Sophia’s parents were surprised to see their little girl rolling a stroller with a baby inside into the house. Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep the child and tried to visit him often at the orphanage. Sadly, the boy was sent to a foster home years later. But one day, their doorbell rang incessantly, and the boy was right there, so Sophia’s parents had to make a tough choice.
“Mom! Mom! Look!” seven-year-old Sophia yelled from outside as she rolled a stroller into their house.
“Sophia! Come in quickly! It’s raining!” her mother, Lillian, replied from the kitchen window before focusing her eyes and noticing the stroller. “What is that?!”
“It was in the park. No mommy came for it ever! I couldn’t leave it!” Sophia explained, agitated.
“Ok, ok. Let’s just get you dry, and the baby too, alright?” Lillian replied and brought a towel so her daughter could dry off while she checked the baby. Luckily, the infant had been covered enough that he wasn’t wet at all. She cooed at him and rocked him a bit before putting him back in his stroller and placing her hands on her hips.
“Can we keep him, Mom? I’ll be a good big sister! I can help!” Sophia begged, seeing her mother thinking.
“We’ll talk about it later, sweetheart, when your father gets home. Now, go change your clothes, or you’ll get sick,” Lillian stated, smiling to appease her daughter. But she was worried. Who would leave a child in the park? Their neighborhood, Macalester-Groveland in St. Paul, Minnesota, was pretty safe. However, this was horrible.
Lillian picked up the baby once more, noticing him getting fussy, and then she saw a piece of paper on the stroller. There was a note was written in pencil, and the letters seemed rushed, which told Lillian that whoever abandoned the baby had tried to be swift about it. She started reading it.
“To whoever finds this letter,
Please forgive me. I’m only 19, and my husband died in a car accident. I have no money and no one left. I can’t take care of him anymore. I didn’t know what else to do. I know this baby will bring happiness to someone in this neighborhood. Please take him in.”
Lillian’s eyes glistened. That poor girl, she thought. It was hard enough to be a mom even when you had a support system, and this woman felt lost after losing her husband. She couldn’t blame her too harshly, although it would have been better to leave the baby somewhere more secure. But now, it was up to Lillian and her family to figure out what to do.
When her husband, Mark, got home, she showed him the letter and asked if he might be interested in adopting the baby. He was not opposed to the idea, but they still had to call authorities.
In the end, they decided not to take him in. Sophia cried and yelled when CPS came to take the baby. But the social worker promised that they could visit the baby at the Children’s Home Society.
Sophia badgered them to take her to the orphanage at least once a week, and years went by like that. The little boy, whom they called Paul, grew to think of them as family and smiled happily whenever they came over. Even Mark went to those visits several times. When they left, he and Lillian revisited the idea of adopting him once more. But they never reached a decision and said they would talk about it later.
One day, an employee at the orphanage told them that Paul had finally been placed with a foster family, and he might be adopted soon. “But we can still go to visit him, right, Mom?” Sophia asked enthusiastically.
Lillian looked at the employee, who frowned and shook her head slowly, so she leaned down a bit. “Honey, you’re already 12 years old, so I’m going to talk to you like we’re both adults, ok?” she began and Sophia smiled and nodded. “We can’t go visit him. Paul needs to bond with his new family and have a chance at getting adopted. Also, we can’t just go to a stranger’s house whenever we want.”
Sophia wanted to protest, but her mother had called her an adult, and she didn’t want to prove her wrong. Therefore, she took the bad news with maturity, and they returned home.
The pre-teen wished the best for the little boy she started to think of as a brother and tried to forget about him. What they didn’t know was that Paul didn’t forget about them.
One day, Sophia was in the kitchen making sandwiches for everyone in the house when the doorbell rang. It wouldn’t stop. Sophia froze with a ketchup bottle in her hands, and they looked toward the door. “What is going on?” Mark asked, putting down the newspaper he was reading.
“I’ll get it, I guess…” Lillian muttered, angry at whoever was outside ringing the bell incessantly. But her mouth dropped when she opened the door. It was Paul. “Paul! What are you doing here?”
Sophia’s eyes widened, and she ran to join her mother. “PAUL! You’re here!” she exclaimed in delight.
“You told me where your house is. I took Mr. Garner’s phone and used the maps,” little Paul showed them the phone, and they all looked at him in surprise. Mark grabbed the phone as they ushered the boy inside.
“You’re telling me you used GPS to get here? But did you use the keyboard?” Mark asked, looking at Lillian in complete shock. He was a five-year-old using Google Maps like it was so easy.
“What is a borb? I told Siri to go to Macalister and Groveland to visit Sophia. I don’t like my new house. I wish I could go to my old house,” Paul answered. Sophia grabbed his hand, and they went to her room.
“This is amazing! He just ran from his house and found us barely getting our address right. I can’t believe it!” Mark marveled with his wife. “But darling, we have to call his foster parents or the Children’s Home.”
“I know… I just wish we could…,” Lillian started but trailed off as she stared toward her daughter’s bedroom. Mark made a decision right there.
They called the orphanage, informing them of what Paul had done. And Mark also told them they were interested in adopting him. The social worker was not sure until Paul told them he didn’t like his new placement.
They had to call the Garner family also and return their phone. The couple was sad that Paul didn’t want to live with them anymore, but they couldn’t do anything about it. “I mean, if he managed to find your house like this, it must be fate that he should stay with you,” Mrs. Garner told them.
Lillian and Mark agreed. They finally started the adoption process and got Paul almost immediately. Sophia couldn’t have been happier, although her parents often kicked themselves for not adopting the boy from the beginning. But they couldn’t change the past, and right now, they looked forward to a future with both their children.
What can we learn from this story?
Little boys are smarter than you think. The older you get, the more you realize that kids take to technology way faster than the rest of us.
Fate has a way of intervening.
Paul belonged with their family, even if Lillian and Mark hesitated to take the next step several times for years. Luckily, fate stepped in to help.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.