Have you ever been asked by your younger sibling if he/she is a real (biological) child of your parents? As for me, I was. It happened one sunny morning last summer when my sister and me were alone at home. She wore a downcasted look while we ate our no-rice breakfast. With a very serious voice, she asked me (originally in Cebuano), “Ate, I'm aching to ask you this question a long time now. Please don't lie to me. After I've known the truth about kuya, I think there's a lot of things about this family that I don't know.. Am I just adopted?” After listening to her speech, I couldn't help but laughed and I said to myself, “ Oh heaven's gate! Where did she get that?” It was for me the stupidest question she ever said because I know without a slightest doubt that she's pa's and ma's biological daughter. I told her, “No! They are your real parents. Come on! Why did you think that they're not?” She got one and only evidence, a thing that my father said to her few years ago. His statement to my sister was this, “Your surname is supposed to be Mapalo and not Gulles”. And that sentence only means one thing for her, she's an adopted one.
The problem with her is that she didn't ask why. She just received the fact without asking for an explanation from my father. She created her own, unfortunately, a wrong one. Another problem is that my father relayed the fact to her differently compared to how he said it to me when I was in Grade 4: “Our last name is supposed to be Mapalo.” Papa used 'our' but he switched it to 'you' when he talked to Joy. So my sister was kind of freaked out because papa's usage of 'you' apparently meant one thing, she's the only one in the family whose surname is supposed to be Mapalo. Nevertheless, she should have asked which will clear things up. Yes, we could've brought with us a Mapalo surname which I thank my great grandmother for she didn't let it happen. You see, Mapalo in Cebuano means big head, so I'm spared being bullied by my last name (no offense to all Mapalos out there). Grandfather's mother is Gulles so that's my great grandmother. Great grandmother was just a mistress or you know, not a legal wife to a Mapalo great grandfather. Since she was not a legal wife, she has the choice to name his son a Mapalo or a Gulles. Maybe she was mad that time with my great grandfather because she used her last name to her son (now, I'm making a story to explain why she eventually used Gulles. Hehe). That's just it. There's no adoption issue to my sister.
It really was funny for me that my sister did doubt if we are her real family. I myself can prove to her that she is ours because I can still remember the days my mother was conceiving, expecting, then delivering her to the world. I can also remember the time mama surprised me and my brother that she was pregrant. We were totally happy. Yet brother wanted it to be a baby boy while me, well obviously, wanted it to be a girl. When my mama was sent to the hospital because her stomach with a 9-month old baby inside was already aching, me and my kuya were left at home. Did my sister even know that we tasted our first and last painful, really excruciating beating from papa by using his belt on the date she was born? Papa was really mad at us because he knew from my tactless auntie that we left our house opened inviting burglary to play with our neighbor. What made him more angry was he left a big amount of money there .. It wasn't stolen though. Still we weren't saved from his rage. And we received all that pak! Pak! Pak! While we were kneeling, crying and begging papa to stop. Mama said she was worried while she was still confined in the hospital because she saw us the next day filled with bruises especially on our legs. I think little sister never knew I remember a lot of things while we were expecting her to come out from mama's womb, because if she did she wouldn't question where she really came from.
Jessa Joy is my real sister and it is one of the few things I am surest about in this world. I was there you know and I remember it vividly though I was only a four-year-old kid. But crazy things could happen. I think about it and there's a 2% chance that she's right that she's not my real sister if and only if these 3 wild scenarios happened:
- I call this scenario as the Mara Clara-like Incident. Like the famous Filipino teleserye, Mara Clara, Joy-Joy might not be mama's child because there's this lunatic person who switched my real sister to Joy. Then what would be his reasons? I don't know, maybe he was just a crazy person who escaped from a mental hospital.
- My real sister might have been dead right after she was born. Then mama was in unaffable depression that the nurse felt pity towards her that she offered to give to my parents a baby who was left in the hospital by her clueless mother. My parents then accepted and they didn't tell the truth to me because it will just make me sad. Plus they don't want that the child would grow up being bullied by us just because she's not our real sibling.
- A young relative of ours got pregnant out of wedlock or this, a relative of ours who has many children got pregnant again, went to my mama and asked for her help to adopt her child in her womb. Mama got excited about rearing the child and she wanted that people will never know that she's just adopted. So she pretended even to me that she's pregnant and put something on her stomach to make it bulge just like how pregnant moms look. If this kind of scenario happened, I would say that mother made an excellent act. She looked like one and the object she put between her stomach and her dress never did fall or looked awry.
Those three scenarios could happen no matter how close it is to rarity. Yet I don't buy any of them.