A 17-year-old hands her stepdad a box; when he realizes what it is, he sobs uncontrollably

Are you a stepparent? What would you do if you’re stepchild did this for you?

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  • Vincent VonTobel has raised Sarah Leonard since she was two-years-old and has treated her like his own daughter.

    "He has been fantastic to her - he never treated her as a stepchild," Sarah's mom, Jessica VonTobel, told InsideEdition.com. "Then he proposed to me. He said he loved us so much and he wanted to marry me and take care of us forever."

    After marrying Sarah's mother, Vince became her stepdad, but never adopted her. Fifteen years later, 17-year-old Sarah planned to change that with the contents of a decorated box.

    It was Vince's 39th birthday. His family gathered around him and filmed him opening his gifts. Sitting next to him in a large armchair, Sarah anxiously held "the big shebang" box.

    Sarah had given him a new pen with his name engraved on it. Then, she handed him the box.

    Vince calmly unwrapped it. When he removed the lid, the box was stuffed with white tissue paper.

    "Yeah, that's all I got you, so..." Sarah joked.

  • Then Vince saw the paper that would change their lives - adoption papers to officially become Sarah's father after all these years.

    With a slight chuckle, Vince's eyes brimmed with tears and he uncontrollably sobbed with joy.

    "He is honestly pretty strong both physically and emotionally. I didn't realize until he broke how significant and important it was to him," Jessica said. "It was like everything in our family was complete."

    Getting up from her seat next to him, Sarah rose to comfort her soon-to-be father.

    "I love you so much and there is nobody else that I would want to be my dad except for you," Sarah said in the video.

  • Vince and Sarah shared a long, full embrace as father and daughter

    Many fathers and mothers wait an excruciatingly long amount of time to adopt their beloved stepchildren or children in general.

    "I really do hope that it inspires people to become aware of adoption," Jessica said.

    To see the sweet moment for yourself, check out the video below.


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Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.

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