A man who adopts his late wife’s son goes out of town one day to get a birthday present for him. Destiny brings him face to face with the boy’s carbon copy and leads him to a heart-rending discovery.
After my wife Merlin died of cancer two years ago, I was emotionally ruined. I could not think of anything else and would sit for long hours near her grave, mourning.
The only thing that restored my faith in life was my son Scott—Merlin’s child from her previous relationship. So I adopted him because that boy meant the world to me, or so I thought.
Two months before Scott turned eight, I left him with my mother and went out of town. I had a business meeting and wanted to surprise him with a nice birthday present. I had no idea then that I would be crossing paths with his carbon copy there…
I still remember that breezy evening when I stuffed the bike I got for Scott in my car’s trunk and then hurried inside a cafe for a hot chocolatey drink. I was sitting by the window when a little kid, a boy of Scott’s age, drew my attention.
I enjoyed my drink while my eyes stayed fixed on the boy. He was holding a bucket and an old ragged cloth in his hand.
“Hardworking kid!” I sighed and got up to walk out.
Just as I neared my car, the boy called out to me. “Excuse me, sir, can I wash your car for $3?”
Children born with a disability can still live normal lives if perceived as normal. They are special, not different, and they deserve love, not abandonment.
I turned around, and what I saw next startled me. The boy was a carbon copy of my son Scott, and I had no idea how. I was honestly spooked.
The kid took my silence as a ‘yes’ and limped to my car. I didn’t know he had a disability until I saw him hobble. He began scrubbing my car with the cloth while I stood there, still shell-shocked. I decided to find out more about him.
“What’s your name? And why are you washing cars here?” I asked him.
“My name is Eric, and I’m washing cars to help my mommy. She’s sick at home.”
“I see. I’m Matthew, by the way. Nice to meet you, Eric. Where do you live?”
I gave him $3 and offered him a ride to his home. But my real motive was to find out why he looked so much like Scott.
He escorted me into his house and introduced me to his mother. He told me her name was Amanda.
“Hi, Amanda! I’m from another town. I was just here to—” I paused after noticing she was having difficulty getting up. “Are you alright? Should I help you?”
Amanda was quite shocked. “I’m sorry, do I know you?” she asked me.
I told her about how I met Eric just a while back outside the cafe. Apparently, she had no idea her son had been washing cars for some money.
“He told me he was going to be with his friends. I’m sorry, but did he break something? Did he damage your car?”
“No, not at all. But I came here because your son Eric looks exactly like my son Scott. I was quite puzzled.” I showed her a photo of Scott on my phone.
At this point, Amanda turned pale. She told me that Eric was not her biological son but a boy she and her husband Davis adopted from the shelter six years ago.
“My husband died in a road accident three months ago. And since then, my life has been miserable. I can’t work because of my deteriorating health. My mother often visits us and gives us some money to buy groceries and medicines,” she revealed.
I felt sorry for Amanda, but at that moment, I just wanted to find out more about Eric’s origins. I drove to the shelter she told me about, and there, I found out that a nurse had given Eric away when he was just a newborn. What was That same nurse was working in the hospital where Merlin told me she delivered Scott.
I knew something was murky here, so I went to meet the woman, only to learn my wife had kept me in a web of lies throughout our marriage.
“Do you know this woman?” I asked the nurse, showing her Merlin’s photo. But she refused to acknowledge it.
“I’m from the police department, and I came here to inquire about this woman. Do you know her?” I asked again, lying through my teeth. I had no other option. I had to churn out the truth from her.
I could see fear rise in her eyes. She gulped some water and revealed a long-hidden truth about my wife. I was shaken.
“I don’t know her name, but I know her. She was 18 when she came to deliver her twins eight years ago,” she said.
“TWINS?” I freaked out.
“Yes. She gave birth to twins and told me her boyfriend dumped her after learning one of her babies would be born with a disability. Her parents kicked her out, and she had nowhere to go. She begged me to take one of the babies, the boy with a defect in his leg, and give him to a shelter. I refused initially, but she cried so much I couldn’t turn her down.”
My heart sank after hearing this. I walked away without telling or asking the woman anything else. I was heartbroken beyond belief. The wife I loved and assumed never kept any secrets from me had hidden her other son from me for eight years.
Although she told me about a ‘certain’ rough patch in her previous relationship, she never told me she had twins. What hurt me more was that she moved on without even a slight speckle of guilt after abandoning her specially-abled son.
Knowing the truth, I couldn’t leave Eric just like that. He deserved to be with his brother. So I met with Amanda again that evening and explained everything to her. Though I could not immediately take Eric back home with me, I often traveled to his town to make sure he was comfortable having me around.
I paid for Amanda’s treatment and restored her to good health during this time. She was thankful, and gradually, I started liking her. But what mattered to me the most was how Scott would feel after seeing his brother he never knew existed.
On Scott’s eighth birthday, Amanda came to my house with Eric, who was also celebrating his eighth birthday. Everything went as I had planned. I introduced the boys, and they were shocked.
“Dad, he looks like me. Who is he?” exclaimed Scott.
Eric didn’t say anything because he was shy and equally amazed.
“Son, he’s your twin brother, Eric! Wish him a happy birthday,” I said, waiting to see Scott’s reaction.
A few moments of silence prevailed, and my heart began to race. “He was kept away because he was special. He was told he could reunite with you only on both your eighth birthdays!” I lied to my son. “Won’t u champs wish each other a happy birthday?”
The boys believed what I said and hugged each other. They cut their birthday cake together, and it made me cry. I can never forgive Merlin for abandoning Eric and concealing his identity from me. I’m glad I united the boys, who have brightened my life like never before.
Children born with a disability can still live normal lives if perceived as normal. They are special, not different, and they deserve love, not abandonment. I’m glad I found Eric and united him with his brother.
What can we learn from this story?
- Some surprises can be so miraculous and life-changing. Matthew adopted his late wife’s son from a previous relationship after her death. He had no clue that the boy had a twin brother until he accidentally met him in a cafe out of town.
- Do not abandon children with a disability. They never asked for it, and they deserve love, not isolation. When Merlin gave birth to twins, she abandoned one baby born with a disability. She hid this truth from her husband and took the secret to her grave.