After living with her beloved stepfather since she was five-years-old, Makayla Dabney has always felt very close to him. He’s been the perfect example of a father figure in her life and has always been there for her.
Despite their close relationship, he was always her stepfather. There was still that legal nuisance in the way of their relationship.
But on Christmas day 2017, Makayla, who is now eighteen years old, decided to give her stepfather a unique gift that brought him to tears. And as she presented him with the adoption papers, she said, “I’ll have your last name until someone takes mine.”
Because he has been a true father to her for thirteen years, she decided to give him the gift of becoming her official dad for Christmas. And the heartwarming exchange was captured on camera and uploaded for all to witness online.
The Ohio teen has lived with her stepfather since she was a little girl. And now that she can choose for herself as an adult, she asked him to adopt her for Christmas officially. And it was a gesture that meant the world to him.
Makayla knew that asking her stepfather to adopt her was the right move. She told him that “When you met my mom, you took me in as your own child.”
Any man who would do that is a real man. And Stephen Dabney proved to be a spectacular father over the next decade.
Although life with a teenage girl is not easy, Stephen proved that he had the meddle to be there with her through all the tough times.
“Obviously there have been rough patches,” she admits. But not without adding, “I love you more than anything.”
Makayla only presents this special gift after all the other ones are open. She doesn’t want the excitement of Christmas morning distracting them from the momentous occasion.
She turns to Stephen and tells him, “And no you can open it.”
And after opening the gift, he closely reads the papers. When he realizes she is asking him to adopt her, the tears start flowing. He wipes them away as he soaks in the special moment.
The teen tells her now official father, “I’m changing my name and everything.”
And then in a moment of grace, she says, “I’ll have your last name until someone takes mine.”
After the moment went viral online, local FOX affiliate FOX 8 contacted Makayla for an interview. She gratefully obliged. She said:
“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.”
The teen later added that the idea to present the adoption papers to her stepfather arrived at her in a dream. She knew she had to do it for Christmas.
“I had a dream that I asked him to adopt me,” Dabney said. “My Christmas present to him was adoption papers.”
Watch the heartwarming moment below.
What is your reaction to this touching moment?