Kids Pose With Santa Clueless Navy Dad's Photobombing Them Until Just The Right Moment
FaithTap Staff 11/29/2018
Life in the U.S. Navy requires a lot of sacrifices. People assigned overseas need to leave home and be away from their families - and on top of putting their lives at risk, their deployments also mean missing some of the most important occasions.
That is one good reason why Rob Stella decided to plan a special surprise for his kids. After serving 23 years in the Navy, he learned that he'd be coming home from his last deployment earlier than expected. So, he took it as a chance to give his three children a memory they'd never forget.
On a Friday, Rob's wife, Rachel, took the kids to the mall to get their picture taken with Santa Claus. The kids had no idea what was going to happen. Dressed in semi-formal clothes, they each took a seat next to Santa and were all smiles for the camera.
Little did they know that their dad was behind the couch, patiently waiting for his family's turn. And when he heard the right voices - he felt really excited to give them the ultimate photobomb.
"My heart was just pounding. It was extremely exciting because I hadn't seen them in quite a while."
When the camera took its first shot, Rob stood up and started making goofy faces. The boys were the first ones to notice their dad behind them. Immediately, they stood up and hugged their father. His daughter Maddie, meanwhile, started crying as he carried her. It was truly a happy yet emotional moment for the family - and for anyone that has witnessed it!
Rob had been sent to the Middle East with little notice on December 1 of the prior year. He was supposed to be deployed for a year, but on Thanksgiving he found out that his command would be able to let him go back home early. His trip was changed a couple of times, causing his children to think that he wouldn't be able to return for another week.
So, on December 5, Rob went directly to the mall after his 41-hour trip. He changed his clothes there and patiently waited behind Santa's couch. Rachel worked out the details with the mall.
Apart from being an early Christmas present for the kids, Rob's arrival also served as a special gift to Maddie who was celebrating her birthday the very next day.
Rob shared in the same interview:
"A year is a long time. Just seeing them was great and I'm glad I'm giving them something that they'll always remember. It's one of those moments."
To see the family's touching reunion, you can watch the full video below: