+
groom adopts stepdaughters, groom proposal, dontez williams

An adoption day to remember.

As Dontez Williams, 33, was preparing to marry his fiancée, Myshella Burton, 26, last August he knew he was committing to more than just one woman. He was also committing to be a permanent presence in the lives of her two daughters, Abigail, 9, and Natalie, 8.

In the days before the wedding, he wondered how he could use the occasion to solidify the bonds with his two stepdaughters-to-be. He began wondering what he'd say if he wrote vows to them as well as his fiancée and became so overwhelmed by emotion that he knew he had to do it at the wedding.

"When I felt that emotion just thinking about it, I was like, 'I got to do this. This is the right decision. There's no ifs, ands or buts about it,'" he said according to Yahoo.


His soul-searching also led him to realize that he was "the only father-figure they had ever really had," so he should adopt the girls as well.

By adopting the two girls, Williams chose to become their parent in every way possible. A stepparent only has rights as long as they are married to the child's biological parent, but by adopting, Williams had full parental rights for their entire lives. The children can inherit from him and in the event of a divorce, he could seek full custody.

"Although they are not biologically mine, blood could not make us any closer. I wanted to make it official in becoming their dad as I wrote vows not only to my wife but to my daughters as well asking them if I could adopt them," Williams wrote on Instagram.

After exchanging vows with Burton at the altar, he moved his attention to Abigail and Natalie. An emotional video of the proposal went viral on Instagram.



"I never knew you really do become a man when you have children," Williams said. "Having someone to teach, protect, provide for them, discipline them, learn from them and support them. For all of these reasons, you've helped me become a better person."

"I know that I'm a father figure to you both," Williams said before dropping down on one knee. "But I'm going to make it official and ask can I adopt you?" he said with his voice choked up with tears. The auditorium erupted into big applause and the two girls dropped down and gave Williams huge hugs.

Williams' new wife was taken by the beautiful gesture.

"Myshella was really shocked, but she was happy and just thankful for me stepping up," Williams told Fox News. "She was really happy that I feel that way for them and said she's grateful to have me in their lives."

Williams' beautiful act shows what true commitment looks like. He didn't just marry a woman and vow to take care of her "til death do us part," he made the same pledge to their children by becoming more than just a stepdad, but their father for life.

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo pulled from video

Texas dad giving heartfelt speech.

This article originally appeared on 07.06.17


A baseball cap on his head, his hands tucked snugly in his front blue jean pockets, Ken Ballard stood in front of a room of onlookers, admittedly a little out of his element.

But the issue at hand was so critical, Ballard said, he couldn't keep quiet.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo from Pixabay

Courage and coming forward after a sexual assault

This article originally appeared on 10.12.17


"Why didn't she say anything sooner?"

It's the question that frustrates sexual assault prevention advocates and discredits the victims who bravely come forward after they've been targeted.

Stars Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — who both disclosed to The New York Times they'd been sexually harassed by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein years ago — are among the latest women now having to trudge through a predictable wave of victim-blaming following their disclosures.

Keep ReadingShow less

Fox was granted the award for his contributions to Parkinson's disease research through his foundation.

Following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease back in the early '90s, beloved “Back to the Future” star Michael J. Fox became an unwavering advocate for others living with the condition. His Michael J. Fox Foundation, founded in 2000, has become the leading provider of funds for Parkinson's research in the world. A large chunk of that research goes into investigating potential cures for the disease.

His contributions to Parkinson's research were highlighted at the 13th Annual Governors Awards on Saturday, Nov. 19, in Los Angeles as a recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which honors individuals "whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

As the now-retired actor took to the stage to accept his honorary Oscar, he delivered a speech full of emotion, grace and a sense of humor that shoots straight to the heart.

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo pulled from YouTube video

Animated short about closeted love.

This article originally appeared on 07.31.17


After much breathless waiting and anticipation, the animated kids short "In a Heartbeat" was finally released on July 31, 2017.


The four-minute short film — which follows a closeted boy as he "runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams" — has captivated certain corners of the internet since its trailer was released in May and instantly went viral.

Keep ReadingShow less