There are many different makeups and versions of family life. The typical nuclear family works for some, but for many other people, having flexibility to pick and choose family bonds has made their lives much better.
One little girl in Alabaster, Alabama decided to take matters into her own hands when she realized how important her stepfather was to her. Because he had been a present and positive force in her life for many years, she decided to ask him to adopt her, in an adorable way.
Leonardo has been in Alessandra’s life since she was a baby.
He married her mom when she was very young, so she grew up with a strong relationship with him. After almost eight years of Leonardo filling the father role in her life, she wanted him to officially have the role. It was her idea to ask him to adopt her, and her mother helped her figure out a touching way to make it all happen.
Alessandra and her mother, Angela, worked together to come up with a plan to ask this big question.
Since one of the main ways that Alessandra and Leonardo bonded was through sports, they thought that it would be fitting to ask the question on a baseball field.
While Leonardo was standing on the pitcher’s mound near their hometown, he was asked to close his eyes. When he opened them, Alessandra was standing at home plate in a dress and baseball cleats holding a sign that meant everything.
As soon as he saw the question, Leonardo had an answer.
The sign that Alessandra held said “Papi, you are my forever home. Will you adopt me?” That moment changed everything for both Alessandra and Leonardo. When he understood what he was being asked he immediately responded, in a tearful moment with a big hug. His reaction had all the right words.
Leonardo told Good Morning America:
“I told her, ‘I absolutely 100 percent will [adopt you]…I told her I care about her and she means the world to me. I hope I could keep showing her an example of what a good father is and later on down the road, what a good husband is supposed to be”
This moment changed everything for both Alessandra and Leonardo.
Since Alessandra asked her stepfather to adopt her, she has legally been adopted by him. The proceedings meant that she took his last name officially and that he is one of her legal guardians in life. Their special bond is now cemented in the eyes of the law, and it is not a transition that Leonardo takes lightly.
Leonardo Avila explained his reaction to this touching moment. He tells Good Morning America:
“To know that was her decision that she wasn’t pressured, that it was something that she wanted, my emotions came over me…To know I made this type of impact to her life that she wants my last name, it was an amazing