When Will Russell was very young, he learned that his lover was pregnant with a baby girl. It was a wonderful thing for him to know that he had helped usher a new life into the world. But he was also distraught. He had no way to take care of the child, to provide for her because he was addicted to alcohol and an unfit father.
Russell made the toughest decision of his life. He put little Amy up for adoption. It was hard to let her go right after birth, but he knew that in his heart of hearts, it was the right decision. He did not want to subject her to a life of suffering because he wasn’t capable of raising her.
For decades, Russell never forgot little Amy. He thought of her often and worked to turn his life around. In a way, he wanted to prove to her and himself that he could be the type of man who could provide for a family.
Life led him to the Phoenix Rescue Mission, which provides “Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness.” He began there as a volunteered and quickly transitioned into a position in the ministry.
Amy, on the other hand, had experienced a real childhood. But she still wanted to know her biological father and mother. In 2013, she was hard at work trying to find Russell. She connected to one of her nine biological siblings through social media and then eventually obtained Will Russell’s phone number.
“It took a lot for me to make that phone call,” Amy told KSAZ. “I was really nervous, but it was definitely something I felt like I needed to do.”
Will was overjoyed when he got the call from Amy. It had been twenty-four years since they had last been together at her birth, and Russell wanted to prove that he had changed for the better during those intervening years.
The next morning the pair met for breakfast. And that’s when Russell divulged the truth about his struggle. He told her about his alcoholism and how he was unfit to be her protector when she was born. But then in 2004 he took his last drink and went on to become a pastor and help others fight addiction.
The pair had a deep conversation that helped them get very close in a short period of time. But before long, their time was up, and the look on Amy’s face was heartbreaking for Russell.
He told her that he had to go because he was working at a soup kitchen and the people needed him. He invited her along. But Amy already had plans as well. And she was stunned. Her plan was to go to the exact same soup kitchen as her biological father.
“She said, oh, that’s where I volunteer… that’s when there was this moment of silence, and she said no, the Phoenix Rescue Mission,” Russell told Fox 10.
Amy was happy to meet her biological father finally.
“God has perfect timing,” she said after meeting Russell.