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Teacher Debbie Moon's first-graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had different color hair than the other family members.
One child suggested that he was adopted, and a little girl named Jocelynn Jay said, "I know all about adoptions because I'm adopted."
"What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child.
"It means," said Jocelynn, "that you grew in your mother's heart instead of her tummy."
Our little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and he handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said:
- For cutting the grass, $5.00
- For cleaning up my room this week, $1.00
- For going to the store for you, $ .50
- Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping, $ .25
- Taking out the garbage, $1.00
- For getting a good report card, $5.00
- For cleaning up and raking the yard, $2.00
- Total owed: $14.75
Well, I'll tell you, his mother looked at him standing there expectantly, and boy, could I see the memories flashing through her mind. So she picked up the pen, turned over the paper he'd written on, and this is what she wrote:
- For the nine months I carried you while you were growing inside me, No Charge.
- For all the nights that I've sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you, No Charge.
- For all the trying times, and all the tears that you've caused through the years, there's No Charge.
- When you add it all up, the cost of my love is No Charge.
- For all the nights that were filled with dread, and for the worries I knew were ahead, No Charge.
- For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose, there's No Charge, Son.
- And when you add it all up, the full cost of real love is No Charge.
Well, friends, when our son finished reading what his mother had written, there were great big old tears in his eyes, and he looked straight up at his mother and said, "Mom, I sure do love you." And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: "PAID IN FULL."
¬1996. All rights reserved. Reprinted from A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul® by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.