“It takes a great man to love a child that is not biologically his the way he does.”
Clifton knew it was a package deal when he proposed to Janna, and that’s exactly the way he wanted it. In fact, he made a very public and profound display of devotion to his soon-to-be-step daughter during his and Janna’s wedding ceremony last summer.
In 2007, Janna gave birth to her daughter Jayda. Three years later, Janna — who was raising Jayda as a single mom — was shoveling her driveway after a snowstorm when a kind man named Clifton pulled up and asked if she need any help. This was the beginning of Janna and Clifton’s love story.
Jayda and Clifton had an instant connection, which only made Janna fall more in love with him. On Christmas Eve of 2013, Jayda asked if she was allowed to call Clifton “Daddy,” and it wasn’t long before he proposed.
In January 2016, Jayda’s biological father passed away of natural causes. In the wake of the unexpected loss, Janna and Clifton took her to Clearwater, Florida, to relax and clear their heads. “The sand and ocean water tend to take all worries and pain away,” Janna said. That weekend, Clifton spent a whole day with Jayda. He took her to the jewelry store and she was so happy when they got back.
Fast forward to the wedding day. After Clifton and Janna said their vows, he asked her to step aside and called for Jayda to come forward. Much to her surprise, young Jayda also received a vow that day, and Clifton topped it off with her very own 14-karat white gold diamond ring!
After slipping the ring on her finger, he looked intently in Jayda’s eyes and said the following: “This ring I give to you has a lot of meaning behind it. So I want you to keep this on your finger until the day that you meet someone and you get married.”
“I want you to know that I will always love you – you and your mommy,” Clifton pledged. “I will always protect you. I will teach you every moral that my parents taught me. I will help your mother raise you to be a beautiful young lady just like herself.”
Instead of a kiss, however, they sealed it with a pinky swear.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,it came as a complete surprise to Janna.“The only people he told about this were the best man, the pastor, the DJ and the photographer,” she later recalled. When Clifton made his vows to Jayda, she added, “it was at that point that I realized this wonderful man is 10 times the man I thought he was.”
“He was more nervous over the vows to her than he was to me,” Janna says. “He always knew that I was a package deal, and Jayda was always my number one. Now, she is both of our number ones, and I couldn’t be happier to say that.”What a great start to a beautiful life together – for all three of them!
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