Joey had promised to take care of his dying brother’s sons, but fate had other plans. He walked out of the group home where the kids were placed and returned a year later to a shocking sight. Would he end up faltering on that final promise?
Two sweet brothers ran across dried cornfields in their childhood… When one would stumble and fall, the other would stop to lift him up. When one was wounded, the other would cry… When one had no shoes, the other would take his off, and the boys would walk around with one foot bare.
And when they grew up struggling to survive in this harsh world, they always saved the last bite of their food for each other…
Kevin and Joey were always like that. Inseparable, wild, kind, and uninhibited.
And no matter what they lost in life, they always found each other.
Kevin was the elder one, a man who had loved a beautiful woman and lost her after the birth of their children. He was a doting father to his boys. And Joey was a pampering uncle to them.
Joey had nothing. No beautiful woman, no job, no ambition, or a sense of purpose in life. To him, all of life was one giant mistake, and nothing really mattered in the end except his brother and his “two little monsters,” as he liked to call them.
One fateful night, when Kevin met with an accident and was breathing his last in an ambulance while holding his brother’s trembling hands, Joey made a tearful promise to him.
“Joey, my sons…will you t-take c-care of th–”
“I will, Kev. I promise I will adopt them and raise them as my own boys. They will know the little joys you and I grew up with and the big ones we always dreamed of, brother. But I don’t know if I will be any good—”
“You already are, Joey. You already are. My boys are s-so lucky…”
As Joey opened the last fistful of mud over the coffin, he could still feel the final tightened grip around his palm before Kevin passed. That last promise kept replaying in his head.
What’s going on here? Who is that woman, and why is she with my nephews?” Joey asked the receptionist impatiently.
Joey went to the group home where child services had taken his brother’s kids, Keith and Marty.
He couldn’t wait to bring the boys home and console their little hearts. But it wasn’t going to be that simple, as Joey found out at the shelter.
“What do you mean I can’t adopt them? I’m their uncle!” Joey was confused and angry.
“Sir,” a woman who worked at the group home said, “how much are you currently earning every month? Enough to afford the boys’ food and medications?”
Joey was calculating how he would lie to the woman, but he stood no chance. “Do you have money for their upcoming school year? How about a house with a room for them and a fence that’ll help protect them? How about a decent pair of shoes?” the woman went on, knowing Joey would have no answer.
“I’ve seen your forms. You need to earn at least twice as much to even dream about adopting these kids!” The woman spelled out the truth for Joey and walked out.
Heartbroken, Joey had no option but to turn around and leave, but not without telling Keith and Marty, “I’ll come back for you. I promise you I will. You be good now!” The man kissed his only remaining family and exited their temporary home with a purpose.
Over the next year, Joey changed the course of his life with one goal — to become deserving and able to adopt and raise the two beautiful boys. There was a lot that needed to change, but Joey wasn’t planning on giving up.
Joey found a stable job at a car showroom, and his flawless work ethic soon made him the chosen candidate for two promotions and raises in a row.
Joey managed to rent a slightly bigger house and a second-hand car, and he spruced them up to be in perfect kid-friendly condition.
He opened a savings account reserved for the boys’ college fund. He chalked out plan after plan, and soon, it seemed to be possible to give the children the kind of life Keith would’ve loved for them.
Exactly a year since Joey had helplessly walked away from the children, he came back to the group home, ready to take them home with pride and much more than twice his earlier salary.
However, there was another shock waiting for him there. Joey asked for the boys, and the receptionist guided him to a young woman who appeared to be reading documents in the corner while Keith and Marty stood with packed little suitcases next to her.
“What’s going on here? Who is that woman, and why is she with my nephews?” Joey asked the receptionist impatiently.
“She’s…Ms. Farrell. She’s here to sign the adoption papers for the boys,” the scared young receptionist replied.
Joey felt anger and jealousy rise within him when he saw the kids laugh and talk with the woman. The fact that she had a kind smile was no consolation to him.
At that moment, Keith and Marty recognized their uncle in the distance and came running to him.
“You came! You came back!” they cheered while their arms gripped him tight.
Joey’s anger melted, and when he looked over at the woman who was about to take his kids, she was smiling through tears, too.
“I can’t possibly take these sweet boys home. Not after knowing that their hero came back for them,” she said, gently touching Joey’s back.
As it turns out, the woman named Heather knew everything about Joey, thanks to the boys. They hoped their uncle would come, but when he didn’t show up for more than six months, they started to lose that hope.
That’s when Heather found the heartbroken kids and fell in love with their tender hearts. That’s when she finally decided to fulfill her dream of adopting, even though she hadn’t found the man she wanted to raise them with.
While fate seemed to have worked in favor of Joey and the boys, Heather didn’t know that it had something in store for her, too.
Although Heather decided to withdraw her adoption application, she asked if she could meet Keith and Marty for an ice cream every now and then.
Over time, there were only two people on those ice cream dates: Heather and Joey. The more they got to know about each other, the deeper they fell in love.
Two years later, the couple tied the knot, and Keith and Marty found themselves being children again in the paradise of a happy, loving family.
Joey fulfilled every promise he made to his brother, as the boys enjoyed running across corn fields as well as going to the best medical school to become specialist doctors like Kevin once wanted them to be.
What can we learn from this story?
A brother’s love is forever. Joey made his brother a promise, and he more than fulfilled it, leaving no stone unturned.
You won’t know how, but love will show up at just the right time. Joey had turned his life around. Heather had made a decision to fulfill her dream. Their love for Keith and Marty, and their willingness to parent them, brought the young man and woman together in love.
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