When Ryan and his wife couldn’t have children, they adopted a six-year-old boy who had been returned to the orphanage after almost being adopted. The kid looked precisely like Ryan, which raised everyone’s suspicions. And that’s when Ryan’s mother had something shocking to confess.
“Honey, he looks exactly like you. It’s amazing!” Ryan’s mother, Mrs. Phillips, exclaimed during her first meeting with his newly-adopted son, Thomas. Ryan and his wife, Sandra, had fallen in love with the boy after visiting the local orphanage. It took some time, but they could finally take him home. She and Ryan had been trying to have a kid ever since they married right after graduating from NYU, but it didn’t work.
Today, they gathered at Ryan’s parents’ house so they could meet their son, and everything was going well. Thomas seemed to be adjusting great to his new life with them.
“I know. I think that’s partly why we felt such a connection with him, but it’s a little odd, right?” Ryan replied to his mother, sipping a beer and watching Sandra running around the yard with Thomas and his parents’ dog, Jiggle.
“Well, it’s meant to be. I’m glad you took him in, darling. I’m so proud of you because some people don’t take in grown kids,” Mrs. Phillips continued, patting his back and smiling at the beautiful scene in her backyard.
“Yeah, well. Apparently, he was adopted as a baby, but the adoptive parents chickened out, and he has been part of the system since then. It’s so sad. I can’t believe someone would do that,” Ryan explained to his mother.
“Oh my God. I can’t believe you can just return a kid. Who would do that? What about his birth parents?” Mrs. Phillips wondered.
“They hadn’t completed the adoption, so they were allowed to return him. Otherwise, it would be considered a crime. And according to the orphanage director, the birth mother disappeared after giving the baby up. It was supposed to be an open adoption. That’s when the birth parents are involved in the process. But she gave them the baby and was gone. They tried calling her when Thomas was returned, but they couldn’t reach her,” Ryan revealed, shaking his head at how hard Thomas’ life had been already. Not anymore. Thomas was home with them.
“Then I’m even more glad that he has you and Sandra in his life. However, I do find it odd that he looks so much like you,” Mrs. Phillips added and suddenly frowned. “I wonder….”
“What?” Ryan asked, looking at his mother’s face.
“No, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Let me go play with my grandson too,” Mrs. Phillips deflected and rushed to join Thomas and Sandra.
Ryan stared at his mother in concern, scratching his chin. What was she thinking? What wasn’t she saying? he wondered while looking at his happy family.
Could Thomas be related to him in some way? Maybe, they had a distant relative. He should look into it. But he had to ask her more about it later.
Their night at his parents’ house went wonderfully. Thomas fell asleep on their couch, and Sandra picked him up, taking him to their car. Ryan stayed back for a second and looked deeply into his mother’s eyes. “Mom, is there something you’re not telling me? About my son? I need to know what you were thinking back there,” he questioned his mother and crossed his arms at their doorway.
The older woman looked down. “Oh, dear. My poker face is the worst,” Mrs. Phillips began and took a deep breath. “Look, I’m not certain, and I want to be wrong. I just… years ago, Haley came here to talk.”
“Haley? My ex-girlfriend?” Ryan asked, a million thoughts racing through his head.
“Yes. It was a few months after you left, she came here and said she was pregnant. I didn’t believe her. Her belly was not big, you guys had broken up, and it was so dramatic. You told me you were not talking to her at all. I thought she might be trying to trap you into returning, so I told her to get lost and forget about us,” she revealed.
Ryan covered his mouth with his hand. “Mother… I can’t believe this. Why didn’t you say something back then?”
“She never came back. I figured it was a lie or that she had left town. I’m so sorry. But Thomas can’t be that child. It’s impossible,” Mrs. Phillips commented, wringing her hands and hoping her words were true.
“If she was pregnant right after we broke up… well, it could be Thomas. He’s the right age,” Ryan added, running a frustrated hand through his forehead.
Haley was Ryan’s only girlfriend before Sandra. But they separated when he got into college in New York because she didn’t want to leave Tampa, Florida. He received a few calls from her at school, but he refused to answer. Long-distance was not what he wanted. But looking back at it now, could she have been calling him for some other purpose?
“What are you going to do? What if he’s Haley’s son?” Mrs. Phillips wondered, concern and guilt evident on her face.
“I’m going to do my best. We’ll find out the truth,” Ryan said seriously and looked at his mother’s ashamed expression. “Don’t worry, Mom. I think she tried to tell me what happened all those years ago, but I didn’t answer her calls. We both turned her away. But we’re going to do the right thing now.”
He hugged his mother and walked to his car, where Sandra waited in the passenger seat. That night, he told Sandra about their suspicions, and she sat in their bed in contemplation. “I never thought… I mean the resemblance is crazy similar. But I thought it might be a coincidence. What are we going to do?” she asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t know where to start. I guess the orphanage should be able to give us more information. I mean, they said it was an open adoption,” Ryan mumbled, unsure of himself.
“Oh my God. That’s it!” Sandra exclaimed suddenly, She stood up from their bed and dug through some of the folders on their desk. One of them contained everything related to Thomas, and she took out his birth certificate from there.
“Here, it is! Haley Dorsey. I saw the name when they gave us the papers, but I guess you didn’t,” Sandra shared, holding out the paper and sitting back down on the bed next to her husband. “He could really be your son. Oh my god!”
“Wow,” Ryan breathed, looking at his ex-girlfriend’s name on Thomas’ birth certificate. “It has to be true. It would fit the timeline unless she rebounded fast.”
“Let’s get a DNA test and confirm it. But I don’t care, either way, Ryan. Thomas is already our son,” Sandra gushed, holding her husband’s hand in support.
“Of course, he is. But it would be nice to know,” Ryan agreed.
They took a DNA test, which confirmed their suspicions. Thomas was Ryan’s biological son, which meant that Haley had not lied to his mother. But when they tried to find her, Ryan discovered that Haley had died in a car accident shortly after she gave Thomas up for adoption. The orphanage had no idea, and that’s why they couldn’t contact her when Thomas was returned to them.
Luckily, the DNA test made it easier for Ryan and Sandra to complete Thomas’ adoption. And when he became a teenager, Ryan told him everything and apologized to him for not being there for his birth mother. However, his son forgave him as they had raised him with so much love, attention, and care that he never felt like anything was missing in his life.
But Ryan never ceased to marvel at the fact that he had somehow “adopted” his own kid.
What can we learn from this story?
Some things are meant to happen. It almost seems like fate that Ryan and Sandra chose Thomas, not knowing who he was.
Don’t assume people are lying right away. Mrs. Phillips shouldn’t have turned Haley away when she told him about her pregnancy. She should’ve confirmed it first and talked to her son about it.