I was walking to my car, a pink Toyota, when a couple of cars stopped beside me.
They were sitting on a dirt lot, their two young children were tucked into their laps, their hands were clasped together.
“Can you get the baby to a crib?”
The man and woman answered, “Yes.”
“Can I take the baby away?”
“Please, let me get the crib.”
The man asked again.
“Yes, I’ll take the child.”
“I’ll just take the little one.”
“You can’t leave your baby alone with that guy!” the woman shouted.
“I’m not leaving my baby with that man!”
The couple’s youngest child was crying, so I took the boy.
“Do you want to take my baby away?
Do you want me to bring you your baby?”
I told the man and his wife.
“What are you going to do to your little girl?
You don’t have a baby.”
“Well, I don’t know how to get her away,” they said.
They looked at me.
“You don’t even know how much you love her,” they both said.
Their oldest daughter was crying too.
I hugged her.
“That’s not right,” I said to them.
“If you do this, your little daughter’s going to be like a wild animal in the wild.”
They hugged me again, then walked away.
I walked back to my truck, where I picked up my two-year-old and the toddler, and drove home.
“There was no way that we were going to have this conversation,” I told my wife.
She sat in the front seat, watching the two little boys and then crying.
She said, “It was just so sad.”
I told her, “That was the first time I’ve ever heard of a man giving his daughter away.”
I then got into my car and drove to the Salvation Army to pick up my other child, and then to a church that I was visiting, the United Methodist Church in New York City, for the funeral of a friend.
I told him about the man I met in a bar in Las Vegas and that I had seen him give away his daughter, and he replied, “I knew you’d ask me that question.”
I went over to the other table and sat at the table with him, and we talked.
It was hard.
I had met him twice, once when I was 16 and once when he was 23, when I had gone to college.
I didn’t know him very well, but I thought that he was a nice person.
“It wasn’t a choice that you made,” he said.
He told me that when he left Las Vegas, he had spent $20,000 on his wedding and had three beautiful children.
He said that he did it because he wanted to help people, and I knew I was in for a tough conversation.
But I didn`t know what to do, I didn’ know what I was going to say.
So I asked him, “You have no idea how many children you have?”
“I don`t care what you think about it,” he told me.
I thought about that for a while, then said, I guess I know what it is.
And he told us that his mother had three, but his father had none.
I said, That’s a lot of children.
I asked if I could see his mother.
“He`s a good man, I told them,” he replied.
“And he`s not the kind of man to give away kids,” I added.
He smiled and said, You know, if I had one of those babies, I`d give it to you.
“Oh, no, I wouldn’t,” he responded.
I then asked him what he thought of my daughter, saying that she had been so loving to him.
He looked at her for a second, then looked at his wife and said to his wife, “They don` t know what you`re talking about.”
He then turned to me and said I should talk to my children.
We drove to a house in a different part of town.
I sat on a couch, in front of my computer.
“Did you see the news?”
“The news is that a couple have been found in a home with more than 30 children.”
The house was vacant.
I went through my phone to check on my children, and the phone rang.
The caller said, My children are in the basement, and there`s no way out.
He went on to say that a woman named Mary had told them that they would have to give up their kids.
The children were all sleeping, and they were all crying.
The phone started to ring again, and it went on and on.
“She told them, ‘