donaldson turned to see his kids and wife holding signs that asked the all-important question: “Let’s make it official! Will you adopt me?”

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The hug Donaldson gave Alecia was the answer she needed.

“I will always remember that day and the hug he gave me,” she told ABC News’ “World News Tonight.”

“When he hugged me I felt so happy and safe.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking