It started as a conversation at the office cafeteria. A colleague of mine brought the topic of the need to conduct a DNA test on kids. He said, “I needed to be sure that the kids were mine so I conducted a DNA test immediately after they were born.” I asked him, “You don’t trust your wife that much?” He said, “Not that I don’t trust her but we are in a world where anything can happen. You raise a child, get emotionally attached to him/her, and then one day you get to know that the child isn’t yours. How do you recover the emotions you’ve invested in them throughout the years? So I did it early before I get emotionally attached to them.”
I said, “That didn’t answer my question. Do you have trust issues between you two?” He said, “I trust her but I needed to confirm that trust. And As I said, anything at all can happen. Babies can get swapped at the hospital. You know the things that happen at our hospitals. A baby is born. The father isn’t around to see how the baby looks like. They say they show the baby to the mother but how could a tired mother see clearly? So to be sure mine is mine, I did the test. The Test came out and I’m the father. Now I have no doubts.” I asked again, “So the mother was aware that you were conducting the DNA test?”
He answered, “Yeah she was aware. I gave the swapping excuse as the reason for conducting the test and she agreed with me. She even contributed to the payment of the test.” I said wow.
So I started thinking about my own kids. I started thinking about the invested emotion part. I told myself, “That’s why I don’t have to do the test. I love them. One day if I get to know that they are not mine, I will be the one to suffer. What I don’t know cannot trouble me. They have my name. They are my kids. Period.” Then that sneaky doubtful voice kicked in, “What if you don’t find out but another man appears out of nowhere to claim he’s the father?” I answered, “Naaa, that cannot happen.”
So one day in a conversation I told my wife, “Have you thought about testing our kids to see if they are actually ours?” She frowned. She asked, “What sort of question is that? You suspect that I got pregnant with another man and pushed it to you?” I said, “No, not at all.” She asked, “So why would you suggest such a thing?” I said, “You don’t believe babies can get swapped at the hospital?” She said, “No I don’t believe that. No midwife in her right senses will ever do that.” I said, “Great, but you know that all midwives can’t be in their right senses so there’s a possibility of that mistake.”
She said, “Look at the kids. See how they resemble you.”
The truth is, the first kid doesn’t resemble me in any way. She’s a complete carbon copy of her mother. I’m not the one saying this. Anybody sees the kid and says, “She’s truly her mother’s daughter.” I’m not saying she can’t be mine just because she resembles the mother. I’m only pointing that fact out.
We dropped the topic. For days she was not herself. She was quiet and absent-minded very often. She was thinking about something. I asked her, “Are you ok?” She said, “Yeah I’m ok.” But I knew she was thinking about something. Then one day she brought the topic again; “So when do you intend to do it?” I asked, “Do what?” She said, “The DNA test.” I got the message. She was thinking about what I said and it’s the reason she had been acting quiet and distant. I told her, “You didn’t agree with me so there’s no need.” She said, almost screaming, “Exactly! It’s a waste of our hard-earned money—money we could have invested in our building project.”
That got me thinking. You see, I and my wife got married whiles she was pregnant. We dated for three years and at some point she got pregnant. To save our faces and avoid judgment from the church, we decided to get married quickly to cover the whole thing up. We used just one week to plan our wedding. She was two months pregnant when she wore her wedding gown. Those with eyes saw it but we didn’t care. She gave birth to a girl who completely took after her.