A couple takes in a little girl, and it’s her first birthday. They give her a cake. The next day, she gets some money from her real family that she didn’t expect.

Melanie was six, and she wanted to have a family. She had been in foster care since she was two years old, when she was too young to remember her parents.

She would often wonder, “Who were they? Did they care about me? Then she would cry and whisper, “Why didn’t they want me?” But one day, Melanie’s prayers were answered and something wonderful happened.

Melanie’s social worker came to see her with a young couple. The man smiled and winked at Melanie, and the woman smiled back. Melanie had never seen eyes so kind and sweet as hers.

The social worker told them, “This is Gordon and Helen.” “They want to take you in.”

Melanie gasped, “They do?” She then looked at the couple and asked, “Why do you want to do that?”

Gordon was surprised by Melanie’s question, but Helen got down on her knees to look Melanie in the eyes and told her, “We want to adopt you because we want the nicest, funniest, prettiest girl in New York City to be our daughter.”

Melanie gave Helen a big, happy, sunny smile and wrapped her arms around her. She found a family that wanted her and was ready to love her for who she was.

Melanie moved in with Gordon and Helen and found that it was both great and terrible to have parents. It was great because you always had two people who loved you and paid attention to you.

It was awful because two people loved and cared about you all the time and noticed when you didn’t do what you were supposed to.

Melanie found out she couldn’t get away with not doing her homework or doing any of the bad things she’d done in the foster home just because they were fun. There were so many kids that you could do anything.

People don’t let you get away with anything in a real family because they care about you! When Helen told Melanie she had to clean her room before dinner, Melanie cried, “Thank you, thank you!” and gave her a hug.

Helen laughed. She yelled, “I have to tell you off more, Melanie!”

Melanie begged, “Yes, please.” “I’ll know you care then!”

After six months, the little family’s life settled into a comfortable routine. They learned more about each other. Gordon worked the night shift, so Melanie knew not to make a lot of noise in the morning. Gordon learned not to scare Melanie with plastic spiders because she was REALLY scared, not just pretending to be scared.

She found out that Gordon and Melanie both liked peanut butter cookies. They would sit on the back porch and eat a whole jumbo pack of cookies in five seconds, stuffing the whole cookies in their mouths to see who could eat faster.

They all got to know what it means to be a happy family.

Then, though, something terrible happened. Gordon got hurt at work and had to stay in the hospital for a few weeks. As time went on, Helen looked more and more worried.

Melanie was a bright girl. She knew that going to the doctor would cost a lot. She would sometimes hear Helen crying late at night, so she would sneak into her room and give her a hug.

Helen would whisper, “Thank God for you, Melanie,” and then kiss her.

Gordon got better and was able to go home, but he had to use crutches to get around. The bills started coming in after that. Helen put them on the dresser in little piles and looked at them with worry. “Don’t worry, Helen,” Gordon said in a soft voice.

“All of our money is gone, Gordon,” she said in a whisper. “I’m afraid. No longer is it just us. What if Melanie needs something and we don’t have enough money?”

Gordon held Helen in his arms. He told her, “Trust in God, my love.” “Hey, Melanie, why are you so sad-looking? I thought I saw some peanut butter cookies on the top shelf.

Melanie woke up with a start one bright and early morning. Someone had blown a party whistle right into her ear. She jumped and her eyes opened.

Her room was packed with balloons. Helen and Gordon, who was awake, were laughing and wearing silly party hats as they stood at the foot of the bed. They yelled, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

Melanie began to grin. “Oh, my birthday! I forgot!”

“Get up, get up,” chanted Gordon. “Whoa! That’s a surprise!”

Melanie got up and went to the dining room with Helen and Gordon. On the wall, there was a big banner that said, “Happy Birthday, Melanie!” The most beautiful birthday cake she had ever seen was on the table.

Melanie asked in a whisper, “That for me?” She got closer and saw that “Happy Birthday Melanie” was written on the cake in silver letters surrounded by stars.

“My name is written on it!” Melanie yelled and started crying. She began crying so loudly that Helen and Gordon were scared and upset.

“Please, Melanie,” Gordon said. “Honey, why are you so sad?”

“I’ve never had a cake before!” Melanie sobbed. “So that means you love me, right? Love me really, really?”

Gordon and Helen held Melanie in their arms. Helen said, “Of course we love you!” “We CHOSE you! We chose YOU out of all the little girls in the world!”

Melanie’s birthday was the best day of her life, even though she went to bed with a bit of a stomachache because she ate too much cake.

The family was getting ready to go to church the next Sunday when someone knocked on the door. A tall man was standing there. He asked Helen, “Are you Melanie’s real mother?”

“Yes,” Helen said. “Who are you?”

“I knew her father before he died,” the man said. “I want to meet her, too.”

Helen cried, “You can’t take her away!” “We got her from the court.”

The man said in a soft voice, “I don’t want to take her away.” “I just want to see her.”

Helen and Gordon were holding hands in the living room while the man talked to Melanie. “My dear,” he said. “When you’re older, I think you’ll understand the story I’m about to tell you better…”

“I’m seven,” Melanie said proudly. “I turned seven yesterday!”

“Yes,” the man said with a smile. “When you were born, I was there. Melanie, you must know that your mom and dad loved you a lot. But when you were just one year old, your mom died.

“Your dad found out soon after that he was very sick. He wanted to help you as much as he could, so he asked me to sell everything he owned.

Melanie was given a piece of paper by the man. “He wanted me to give you this money when you turned 18 or when you were adopted by a good family. I know that Helen and Gordon love you and are good people. This is for your new family.”

Helen started to cry when Melanie gave her the paper. It was a $40,000 check. Melanie’s birth family helped her new family when they really needed it.