By Christina Wood
This is the heartwarming moment a student makes an emotional speech thanking her stepfather for taking her under his wing before revealing they finally share the same last name.
Stoney Harris first asked Chelsea Harris, 24, if he could adopt her when she was just seven years old but she declined as she was too young to understand what it meant.
However, on December 24th last year, the elementary education student captured the touching moment she thanked the 48-year-old for never letting her down.
Stoney’s reaction is priceless when Chelsea reveals she has officially changed her last name to Harris and he can be seen jumping up and running into her arms.
In the video, Chelsea said: “I want to start with saying how grateful I am to have you as my dad. Twenty-two years ago you took me under your wing and you never let me down.
“Never once did I consider you anything less than my dad. You have always been there for me for the good days and most importantly, the bad. I couldn’t imagine growing up with anyone else.
“So, even though we don’t share the same DNA or so they say, I thought we could finally share the same last name.”
The adoption process is yet to be completed but the family are thrilled they now share the same last name.
Chelsea, from Midland, in Texas, United States, said: “He has been in my life ever since I could remember. He has been the only dad I have known. He has been a big part of my life and my main male role model.
“He asked to adopt me when I was younger but I said no because I wasn’t sure what it really meant.
“However, now I realise that he came into my life when I was two and he took me in as his own daughter and never treated me differently, which was such a huge commitment.
“So 17 years later I decided to thank him for being the only true dad I’ve ever known and I finally became a Harris.
“I just felt like it was time. I just felt like I needed to be a part of that family. I finally understood what it meant and that’s why I decided to do it.
“It was very emotional. Going into it, I told myself I wouldn’t cry but within five seconds I was a mess.”
Unfortunately Chelsea didn’t have a strong relationship with her birth father who passed away when she was 14 years old but considers Stoney to be her dad.
Chelsea said: “I had been thinking about changing my name for a while and my mum [Shawna Harris, 47] was like, ‘absolutely, I will help you do whatever is right for you.’
“We are really happy. He just said that I made his life. He works really hard but he said he now knows it has paid off. He was really pleased with it. He had no idea. He was so surprised.
“The adoption it is still going through the process. Hopefully it will be official as soon as possible.”
The 24-year-old was flooded with supportive messages from others who are going through the same thing after she uploaded the video to Facebook, which got over 42,000 likes and 28,159 shares.
Chelsea said: “I have been getting a lot of messages from people who have been through the same thing and how they are really inspired after watching my video.
“It was really nice to hear that. I had no idea how many people would be touched by the video and be so understanding.”