Melanie loses her job, and when things take a turn for the worse, she also loses custody of her baby, Melissa. Convinced that she would never see her daughter again, she is surprised when, years later, she looks for her full of surprises.
Melanie had never imagined her life would turn out this way, not in a million years. She had only been a few months, she was doing very well. She had a great job at the biggest building in the city, she drove a nice car and lived in a fancy neighborhood.
But the worst had happened. The company went bankrupt and laid off all its staff. Melanie lost her job and her car in a few months, and she felt lost.
She wasn’t the type to just complain, so she quickly began looking for any job that would allow her to stay afloat with her daughter. She had to pay the mortgage on the house or else they would be homeless.
She had a lot to lose and was willing to do what was necessary, she reflected as she got off the bus that morning. As if on cue, she looked to the side and saw a “Helper Wanted” sign on the restaurant window.
“This will do while I find something better,” he told himself, running to the spot. “Today could be my lucky day!” she muttered.
Once she got to the counter, she asked to see the manager, and an hour later, she was assigned as a dishwasher in the bustling establishment’s busy laundry area.
Melanie was doing her job, but her mind kept drifting back to when she had staff at her beck and call. Things change so fast! she thought. However, she knew that she shouldn’t live in the past.
That night, when he received his pay, he realized how little it was. It was barely enough to cover food and childcare for her little girl; she would be unable to make her mortgage payments.
He would have to work extra shifts at the restaurant. Her salary could barely meet her needs, and most days, she had to drive her daughter to work, since she could not afford childcare or a babysitter.
During his free time, which was not much, he would sit in the street and beg. It was a very different life than what she was used to.
And so his days passed. She came to work at 7 in the morning, she worked a double shift and, when she left, she would sit in the street to beg. She would cover her sleeping daughter with a blanket and they would go home once the streets were deserted.
One day, while she was sitting on the street, she noticed two policemen approaching. Despite the fear that gripped her, she knew she couldn’t run, so she tried to keep her calm.
“Ma’am, you shouldn’t be on the street at this hour. What are you doing?” asked one of them.
“I… I’m just asking for a little money. I don’t mean to hurt anyone.” The words tumbled out of Melanie’s mouth.
“If you are homeless, we will gladly take her to a shelter,” the other said.
“I have my house, but I just got fired from my job and I’m trying to make ends meet,” he explained.
The policeman standing near Melanie noticed movement behind her. “Do you have a child with you?”
“She’s my daughter. In fact, she was preparing me to leave ”.
The policemen did not believe his story, even after proving that he had a home and that he took great care of his daughter. They asked him to report to the police station the next day.
When she arrived, she discovered that there was a complaint against her, alleging that she was not in a position to care for her daughter. The woman fought for her little girl, but in the end, she was deprived of her parental rights and Melissa was given up for adoption.
Melanie was lost. She had lost the one person who meant everything to her and she saw no reason to keep trying to make the mortgage payments. After all, her daughter had been taken from him and he just needed a home for her.
He moved into a shelter, and kept his job at the restaurant. Although Melissa’s foster parents allowed her to see her daughter at first, she was soon barred from her home.
There wasn’t much Melanie could do. She resigned herself to fate and cried inconsolably for a long time. The months turned into years. It is said that time heals her wounds, but her pain only grew more intense.
All Melanie could do was hope her daughter had a good life. She came to accept the fact that she would probably never see her again. But she was wrong.
One day, while hanging out at the shelter, he noticed a young woman, about 23 years old, talking to the staff. She was holding a photo and going from one person to another; she seemed to be asking about something.
He approached the young woman and tried to listen to what she was saying. Her face was familiar, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up. When she looked at the photo of her in her hands, she quickly recognized a younger version of herself.
“Melissa! Oh my Melissa! Is that really you?” she cried, as tears filled her eyes.
“Mother? I knew she would find you!”
They melted into a loving embrace and stayed that way for a few minutes, as if they were afraid that someone would separate them again.
Melissa told her mother that foster parents had given her a good upbringing. She was able to get into law school, and had landed an excellent job at a prestigious law firm in the city.
Once she was well established, she began to search for her mother. Among the things her parents had kept was an old photo of Melanie of her and she had displayed it at various other shelters.
“I looked everywhere, mom, everywhere!”“
“And you found me after so many years!” Tears welled up in Melanie’s eyes as she remembered how much she had fought for her baby.
It was a beautiful reunion, and Melanie was about to get another life-changing surprise. “I want you to come live with me, mom. You deserve a better life!
Melanie tried to resist, not wanting to burden her daughter. But Melissa wasn’t about to take no for an answer.
“You gave me life, mom, and I know how hard you tried not to lose me. And now I can help you and I want to do it,
Melanie finally gave up, and soon moved in with her daughter; the two became inseparable. Later, Melissa opened a small restaurant for her mother.
Mother and daughter partnered to help other women get out of difficult situations like the one Melanie had experienced in the past. They wanted to prevent another family from experiencing the same nightmare that they had to face.
What can we learn from this story?
Honor Your Parents: Melissa knew how much her mother had fought for her, and despite growing up with foster parents, she sought her out when she had the means and offered her a different life.
Take advantage of every opportunity that life gives you: Melissa had a difficult childhood, but after being adopted by people with a good economic situation, she took the opportunity to study and obtain a degree. That allowed him to get her mother off the streets.
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