A man who had lost his family decides to adopt a little boy that no one wants because he has Down syndrome. Years later, he is contacted by a lawyer with surprising news.
David paced nervously up and down the hospital waiting room. His brother Jack said, “Calm down, Dave! You’d think no one ever had a baby before!”
David smiled. “I know,” he said. “I’m just so nervous! I’ve always wanted to be a father!”
Jack grinned and patted his brother on the back. “Get ready to be a daddy, my man!” It was then that the doctor walked in and headed for David. There was something in his expression that killed all laughter, and David just knew.
It was, the doctor said, one of those one-in-a-million flukes, a rare mischance but it had cost Rita and their baby their lives. David listened to him very calmly and nodded in all the right places.
He didn’t even cry, but when he tried to take a step, his knees just folded. A weeping Jack had to hold up his brother and carry him home as if he were a child.
Days later, after Rita and their baby were buried, and everyone but Dave seemed ready to forget, he woke to a silent house. He reached out to Rita’s side of the bed. Empty.
He got up and walked down the corridor to the nursery and turned on the pretty nightlight that cast soft pastel stars up onto the ceiling. He and Rita had decorated that room as much with pain as with dreams. It was all gone.
Dave sat in the rocking chair Rita had insisted was a must-have and cried. His heart and his house were empty, his dreams were gone. He wanted to tear that nursery apart and negate that emptiness.
Suddenly, a thought invaded his mind. “You can’t fill a hole with anger, only with love.” Who said that? Dave wondered. He’d heard that somewhere, sometime. Now, maybe that idea might save his life.
Dave contacted social services and inquired about adopting or fostering a child. At first, the social worker was hesitant. “We don’t usually give children to single parents,” she said. “Though it IS becoming more common.”
“I have a good life,” Dave said. “I have a lot to give a child, especially love. My wife and I dreamed of being parents — I want to make that dream come true.”
The social worker picked up a file with lots of colored stickers on it. “Would you consider a special needs child?” she asked.
Dave shrugged. “All children are special, they all have needs,” he said quietly. “We never know what God might send us. I’ll take the child who needs me.”
Of course, Dave had to go through a lot of interviews and had to do some parenting workshops, but eventually, the big day came. They told him he had a son.
We have a little boy who has been through three different foster families,” the social worker said. “His name is Sam, and he is two years old. He has Down syndrome…”
Where is he?” asked Dave.
“Sam has some health issues you should be aware of,” the social worker said.
“I’ll take him to the pediatrician,” Dave said. “Whatever he needs, he’ll get.”
When Dave saw Sam, it was love at first sight. Sam was the cutest baby he’d ever seen!
At first, Sam was shy, but when he realized how much Dave loved him, and how caring he was, he slowly came out of his shell. Dave couldn’t understand how anyone could not want such an adorable child!
Of course, it took Sam a little longer to reach his milestones, and the doctor said they would have to watch his heart, but in almost every way, he was perfect!
The best part of Dave’s day was when he picked Sam up from childcare, and his little boy ran to him, arms opened wide. Dave would swing Sam up high and tickle his fat little belly, and his heart would overflow with love.
“Rita,” he’d whisper to his dead wife when he watched Sam sleeping. “I made our dream come true, I filled the hole you and our baby left in my life with love.”
The years went by, and Sam grew as fast as any other child. The doctor said his heart was just fine. He was a happy, friendly boy who made friends out of everyone he met. No one could resist Sam and his happy grin!
The phone was constantly ringing with invitations for sleepovers and playdates, and Dave could hardly keep up with Sam’s busy social life!
Then Sam turned twelve, and he started wanting to go out with his friends on his own like the big boy he was. It wasn’t easy for Dave, but like every other parent, he learned to give his son space.
Then one day, he received a phone call from a lawyer. “Mr. Wallace,” the man said. “I’m calling on behalf of your adoptive son’s birth parent…”
“What do you want?” Dave asked sharply.
“I would like to talk to you…” the lawyer said.
“I’m not interested,” Dave said. “Those people abandoned my son. There’s nothing you could say that I want to hear.”
“Please, Mr. Wallace,” the lawyer said. “For Sam’s sake.”
Reluctantly, Dave agreed to meet the lawyer. As soon as he arrived, the man handed Dave a letter. “This will explain everything so much better than I ever could, Mr. Wallace,” he said.
Dave opened the envelope and started reading: “Dear Mr. Wallce, if you are reading this, I’m finally at rest with my beloved wife. I thank you for loving my sweet Sam and for caring for him.
“Before Sam was born, the doctors told us he had Down syndrome, and it made no difference to us. We welcomed him joyfully. We imagined we’d have many long and happy years as a family, but it was not to be.
“When Sam was three months old, he was in the hospital for some tests. My wife, Emily, and I drove to the hospital to pick him up, and we were hit by a truck.
“Emily died instantly, I survived, but as a quadriplegic. For these last twelve years, I’ve been a dead man who still breathed and cried and cursed God.
“I was not the father Sam deserved. I wanted better for my son, so I placed him for adoption. I was right, Mr. Wallace, because you took my boy in and you’ve been the best father.
“One day, I want you to be able to tell Sam that his birth parents loved him and wanted him. I don’t ever want my boy to think we abandoned him.
“Please, tell him! My lawyer will give you the papers for Sam’s trust fund which will be in your hands. Thank you again, Mr. Wallace, for loving my Sam, for being the father I should have been.”
he lawyer gave Dave access to Sam’s trust fund which came to $1.2 million, money which he vowed would secure his son’s future, just as his biological father had wished.
Dave wondered if the families who had turned away from Sam would have turned down the money if they had known it existed! Sam’s biological father had been right to hide his fortune, so his son could be loved for himself.
What can we learn from this story?
Don’t give yourself up to bitterness and anger. Fill your heart with love. Dave chose to turn away from his grief and pour all the love in his heart into a needy child.
Parents will make the most heartbreaking decisions for their children’s welfare. Sam’s father gave him up so he could have a normal childhood with a loving family.