GENERAL HOSPITAL - The Emmy-winning daytime drama "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18(ABC/Craig Sjodin)MAURICE BENARD
Credit: Image: ABC

Brace yourself, ’cause the cuteness overload is real. 

Over the past few weeks, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) has been anxiously awaiting a very special arrival. And at long last, it arrived when the stork (with a healthy assist from Benard’s daughter, Heather) brought beautiful Eloise Rose Anderson into the world. The elated new grandpa, his face aglow, shared his joy with the world via an Instagram post.

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“Someone once told me life doesn’t start till you’re a grandfather,” he wrote, going on to thank young Eloise “for jumpstarting my life.”

Upon seeing the photo, we had pretty much the same reaction as Benard’s on-screen wife, Laura Wright (Carly), who commented, “Ohhhhh, I love this picture!”

The smile on Benard’s face will come as no surprise to anyone who has been following his various social-media feeds, where his excitement about the baby’s arrival grew with each passing day. When Heather joined her dad for a special episode of his State of Mind vlog, his happiness could not be contained. “I love babies,” he declared, adding, “I love kids, I love animals… I love life!”

One thing we know for certain is that Eloise has been born into a family in which love flows freely. It is also a family formed not by accident but one brought together by choice: Benard and wife Paula adopted Heather after her mother — Paula’s sister — passed away. During the aforementioned State of Mind vlog (which you can view in its entirety below), Benard and his daughter tearfully reflected on the day that she asked if it would be OK to call Paula Mom. “I started bawling,” admits the actor. “I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.”

And now, finally, the family has expanded with the arrival of Heather and husband Phil’s baby. Which means there could be a new challenge in Benard’s future: tearing himself away from his grandchild and returning to Port Charles. But that’s one we know he can overcome, just as Sonny has risen up time and again when necessary, as evidenced by the gallery below.