Devastated Mom Wants to Adopt, Spots Girl at Adoption Agency Strikingly Similar to Her Late Daughter

    After losing her five-year-old daughter to cancer, a grieving mother finally makes a decision to adopt another child. But when a secret held by her estranged husband surfaces, she is forced to confront a difficult situation.

    In the muted light of her living room, Eleanor yelped, throwing her Chinese take-out box somewhere behind her and not caring. The sound interrupted the silence that her once vibrant home was known for these days.

    After losing her daughter, Ava, to leukemia five years ago and separating from her husband, Joseph, a year later, Eleanor had lost her passion for everything, including her career in fine art photography.

    For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

    Although she and Joseph had discussed trying to work things out again, all Eleanor really wanted was to be a mother again. Over the past year, she had spent hours on adoption websites.

    Her small yelp and exaltation came from discovering one child, Charlotte, who was the vivid image of Ava.

    Eleanor clicked to see more of her photos from Grace Adoption Services and reached for her phone after a few more minutes.

    “Hello, this is Grace Adoption Services. I’m Samantha. How can I assist you today?” came a warm voice on the other end.

    “My name is Eleanor. I’m hoping to adopt, and a little girl on your website has caught my attention,” she said, scratching her head.

    For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

    Samantha responded gently. “We’ll set up an appointment for you to come in and meet us. It’s always best if we do this in person.”

    Eleanor agreed too quickly. “I’m ready to take that step,” she declared. “I want to make a difference in a child’s life.”

    Samantha chuckled and set up a meeting. Eleanor hung up, feeling hope bubbling in her chest for the first in years.

    The day of the meeting came, and Eleanor found herself nervously waiting in Samantha’s office.

    “It’s wonderful to meet you in person,” Samantha greeted her warmly. “I’ve read your application and can already tell you’d be an amazing parent.”

    The two women discussed Eleanor’s background, her reasons for adopting, and her hopes for the future. Eleanor’s eyes often drifted to a family photo on Samantha’s desk.

    “Ah, you’ve been eyeing that for a while,” Samantha observed, introducing her two daughters, Mary Ellen and Macy May.

    Eleanor commented, “I want that back.”

    Samantha nodded but cleared her throat. After a deep breath, she asked, “Can you tell me a little about your husband? It’s important for children to be adopted into a two-parent household.”

    Eleanor explained their separation due to their daughter’s loss and her hope for reconciliation. “I haven’t told him yet about trying to adopt, but I will,” she revealed.

    Samantha suggested Eleanor discuss the adoption with Joseph and hoped to meet him if he was amenable. She agreed to try and asked for the file of the girl she had seen on the website. Her name was Charlotte.

    “She looks like a wonderful girl,” Eleanor said, dabbing at the moisture in her eyes. “I feel a connection to her. It’s as if she’s meant to be a part of my life.”

    Eleanor left the agency an hour later, filled with hope. She spent the following weeks preparing her home for a child, turning the spare room into a welcoming space.

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    During this time, Eleanor stayed in touch with Samantha but hesitated to contact Joseph about the adoption. When Samantha inquired, she admitted her reluctance.

    “Okay,” Samantha reassured her, “you are still a very strong candidate. Being single is not necessarily a deal-breaker. These are modern times, after all.”

    A few days later, Samantha called with great news. They had scheduled an official meeting for Eleanor with Charlotte at a park. She prepared for the meeting by buying coloring books and markers as a gift for the young girl.

    The special day arrived, and Eleanor got there early, taking a seat on a bench with Charlotte’s gift in hand. Her eyes scanned the greenery for Samantha and Charlotte.

    Soon, she saw them. Charlotte, with her dark hair in a ponytail, appeared shy and guarded. Eleanor greeted them warmly. “It’s good to see you again,” she said, shaking Samantha’s hand.

    “And you. This is Charlotte,” Samantha replied.

    “Hi,” Eleanor spoke softly, leaning slightly.

    Charlotte murmured a shy response, briefly meeting Eleanor’s eyes. Once again, the girl’s resemblance to Ava struck her.

    They walked around the park and settled near the pond. She gave Charlotte her present. “I thought we could use this to draw or write about our day,” she suggested.

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    Charlotte accepted the gift with a soft “Thank you.”

    As they drew together, a bond began to form between them. The girl slowly opened up, revealing snippets of her life in foster care. Charlotte’s creativity and spirit touched Eleanor.

    Later, over a picnic lunch, Samantha detailed the legalities and support systems for Charlotte’s adoption. But they all parted ways, hopeful that this would work out.

