Boy, 11, Breaks Down in Tears After Getting Adoption Certificate for Christmas
Landon Rice will be formally adopted by his stepdad next year.
When this 11-year-old boy opened one present beneath the tree, he was overcome with Christmas joy.
Janelle Rice filmed the moment her son Landon ripped off the wrapping paper and found a certificate telling him he was being adopted by his stepdad. He burst into tears.
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"This is to certify that Landon Ryan Rice will be formally adopted by Daniel Rice February 2017," the framed certificate read. "It's not flesh and blood, but the heart that makes us father and son."
On Sunday, Janelle shared the video to Facebook, where it has since been viewed more than 26 million times.
She told InsideEdition.com that Landon was just 5 months old when she met Daniel, an Air Force veteran.
"Daniel immediately became Landon's father in his mind — there was never a question," she said.
The couple went on to have two more children, Peyton, now 9, and Jaelyn, now 8, but "they're all treated one and the same," Janelle said.
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Her husband and eldest son have a typical dad-and-son relationship, she said. They love playing video games and swimming, and sometimes the whole family takes part in epic Nerf gun battles around the house.
"We live on laughter," she said.
She knew that it was important for Landon to be formally adopted by Daniel and suspected he might shed "a tear or two," but she had no idea just how emotional he would be.
"Landon says he's just really happy, and very proud that he will get his last name changed to 'Rice,'" she said. "I think it is just a piece of him that was missing, but we had no idea that this would be such a blessing to him!"
Watch: Class Misses First Day of School to Attend 10-Year-Old Girl's Adoption Hearing
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