Joe McCarthy was a single father who did everything he could to raise his triplets. He never gave up despite the struggles he faced because his kids were his reasons to live and laugh. But his little world shook one day when someone arrived at his doorstep and revealed they weren’t his kids.
For many single parents, the daily challenges they face are nothing compared to the joy they get raising their children. Watching their kids grow up without looking back to the void left by the other parent is what brings a ray of sunshine to such single parents’ lives.
However, when raising three girls alone as a single father, the struggles can sometimes go from bad to worse. That’s something doting dad Joe McCarthy dealt with. Ever since Ariana, the love of his life, or so he thought, left him, Joe was devastated.
They say time heals everything, so it did for this single dad. He forgot everything and lived a peaceful life with his three little angels until one day when someone from his past returned with a piece of news to interrupt the joy of his fatherhood…
Joe and Ariana met eight years ago at an expo in Paris. Since Joe had grown up all his life in an orphanage, he decided to marry a woman who came from the same roots. Ariana was raised in an orphanage too.
“YOU??? What are you doing here?” He gasped in shock at his ex-wife, who stood like a mess on his doorstep.
The two became friends and soon flipped the page to a fairy tale love story. But then, there was trouble in paradise two years into their love life when Ariana told Joe she was five months pregnant.
“But we had planned to have babies after marriage. How can this be? I had taken all the precautions,” Joe said, worried.
“It’s okay, sweetheart. Mishaps happen. We have to get married soon. It’s the only way,” Ariana insisted.
Soon, the couple tied the knot in a private ceremony and kickstarted a beautiful married life. But as time passed, Joe started noticing a weird change in Ariana’s behavior. Either she was too occupied at work or spent long hours on the phone. She never allowed Joe to access her emails and messages anymore.
It all appeared strange suddenly, but Joe, the trusting man he was, let things slide and looked forward to welcoming his babies. But as fate may have it, he saw Ariana’s true colors during a scan.
“What? Triplets? I cannot afford to give birth to three babies and ruin my beauty!” she shrieked after hearing the doctor reveal the scan reports to her.
“But baby, those are our babies. You cannot talk so badly about them. What is the connection between having babies and your beauty? I don’t understand,” Joe expressed, hurt and shocked by his wife’s reaction.
“What is the connection? Joe, I will start looking old, and nobody will be interested in looking at me!”
“Looking at you? Wait…what do you mean by that? Who else do you want to appreciate your beauty other than me, your husband?” Joe asked. At this point, Ariana said the unthinkable and unlocked another heartbreak for poor Joe.
“I married you to live a wealthy life. I thought we were not just architects building others’ dreams but also a rich couple who could build theirs as well. But your earnings are not enough to even go on a cruise!” she fumed. “And with these three extra burdens coming into the world, I doubt if you would give me all the luxuries I want!”
Ariana’s honest opinion hurt Joe. He thought she loved him. But no. She was only after his money and had been dreaming big, using him to fund her lavish lifestyle.
Before Joe could say anything else, Ariana told him she would divorce him after giving birth to their babies. Shock after shock added more insult to the poor man’s injuries.
“I don’t care what you do with these babies, but I’m not raising them. I’d long applied for a job in London, and I’m going there after getting rid of this burden.”
She then filed for divorce, putting Joe under unbelievable stress. The hearing was postponed until the babies were born.
Eventually, the couple welcomed three beautiful baby girls five months later. Even before the triplets could feel their mother’s skin and breathe her love, they lost her. Ariana refused to even look at her children, and a week after her postpartum stress, she proceeded with the divorce.
Joe signed full custody of the children, and Ariana just walked out on her beautiful family. The day of the hearing was the last Joe saw his ex-wife.
Although painful, the father decided to put his best foot forward for his kids. He worked from home to stay with his babies all day long. He didn’t want to hire a nanny because he feared that his children would not be cared for well.
From feeding them to changing their diapers, he did everything in the shoes of a mother. For six years, Joe raised his triplets, Jade, Ruby, and Emily, with much love and care. He was their father and mother.
The girls never missed their mom growing up because Joe never made them think about her. He did everything he could to make them happy and enjoy their childhood.
But one day, his heart stopped when he opened the door to check who had just rung the doorbell.
“YOU??? What are you doing here?” He gasped in shock, staring at his ex-wife, who stood like a mess on his doorstep.
Joe looked around and sighed relief since his kids were playing in the neighbor’s house. “What do you want, and why have you come here?” he fumed.
“Won’t you allow me to come in? I’m sure we can talk “a lot” inside,” she said, pushing her way into the house. Joe was startled and could do nothing to stop her.
“Where are my children?” Ariana asked, looking around for the triplets. “Girls! Mom is home! Don’t you want to see your mommy?”
“What the hell is wrong with you? You are not their mom…Now get out of my house!” Joe shouted. “They have only one parent, and that’s me. Get it? NOW, OUT!”
“Oh really? Who said you’re their DAD?” Ariana said, revealing an unthinkable truth. “I had two other boyfriends while dating you. And I got really “intimate” with one of them on tour. These girls must be his… I’m sure they aren’t yours because you were away on a month-long expo to Egypt.”
“What do you mean?” Joe retorted.
“You had used all the precautions you knew of to avoid pregnancy when you came back. I ran the math, and it took me six long years to figure it out. I’m certain these kids aren’t yours, but I thought they were when I left you six years ago.”
Joe collapsed on the couch in despair, holding his head in shock. “Not my babies? You cheated on me with two other men?” he fumed again. “What proof do you have that they’re not mine?”
After a brief altercation, Ariana and Joe agreed to do a paternity test on the children. Two weeks later, the DNA test results arrived, indicating Joe was not the biological father of the triplets.
The revelation startled him. For six long years, he had done everything to raise his children. Moreover, he loved them unconditionally. They were the only reason for his joy. Before he could deal with the crushing truth, Ariana returned the next day to take the children from him.
“Send my girls with me. I need to sue that rich scoundrel for alimony, and I can only do it if I have my children with me,” she said.
Joe was startled. He realized that he couldn’t just trade his love for his kids just because they weren’t his. That’s when he sprung up on his feet and took a stand to protect his fatherhood.
“The court will decide now, Ariana, you evil woman. How can you be so heartless and selfish to use my innocent children to feed your desires? I’m not going to let that happen. If you want to get to them, you must go through me first!”
Ariana was shocked by Joe’s reaction. She had always known him as a soft-spoken man. But what she saw of him that day was different and terrifying. That didn’t stop her, though, from climbing the ladder to claim her children. She saw them as items, not living, laughing angels who deserved love and family.
“I’m fighting you in court. I’ll sue you, and those three girls will be mine,” she said, challenging Joe to meet in court.
Two weeks later, both of them arrived at the district court. Ariana had nothing to support her other than the DNA test reports. Meanwhile, Joe had the documents she had signed six years ago, handing over the legal custody of the children to him. She had also signed off her rights on them to Joe.
Ultimately, Ariana’s case did not stand a chance. The judge examined the paperwork, which clearly indicated that she didn’t want the babies after divorcing Joe. She lost the legal battle and kept staring at Joe as he walked out with his three children.
“Dad, who is she? Why is she talking to you?” one of his girls asked him after seeing Ariana.
“She’s a stranger. We don’t talk to strangers anymore! Come, let’s go home. Dad is having two weeks off, and shall we go on that cruise we had planned?!” Joe said, driving past a lost, embarrassed Ariana who stood stranded outside the court.