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Stepdad Left Daily Notes To 'Inspire' His Stepdaughter Through Middle School — 6 Years Later She Pays Him Back

Photo: Mike_shots / Shutterstock
man leaving note on door

Father’s Day has passed, yet its emotional impact lasts all year long. While the roots of the holiday are traditionally meant to celebrate biological dad and child relationships, one woman revealed how the bonds of parenting go beyond biology into chosen family.

A stepdad wrote daily notes to inspire his stepdaughter through middle school. Six years later, she gave them back.

Sophia posted a video to X, formerly Twitter, in which she filmed her stepdad sitting with a newspaper wrapped gift, smiling. Her voice can be heard urging, “Just go,” before her stepdad starts ripping the paper.

As Sophia explained in her caption, “During middle school, my step-dad used to leave me a note on my door each day to inspire me. Well, I kept those notes and it’s been 6 years since then. Today, I gave the notes back.”

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Sophia’s stepdad unwrapped one corner before pausing, as he realized exactly what the gift was. Set behind a frame were small, yellow Post-It notes, with his own handwriting in black pen — the inspirational notes he gave Sophia when she was younger.

Sophia captured his sweet reaction, recording him as he looked at the gift with awe. Sophia mounted a photograph in the middle of the notes, a picture of her stepdad holding her as a child. 

stepdad left daily notes for stepdaughter through middle school and 6 years later she pays him backPhoto: Tatiana Syrikova / Pexels 

Her stepdad brought his hand up to cover his mouth, as his jaw dropped. He began to cry as Sophia proclaimed, “Happy Father’s Day!”

He looked back at her, his eyes full of tears. The family dog came over and licked his knees, clearly feeling the weight of the emotion in the room. Sophia responded to a comment, identifying the pup as Koda, who "loves her grandpa very much."

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"She’s very intuitive whenever anyone is upset so she immediately became attentive," Sophia explained her dog's sweet reaction to stepdad's tears. 

“These are all your notes,” Sophia's stepdad whispered tearfully as he looked over the gift. “Yeah! I kept them all,” Sophia said, rubbing his arm lovingly.

Her stepdad took deep breaths as he reread the notes he’d given his stepdaughter 6 years earlier, a simple and actionable way to express his love and affection.

“I love you,” she said. He replied, “I love you too. Thank you.”

It’s highly probable that Sophia’s stepdad underestimated the importance of the notes he left for her, judging by his surprised and touched reaction to getting them back in a framed collage.

The love shared between stepfather and stepdaughter is clearly felt throughout Sophia’s post. He's undoubtedly an adult of significance in her life, as they seem to have a truly deep bond.

stepdad left daily notes for stepdaughter through middle school and 6 years later she pays him backPhoto: cottonbro studio / Pexels 

According to research released in 2013 by the Pew Research Center, adults within the U.S. are remarrying at higher rates, making blended families a distinct reality in our society. In analyzing data from the Census, researchers found that 4.2 million adults in the U.S. have been married more than once. 

As marriage trends in the U.S. continue to shift, blended families will become even more prevalent.

Love is what makes a family a family, not genetic ties. Sophia’s gift to her stepfather shows how deep the love in a blended family can run, and how important it is for stepparents and stepchildren to create meaningful rituals and traditions of their own. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.