Janice was an orphan whose only tie to her biological family was a ring and a note found on her after she was left at an orphanage. Years later, she tries to sell the ring for food, only to unexpectedly meet a man who would provide the answers to her years of prayer.
Janice was an orphan who had spent her whole life in the system. She had never known her parents, and at the tender age of 10 months, the shelter for orphans became her home.
The only thing she had from her biological family was a ring and a note stating that the ring belonged to her grandmother. The caretaker of the shelter, Judy, explained that the note and ring were the only things found on her when she was abandoned at the doorstep.
“You were so tiny and so beautiful, Janice. I don’t know how anyone could abandon something so beautiful. But I’m sure they had their reasons. Who am I to judge? I just wish I could tell you more about your parents. But the ring and note are all we found,” Judy told a young Janice.
As a child, Janice hoped the ring would help her track down her family. Growing up, she tried to contact various antique dealers and pawn shops so that they could evaluate the ring and find out who it used to belong to. However, it seemed as if all her efforts were in vain.
All the dealers she went to told her that her ring was an ordinary trinket of little value and could be found anywhere. Janice continued in her quest, but the answer was always the same. She eventually gave up, believing it was a hopeless pursuit.
Even though she had concluded the ring couldn’t help her find her family, she still held onto it as one of her most treasured possessions. After all, it was one of the only things that tied her to her roots, family, and where she came from. For Janice, it was an integral and mysterious part of her identity.
Janice spent her whole childhood in the shelter, without ever finding a family who would have her. Judy’s caretaker became somewhat of a mother to her, and the staff and other orphans became her uncles, aunts, and siblings.
Janice was kind and caring. Everyone who knew her loved her dearly. So, it was heartbreaking for them to see that Janice was never adopted.
When Janice was finally of age, she left the orphanage to pursue a life of her own. She had hoped that her adult years would bring her better days, but she was unfortunately met with more difficulty.
Janice got married a few years after leaving the orphanage. She had a daughter, Alice, with her husband, but shortly after conceiving her child, things went downhill in her marriage.
Her husband lost all of their money in a casino. He had a gambling problem, and his stint at the casino was the straw that broke the camel’s back. His actions threw them deep into debt. To make matters worse, her husband disappeared a few days after losing all their money, never to be heard from again.
“Heavenly Father, the path is getting darker. Please provide your light for my baby and me.”
Janice was completely devastated. She was burdened by her husband abandoning her after leaving them in debt, and her daughter also began to fall sick a few weeks later.
Janice tried to get a second job to pay for her daughter’s treatment, rent, and food. But even with a second job, it was impossible to cover her costs. Moreover, her daughter required her time and attention, which made it almost impossible to commit to her job. She was eventually fired from both jobs, finding herself in an even deeper hole than before.
Before she knew it, Janice and her baby girl were out on the streets with nowhere to live and no means of making a living. Her landlord kicked her out, and she had to sell her furniture and other belongings to pay off the various debts she inherited from her husband.
With no relatives to assist her, Janice and her sick daughter were on their own. If they were lucky, they would find refuge in a homeless shelter. Each day seemed harder than the last, and Janice’s daughter was not getting any better. Every day, Janice would pray the same prayer.
“Heavenly Father, the path is getting darker. Please provide your light for my baby and me,” Janice would pray each night.
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She had scraped together enough to get Alice and herself through each day, but her back was now against the wall. She finally decided she’d sell the ring. The money wouldn’t take them far, but it could at least feed them for a while.
After some assistance from one of the homeless shelter volunteers, Janice finally found a buyer for the ring. The volunteer advertised online and found a man eager to purchase the ring from her.
Janice and the buyer were scheduled to meet at the shelter, and Janice found herself in a nervous wreck before the meeting. She was not ready to give up the one thing still connecting her to her family, but she had to feed the only family she still had, Alice.
“Not like this one. It’s a family heirloom. There are only three of these that exist. One belonged to my mother, and the other to her two sisters. Look, there’s an engraving right there.”
“Hi, there. Are you Janice?” a voice said, catching Janice completely off guard. It was the buyer, Eric.
“Uhm… Y—Yes, I’m Janice,” Janice responded hesitantly, looking at the smartly dressed middle-aged man.