    In the ensuing weeks, she and Charlotte built a deeper connection, with Charlotte visiting Eleanor’s home, exploring her new bedroom, and sharing meals.

    Finally, Eleanor called Joseph. “Ellie,” he greeted warmly. “I’ve been thinking about you.”

    Eleanor replied, “I have some big news to share. Can we meet tomorrow?”

    The next day, over coffee, Eleanor explained the adoption to Joseph. He listened quietly, then spoke thoughtfully. “I can see this means a lot to you. It’s good to see you so alive again.”

    She was relieved by his understanding. “I can’t let grief consume me,” she said. “We can’t let grief consume us.”

    Joseph nodded, understanding her deeper meaning.

    Eleanor and Charlotte kept bonding, with sleepovers and even dinners with Joseph, who started coming over often.

    One evening, as Eleanor read her a bedtime story, Charlotte opened up. “I’ve never had a mom like you. I don’t want to go back to foster care.”

    Eleanor’s voice got thick as she reassured her. “I will be, sweetheart. I’ll be your mom forever.”

    The day of the official adoption hearing was a significant milestone for Eleanor and Charlotte. Eleanor had invited close friends and family, including Joseph, to witness this momentous occasion.

    At the hearing, Eleanor and Charlotte stood hand in hand before the judge as he finalized the adoption; her eyes filled with joyful tears, looking at Charlotte and realizing the new chapter they were beginning together.

    Outside the courtroom, Eleanor invited Joseph to join them for dinner. “Come over for dinner with us tonight, Joe. You’re part of this celebration, too,” she suggested.

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    “I’d love to, El,” Joseph replied.

    Over the next few weeks, Eleanor, Joseph, and Charlotte began to blend their lives. They attended counseling sessions, discussing their grief and the challenges they faced.

    After one session, they found themselves in a heartfelt conversation. “Joseph, I know this isn’t what we planned, but it’s the path I need to take,” Eleanor said, feeling like she was confessing a crime.

    “I love you and want to be a real part of this with you,” Joseph responded, clearing his throat.

    As time passed, Charlotte blossomed in her new environment. She reminded them of the love they had lost and all they had to give.

    However, Samantha called one day, and her tone gave Eleanor instant chills.

    “Eleanor, Charlotte’s biological mother has contacted me,” the adoption agency owner revealed. “She claimed that Joseph was Charlotte’s biological father.”

    “What? Charlotte could be Ava’s half-sister?” Eleanor whispered.

    But Samantha told her they needed confirmation quickly. “We need to confront Joseph about this,” Samantha advised. “If he denies it, a paternity test may be necessary.”

    “Why does it matter if she gave the kid up?”

    “She said that the affair was quick, but if the biological dad suddenly wants to be in the picture, she may want to challenge the adoption,” Samantha explained seriously. “I just want to be sure nothing can mess with Charlotte’s happiness.”

    After hanging up, Eleanor went outside, where Joseph was gardening. She blurted out what Samantha said quickly and asked him for the truth.

    At first, his eyes were wild and confused, but then, he hung his head, admitting to a brief affair with someone in a support group for grieving parents he had joined after Ava’s death and their separation.

    “It was a terrible mistake,” he confessed with eyes that seemed far.

    For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

    “You mean to say that you might be Charlotte’s father then if this woman gave her up for adoption?” Eleanor asked, her mouth wide with horror.

    “I left the group soon after she told me she was pregnant. But she might have given the child up for adoption,” Joseph nodded, squinting his eyes.

    Eleanor, overwhelmed, simply nodded, putting her hands on her waist. When asked about a paternity test, Joseph agreed without hesitation, “I will. I’ll own up to this all the way.”

    They took the test as soon as possible, but it would take days to get the results. Eleanor debated telling Charlotte but decided against it until they discovered the truth and resolved the legalities.

    She also spoke to Samantha constantly. “In most jurisdictions, once an adoption is complete, it is generally irreversible,” her now-friend explained softly.

    The results arrived by email a few days later, which were the most nerve-wracking and anxious days of Eleanor’s life since Ava’s passing. She and Joseph had talked about all their possibilities during therapy and what this would mean for them.

    But nothing could be decided until they found out the truth. Samantha had been visiting them when the email appeared in Eleanor’s inbox. She read it slowly, “Joseph is…not Charlotte’s father! Thank God!”

    A few days later, Samantha was able to confirm that the biological mother had decided not to pursue things further since Joseph wasn’t Charlotte’s bio dad.

    With this news, Eleanor saw Charlotte’s resemblance to Ava as a miraculous coincidence and a second chance for her family. Her late daughter would always be a part of them, especially because they now knew how important every moment was.

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