October 10, 2021
Adam was dumpster-diving when he saw a moving box. Inside, he discovered a tiny baby and decided to raise her himself. However, police officers eventually took her away, but the little girl never forgot her father.
After losing his job, Adam couldn’t afford to pay his mortgage in Laredo, Texas, so he became homeless, and it became impossible for him to bounce back. He only got hired for part-time, low-paying gigs due to his lack of address.
But he made it work, thanks to tips from other homeless people in the city. He often dumpster-dived for food and discovered how much supermarket generated. These stores had to throw away almost brand new food for insane reasons.
But Adam was thankful. That waste kept him fed, and he saved a little money every week from cleaning floors in a few stores and collecting soda cans around town.
One night, everything changed. He was searching the trash outside a supermarket and saw a medium-sized box moving. He thought it might be a rat or a raccoon, but then a baby cried out. Adam opened the box immediately and saw a little girl.
She had to be around six months old. He also discovered a tiny note inside the box that read: “Her name is Ashley. She was born on January 15, 1994.” Who would leave a baby in a dumpster? She could have been killed! Adam thought angrily.
The right thing to do now was to take the baby to a fire station. But it was a long walk, and it was getting cold. So Adam took the baby girl to his tiny shelter under a bridge and tried to keep her warm that night.
Luckily, there was some baby food in that dumpster, and the containers were sealed. He hoped it would be safe enough for the little girl. By morning, Adam had grown attached to the baby and decided to take her to the fire station the next day.
But the next day came and Adam still couldn't find the will to bring her to the station. Every day he would put it off until eventually, he was raising her himself. Other people under the bridge helped him out sometimes. But one woman, Phoebe, didn’t approve.
“Adam, I know you fell for that baby, but this is not a decent place for her. She’s still so little. She could get adopted easily and raised by a good family,” Phoebe urged him.
“Does that mean poor people can’t have kids at all?” Adam asked vehemently.
“You know that’s not what I’m saying. But you need to have the basics to raise a baby. She needs a home, daily food, and the chance to go to school. Even an orphanage would be better than this,” she continued.
“Love is all you need sometimes,” Adam mumbled.
“I’m sorry, but love is not enough. You have to give her up. It’s the right thing to do,” Phoebe finished and left him to think.
Adam knew she was right, but he couldn’t do it. Ashley had become her world. She made him smile and gave him a reason to continue fighting. Everyone else under that bridge loved her too. So he kept her and tried to teach her everything he could.
He found books and toys at goodwill and thrift shops. When Ashley turned five, he found a pretty blue dress someone had thrown in the garbage. He grabbed it, and his daughter loved it. “You look so pretty, Ash!” Adam told her as she twirled around happily.
He had some money saved up and decided to take her to get a few pictures taken. The lady at the store insisted on taking one photo with both of them together. It was a beautiful picture.
“Here, Ashley. You have to keep this picture of us in your bag at all times,” Adam explained as they walked home.
“Why?” she wondered.
“If you ever get lost, you just have to show an adult this picture, and they’ll help you find me,” he advised and saved a copy of that photo in his jacket pocket.
A few more years went by, and the cops suddenly came to their spot under the bridge. “Everyone, please calm down. You’re not in trouble. We have just been informed that there’s a child in this area and came to check,” an officer said.
Adam panicked and thought about hiding Ashley, but another officer, Annabelle, saw her next to him. “Here she is,” the cop shouted. “Sir, is she your daughter?”
“Yes, she is. She’s been with me for a long time. Please, don't take her! She's my daughter!” Adam begged.
“Can I see some I.D. and her birth certificate?” the officer named Annabelle requested.
“I don’t have those things,” Adam sighed shamefully.
“Well, then. I’m sorry, but she has to come with us,” the officer continued. She grabbed Ashley, who started yelling for her daddy. Adam cried as he followed them to the police cruiser.
“It’s going to be alright, Ashley. They’re just taking you somewhere special. We’ll see each other soon,” Adam assured, trying to comfort his daughter.
The officers asked Adam some more questions about Ashley and he explained how she was left in a box and showed them the note with her name and birthday. “Sir, why didn’t you take her to a fire station or something?” Annabelle demanded.
“I fell for her. She’s my daughter, Ashley Turner, even if I don’t have any paperwork to prove it,” Adam voiced.
The officer smiled at him sadly, but they took her away, nevertheless. Adam cried heavily, watching them go, and Phoebe tried to comfort him. “You were right, of course. That’s why I didn’t resist that much,” Adam sniveled.
Years went by, and Adam could only hope that lovely people adopted Ashley. But he knew that they probably wouldn’t see each other ever again. He was wrong.
“Hello! Does anyone know Adam Turner?” a female voice called to the people under the bridge. Adam stood up, putting his book down. He saw a young woman around 25 years old looking around.
“I’m Adam Turner. Can I help you, Miss? This isn’t really the best place for a nice lady,” Adam noted.
“I grew up here. What’s wrong with it dad?” the woman asked. “It’s me, Ashley!”
Adam’s jaw fell, and Ashley ran to his arms. They both cried, embracing each other, trying to make up for the years they missed each other.
Ashley later explained that she was placed in a nice foster home and went to school. She wanted to find him after graduating college but didn’t know where to start.
A few months ago, she opened her old box of memories and saw their picture. She decided to find him for real this time and went around town asking people if they had seen Adam.
“I’m so proud of you, Ashley. I hope you know how sorry I was that I didn’t take you to safety when you were younger. You could have been adopted sooner,” Adam said shamefully.
“I already have a father. I don’t need a new family, and you’re coming to live with me,” she insisted. Adam wanted to refuse, but his daughter wouldn’t let him.
Soon, they were working together to help other homeless people find homes and jobs to get out of that situation.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a homeless man who discovered a painting in the trash and sold it to a thrift store for a measly price. But then the store owner made more money from it.
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