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.
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?”
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.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.