Steve was an orphan who had never met his family. One day, after coincidentally finding his birth certificate at a police station, he would not only find out about his lost family but gain a completely new one.
Seven-year-old Steve looked sat in his small bedroom in the shelter for orphans, inspecting the package in front of him with excitement. The gift had been sent anonymously.
It had been almost a year since he had received a gift like this. He would receive packages regularly from this mysterious person, normally bearing sweats, toys, or clothes for Steve. However, one day Steve’s anonymous helper suddenly stopped sending them through.
Just as he was unwrapping the gift, one of the caretakers at the shelter popped into his room and told him to join the others at the bus. Steve and the other orphans were going on an excursion to the police station. Steve decided he would open his gift upon his return.
As always, the trip was an absolute blast for all the children. They played with the police officers, wearing their hats and badges, as well as learning about the responsibilities that came with the police service.
The police staff let them enter the police cars and sit on their motorcycles. This was, by far, Steve’s favorite part about these visits. As Steve pretended to be riding one of the display motorcycles, he heard something jolting in the saddlebag above the rear wheel.
“Yes, sir. I found this in your old bike. It’s my birth certificate. You see, I’ve never known my parents. This is the first real connection to them that I’ve come across. Do you think you could help me find them, sir?”
Curious, Steve looked opened the trunk to investigate. When he looked inside, he found a small box. When he opened the box, there was an envelope inside. At this point, his curiosity was getting the better of him, so he opened the envelope.
To Steve’s surprise, inside the envelope was Steve’s birth certificate. It had all his details, name, date of birth, and even his parents’ names. Steve was in utter disbelief. This was the first time Steve had received any information about his parents. Steve immediately ran to one of the nearby police officers with the birth certificate in hand.
“Sir, whose motorbike is that?” Steve asked the officer.
“That belonged to a brave officer named Jack, or Mr. Potter like we used to call him, little man. He has been out of the force for about a year,” the police officer responded.
Steve couldn’t let this opportunity slip him by. This is the closest he had come to finding out who his parents were. This ‘Mr. Potter’ surely knew something that could help him track his parents.
“Oh, alright. Do you know how I could get in contact with him? I’d like to give him a present for his service,” Steve said.
“Uhm… yes, but… Actually, sure. Why not?!” the police officer said, clearly hiding something. The police officer called Jack that very moment.
“Hi, Jack. Yeah, there’s a boy here who wants to see you. Who knows, maybe it will help you,” the police officer said. Steve was taken aback by the phrase, “it will help you.” Moments later, Jack arrived at the police station. Steve approached him with the birth certificate.
“Hi, Mr. Potter. I’m Steve,” Steve said with a kind smile.
“Hi, Steve. You must be the young man that wanted to see me,” Jack responded.
“Steve, how would you feel if I adopted you? I think we were brought together for a reason.”
“Yes, sir. I found this in your old bike. It’s my birth certificate. You see, I’ve never known my parents. This is the first real connection to them that I’ve come across. Do you think you could help me find them, sir?” Steve said.
“Wow! What are the chances?” Jack said, inspecting the birth certificate.Then, he continued, “Look, kid, I wish I could help you, but I’m afraid I may not be as helpful as you think.”
“About a year ago, I was involved in a car accident while on the job, and I’ve been suffering from amnesia ever since. The police academy restored my bike after the accident, and now it’s used for charity excursions such as these. I’m sorry, Steve, but I don’t remember where or how I could have possibly got my hands on your birth certificate,” Jack sadly explained.
Jack could plainly see the disappointment on the little boy’s face. He knew was it was like to lose family and yearn to be reunited with them. He lost his family eight years ago after being hit by a drunk driver. That was why he decided to join the police force, to instill some sort of justice and protection for others.
“I’ll tell you what… I can ask my old police partner to do a little digging about your parents and see what we can uncover with the information we have. How does that sound?” Jack suggested.
“I’d appreciate that very much, sir,” Steve said with a smile.
Jack asked his friend and former partner, Peter, to look up Steve’s parents. Peter found out that Steve’s father was in prison for drunk driving and causing an accident. His mother had disappeared six years ago after the birth of Steve and also had some run-ins with the police. As Jack looked at the image of Steve’s father, he couldn’t help but feel like he had seen this man before.
“The weird thing about all this is you were the police officer handling the child’s father’s case,” Peter explained.
Jack could not believe what he was hearing. The thought of him being the reason this little boy had no family left him with a deep feeling of guilt and regret. So, after explaining everything to Steve, Jack proposed something Steve could have never seen coming.
