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This little girl wanted a paw-paw, so her mom posted an ad to 'adopt' a grandpa ... and it worked!


Updated November 17, 2018 08:01 AM EST

Editor's note: This story originally published Aug. 19, 2017. We're bringing it back today in observance of National Adoption Day.

It all started with a post in Hip Bellevue, a Facebook group for Bellevue, Tennessee, residents. Addalyn's mom, Elizabeth Sexton, was wondering if anybody knew where she could adopt a paw-paw, a pop, or grandfather.

Her post caught the eye of John Pugh. He's the executive director of the Lodge at Natchez Trace, an assisted living and memory care facility in Bellevue.

“So I just sent her a message back, 'We have paw-paws available, give me a call.'”
John Pugh, executive director at Natchez Trace

The next thing you know, 3-year-old Addalyn was on her way to meet her new grandpa, 93-year-old James Luna.

The two hit it off.

“She has big, black eyes like muscadines and she loves to give hugs,” Luna said. "I have written out prayers for her, and I hope to help her grow up to be a good Christian girl.”

Addalyn adores Mr. Luna and tells everyone he is cute.

Pugh said there is a big lesson here.

“I made the meeting happen, but the rest is personal one-on-one contact-- sitting in a lap, giving a hug. Eye-to-eye, a 3-year-old and a 93-year-old, creating something magical that no internet can do."
John Pugh

Since the post, the Lodge at Natchez Trace has received more inquiries for paw-paws.

“Bring em on,” Pugh laughed. "We have lots of good ones."

Fox17 News in Nashville contributed to this story.

See more related Circa stories:

This 4-year-old saved his baby brother's life through a bone marrow transplant

A Tennessee man’s ice cream photo went viral for depicting true love

11-year-old volunteers his time to make a difference by reading to cats

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