“It’s not flesh and blood, but the heart that makes us father and son.”
As someone who grew up with a non-biological dad, I definitely agree with that sentiment. Eleven-year-old Landon has grown up with his stepfather, Daniel, and first asked to share his last name at the age of five. For the family, adoption papers were nothing more than a formality, but they had no idea how much the process would mean to their little guy.
His mother, Janelle Rice, said, “At his fifth grade graduation in May, he was called up to the stage to get his ‘diploma’ and he told his teachers he wanted to go by Landon Rice (rather than his birth last name) — that’s when we knew we had to begin.”
Secretly, Landon’s stepfather began the adoption process. On Christmas morning, he was able to tell the 11-year-old that the law recognized what they’d always known in their hearts — they were father and son. How Landon reacted says it all.
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It may just be a piece of a paper, but this certificate is something that Landon and his dad will treasure for a long time to come.