Joaquin was a very wealthy man, who was also known as one of the kindest and most generous people in town. He seemed to have it all, until he discovered that his wife had been cheating on him with his best friend.
Joaquin divorced his wife and she moved to another state with his now ex-best friend. Despite what happened, the man did not let the incident sour him and continued to be kind to everyone around him. However, everyone knew that he was a rather lonely man, as kind and nice as he was.
To ease his loneliness, Joaquin bought a dog and named him Toby.
“At least you won’t betray me, will you Toby?” he said, smiling despite the pain.
Being a busy man, Joaquin had Toby trained to know how to behave properly. He let him run free in the backyard in the afternoons and when he got tired, the lovable dog would come home.
One day, he left Toby outside while he watched a movie on TV. A while later he noticed that the dog still hadn’t returned. So he went out to look for him and heard the pet barking in the distance.
Joaquin ran over the fence to get closer. When he reached the road, he saw Toby next to a baby lying on the grass.
“Poor baby,” he said saddened at the thought that someone had left a helpless baby in the street. He checked the area for a bag that might belong to the little girl, but there was none.
Before taking her home, he went to a nearby store. He bought milk and diapers so that he could properly care for the child. When he got home, he fed her and changed her diapers. He then called the police and reported the incident.
“This poor baby was abandoned alone on the street with nothing but her clothes. There were no other adults in the area, so I took her in,” Joaquin explained.
Police said they would check security camera footage in the area to find her parents. For the time being, however, they were going to look for a foster home for the baby.
Upon hearing this, Joaquin didn’t hesitate.
“Can I be her guardian?” he asked. “I run my business from home, so I would have no problem taking care of her.”
The police obtained a couple more details and proof of Joaquin’s identification. They then allowed the little girl to live with him. Joaquin took care of her for months and when it was determined that her parents could not be identified, the girl was put up for adoption.
As soon as he could, Joaquin filed the necessary paperwork to legally adopt the little girl, whom he named Emilia.
He raised Emilia as if she were his own daughter, and even named her after her mother, who also raised him alone. He loved the little girl very much and provided her with everything she needed and more.
Joaquin was Emilia’s hero. She admired her father and always wanted to be near him. They enjoyed every meal together, went to the park and to their favorite ice cream parlors, where they spent a lot of time together.
When Emilia turned seven and started going to school, many of the parents and even the teachers noticed the resemblance between Joaquin and Emilia. Even Joaquin’s friends said they “looked like twins”.
Joaquin never thought of Emilia as his adopted daughter, so he took it as a compliment and simply smiled every time someone talked about their resemblance.
One day, while Emilia was playing with Toby in the backyard of her house, she fell and scraped her head on the pavement. As Joaquin began to dress the wound with antiseptic, he noticed something incredible.
“Look at that, honey. We have the same birthmark,” he said, surprised. He had never noticed that detail before because Emilia’s hair covered it.
“We were always meant to be together, Dad,” she said, wiping away tears and smiling at her father.
Curious as to how this could happen, Joaquín decided to do a DNA test. He took a hair sample from Emilia and sent it along with his own. He didn’t think much of it, but was stunned when the results came back about three weeks later.
The test showed a 99.9% match that Emilia was his daughter. He had always been a loyal man, so that meant only one thing: his ex-wife was pregnant with his daughter.
He decided to call her and she answered. “What do you want, Joaquín?”.
“Why didn’t you tell me we had a daughter?” he asked her as soon as she answered.
“I didn’t want to raise your daughter, nor did I ever want to see you again, so I left her on the street. I knew you would find her anyway. Now goodbye and please don’t call me again,” she said before hanging up the phone.
Joaquin couldn’t believe it and started to cry. Although knowing that Emilia was actually his biological daughter didn’t affect his love for her, he was glad to know that he was capable of raising his own daughter.
“What’s wrong, Papa?” asked Emilia after seeing her father cry.
“It’s all right, honey. I’m just very happy,” he explained. “Do you remember what daddy told you? That you were sent from heaven even though I wasn’t your real father?” he asked.
“You are my real father, Papa. Don’t forget that,” she corrected him.
“Yes, sweetheart. I am your real father. These DNA results prove it,” he said, handing her the paper.
“I told you, Dad. We were always meant to be together,” Emilia said, hugging him.
A few years later, Joaquin found love again. Having been present at all of Emilia’s school activities, he ended up falling in love with one of her teachers.
Two years later, Emilia had a younger sister. Emilia assumed the role of big sister with great pride and joy.
Since then, Joaquin, Emilia and the rest of their family have lived quietly and happily. They valued the time they spent together above all else. This led Joaquín to take early retirement to spend more time with his daughters.