Watch: Stepfather’s emotional reaction as kids hand him adoption papers

Lifestyle | Published:

‘It was a moment I had been waiting my entire life to live.’

'Adoption family' written on a string

Bri Colwell was three when John Boden married her mother, and for years she has wanted him to adopt her and her sister Mickaela.

Now, 15 years later, Bri’s wish has come true and from the look of John’s emotional reaction as she handed them the papers on his birthday – so has his.

Be warned there was, understandably, some strong language.

Bri filmed John’s reaction while 21-year-old Mickaela, second name Hughes through marriage, was on a video call with him from Florida – where she lives with her husband.

“I have always treated him as my real father so I knew that one day I would want him to adopt me,” Bri, from Arizona, told the Press Association. “So I waited until his 40th birthday because my 18th birthday is next month and that way I don’t need my biological father’s approval.

“It was a moment I had been waiting my entire life to live, all I’ve ever wanted was to officially be his real daughter.

“I hope this video effectively displays the idea that anyone can be your family, blood isn’t the only way to be related and being related by blood doesn’t mean you are family.”


Bri, a student at Northern Arizona University, and Mickaela, a pre-school teacher, received the papers months in advance and began planning in January without John’s knowledge.

Bri’s second name will be changing to Boden to match John, who sells solar water heaters.

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