Stepdad Makes Little Girl's Daddy-Daughter Dance Special After Her Biological Dad Took His Own Life

He let his stepdaughter know how much he loves her, while uplifting her dad's memory.

Pete with his children, Julian and Sophia sarahty820 / TikTok

A mom named Sarah captured a sweet moment between her daughter, Sophia, and Sophia’s stepdad, Julian, on a significant night for the whole family. Sarah shared the video on TikTok, where it received over 1 million views, a true testament to the love this stepfather has for his stepdaughter.

Sophia’s stepdad made her Daddy-Daughter dance special by honoring her biological dad after he took his own life.

Sarah filmed Sophia walking across their lawn, wearing a black and gold dress, her long hair braided. She instructed Sophia to approach her stepfather, Julian, who was waiting for her with his back turned. 


“You gotta go tap his shoulder so he knows when to turn around,” Sarah explained. Sophia did so, and her jaw dropped in awe as Julian faced her. Her stepfather held a photograph of her and her father, Pete, dressed up for a previous Daddy-Daughter dance they attended together.

But that wasn’t the only gift Julian had for Sophia.



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The proud stepdad read a letter to his stepdaughter, which he wrote to express his deep love for her, and acknowledged that he’d never replace her biological dad. Julian read the letter out loud, bending down on his knees, so he could be at Sophia’s eye level.

“I wanna start by saying I love you. I haven’t always loved you, but I know that’s just because I haven’t always known you,” he explained. “Before meeting you, I never even knew I needed a daughter. Before meeting you, I never even saw myself as being a girl dad.” 

“You may not share my last name,” he continued. “You may not share my blood, or anything else for that matter. But still, somehow, when I look at you, I see so many similarities between us and everything I could ever want in a daughter.”

Julian made sure to tell Sophia that even though her dad is gone, his presence, memory, and influence will always remain.

stepdad daddy daughter dance biological father's suicidePhoto: TikTok


"As our second Daddy-Daughter Dance kicks off, I want you to know that although I may not be your biological dad, I have no doubt that he is watching you on this day," he told her.

“Every twirl that you do, every smile you fix your face to make, your daddy is watching. I know that just as I am thinking, your daddy is having the exact same thoughts of how beautiful you are,” Julian said, taking time to celebrate Sophia’s father, Pete.

“Sophia, you have no idea how thankful I am for you,” Julian concluded. “Thankful that because of you, I’m able to attend Daddy-Daughter dances. Thankful that because of you, I’m able to share soft moments with someone. There are so many things that make me thankful for you, but the most important is that you love me as I love you.” 

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“I’m so excited to share the second Daddy-Daughter dance with you, and I look forward to many more to come,” Julian said. “I love you.” Sophia embraced her stepdad, resting her head on his shoulder and smiling. 

In a separate TikTok, Sophia’s mom, Sarah, offered her own emotional tribute to her children’s father, compiling a slideshow of photographs of Pete with their kids.



“June is men’s mental health month,” Sarah captioned the post. “I want to raise awareness for suicide and to honor my children’s father. He was a phenomenal dad and deserves to be remembered.”

Sarah continued to uplift Pete’s legacy, stating, “I will never stop talking about him. Depression has no face and does not discriminate. Please be gentle with yourself. Tomorrow needs you.”


To lose a parent at a young age, to lose a parent at all, is something that inexorably changes the course of a person’s life. Grief is an emotion that ebbs and flows. It exists even in joyful moments.

Julian’s authentic, loving presence in Sophia’s life will never replace her father’s existence. He proves that there's incredible value to surrounding kids with nurturing adults, especially when faced with unimaginable loss. 

If you or somebody that you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text "HELLO" to 741741 to be connected with the Crisis Text Line.


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