For as long as she can remember, Lindsey Collins has always had a stepfather who cared for her like his own daughter.
Now 26, Lindsey has known her stepfather, Mark High, since she was just 9 years old—almost her entire life.
Although the family had talked about adoption in the past, life got in the way and they decided to put the papers on hold.
“He had always been there for me,” Lindsey told InsideEdition.com. “Since the beginning, he always made sure that I was involved.”
As a child, Lindsey only had her mom to look up to, so she was certainly wary when High came into their lives.
But when High and Lindsey’s mom decided to tie the knot, the transition was so simple that Lindsey instantly felt like her stepfather was part of the family.
When Lindsey used to play with Pokémon cards, High would buy them for her. When she started skateboarding, her stepfather would take her to the park to practice.
“He would take me to the mall to buy a rare Pokemon card, then go on a date with my mom,” she said. “I was always so included.”
Since Day 1, High always acted like a father to Lindsey, so she finally decided to make it official.
“He’s always supported me and he always had my back,” Lindsey said. “At any point in life when I had a question, we spent a lot of time hanging out and talking.”
“I always treated her like she was my daughter,” High added while speaking with TODAY. “In my mind, I would adopt her in a heartbeat.”
On Father’s Day, Lindsey decided to give High adoption papers to sign as a gift, and she caught the emotional moment on camera.
“I thought it was super sweet,” Collins said. “I was crying as well. I was super nervous even though I knew he would say yes. He’s a jokester so to see him break down into tears… I thought it was really sweet and genuine.”
The pair decided not to sign the papers that day because they wanted to mark the occasion on September 25—their joint birthday.
“It’s a great feeling,” Lindsey said. “I feel like I waited so long and it’s awesome that it’s finally happening. He’s been my dad my whole life whole, but now it’s finally confirming everything.”
“I was totally surprised,” High added. “I lost it, because I always wanted to be her father.”