Parties are all about celebrating, and that’s exactly what happened when 10-year-old Kalani Watson decided to make his recent birthday party extra special. Except this year, he was the one giving the gift.
While standing in front of friends and family, Kalani handed his mother’s husband Brandon Williamson a brown and blue wrapped package. He then proceeded to read off a handwritten letter, and ask him a few important questions: “Do you love me? Do you love mom? Can you live without us?”
Though Williamson affirmed each new question, he was clearly still confused as to what was going on.
“So let’s stop playing around and make it official,” Kalani said, before asking one final question: “Will you do me the biggest favor in the world? Will you adopt me?”
With tears in his eyes, Williamson embraced Kalani, before opening the wrapped package. Inside was a precious gift: the legal paperwork labeled “adoption request.”
Video of the “adoption proposal” has since swept the Internet, racking up over 3.8 million views on Facebook to date.
Porsche, Kalani’s mom, tells Babble that her husband was “honored” by Kalani’s proposal. “I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she says. “He’s [Brandon] been there since he [Kalani] was 2 ½. That’s his dad.”
As for what she was thinking when it all went down? “The moment was perfect!” Porsche tells Babble. “[I] couldn’t stop crying. Both of them are my world. Brandon is not just a hero to our son, but he’s my superman also.”
Porsche adds that she and Williamson have been together a total of seven years — most of Kalani’s life — and are excited to be adding their little family soon, as she’s expecting a new baby later this year.
In the video, Kalani shares that he’d asked his mom the difference between a “step dad and a real dad” before, indicating that to Kalani, they were one in the same. He also noted all the ways Brandon has been a father to him, including attending his school events, parent-teacher conferences, sports games, and even taking him on vacations.
As a mom to four children myself (all of whom were adopted), I echo Kalani and Porsche’s sentiments. A popular saying within the adoption community is “love makes a family,” because family isn’t solely defined by a genetic connection, but rather, by a relationship. And this story just highlights that truth even more.
So far, public response to the video has been overwhelmingly supportive, according to Porsche — even garnering comments from other step-parents who’ve expressed interest in adopting the children they’re co-parenting.
It’s obvious that Kalani adores his mother’s husband, and it warms the heart to know that their relationship will now be official. After all, in every other sense, they are already father and son.