Father, Mother & Son…for just seven days (6th of 7 parts)
I attended mass by my lonesome. My wife had to stay home with Marc Andrei. The horizon looked gloomy, we were again facing uncertainties. My emotional rollercoaster have made a sudden stop at a certain angle in a spin not knowing if when its journey resumes I would be pulled up or rolled down.
I have discussed with my wife the previous night what might happen if it is true that Marc Andrei’s mom is that woman residing two houses away from us.
The family of that woman is known for their scheming ways. I should know, we live in the same neighborhood. With that, I could not afford to make it appear on paper that we are the real parents of Marc Andrei as suggested by the midwife in the lying-in clinic. I became afraid that in the future that may be used against us. How would Marc Andrei feel when finally we need to tell him of his being an adopted son and that his real mother lives only nearby? What emotional wound that would create in him. What about if seeing daily Marc Andrei just around the corner the real mother would develop fondness of the child then later on would demand that he be returned to her? Who would the court favor in case a case will be filed?
At the end of our conversation the previous night, my wife just said that not under any circumstances that she would surrender Marc Andrei to anyone – that she is comfortable coexisting with the real mother in the same neighborhood – that as Marc Andrei grows up she would constantly watch him and keep him out of the real mother’s reach.
As I waited for the mass to start, I recalled what transpired that Wednesday night when we went to the lying-in clinic. The midwife suggested that we would make it appear in the registration that we are the real parents of Marc Andrei. That she suggested because according to her, the real mother was apparently not willing to have herself appear on paper as Marc Andrei’s mother. Additionally, the real mother would not like to put her name on the dotted lines of any documents. The midwife said that even a simple deposition indicating that she was voluntarily giving us Marc Andrei could not be issued by the supposed “19-year old student” who gave birth to our son.
We consented with such a wrong scheme they perpetuated for we were so blinded with our longing for a baby, and for Marc Andrei’s sake.
Then I also recalled how vehemently she refused to help us in registering Marc Andrei because she did not intend to make it appear in the paper that it was in her lying-in clinic where the baby was born. It appeared to me that she did not like her name to appear in any document that will be created out of that scheme she herself was perpetuating.
Good that my wife’s cousin, who was with us when we went to the lying-in clinic that Wednesday night is also a midwife. For Marc Andrei’s sake, she volunteered to help in the registration and make herself appear as the one who assisted in our son’s birth.
I entered the church’s chapel of the saints and prayed to the Divine Mercy as I would always do after a Sunday mass. I fervently prayed for whatever is best for Marc Andrei – that may the truth come out – that may He guide me in the decision that I’ll have to make in case it is true that the real mother of Marc Andrei is that woman in our neighborhood. I resolved that the next decision we make about Andrei would come from me.
Before heading home I visited ate Claire, the midwife-cousin of my wife who’s a colleague and relative of the midwife who owns the lying-in clinic where Marc Andrei was born. I told her about the rumor circulating – that the real mother of our son was our neighbor which she happens to know also. Ate Claire could not believe what she heard. She promised to talk to the midwife.
When I returned home, I carried Marc Andrei while feeding him. On the daybed, I sat beside my wife who was blankly staring at the figure of angels she cross-stitched which was mounted on the wall. She took away Marc Andrei from my arms and warned me about giving up our son.
At around 4:00 P.M., the lay ministers my mother-in-law invited for Marc Andrei’s prebaptismal rite came. With two in-laws serving as god parents, our son was dedicated to the Lord. We planned to have the official baptismal of our son on December 5th, my wife’s birthday.
We did everything that we planned for Marc Andrei. Notwithstanding the specter of losing him again perilously hanging overhead like Damocle’s sword, we continued to essay passionately the role of parents.
Then night came. ate Claire arrived and broke to us the bad news rather gently. The midwife divulged to her that the mother of Marc Andrei is not a 19-year old student from Manila but that woman in our neighborhood. The story was concocted in cahoots with ate Baby and the grandmother of Marc Andrei – that ate Baby was there when Marc Andrei was born – that Marc Andrei was intended not to be kept by the family because it would create some undesirable complications for the mother and the family in general – that indeed, I and my wife were victims of a grand deception.
My emotional rollercoaster started to move again, yes in a downward sharp spiral. My wife cried while clutching Marc Andrei. She kept kissing our son while saying repeatedly “It’s not true.” I cried too. I tried to console my wife by running gently my hand in her back.
Then I recalled the person who said I must TRUST her… ate BABY.