Our Teen Daughter Demanded $15K for Her Birthday and When We Found Out Why, It Broke Our Hearts

When our adopted teenage daughter demanded $15,000 for her birthday, we were stunned. But when she tearfully revealed the heartbreaking reason behind her request, it changed our lives forever.
My husband and I had always wanted a child, but after years of trying and countless doctor visits, it became clear we couldn’t have one of our own. We felt lost and heartbroken. Adoption seemed like the best option for us to finally have a family.

We were nervous when we first met Lucy at the foster care center. She was sitting alone, reading a book. Her long brown hair fell over her eyes, and she looked so small and vulnerable. When she glanced up and saw us, she gave a shy smile.
“Hi, Lucy,” I said softly. “I’m Carol, and this is my husband, John. We’ve heard so much about you.”
Lucy nodded, her eyes wide. “Hi.”

We spent the afternoon together, talking and getting to know each other. Lucy was quiet but sweet. By the end of the day, we felt a connection with her. We knew she was the one.
The adoption process was long and tiring, but we finally brought Lucy home. The first few weeks were wonderful. Lucy seemed happy and adjusted well. She loved the meals I cooked and often helped me in the kitchen. John and Lucy bonded over board games and movies.

But things changed after a few months. Lucy started to pull away. She became rude and distant. She refused to eat the meals I prepared, often throwing the food away without a word. When John and I tried to hug her, she would yell and push us away.
One evening, I made her favorite pasta dish. She looked at it with disgust.
“I don’t want this,” she said, pushing the plate away.

“Lucy, please. I made this just for you,” I said, trying to keep my voice calm.
“I don’t care! I hate it!” she screamed, storming off to her room.
John and I sat at the table, stunned and hurt. We couldn’t understand what had happened.
Her 14th birthday was coming up, and we wanted to make it special. We planned a small party and bought her a new laptop and earphones. We hoped it would make her happy.

On the day of her birthday, we decorated the house and baked a cake. Lucy came downstairs, her expression blank.
“Happy birthday, Lucy!” John said, trying to sound cheerful. “We have a surprise for you.”
We handed her the wrapped gifts. She opened them slowly, her face unreadable.
“What’s this?” she asked, holding up the laptop. “I don’t need this trash.”

I felt a lump in my throat. “Lucy, we thought you’d like it. You give us no chance to make you happy. What do you need?”
She looked at us, her eyes cold. “I need $15,000.”
John and I exchanged shocked glances. “What? Why?” I asked, my voice trembling.

Lucy’s eyes filled with tears. She took a deep breath and said, “I need the money to buy my brother back. The foster family won’t give him to me. Maybe they need money? That’s why I’m asking.”
The room fell silent. John and I were speechless. We had no idea Lucy had a little brother. It broke our hearts to realize she had been carrying this pain alone.
“Lucy,” I said softly, “we didn’t know you had a brother. Can you tell us more about him?”

She wiped her tears and sniffled. “His name is Alex. He’s eight. We were always together in foster care until you took me away. I thought you knew and would adopt him too, but when you didn’t, I thought you didn’t want him.”
John’s eyes welled up. “Lucy, we’re so sorry. We would never have left him behind if we had known. We’ll do everything we can to bring Alex home.”
Lucy looked at us, her eyes hopeful for the first time. “Really?”

“Really,” I said, reaching out to her. “We promise.”
For the first time, Lucy didn’t pull away. She started to cry, and we cried with her. We hugged tightly, united in our determination to bring Alex home.
Lucy’s tearful explanation about her brother Alex shattered our hearts. We never knew she had a sibling, let alone that he was still in foster care. She explained how they were always together, and how she thought we didn’t want him.

“We didn’t know, Lucy,” I said, my voice breaking. “If we had known, we would’ve adopted him too.”
John nodded, tears streaming down his face. “We’re so sorry, Lucy. We’ll do everything we can to bring Alex home.”
Lucy looked at us with a mix of hope and fear. “Promise?”

“Promise,” John and I said together, hugging her tightly. For the first time, she didn’t pull away. We all cried, holding each other, united by our determination to reunite our family.
The next morning, we called the adoption agency. I was nervous as I dialed the number. John held my hand, offering silent support.
“Hello, this is Carol Johnson. We recently adopted Lucy, and we just found out she has a younger brother named Alex. We’d like to adopt him too,” I said, my voice trembling.

The social worker, Ms. Brown, sounded surprised but understanding. “Let me check the records and see where Alex is currently placed. This might take some time.”
Days turned into weeks as we navigated the complex adoption system. The wait was excruciating. Every time the phone rang, my heart would leap, hoping for news about Alex.
The emotional toll was heavy. Lucy grew more anxious with each passing day. John and I tried to stay strong for her, but the uncertainty was hard on all of us.

Finally, one evening, we got the call. “Mrs. Johnson, we’ve located Alex,” Ms. Brown said. “He’s still in foster care and is available for adoption.”
Tears of relief filled my eyes. “Thank you, Ms. Brown. What do we need to do to bring him home?”
“The process will take a few months, but we can start the paperwork immediately,” she explained.

We shared the news with Lucy, who burst into tears of joy. “You found him?” she asked, her voice trembling.
“Yes, sweetheart. We’re starting the adoption process now,” John said, hugging her tightly.
The following months were a whirlwind of paperwork, home visits, and interviews. It was stressful, but knowing we were bringing Alex home kept us going. We made sure to keep Lucy involved in every step, reassuring her that Alex would soon be with us.

Finally, the day arrived. We went to the foster care center to pick up Alex. Lucy was beside herself with excitement and nervousness.
When we entered the room, Alex was sitting quietly, his big brown eyes wide with curiosity. Lucy ran to him, tears streaming down her face. “Alex!”
“Lucy!” Alex cried, jumping up and hugging her tightly. “I missed you so much!”

“I missed you too,” Lucy said, holding him close. “I told you they would bring you home.”
John and I watched, tears in our eyes, as the siblings reunited. It was a moment of pure joy and relief.
We brought Alex home, and the changes in Lucy were immediate. She smiled more, laughed often, and hugged us without hesitation. It was as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

The adoption process for Alex was finalized, and he officially became part of our family. We celebrated with a small party, filled with laughter and love.
Our family finally felt complete. Lucy’s pain and anger were replaced with love and gratitude. She and Alex were inseparable, and our home was filled with happiness.
One evening, as we all sat together watching a movie, Lucy turned to us and said, “Thank you for bringing Alex home. I love you both.”

“We love you too, Lucy,” John said, squeezing her hand. “Our family is whole now.”
The journey had been difficult, but it brought us closer together. We didn’t just gain a daughter and a son; we gained a deeper understanding of what it means to be a family. Our home was now filled with love, laughter, and the promise of a brighter future.

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