2 families ring in 2021 with adoptions

ERIC NOLL and ALLIE YANG
·1 min read

Two families welcomed the new year and officially welcomed new family members, too.

In Edinburgh, Texas, Armando Garza received a life-changing Christmas gift from 10-year-old Ayden.

Ayden is not Garza’s biological son, but Garza has raised him as if he was his own.

“To my bonus dad, you didn’t give me the gift of life, but you sure did make my life better,” Garza read aloud from Ayden’s letter. Ayden presented him with adoption papers, and Garza joyfully agreed.

MORE: 9-year-old boy receives thousands of adoption submissions after plea for a family

“I was just … beyond my emotions,” Garza said. “I couldn’t believe that that was the paperwork for the adoption, sealed, saying that he is officially my son.”

Ayden’s mom, Melissa Garza, said Armando means so much to the boy.

“His dad is his everything, especially in these times that we’re going through,” she said.

Meanwhile, on Christmas in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Kanya Carlson sat between Rick and Kim Harp, who have cared for her for years.

MORE: Family's adoption ceremony done via conference call due to coronavirus

Their Christmas gift to her was an envelope with adoption papers.

“They’ve always loved me as their own, and, as you can see, I’m clearly emotional in the video, because it’s been a lifetime of waiting,” Carlson told “World News Tonight.”

She said she finally feels like she belongs.

“That made a huge difference,” Carlson said. “In a year like 2020, [it] was just super sweet to end on that note.”

2 families ring in 2021 with adoptions originally appeared on abcnews.go.com