One little girl began weeping as her best friend -- and her new father -- got on his knee and promised to always be there for her. Let's hope these were tears of joy.
In 2014, Anastasia Lindenman separated from her now-ex-husband and the father of her adorable little daughter Raina.
Beyond going through a divorce, she was in a difficult period of her life. Anastasia had to raise a child as a single mom and move back to her parents' house until she could get on her feet again.
Anastasia Lindenman, Brandon and Raina [left]; Brandon “marrying” Raina [right]. │Source: youtube.com/Inside Edition facebook.com/alindenman
AN UNEXPECTED RELATIONSHIP
This is why after meeting Brandon in 2015, she never believed, with the state of her life then, that he would be open to the prospect of a serious relationship with her.
Following this...the girl began sobbing.
However, not only did he fall in love with her, but Raina as well. Both returned the affections, leading to a more enriched life for everyone.
IMMEDIATE SOUL BUDDIES
As soon as Raina, who was going on 2 years old at the time, met Brandon, they clicked instantly. Suddenly, the duo was having tea parties and dancing together, with Brandon even painting her nails. Lindenman said:
"Their relationship actually amazes me. Sometimes I really feel as though I am their third wheel... They have a bond of which I really struggle to find the words to explain. They truly are best friends. [sic]"
Beyond having fun, Brandon has taken on a consistently supportive role in Raina's life, from teaching her to count to celebrating all her milestones and lulling her to dreamland.
TO ASK FOR HER HAND
This is why, in July 2017, when Brandon got on one knee and proposed to Anastasia, he made sure to include the little girl. He presented her with a diamond necklace, asking her if he could be her stepfather.
Of course, the starry-eyed little girl said yes, but she could never have anticipated what a beautiful gesture awaited her on the wedding day.
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On June 9, 2018, the bride and groom stood under a large tree. Raina was beside her mom, matching her white ensemble. After exchanging vows with Lindenman, Brandon kneeled and faced the little girl, with a ring in his hand, saying:
"'Raina, it has been an honor to call myself your dad. I have watched you grow up and get bigger and bigger every day. You grow more beautiful every day. [sic]'"
He promised that he would always be by her side no matter what, once again asking if she would accept him as her father. As Raina responded in the affirmative, Brandon put the ring on her finger.
WALKING THE TALK
Following this, the girl began sobbing as the two hugged one another. Wedding attendees clapped while witnessing this tender and touching exchange.
This simple gesture, although beautiful, is just one symbol of a strong and healthy bond between stepfather and stepdaughter that many should use as an example and aspire towards.
What Brandon did for Raina is just the tip of the iceberg of what most dads would do for their daughters. One father arranged an entire wedding for his one-year-old daughter.
Sadly, her special day came about because of a tragedy. The toddler, Poppy-Mai Barnard, had been diagnosed with cancer, and eventually, it became clear that she was not going to beat it.
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The dad, Andy Barnard, had promised her that he would throw her a colossal wedding ceremony when she grew older. Realizing he wouldn't be able to live up to this vow, the father arranged to walk her down the aisle on her "wedding day."
In a bittersweet ceremony organized by some of his colleagues, Andy walked in holding Poppy-Mai. She wore a baptismal gown as a wedding dress, looking adorable. On May 13, 2016, the dad held his angel in his arms as she passed away.
Whatever the milestone, whether a wedding, a simple soccer game, or in some earth-shattering cases, death, a true father will always be there to support his daughter.
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