Marissa Thamann, 21, lost her biological mother when she was very young, and Heather Thamann, 40, has basically been her mom for 17 years. But, as Today.com reported, for financial and personal reasons, they never pursued a legal adoption. On Christmas morning, though, Marissa decided to "pop the question." And she did it in the most creative way: with a handmade ornament. Written on it? "Will you adopt me?" She also presented Heather with a picture book filled with special letters and photos.
The rest of the family was in on the surprise, and it was captured in the sweet video below. "I've been waiting for so long!" Heather says in it. After being picked up by the site Love What Matters, the video went viral, with over 78,000 likes and 2.6 million views so far. Heather told Today that she's since received messages from women all over the world, many of them asking for advice on how to unite their own families. “I have not been the perfect parent by any means," she said. "We’ve had our downs and ups and craziness and arguments and love, just like any family. You just have to stick with it and hope that it turns out the way that you want.” After all, said her newly adopted daughter, love isn't about signing on a dotted line. “Love comes in all forms,” Marissa said. “You don’t need a piece of paper.”