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Single Mom of 2 Adopts Dying Friend’s 4 Kids, Their Father Only Shows up 10 Years Later – Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Jul 30, 2022
04:10 P.M.
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A single mother of two promises her dying best friend that she will raise her four children. But after ten years, the ex-husband shows up to stake his claim.


Laura Marlow looked down at her childhood friend, and tears filled her eyes. She had known Stephanie Horton all her life, and she'd never imagined this. Her friend was dying at the age of thirty-two.

Stephanie reached out a pitifully thin hand and grasped at Laura's arm. "Please," she whispered. "Please, Laura, look after my children..."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels


Laura nodded, and tears ran down her cheeks. "I promise, Stephy," she said. "But you're going to get better..."

Stephanie smiled wanly. "No," she whispered. "I've been fighting this cancer for five years, Laura. It's over now. I just want to know the kids are going to be OK."

"I promise you I will raise them as if they were my own," Laura said quietly, holding her friend's frail hand.

"I'm sorry," Stephanie whispered. "It's a burden you weren't counting on, but I don't have anyone else."

What you give is what you get.


"It's not a burden," Laura assured her. "I love them; you know that."

Stephanie smiled. "I know," she said weakly. She stretched out her hand. "Laura?" It was the last word Stephanie spoke. Her eyes closed, and her head fell back on her pillow.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels


Laura wept silently, then she wiped her tears and prepared herself to break the news to Stephanie's four children. Stephanie's husband had walked out three years before, unable to deal with his wife's failing health.

Somehow Stephanie had still managed to work and raise her four kids. Chloe was now eight, Cara was six, and the twins -- Charles and Cory -- were five.

Stephanie had been diagnosed right after the twins' birth, and they'd seen their mom sick all their lives. The four children were sitting quietly in the waiting room.

Chloe looked up when she saw Laura. "Auntie Laura?" she said. "Can we see mommy now?" Laura walked over and sat down. She put her arm around Chloe.


"Listen, guys," she said gently. "I have some news for you. You know mommy's been very sick..."

"She hurts all the time," Cory broke in.

For illustration purposes only | Source:Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source:Pexels


"Yes," Laura said, fighting back the tears. "The good thing is, Cory, she's not hurting anymore. She's gone to heaven..."

"You mean she's dead," Chloe said harshly. "You don't need to tell us stories. Mom told us what to expect. She's dead, and we are all alone."

"No, Chloe," Laura said. "You are not alone. I'm here, and I will take care of the four of you, OK? There's nothing to worry about."

"You already have two kids of your own," Chloe pointed out. She was dry-eyed and rigid with pain. "How will you be a mom to six kids?"

That's a good question, Laura told herself, but she answered, "With love. I love your mom, and I love you, and I love Mae and Roan too. We are going to be a family."


It wasn't easy, but somehow it all worked out. Laura's children found themselves sharing their bedrooms. Fortunately, Mae was seven and got on well with Chloe and Cara; and Roan, three, loved the twins.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash


There were times when money was tight because Laura put the money from Stephanie's insurance into a trust fund for the children's education, but she never regretted it.

Over the next ten years, Laura raised her six children with love, laughter, and the occasional tear. Chloe, the oldest, was the most aware of what Laura had given up raising them, and she adored her adoptive mom.

Cara, Cory, and Charles called her Mommy Laura; to Mae and Roan, she was just Mommy. Chloe was graduating high school and going on to college, but Laura still had a houseful of teens.

At her graduation, Laura looked at Chloe proudly. "You look just like your mother." She hugged her. "She'd be so proud of you!"


Chloe hugged her back. "Thank you," she whispered. "I love you, Aunt Laura!" She ran to where her siblings were standing, taking selfies and fooling around.

Suddenly, Laura saw a man walking towards her, and she felt breathless. It was William, Stephanie's ex-husband! He walked right past her without acknowledging her and headed for Chloe.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels


"Chloe!" he cried. "It's Daddy!"

Chloe turned around and stared at him, aghast. William stretched out his arms toward the six children. "Cara, Cory, Charley! I'm here!"

Chloe took a step towards him. "What do you want?" she asked.

"I want my babies," William said, smiling. "I've come to take you home."

"Home?" asked Chloe. "We are home with Laura. She's our mom now."

"I'm your father," William said. "I love you..."

"Did you love us ten years ago?" asked Chloe. "Because that's when we needed you, when mom died. Did you love us thirteen years ago? Because that was when you walked out on your sick wife and us."

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

"Look," William said with a forced smile. "Let's let bygones be bygones, Chloe. I'm here now, and I need my babies!"


"Sorry," Chloe said calmly. "We don't need YOU."

"Cory?" William asked in a wheedling voice. "Cara, Charley? Come on, kids, it's Daddy, and I'm sick...!"

Cory and Charles looked at William with contempt, and Cara said, "Chloe's right. You're nothing to us. Laura is our mommy, and Mae and Roan are our brother and sister. Go away, and don't come back!"

What can we learn from this story?

  • Families are forged out of love and dedication. Even though she had two children, Laura raised Stephanie's four children with equal love.
  • What you give is what you get. William abandoned his family when they needed him the most, and expected them to stand by him in his hour of need.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a woman who raises her granddaughter after her son abandons her to go off with his new wife. Ten years later, he is shocked to find them both vanish without a trace

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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