Telling your child she’s adopted

Dear Ms. Belle,

My husband and I have been married for more than 30 years, and all this time, we continue to be a loving couple. On our tenth year, we still didn’t have a child. We tried everything—consulted three doctors, said novenas, went to a “hilot” and did everything our friends with children told us. All our efforts were to no avail. So we decided to adopt. She is such a beautiful child and we love her like she was our own. I must admit that she’s a bit spoiled, and even if we are not rich, we try to give her the best things and education. The thing is, my husband and I were never brave enough to tell her that she’s adopted. Then, when she was in high school, she came home crying like the world was ending. A classmate told her that she was an adopted child. She was devastated by the thought, and I had to assure her that she was really our daughter. When my husband arrived, she asked him, too. She said that whatever others say, she will only believe only him. My husband reassured her that she was truly our own. We were afraid that she might not want to study anymore if we tell her the truth and it would destroy her life. Now she’s in her third year of college. Sometimes she would comment that I don’t have stretch marks because maybe I was never pregnant. What should I do, Ms. Belle? My husband and I are afraid that if we tell her the truth she’d run away from home.

Troubled Mother


Dear Troubled Mother,

Remember the saying, “The truth will set you free.” You really have to tell her. She’ll know it sooner or later anyway. The key here: right timing.

My aunt adopted a little girl whom she named Angelica, or “Angel” for short. The little bundle of joy was really her angel in life. She gave her existence meaning and purpose. She swore to all of us that she gave birth to Angel and adamantly insisted that she wasn’t adopted. And when her husband passed away, all the more she was determined to hide the truth because Angel was all she had left. Unfortunately, my aunt got very sick and her cancer progressed faster than anyone expected. Angel was her source of joy during those painful moments. The time came when her death was near. And with a heavy heart, she confessed to Angel. Twelve years old then, Angel’s first question was, “Who is my real mom?” My aunt told her that she didn’t know, that she was just a baby when the laundry lady brought her. Then in a most unexpected moment, Angel hugged her really tight and said, “Mama, thank you for taking care of me. I love you very much and you are the only Mama for me.” My aunt was so happy when she passed away. A cousin volunteered to adopt Angel. Now she is a young lady, already working, and very grateful that a kind and loving family took her in.

You see? It’s just a matter of timing. If you are afraid that your daughter might do something to destroy her future, then tell her after graduation or even when she already has a job. Then, even if she runs away, her chances of having a fine life are good. For sure it will not come as a surprise to her. You may lose her for a while, but in time she’ll come back and thank you for the love you gave her through the years.

Ms. Belle


[Get in touch with Ms Belle through [email protected]. or mail your letters to “Tell It To Belle” — Cebu Daily News, Kaohsiung Street corner S. Osmeña Road, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City 6000. You may write about family, personal, work or any relationship concerns.]

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