A 22-year-old Florida woman gave her stepfather a birthday gift that he will never forget on July 31.
On David Lynde’s 53rd birthday, his stepdaughter Gabriella Guardado presented him with adoption papers and asked him to adopt her. The family captured the special moment on video and posted it online, drawing the attention of tens of thousands of viewers.
The Daily Mail reports David plans to officially adopt Gabriella on Friday, Sept. 1 at their local courthouse. When it’s official, Gabriella will take his last name.
“Papers will not change the love I already have for him but now it’s official,” Gabriella said.
The video shows David opening the gift and looking quizzically over the papers as Gabriella explains what they are for. When he realizes what Gabriella is asking, David breaks down into tears and hugs his stepdaughter.
“I want you to, you don’t have to, you can say no, but I want you to adopt me,” Gabriella tells him. “You’ve been my dad and I know legal papers don’t change anything …”
After the hug and more tears, he responds: “Gabby you have no idea how much that means to me. You have no idea.”
Here’s more from the report:
Gabriella’s mother, Lori Ann, told Daily Mail Online that David came into Gabriella’s life when she was 10 years old, when Lori Ann and David married in 2004.
Lori Ann, 44, was previously married to the father of Gabriella and three of her siblings, but they divorced in 2001 following an abusive relationship.
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Since then, Lori Ann told Daily Mail Online that he has not been in her children’s lives.
She also noted that David wanted to adopt Gabriella years before but that her ex-husband would not allow it.
So this month as part as a belated birthday gift for David, whose birthday was on July 31, Gabriella came up with the idea to present him with the papers.
‘She came to me and said this is what I want to do, his birthday is coming up and I want him to adopt me,’ Lori Ann told Daily Mail Online.
‘When she told me, of course I cried. She said I want his name.’
Because Gabriella is 22, she no longer needs her biological father’s permission; she can consent to the adoption herself. She said she has wanted her stepfather to adopt her ever since she was 12 years old, but he was not able to then.
Her mother, Lori Ann, said David stuck by her and her children through many ups and downs.
“Growing up it was not the easiest, but he hung in there and never stopped loving them, and anything they needed he was always there, and it all paid off,” she said.