The best part of Christmas is giving. For one Ohio family, the most precious gift wasn’t something that could be found in a store.
Eighteen-year-old Makayla Dabney had something special planned for her stepfather, Stephen Dabney.
Her box was passed to him, and she sat down beside him as her mother recorded on her cell phone.
“It was very memorable and exciting because I had something so big planned and only a few family members knew about it,” Makayla told Fox 8.
Stephen opened box after box until he reached the letter inside.
“You have been my dad for over 14 years,” Makayla explained before her stepdad opened his gift. “I’ve known you since I was five.
“When you met my mom, you did not even care that I was alive,” she continued as Stephen made a face. “In a good way!” she clarified.
“I did care,” Stephen protested, “did you hear the whole story?”
He started to tell the story of how he and Makayla’s mother met, but Makayla’s message was more important.
“You took me in as your own child,” Makayla said. “Obviously there’s been rough patches, but I love you more than anything, and now you can open your present.”
Stephen took a moment to eat a piece of candy before opening the letter. He looked at the paper inside, but it was Makayla’s remark that made him cry.
“Since I’m a grown-[expletive] woman, and I make my own decisions, I was wondering if you’d adopt me,” she said.
Stephen’s eyes got wide and he put his wrist over his mouth to stifle tears.
After the two embraced, Stephen looked at the paper in disbelief — tears threatening to burst through.
The video of the heartwarming gift was posted on social media, where it quickly went viral.
“I had a dream that I asked him to adopt me,” Dabney later told Fox 8. “My Christmas present to him was adoption papers.”
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