Jesse and Josh Lyle's life was a nightmare, and then they found themselves lifted out of despair and poverty by a man who promised to become their father.
Jesse and Josh Lyle had been in the foster care system all their lives. They were shuttled from home to home, each worse than the last. Their only blessing was that they were kept together.
The two brothers were mistreated and starved, and their only place of refuge outside of school was the Steel City Boxing gym, where they met the man who would change their lives, Jack Mook.
Jesse and Josh Lyle, and Jack Mook | Souce: Facebook/ AmoMama
Josh and Jesse were 9 and 6 years old when they met the gruff Pittsburg police detective, Jack Mook. Jack was a police veteran and a confirmed bachelor when he met the two boys.
Marriage, a wife, and especially children were not a part of Jack's life plans -- until he met the Lyle brothers. Jack volunteered at the gym as a coach, working with at-risk children, and something about the brothers touched his heart.
Jesse revealed that he believed that without Jack's love and support he and his brother would have become street thugs, in and out of prison.
Lost boys | Source: Facebook/ AmoMama
One day, the boys stopped coming to the gym, and Jack became worried, especially since Josh loved the sport and had shown an incredible talent for boxing. Jack went looking for the brothers, and what he found shocked him.
The two boys were living in unspeakable conditions of direst poverty, and Jack's immediate reaction was, "You're coming home with me." Jack used his contacts to become a foster parent and took in the two boys.
A passion for boxing | Source: Facebook/ AmoMama
It was quite a change for the bachelor, who found himself honing his culinary skills to serve up delicious meals to the two boys who'd gone to bed hungry so many nights.
Jack, Josh, and Jesse quickly bonded into a happy family. The detective found himself thinking about the future. He wanted Josh and Jesse to feel safe; he wanted them to have security, so he asked to adopt them.
The coach who cared | Source: Facebook/ AmoMama
The two boy's biological parents were addicted to drugs and had abandoned them long ago, which had led to Jesse and Josh's lives on the edge of poverty. Now it was all a part of the past.
In 2014, Jesse and Josh Lyle officially became Jesse and Josh Mook, and the bachelor detective was officially a dad. The bonus continued attending the Steel City Boxing gym with their dad, and Josh became a brilliant boxer.
Adopting the boys | Source: Facebook/ AmoMama
Thanks to Jack, Jesse, and Josh, have a wonderful loving home and a promising future. Josh, who has won four Golden Gloves tournaments, wants to give the Olympics a shot and maybe follow Jack into the police force.
Jesse is a straight A's student, equally talented in the boxing ring, and has a Golden Gloves tournament of his own under his belt. Jack couldn't be prouder of his two handsome sons.
A happy family | Source: Facebook/ AmoMama
Josh has even hinted that he'd like to try his luck as a professional boxer, and Jack has promised that he would support him in whatever he wants to do. The gruff detective turned doting dad is sure that whatever his boys attempt, they will succeed.
Jesse revealed that he believed that without Jack's love and support, he and his brother would have become street thugs, always in and out of prison. Josh disagrees: he believes that without Jack, he and his brother would be dead.
The two boys adore Jack and credit him with saving them -- and he claims that they saved him too. Today, the once lonely detective is a happy man with a full house and a fuller heart.
What have we learned from Joshua and Jesse's story?
1. Caring changes lives. Josh and Jesse were two among many of the kids at the gym, but when they disappeared. Jack cared enough to go looking for them. If he'd shrugged it off, terrible things might have happened to the boys.
2. Caring is not enough. Jack's worry led him to the two boys, but what really changed all their lives was his decision to take action. Talking and thinking good thoughts is not enough; we all need to act on our beliefs to make a better world.
3. Love makes a family. Though they were not related by blood, Jack, Jesse, and Josh forged a bond of love beyond mere biology, and that is what makes a real family: love.
Share this story with your friends. It might inspire people to share their own stories or to help someone else.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a man who discovered that his boss' gruff manner hid a heart of gold.