Grandpa’s reaction to finding out new baby was named after him is so sweet
On Dec. 10, when John Roy Hennigan met his stepdaughter Chloe Benton’s new baby for the first time, he wasn’t able to hide a heart bursting with love. Then he learned the child’s name, John Witt, which was written on the baby’s beanie. That’s when he realized she’d named his grandson after him.
This Louisiana grandfather’s face broke into a smile of such love and gratitude that he could hardly contain his emotions. In the video Benton posted to TikTok, the tear-jerking moment arrives when Hennigan is asked, “Do you see his name, baby?”
“John Witt! What a name — John! Where’d you come up with that?” cried Hennigan, who seemed genuinely surprised and profoundly touched. When told the baby was named after him, he said, “Thank you, it’s a big honor.”
Cue the practically audible sighs and tears from TikTok watchers nationwide. The viral video of the moment was watched over 14.5 million times. Watch the clip here:
@chloewbentonCore memory that I will never be over 😭🏻♬ Boundless Worship – Josué Novais Piano Worship
Later, 68-year-old Hennigan spoke to “GMA” about meeting his grandson.
“I’m very grateful to (have been) present at that moment,” he told “Good Morning America.” “When I got inside and I could see Chloe and (her husband) Joel and I could see a little bundle in Chloe’s arms … and Chloe said, ‘Look at his hat, look at his hat,’ and I finally could focus on his hat and I saw ‘John Witt’ and it was a very moving moment.”
Hennigan also explained that “a lot of love went into that name.” In fact, when Hennigan first took on his step-parenting role years ago, Benton was just 11 years old. And her new stepdad faced some understandable challenges. Benton explained that she was “very guarded” at the beginning of their relationship.
But despite a rough beginning, Hennigan worked to win her trust. Eventually, his efforts to love her despite everything succeeded.
“He definitely earned the place of a father in my life and so, I don’t say that lightly or give that title to him lightly but he has definitely been there and never hesitated to fill that role in my life,” Benton said. “So that’s why it was an easy decision to name my son after him.”
And now he has the opportunity to lavish that same love on her two children, a daughter named Hattie and his new namesake, John Witt, whose second name is from Benton’s grandfather.
Check out this follow-up video, where “Poppa” marvels at how much little John has grown.
@chloewbenton Replying to @Jennifer Oleksiewicz ♬ Boundless Worship – Josué Novais Piano Worship
We have a feeling there are many more wonderful memories to come for this family.