For some people, being handed just a pen and an envelope can turn out to be the greatest gift in their life. That was exactly the case for the 39-year-old Vincent VonTobel, who had received a present from his 17-year-old stepdaughter Sarah Leonard.
Sarah wanted Vincent – who always treated her as his own child – to officially adopt her and she set up a surprise.
Vincent from Rensselaer, Indiana works as a mechanical engineer and has been the only father figure that Sarah has known ever since she was two years old.
“He has been fantastic to her ― he never treated her as a step child,” his wife Jessica told InsideEdition. “Then he proposed to me. He said he loved us so much and he wanted to marry me and take care of us forever. She was the flower girl at our wedding.”
The VonTobel family has three children in the house: Sarah, a sibling that they adopted together and a child of their own. Vincent always had a special relationship with Sarah and called her his little girl.
“Their relationship has been unique since they met. She grew attached to him quickly,” Jessica said to the Daily Mail. “They had the cutest things in common, such as foods they liked and games they enjoyed playing.”
She continued, “He took her fishing for the first time in her life, and bought her her first fishing pole and BB gun. He was the only person she had ever known as a father figure.”
With Vincent’s 39th birthday coming up soon, Sarah had been planning a small surprise for her stepdad. Not a large gift box, but a loving and heartfelt present.
“When my daughter Sarah approached me a few weeks before his last birthday and said she wanted to give him adoption papers for his birthday, I knew we had to make this happen,” her mom Jessica told Caters News Agency.
The adoption actually holds a special emotional value for Vincent himself, as he was once adopted himself as a child.
Preparations were made for the adoption papers, and the paperwork was luckily completed in time for the birthday surprise.
“I knew it was something Vince had always wanted because he has done a lot to make sure he gets everything done on his end as quickly as possible,” Jessica said.
The emotional moment when Sarah presents her dad Vincent with a small box containing the adoption papers is truly heartwarming. His reaction is priceless and very emotional.