Man Adopts a Girl No One Wanted, 28 Years Later He Finds Out Why

By: Lydia Iseh | Last updated: Nov 19, 2023

Like many other people around the world, a young man decided that it was a commendable idea to adopt a child. So he went ahead to adopt a girl no one else wanted to take in. Despite this, he cherished her and raised her to maturity without problems, until one sprang up from nowhere.

This man became confused. Why the sudden change? What made her so un-adoptable at the beginning? Will things ever get back to normal? He only found answers to these questions 28 years after the adoption.

About Dale Jefferson

Meet Dale Jefferson, a 44-year-old who lived in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Dale wasn’t married or in a relationship, but he wanted a child of his own. He wanted a child so bad, that he didn’t mind adopting a 6-year-old who no one wanted.


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Dale was so bent on adopting this 6-year-old, as he thought this was his only chance to be a father. Looking back, 28 years later, he wishes he had been more cautious.


Why Are They Here?

One day, the police showed up at Dale’s and he had no idea why. When they told him that it had something to do with his adopted daughter, he couldn’t hide his surprise. Dale hadn’t seen his adopted daughter in 16 years. So he wondered what this was about.


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This visit from the authorities made Dale worry about his daughter. He asked himself, “What is going on?”.

The Hard Truth

The police told him something about his adopted daughter and he couldn’t believe his ears. He was overwhelmed by the information. How on Earth could he have just realized this?


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Dale became emotional and tears flowed freely from his eyes. Finally, he knew the truth about his only child but wished it had never came to light. Some things are better left buried, you know?

All Questions and No Answers

A lot was going on in Dale’s mind and there were numerous questions he needed to ask. What was happening with his beloved child? Did it have anything to do with why no one was interested in adopting her? Most importantly, why did it take so long for him to finally learn the truth?


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At this point, all Dale wanted was to see his daughter again as he needed to get as much closure as he could.

Dale's Heart Desire Granted

It all started many years ago when Dale adopted Lise, something he had always wanted to do. Although he had hoped for a large family, adopting Lise felt like the first step to achieving this life-long desire. That’s especially because he didn’t have any women in his life.

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No doubt, Dale understood that parenthood was challenging. But that was a small cross to bear to attain his goal—starting a family.


The Journey to Single Fatherhood

Despite being a romantic, Dale wasn’t lucky enough to have found his one true love. So, after trying for a while, he finally accepted his fate and decided to live his single life to the fullest. However, that didn’t stop his desire to have a child of his own. If it meant adopting one, then so be it.


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So, off he went to begin the adoption process and start his journey into fatherhood. Who said single men can’t raise children too?


Meet Lise

His determination to adopt a child led him to Lise Barber, a 6-year-old girl who led a difficult life. Lise had grown up in the system and never knew what it meant to be in a permanent home. While she was friends with other orphans, she had to watch them leave for their new homes while she remained unwanted.

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Lise felt rejected and envious of her friends who had no challenge getting new parents. Why was she different?


Her Only Chance

As time went by, Lise’s chances of being adopted grew slimmer. She was sick already and only a few parents would want to bring home a child as old as that. The orphanage understood this and decided to give her a fighting chance by withholding some information about her.


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The administration felt it was a smart move. They figured that if Dale got to know about Lise’s background, he might lose interest in adopting her. And even if he found out later, she would already be his daughter and he wouldn’t “un-adopt” her.


A Match Made in Heaven

Did the plan work out? Judging by the way Dale and Lise naturally took to each other, we can say “you bet it did!” It was love at first sight for Lise and Dale especially because Lise was such a well-mannered child. Again, since it wasn’t commonplace for a single man to adopt a girl, he felt very lucky to be given this opportunity.

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Dale was a good man and he had no challenge transferring his goodness into parenthood.


Sweet, Kind, Disciplined Lise

As we mentioned already, Lise was the model child. She was proof that adopting a 6-year-old wasn’t a bad thing after all. Lise had overgrown the stage for throwing tantrums as toddlers do, and because she was independent, didn’t need as much attention as a newborn.


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It was a win-win for Dale and Lise. Dale needed to start his own family and Lise needed a kind father. She made fatherhood easy for Dale whose only concern was fostering a true connection between them.


Being a Great Dad

Dale did everything he could to be the father that Lise needed. He ensured that he spent quality time with her and didn’t hold back on anything necessary to make her feel loved. Unfortunately, Dale noticed that Lise wasn’t as trusting of him or comfortable as he was of her.


Years went by and the more he tried to draw close to her, the more he felt she was holding something back.


Something's Not Right

It’s not like Dale wanted Lise to be perfect, but he couldn’t just shake off the feeling that something was wrong. Lise started to live a very secluded life and increasingly became distant and withdrawn.


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She didn’t have so many friends and hardly stepped out of her bedroom. Dave also felt that she tried to avoid him as much as she could by not returning home immediately after school.


The Dilemma

Like every responsible parent, Dale was worried about Lise’s behavior. It was worse that he didn’t know why she was acting up. She didn’t seem to want to talk to him about what was going on with her. He wondered why she couldn’t trust him enough.

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Dale was confused as he didn’t know whether to talk to her and get her to loosen up. He also wanted to respect her by giving her space and letting her make her own decisions.  What path should he tow?


Everything's the Same

If Dale ever thought that Lise was just passing through the teenage phase and will get better when she reached adulthood, he was in for a huge shock. Lise turned 18 but nothing changed. Now, she was ready to start college and be truly independent.


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Unfortunately, not only was there no improvement in her behavior, things became worse. She showed no attempt at a genuine connection with her dad and Dale became even more worried.


