Being someone’s father means a whole lot more than simply being biologically related.
When Marvin Bowers of Renton, Washington first got together with his now-wife, Sae Bowers, he plunged head-first into the role of father figure to Sae’s two daughters Jia and Jazelle Dennison. Now twenty-two and about to start her senior year of college, Jia recently gave Marvin a Father’s Day surprise that’s nearly impossible to top.
“I forget he’s my stepdad,” Jia said. “I just call him Dad. He treats me and my sister like we’re his own.”
For the past twelve years Marvin has filled the role of father in their household, loving Jia and Jazelle just as much as Maya, his biological daughter with Sae. The family has blended so well that you can no longer tell where the Bowers end and the Dennisons begin, which is why Jia decided to change her name to her stepdad’s as his gift for Father’s Day.
In a video Jia shared on Twitter, we get to see the emotional moment when Marvin opens his Father’s Day card and learns that she’s taking his last name.
Marvin reads the card aloud, the realization dawning on him quickly. Soon he’s choking back the tears and wrapping all three of his daughters in big, tight hugs! Jazelle has not yet changed her name but is in the process of doing so.
Jia decided now was the time to make the change because she will graduate from nursing school next year, making her the first person in her family to earn a college degree. When she walks across the stage to receive her diploma it’s Marvin’s last name she wants to hear.
“That’s a big deal for me being a first-generation student and to think that when I cross that stage and they say, ‘Bowers,’ that’s what I want,” she said. “My stepdad is the one who raised me.”
Jia explained that her biological dad had been abusive to to her mother and was also a drug addict, so when she thought about who really raised her the choice was clear. Over the years Marvin had hinted broadly that he’d love it if Jia and Jazelle had his last name, but he never pressed the issue.
Jia and Jazelle’s little sister Maya also feels like she received a gift. Mom Sae explained, “She’s super excited.This is full circle, like tying the bow on top of the present. From the get-go he embraced these girls as his own, just bringing what a father would be into their lives, something they never really had,” she said. “He’s just always been there, in all ways.”
The video captured the emotional moments when this family officially came together, but Sae says they continued to cry tears of joy long after the camera stopped rolling. “In the video it didn’t really capture us being a mess, but it continued throughout the day,” she said. “Once the camera cut off [Marvin] really cried out loud.”
Having someone decide to take your name is the ultimate honor, and definitely the best Father’s Day gift imaginable. Watch Marvin learning the news in the video below, and be sure to share this sweet moment with others.
My biological dad was a drug addict and physically abusive to my mother. 12 years ago, my stepdad brought the light into our world again. He’s always loved me and my sister as his own. And so we decided to change our last name this Father’s Day. I love you Dad. 💛 pic.twitter.com/q8XnmkypK1— Jia 💖💚 (@jialaurenxo) June 16, 2019
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