“Pleasure to meet you, Janice. I’m Eric. So, can I have a look at it?” Eric asked, sitting next to her.
“Uhm… Sure,” Janice responded.
Janice hesitantly pulled out the ring, clasping it dearly in her hand. It dawned on her what she was doing, and she wasn’t sure if she was ready to do so. She finally opened her fist, handing it to Eric with her eyes welling up. She tried to hold back the tears, but her heart wouldn’t allow her.
“I’m sorry, this clearly means a lot to you,” Eric said, grabbing the ring.
“It’s okay. I’ll be fine,” Janice nonchalantly replied as Eric began to inspect the ring intently.
“Finally, I found it! Where did you get this ring?” Eric suddenly exclaimed, catching Janice off guard in his sudden burst of elation.
“Uhm… Apparently, it was my grandmother’s. I wouldn’t really know. I never knew my parents. But they left it with me when they dropped me at the orphanage where I grew up,” Janice explained.
“Extraordinary,” Eric said with a smile of revelation.
“I don’t understand… why are you so excited? There are thousands of rings just like this,” a confounded Janice explained.
“Not like this one. It’s a family heirloom. There are only three of these that exist. One belonged to my mother, and the other to her two sisters. Look, there’s an engraving right there,” Eric said, showing Janice the inconspicuous engraving on the ring that said “Family Forever.”
“I’d never noticed that before,” Janice said, bewildered.
“My grandfather had it engraved for all of them so we could distinguish them from any others,” Eric said.
“And you’ve been searching for it all this time?” Janice asked, trying to put the dots together.
“Yes, for quite a while, actually. Years ago, my cousin, Lia, had a dispute with her mother after falling pregnant with her then-boyfriend. She wanted to marry him, but our family didn’t quite approve of the gentleman. So, my cousin stole the ring from her mother and ran away with it. She just up and left with the baby and the ring,” Eric explained.
“What happened to her? Your cousin,” Janice asked, growing more curious about this man’s connection to the ring.
“My efforts were not in vain. I—I finally found you!”
“We searched for her but never found her. I decided I’d do my best to find the ring. I figured if I could find the ring, I could find Lia and her child. That’s if she ever ended up giving birth,” Eric said emotionally.
“You never found her?” Janice asked.
“No, I never did. I was certain my efforts were all in vain. That is, until now. I’d hoped that if she ever had to sell it for whatever reason, we’d at least be able to find her that way. I tracked all ads with similar rings, but none had the engraving,” Eric explained.
Janice was utterly shocked and didn’t know how to respond to what she was hearing. Could Eric’s cousin have been her mother? Could he have the answers she had been seeking all her life?
“So, Janice… How did you come across the ring?” Eric asked.
“Well, as I said, I’m an orphan. It was all I had on me when they found me at the orphanage. That and this note,” Janice said, handing Eric the note.
“That’s her handwriting,” Eric said, in awe as he read the note. “You’re Lia’s daughter,” Eric added, starting to weep as he embraced Janice in a warm hug.
“My efforts were not in vain. I—I finally found you!” Eric exclaimed emotionally.
Janice also began to weep at this revelation. After all those years of trying to find her family, now here she was, hugging her long-lost uncle. She had finally found her light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
Janice and her daughter moved in with Eric, who introduced Janice to the rest of her large family. While Janice was incredibly overwhelmed by the sudden love she was receiving, she was grateful because it was exactly what she had prayed for all those years.
Eric was a practicing doctor, so he helped Janice’s daughter with her treatment, and she recovered in no time. In a sudden moment, Janice’s life was completely turned around.
Eric also made a ring similar to the one Janice had, although with different colored stones and an additional engraving of the date that Janice was found. Janice and Eric continued to look for their mother with no intention of giving up.
Their reuniting reminded them that miracles can happen suddenly and that no matter how dark things may seem, they are only temporary. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to hold on.
What can we learn from this story?
- Do not lose hope. Janice and Eric’s coming together reminded them of the need for hope in difficult situations. Janice did not give up praying for better days, and then, suddenly, the answer to her prayers arrived at her doorstep.
- Hard times don’t last. Janice had begun to feel like she was stuck in constant strife and was losing hope. However, while her struggles seemed to drag on, it was only a moment in the larger scope of her story.
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This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only.