This Photo Celebrating A Stepfather And Stepdaughter’s Bond Will Warm Your Heart

What defines a family is so much more than genetics. It's not about who you're related to by blood, it's about the bond that you share. Nothing makes that more apparent than this daughter and stepfather who have such a powerful connection you'd never know they share no biological relation.

This Love What Matters Facebook post shows a young girl who's fallen asleep snuggling with her “stepfather,” although the mother, who snapped the photo, explains in the post, “We don't use the term 'stepfather.' He is her father."

According to the Facebook post, when Karisa Smith met her husband, he not only fell in love with her, he fell in love with her daughter. And since then, he's treated her as though they were flesh and blood. When they met, her daughter was just 9 months old, and now, she's almost 3.

“They aren't related by blood, but they are daddy and daughter. My husband goes above and beyond to take care of her as his own. When she cries, he's there. When she needs him, he's there,” Smith wrote.

This really couldn't be more sweet, especially since the whole reason they are snuggling in the photograph is because “he snuck home from work to calm her down because she missed him; he had been gone for 14 days.” Too cute!

The post goes on to say that because their connection is so strong, and she's become the ultimate “daddy's girl,” they are going through the adoption process.

There's a lot to be thankful for this time of year, and a special bond like this is certainly not to be taken for granted, as this little girl reminds us all what it's like to love deeply—whether we're related by blood or not.

[h/t: Popsugar]