New York mom and senior Air Force airman Emily Leehan wasn't just marrying her husband Joshua Newville, an active duty Marine, at their recent nuptials. She was also joining her life with that of his son, Gage, who is now four, but whom Leehan has known since he was two years old. In fact, she wrote two sets of vows for the ceremony—one for her new husband, one for her new stepson.
Her thoughtful words brought her stepson to tears, and has given the web a reason to love life this week.
"I want you to be safe and to try your hardest and to be a good person," Leehan told Gage, who lives with her and Newville, and has a "great mother," Kali Nuckols, according to his dad.
"I know that you and I will butt heads, but I hope that with all my heart, that as you become a grown man, you will understand my methods and realize that I have only done what is best for you and that I love you," Leehan also said in her vows, adding, "The last thing that I hope you learn that you are a very special boy. You are so extremely smart, handsome, and kind to others. You have helped make me into the woman that I am today."
This is the line I love the most: "I may not have given you the gift of life but life surely gave me the gift of you," the new stepmom said.
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The emotional moment between Leehan and Gage were captured in now-viral images by photographer Jessica Husted.
Newville was also overcome by the experience, telling ABC News, "When she started reciting the vows, that's when the emotion took over and he lost it. The whole day was pretty emotional, so I was just trying to keep myself together and keep him together."
The couple plans to give Gage a written copy of the vows. And we bestow upon him the most adorable stepson ever award!