adopted

Doctor adopts teen connected to his past

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Jul. 8 2024, Published 5:37 p.m. ET

A Facebook post about a teenage boy in desperate need of a home found its perfect responder in Dr. James C. Wittig. Wittig, a single physician who had never married, had always dreamed of becoming a father. His heartfelt prayers seemed answered when he came across the post about Ronnie, a young boy who had lost both his parents.

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Wittig's connection to Ronnie started through a former patient with whom he had maintained contact. In 2015, she posted on Facebook about needing someone to care for Ronnie, the son of a friend who had passed away due to complications from osteosarcoma. Ronnie's father had also recently died. Moved by the boy’s plight, Wittig reached out to his former patient to discuss the possibility of adopting Ronnie.

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In February 2015, Wittig traveled from his home near Morristown, New Jersey, to northern Virginia to meet Ronnie in person. The meeting went well, and soon after, Ronnie expressed a desire to meet Wittig’s family. Just hours after their second visit, it was decided that Ronnie would live with Wittig. Two weeks later, legal guardianship was transferred.

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It wasn’t until months into their new life together that Wittig discovered an extraordinary connection, reported PEOPLE. He recognized Ronnie's mother in a photograph he had been using for years in his lectures. The photograph, taken over 25 years ago, depicted two osteosarcoma patients: one who had undergone limb-sparing surgery and the other whose limb had been amputated. Wittig had treated the woman whose limb had been saved, and after her passing, he had unknowingly become the guardian of her friend’s son.

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"I see this whole thing as a synchronicity," Wittig reflected, believing that their bond was destined. He described Ronnie as "one of the strongest and kindest and most courageous kids." Since then, Ronnie has thrived, attending Seton Hall Prep and completing welding school.

Although Wittig has yet to legally adopt Ronnie, now an adult, he believes the formal process will be completed soon. To Wittig, their relationship transcends legalities. He finds immense fulfillment in parenting, cherishing the opportunity to love and care for Ronnie. Wittig mentors Ronnie through life, learning invaluable lessons in return. He credits Ronnie with teaching him "kindness, compassion, empathy, love, joy, and happiness."

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Expressing his love and pride, Wittig shared on Instagram, "6 years ago today, I had the best thing happen to me becoming your Dad! It’s one of the biggest miracles in my life and I am so proud to call you my son! Proud of all you have accomplished and the person you have become! You are amazing to me and my hero! I am always here for you my son! Love you buddy!"

Wittig hopes his story inspires other older, single individuals who long to become parents. He wants them to know that it’s never too late to open their hearts and homes to children in need, proving that love and destiny often find a way to bring people together.

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.

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