“Mom, meet Love, she’s my daughter,” said the 17-year-old son, standing at the doorstep with a baby in his arms. Learning his story, I was left speechless.

My husband and our son, Anton, made up a joyful family for me. Together, we lived a happy life, but it wasn’t long-lasting. Anton was just eight years old when my husband Dmitry passed away. Our good-hearted boy had to be raised by me alone.

But maybe I went too far. After completing ninth grade, Anton enrolled in a technical college in a different city. I wasn’t too concerned about him because I knew he was a responsible young man, but I missed him a lot.

Anton turned 17 that summer, and after his examinations he was scheduled to return home right away. But two weeks had gone by and he was still nowhere to be found.

You should have seen the look on my face when I opened the door early one morning to see my son carrying an envelope with a newborn baby inside and looking exhausted with enormous bags under his eyes.

“Mom, meet Lyubov,” he murmured, struggling to grin. “Lyubov who? Toshka, whose child is this? I queried. “Mine,” he said with pride. Saying, “This is my daughter.”

I was shocked and opened the door for them to enter. As I entered the living room, I saw a scene that completely floored me. My son, who is 17, was cuddling a young child while cuddling her in his arms and giving her a gentle nose kiss.

Although it seemed lovely, I was frightened to find out the truth at that precise moment. “Tell me everything in detail,” I demanded. He explained everything slowly and calmly.

It turned out that Anton had met Olena, a student from a different class, during his second year in college. He immediately spotted her in the crowd because she stood out from the others by dressing modestly and forgoing makeup like the other college females. They got together after six months.

However, Anton had some document problems at the time and had to disappear for two months to address them. He hadn’t had a chance to tell Olena about these issues, but I was aware of them. She believed Anton had abandoned her and considered taking her own life, but lacked the guts. Olena became pregnant as a result of my responsible son’s attempt to demonstrate the gravity of his feelings and demonstrate what true grownup love entailed.

When they turned 18, they intended to secretly wed, but for the time being, they only wanted a low-key registry office ceremony. Olena’s health deteriorated throughout her pregnancy, and she eventually died. She was not advised to give birth naturally because of her weak heart.

The maternity hospital where two of her favorite girls were born was where Anton had spent many restless nights. He fought tenaciously to bring the baby home after learning that they intended to send her to an orphanage; in the end, her documents were eventually reprinted in his name.

I raised a young guy that fits that description, and I’m quite proud of him.

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