Once there was a man, a single man. He had a son who was nearly grown who had a life of his own. The man was alone, innocently enjoying his life; doing what he wanted to do, whenever he wanted to do it. He was having FUN, but he was lonely.
Then he met a woman. She wasn't quite so free. She had responsibilities that came in the form of three children. The two boy children were almost grown and independent. The girl child, the youngest of the bunch was a different story. She was only 7, but she was different. She required more care and attention than most kids. Still, the man fell in love with the woman, and the little girl.
Soon he became the father to the little girl. A wonderful father. Reliable, consistent, loving. He was everything to the little girl.
Sometimes he missed the freedom he had before, but his dedication never wavered, even when times were difficult. He still had fun times. And with only one child in the house, there was still a lot of freedom.
One day, when the girl was 13, the woman showed the man a picture. It was of a child in another country. An orphan. The man said, "No. I like my life. My life is perfect. Let someone else do it." The woman continued to show the man pictures, and tell him stories about the conditions the orphan children were living in, but his answer was always the same. "No."
The woman took a trip. She traveled to one of those other countries to see the orphan children for herself. The man was upset. He did not want her to go. He knew it would be hard on her heart and spirit, and that he would have to say it again. "No."
What the man did not know was that God was gently digging a hole in his heart, and placing a seed there. That seed came in the form of a picture of another little girl. She was in the country the woman had traveled to. In the picture the child was being held by the woman. The child was smiling. The woman was smiling. God told him, "This is your daughter." and the man knew he could not question God. He knew that God had sent the woman for a purpose, and he should not interfere.
The woman returned home, and together they scraped together the money required to start an adoption. The man and woman were devastated when they learned the orphan girl could not be adopted. But the man knew what God had told him. That even if he brought another child into their home, the man would still like his life. It would be different than he was used to, but he would like it. So the man and woman agreed to adopt a different child. Another child in a far away place, being held by the woman, smiling. A boy.
Soon the time came to bring home this new child. The man, woman and the girl were very excited! The woman boarded a plan and flew to the other side of the word, to Serbia, to get the boy, and before long they returned home. The man and girl waited and waited at the airport, excited to see the woman and boy come through the doors.
And then the man hugged the boy. The man cried tears of joy he never knew were inside him.
The man's life has changed. The man who met the woman and her children years ago is gone. The man is now father to the girl and the boy. He is an amazing father. Full of love and compassion. Always there when the girl, the boy, or the woman need him. Even though his life is different, and some of the freedoms are gone, he still hopes that someday he can be father to that little orphan girl who smiled at him in the picture.
I am the woman. Every day I thank God for bringing this man into our lives.