Richard found a newborn baby in the dumpster and decided to raise her as his own. Five years later, the girl’s mother showed up and threatened Richard unless he gave the child up, and he had no choice. But something shocking happened many years afterward.
Richard had been homeless for a long time after a bad drug addiction. He had gotten better but still couldn’t build his life up, so he searched through dumpsters for bottles and cans to exchange for money. Some people gave him food, but it was rare, so this was his way of eating every day.
One day, everything changed for him. There was a bundle in a dumpster in a commercial area of Orlando. He thought it might be kittens or puppies because seriously evil people threw precious animals in the trash way too often. But this time, it was even worse. It was a baby covered up with pink clothes. She was moving her arms and staring up at Richard with her big eyes. He couldn’t believe it.
Who would leave a baby in the trash to die just like that? he wondered in shock. Furthermore, the little girl was adorable and couldn’t be more than a month old. Richard grabbed and cooed at the baby, and he fell in love right away.
He took her to the alley where he had a small shack for himself and left her sleeping for a while. After grabbing his spare cash, he bought some baby formula and a cheap baby bottle. As Richard fed her, he knew that he had to do the right thing: give her up to the police. But after that night, he couldn’t do it. So he raised her on his own and named her Jennifer.
He wanted jennifer to have more.
Luckily, Jennifer was a quiet baby and didn’t make much fuss. He started working odd jobs cleaning dishes at restaurants for a few bucks and went to soup kitchens to get food for the baby. He found old clothes at Goodwill shops and several dumpsters and they managed to survive as Jenniger grew up.
Using children’s books people would throw away, Richard taught Jennifer the essentials. It wasn’t ideal, but he finally had something to live for, and he was happier than ever. But his happiness was taken from him one odd day.
Richard was reading to Jennifer from a book he had just found dumped somewhere when a woman stepped into their alley. “THERE HE IS! He’s the man who stole my daughter!” the woman yelled, and Richard stared as three cops started walking towards him.
“Put your hands behind your back, sir,” one officer said.
“No, officer. You don’t understand. I found this child as a baby five years ago. I’ve raised her since. I didn’t steal her. She was in a dumpster,” Richard explained, and the officers looked at the woman.
“He’s lying! I lost my baby, and he took her!” the woman yelled. She did not convince the officers because Jennifer was hanging on to Richard’s leg for dear life.
“I’m sorry, sir. But we’re going to have to take the child with us,” one of the other officers said. “We don’t want any trouble. We just want her to be safe.”
“Please, this girl is my child. She’s all I have in the world,” Richard pleaded as Jennifer started crying due to the commotion. She was bright for a five-year-old and knew exactly what was going on.
“Sir, even if this woman is lying, we can’t let a child grow up on the streets,” the third officer stated. “Let us take her to safety.”
Richard saw the wisdom of his words. It was hard to accept, but this life was nothing. He wanted Jennifer to have more and to become someone. This was the best choice for her. Therefore, the police officers took Jennifer despite her cries and protests for her daddy.
Richard’s life seemed bleaker when Jennifer left. He had nothing to live for, and he despaired for several years. His only solace was the notion that Jennifer would have more than he could ever give her.
Unfortunately, Jennifer didn’t have a lot. While she had a roof over her head, her birth mother, Karla, was a horrible woman. She admitted to abandoning her as a baby on that dumpster and only looked for her years later because she liked the idea of having a little being at home she could command around.
And she was true to her word. Jennifer was treated as a servant most of her childhood and teenage years. But she never forgot the father who raised her. She often dreamed of escaping and going to him, but she was afraid he would get in trouble.
But when Jennifer turned 14, she finally found that old alley and left books, food, supplies, and spare change for Richard when he wasn’t around. It wasn’t much, but he could use it.
Richard had no idea who was kind enough to leave things for him, but he started to suspect it might be Jennifer, although she was so young when they took her away. But perhaps, life would unite them at some point.
He was right because years later, Jennifer escaped Karla’s house and went to find Richard. She had worked jobs here and there and was able to rent a tiny apartment for them.
“I couldn’t possibly live here. This is your home, Jennifer,” Richard said, rejecting her offer at first. He didn’t feel worthy of her kindness.
“Dad, you found me in a dumpster, and I wouldn’t be alive here today if you hadn’t cared for me. You will always be my dad. Living with Karla was hell, but I know why you let me go. Even then, you were thinking of what was best for me. Now, I have my high school diploma, and I can work while helping you rebuild your life. Please, let’s do this,” Jennifer explained, begging her father to accept. Finally, he accepted.
Now that he had an address, he got an official job as a busboy at a restaurant. He was proud to help out with the bills. Meanwhile, Jennifer worked and attended nighttime classes at a local community college. Eventually, they both moved up in the world.
Later, Jennifer moved in with her fiancé, and Richard stayed in their apartment, which he adored because it had saved his life. He walked his daughter down the aisle and was there for every milestone in her life.
What can we learn from this story?
Children can change your life. When you become a parent, everything changes. Richard stepped up to care for an abandoned baby despite his limited means, and she repaid him in full.
Family comes in many forms. Jennifer hated her birth mother even if she gave her a roof and other necessities. Her real family was Richard, and she went to find him as soon as she could.
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