Alvin Horton was driving his taxi late at night through the streets of Denver when he saw a young woman standing by the side of a road, a suitcase at her feet, and a baby in her arms.
He was surprised to see her there with such a young child, at such a late hour, and immediately decided to stop to help her out. It was a rough neighborhood, and the night was cold. His act of kindness would have unexpected results.
Alvin stopped and leaned out of the window. “Lady, what are you doing out at this hour? Is there anywhere I can take you?”
The woman was very pretty, Alvin noticed. She replied: “I need to go to the train station, but I haven’t got any money, only enough for my ticket.”
The woman looked so desperate, that Alvin said. “Hop in child, I’ll take you.”
Curious, Alvin asked: “Why are you traveling so late?”
The woman started crying. “I’m running away from my husband…He hits me and he was starting to threaten my son. I had to get away!”
Alvin was shocked. “Look, do you want me to take you to a women’s shelter? They’ll help you get back on your feet..”
The woman shook her head. “No! There’s this man I met online…He lives in New Orleans, he said he’d give me a new start…”
Alvin sighed. “Well, I hope you’re making the right decision. For you and your baby.”
The woman fell silent, and Alvin drove on. Ten minutes later he pulled up in front of the train station, and the woman got out, suitcase in one hand, and the baby bundled in a blanket clutched in the other.
“Thank you,” she said, “for everything.”
“You’re welcome, you take care now,” Alvin said and drove off. His shift was over and he was tired. He was turning into his driveway when he heard a baby crying. He looked back and was astonished to see the baby in the backseat, with a carry bag beside him.
Pinned to his onesie was a scribbled note that read: “My husband is a monster, I can’t leave my baby with him, but I can’t take him into my new life with me. Please look after him. I’ll come back to fetch him soon.”
Alvin was stunned. The woman had abandoned her baby with a stranger! He took the baby inside, and his wife soothed and fed him with the formula she found in the carry bag.
She looked at Alvin. “We can’t take this baby, Alvin. We’re too old.”
Alvin sighed. “I know Rose…Maybe Ellen…” Alvin phoned his only daughter and she came over the next day with her husband, George. They were just as astounded by Alvin’s story.
Alvin explained. “We are too old to be parents, and we don’t want the baby to go into the foster system either! What can we do?”
Ellen took the baby into her arms and looked down at him. “We’ll take him, dad. You know I can’t have children, so we’ll raise him as if he was our own.”
And so the family named the little boy David and for the next five years, he was raised by the family as their own. Alvin and Rose were delighted and became doting grandparents to little David.
But one day, Alvin had a shock. Someone knocked on the door and when he answered it he came face to face with the young woman who had left David in his taxi that cold autumn night.
Alvin noticed that she had changed a great deal. Her hair was done up in a fancy style, she was wearing stylish clothes, very high heels, and a great deal of very expensive jewelry.
She was also wearing a lot of makeup and her once pretty face looked hardened. “I’ve been looking all over the city for you!” She exclaimed, “Where is my son?”
Alvin couldn’t believe it. “You son?” he gasped, “What do you mean?”
“My son! Did I leave him in your taxi? I fixed up my life, as you can see, and now I want him back!”
Alvin instantly made up his mind. “I’m sorry, lady, but I left him at the hospital door. I don’t know where he is.” WHAT?” she screamed, “You left my son at the hospital? How could you?
“How could I?” asked Alvin, “You abandoned your son in the back of a taxi, and you ask why I left him at a hospital?”
“He’s mine, my son!”
“He’s gone. And you, you’re no kind of a mother, so good luck telling your story to social services!”
And Alvin slammed the door in her face. He felt a twinge at lying to the woman, but at the same time, he thought about little David and the happy life he had with a family who loved him.
He knew he was protecting his grandson. He hoped that one day God would remember his good deeds and forgive his white lie.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Being a parent is a great responsibility. Good mothers and fathers place their children first, ahead of their own well-being.
2. Family is about love, not blood. Alvin and his family loved David more than his biological parents and were prepared to sacrifice everything for him.