“Listen, Steve… I’m sorry I got your father arrested, and I hope you understand why I had to do it,” Jack said.
“I do… It still hurts, though… you know, being alone. Not having a family,” Steve said sadly.
“I know. Maybe I can help with that,” Jack suggested.
“How?” Steve asked.
“Steve, how would you feel if I adopted you? I think we were brought together for a reason,” Jack said.
“Wow! That would be amazing!” Steve proclaimed with excitement, lunging onto Jack with a warm hug.
For illustration purposes only. | Source: Getty Images
Several weeks passed, and Steve’s adoption was finally approved. He moved in with Jack. He had also uncovered something interesting over those weeks. Still, because of the intensity of the adoption process, Steve couldn’t find the appropriate time to show Jack what he had discovered.
“A few days later, I came to your house to check on you, but there wasn’t anyone there. Just as I was about to leave, I heard a baby’s cries from inside the house.”
Steve had finally opened up the package he had received all those weeks back. Inside was a pendant with a picture of Jack’s wife and daughter. Now that he knew Jack was behind all the gifts, it was all beginning to make sense.
“I got this round about the time we first met. It was among the toys and clothes you sent me. Do you remember sending it?” Steve asked, handing him the pendant.
“Oh, wow! Thank you, Steve. I’ve been looking all over for this. No, I don’t recall sending it. My amnesia’s only now getting better. It’s been a real struggle, but my doctor says things are looking up. The funny thing is I only started seeing improvement after we met,” Jack explained.
“That’s pretty weird. Maybe you dropped it in the package by mistake,” Steve said.
“Yes, possibly. And with my memory, I would have never been able to figure that out. Thank you, Steve!” Jack said.
That day Jack went for an appointment with his doctor. As he drove to the hospital, he had flashbacks of the accident all those years ago as he passed the street where it happened. It was almost as if he was reliving it in his head.
Jack told his doctor about the flashbacks. His doctor told him it was a positive sign and that, like he had told him before, he was regaining his memory.
After a few weeks, Jack’s memories became a little bit more vivid. He was finally able to recall enough to tell Steve what had happened. He was weary about telling him anything at first because he was still trying to put the pieces together. One day, Jack finally explained everything to Steve during dinner.
“So you’ve finally figured out why you had my birth certificate?” Steve asked.
“Yep. I wasn’t sure at first, but now it all makes sense. I was the first respondent to your father’s drunk driving case six years ago. He had driven into your house driving under the influence. After he was locked up, I went to your house just to follow through with everything,” Jack explained.
“Why?” Steve asked.
“Well, honestly, Steve, I was concerned for you. Your mother had an outburst at the scene of the crime. I don’t think she was ready to be a mother. She said some things I’d rather not repeat,” Jack explained hesitantly.
“She didn’t want me?” Steve asked dejectedly.
“I think she wasn’t ready for the responsibility, my boy. Especially with your father being arrested. A few days later, I came to your house to check on you, but there wasn’t anyone there. Just as I was about to leave, I heard a baby’s cries from inside the house,” Jack explained.
“And where was my mother?” Steve asked.
“Well, you were the only one there when I went in. I figured she must have up and left. I couldn’t leave you alone there, so I rummaged around the house for your details and got you out of there as soon as I could,” Jack explained.
“That’s how you found my birth certificate?” Steve asked.
“Yes, Steve. I dropped you at a shelter and decided to keep the birth certificate. I guess, in my own way, I was trying to save you from the pain I believed your parents would bring you. I’m sorry for that. I realize now that I may have caused you more harm than good,” Jack said sadly.
“It’s okay. I am happy now. Here, with you,” Steve exclaimed.
“I am happy too, my boy,” Jack said warmly. “I guess sending you those gifts was my way of making amends for leaving you without a father. I know he was your father, but his actions reminded me of how I lost my family. I’m really sorry. I wish I had handled things better. If it wasn’t for me, you’d at least have your father,” Jack explained.
“I understand, Jack. I guess it all worked out in the end because now I have you. You’re my father now,” Steve said as they embraced in a long, warm hug.
Jack became a father to Steve, loving and cherishing him as his own child. The two people, who were seemingly strangers who felt alone in this world, stayed deeply connected for he rest of their lives.
What can we learn from this story?
Sometimes our hopes and dreams come in unrecognizable and unfamiliar packaging. Steve and Jack found the family they had been seeking unexpectedly in each other.
Our lives are more intertwined than we think. Steve and Jack’s story illustrates just how intertwined our fates are. Their tragedies brought them together and healed both their longing for a family.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.