Drifting Apart

After Lise went to college, Dale made efforts to get through to her during the first weeks, but nothing worked. But he was expecting this. He knew it was going to be more challenging now that she was far away from home.

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Still, losing contact with his beloved daughter made him very sad. Thinking about Lise living her life so comfortably without bothering him broke his heart.


Surprise! Surprise!!

When Dale couldn’t bear it anymore, he decided to go see his daughter at her college. He anticipated this surprise meeting for weeks and thought that it would soften Lise’s heart and make her more receptive to him.


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Arriving at the University’s campus, he went straight to the reception to ask about his daughter’s room. It was then he got the shocker of his life that made him ask more questions. How could that be?


A Shocking News

The receptionist informed Dake that Lise had dropped out of school some months back. Dale had no idea and wondered why Lise lied to him. Lise also didn’t feel the need to tell him anything about her whereabouts. Now, he was truly livid and feared for her safety.

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This is one of the worst things to ever happen to a father and Dale felt all the emotions that came with this unpalatable news.


What's Up with Lise

Now not only was Dale worried that Lise was withdrawn, but he also wondered if any harm had come to her. He called her phone but she hung up, clearly indicating that she thought he was intruding into her personal space.


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Dale wanted to call the police but didn’t know if that was the wisest decision to make at that point. He was sick and tired of the situation.


Worried Dad

The more Dale was worried about his daughter, the more he began to see himself as a failed parent. How did he allow things to get this bad between him and his daughter? What was he doing wrong that he had no idea about?

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Although he wanted to make whatever it was right, he also wanted to know whether he should continue trying to reach her. He didn’t want to force her into rekindling a relationship with him. All he wanted was to be sure she was safe.


A Last Attempt

He decided he was going to try one last time, and then let her be. So, he sent her a message asking if everything was okay with her. Comparing the attention, money, and years he invested in Lise to their current situation made him depressed.


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As he thought about the sacrifices he made raising Lise, he kept convincing himself that all he needed was to know she was safe. A few minutes after sending the message, he got a response.


Good News At Last, or No?

The response was emotionless and straight to the point, “I’m fine.” There was no explanation as to why she left school without informing him or her whereabouts. She didn’t even acknowledge him as her dad in the text or appreciate Dale’s efforts so far.

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So Dale got a response as he had always hoped. But the response made him realize that he had lost his dear Lise for life.


Out of Sight Isn't Out of Mind

Despite the cold response and his daughter’s absence, Dale couldn’t help thinking about her. Although he wanted to ask her where he went wrong, he was overwhelmed with emotions considering he hasn’t heard from her in many years.


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Instead, he decided to clear his mind and focus his thoughts by getting busy with yard work. But one day, his phone rang as he trimmed his flowers. He was surprised because he couldn’t think of anyone who would call his cell phone.


The Mystery Call

Unfortunately, he couldn’t grab his phone early enough to pick up the call. He saw a missed call but there was no follow-up voicemail or text. Who could that be?


Almost everyone in his life knew that it was always better to call the house phone, but there was no missed call on the house line. So, he brushed it off as a misdialed call.


Hannah's Tragedy

Some years back, Dale had met and married Hannah, a woman who loved the quiet life as he did. Hannah had two sons who had died in an auto crash about 2 decades before their paths crossed. So, they quickly took to each other as they had something in common—separation from a dear child.


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Dale asked Hannah about the call and surprisingly, she didn’t know anything about it.


Solving the Mystery

Hannah claimed she hadn’t shared his phone number with anyone and was unaware of the call in question. She asked if he had returned the call, but Dale hadn’t because he thought it was a phony call that’ll waste his time. On a second thought, however, he decided that calling back wouldn’t hurt anyone.

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Dale’s attempt to call the number failed. But his phone rang again as he tried to pour himself a glass of wine. Who could that be? He only kept that phone in case Lise decided to call.


Is That Lise?

When he picked up the call, he said “hello,” several times but got no response. Although he knew that it was a man behind the phone, the man refused to answer Dale when he asked who it was. He later realized that the man covered his phone mouthpiece with his hand, trying to get instructions from a female.


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Dale was confused. But as he was about to end the call, he heard the man say, “Lise.”


Hi, Dad!

The man explained that he was there with Lise but Lise didn’t know if her dad would want to speak with her. Dale assured him that he wanted to speak with this daughter. It’s what he had been hoping for all these years.

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After a few seconds of silence, Dale heard his daughter say, “Hi, Dad.” Lise said she was fine and just needed to vent. She made her dad promise that he was going to listen to her until she was done talking.


A Moment of Truth

Lise explained that she found his adopting her weird. When he asked her why it took her so long to say anything, she started crying. But he needed to know why as he hadn’t stopped thinking about it for years.


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When she felt better, she told her dad that she had met a lady in college who was an adopted child like her. They were both curious about who their biological parents were. The girl advised her not to tell Dale anything about it.


Lise's Biological Parents

Lise was finally able to visit her birth parents after getting their records. Unfortunately, she was robbed and everything she had was taken from her. Although she discovered that her parents were no longer in that house and they were undergoing drug rehabilitation, she kept her hope alive.

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She took shelter with her friends and continued working and schooling till she finished her degree. Then, she fell in love with someone and moved in with him.


The Reunion

Although her lover encouraged her to speak with her dad, she thought he no longer wanted to have anything to do with her. When she eventually decided to reach him, he was difficult to track.


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Dale asked to meet with her and her boyfriend. He scheduled a meeting for two weeks later and they both showed up. From that day, they all began to see more of each other and lived happily.