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Family

Two sisters ask their stepmom to adopt them with sweet memory book

"We were already calling her mom because it felt so natural."

mother's day, adoption, ruvolo family
Gabriella Ruvolo/TikTok

Gabriella and Julianna Ruvolo asked their stepmom to adopt them in a touching video.

Sisters Gabriella and Julianna Ruvolo know that they're extremely lucky. Their stepmom Becky Ruvolo has been there for them for most of their lives and it's clear that they're grateful to her for it. On May 9, Gabriella posted a video to TikTok to share the very special way the young women honored their stepmom for Mother's Day.

In the short clip, you can see Becky flanked by the two girls, flipping through a book. On the video are the words "After 12 years… we finally asked our step-mom to adopt us." As Becky goes through the pages, you can see her becoming increasingly more emotional before she gets to the last page. By then, all three of the women are crying.


"Really?" Becky asks, before putting her head down on the table in tears. "Is that a yes?" the girls ask before embracing her. It's so touching, you can't help but feel moved by it.

@gabbyruvolo after 12 years of love, our biggest dream came true 🥹❤️🥰 @beckyruv18 @juliannaruvolo #mothersday #adpotion #fyp ♬ Yellow - Coldplay

Pete, the girls' father, is the one filming the entire thing, and while you can't see him, you can guess his heart is swelling with love and pride as much as ours are while watching it.

"I was so caught off guard," Becky Ruvolo told Good Morning America. "When I read that, it was just pure shock and an honor and the emotions of just like, 'Is this really happening?'"

And it was really happening. If you ask the sisters, it was always a matter of "when" and not "if" they would ask Becky to officially be their mom. She met them when they were 8 years old and, as they all tell it, the connection was instantaneous.

"We met as friends and then she became mom and it was just, from the start, it was like love at first sight," Gabriella Ruvolo told Good Morning America.

When Becky married Pete in 2013, she made sure the girls knew just how important they were to her by including them in the ceremony. In the 12 years she's been in their lives, the twins have always thought of her as the strongest mother figure they have.

"We were already calling her mom because it felt so natural," Gabriella said.

"We always went to her as we would a mom. She was always there for us," Julianna added.

It's really wonderful to see these two young women not only acknowledge the role their stepmom plays in their lives, but find a way to honor all the love and care she has put into them and their family.

"We figured like, what's the best time to ask the biggest question we will probably ever ask? And why not make it on Mother's Day? Ask our mom to officially be our mother on the day dedicated to her," Julianna told GMA.

And what about their dad? Well, he couldn't be happier, which is why he filmed the moment.

"To actually see it unfold, just filled me with such a feeling of pride, proud for my girls and for my wife. I know how happy that would make her and it really was such a special moment," he said. He also added that the relationship between the girls and Becky "worked out better than I could have ever dreamed of."

Based on how people reacted to the TikTok, it seems that stories like the Ruvolos' are starting to reshape the narrative around blended families and the stereotypes about stepmoms.

"As a step mom to a daughter who never had a relationship with her bio mom …this put me on my knees," one user wrote.

"My step mom adopted me and my brother may 14th 2018. so happy for you guys!" wrote another.

All images provided by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Collins after being selected by Prudential Emerging Visionaries

True

A changemaker is anyone who takes creative action to solve an ongoing problem—be it in one’s own community or throughout the world.

And when it comes to creating positive change, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective can hold just as much power as years of experience. That’s why, every year, Prudential Emerging Visionaries celebrates young people for their innovative solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

This national program awards 25 young leaders (ages 14-18) up to $15,000 to devote to their passion projects. Additionally, winners receive a trip to Prudential’s headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they receive coaching, skills development, and networking opportunities with mentors to help take their innovative solutions to the next level.

For 18-year-old Sydnie Collins, one of the 2023 winners, this meant being able to take her podcast, “Perfect Timing,” to the next level.

Since 2020, the Maryland-based teen has provided a safe platform that promotes youth positivity by giving young people the space to celebrate their achievements and combat mental health stigmas. The idea came during the height of Covid-19, when Collins recalled social media “becoming a dark space flooded with news,” which greatly affected her own anxiety and depression.

Knowing that she couldn’t be the only one feeling this way, “Perfect Timing” seemed like a valuable way to give back to her community. Over the course of 109 episodes, Collins has interviewed a wide range of guests—from other young influencers to celebrities, from innovators to nonprofit leaders—all to remind Gen Z that “their dreams are tangible.”

That mission statement has since evolved beyond creating inspiring content and has expanded to hosting events and speaking publicly at summits and workshops. One of Collins’ favorite moments so far has been raising $7,000 to take 200 underserved girls to see “The Little Mermaid” on its opening weekend, to “let them know they are enough” and that there’s an “older sister” in their corner.

Of course, as with most new projects, funding for “Perfect Timing” has come entirely out of Collins’ pocket. Thankfully, the funding she earned from being selected as a Prudential Emerging Visionary is going toward upgraded recording equipment, the support of expert producers, and skill-building classes to help her become a better host and public speaker. She’ll even be able to lease an office space that allows for a live audience.

Plus, after meeting with the 24 other Prudential Emerging Visionaries and her Prudential employee coach, who is helping her develop specific action steps to connect with her target audience, Collins has more confidence in a “grander path” for her work.

“I learned that my network could extend to multiple spaces beyond my realm of podcasting and journalism when industry leaders are willing to share their expertise, time, and financial support,” she told Upworthy. “It only takes one person to change, and two people to expand that change.”

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is currently seeking applicants for 2024. Winners may receive up to $15,000 in awards and an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s headquarters with a parent or guardian, as well as ongoing coaching and skills development to grow their projects.

If you or someone you know between the ages of 14 -18 not only displays a bold vision for the future but is taking action to bring that vision to life, click here to learn more. Applications are due by Nov. 2, 2023.
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