Family day with Lance

The wife and I went to Glorietta yesterday — well, okay, technically, the day before, since it’s already 12:35AM, Monday — anyway, we went to Glorietta last Saturday, and we brought widdle baby Lance, one of my sisters-in-law to be the yaya, and a brother-in-law and his 2-year-old widdle girl Alex. My wife and I had been meaning to take Lance out to the mall for weeks now, and we finally got around to it last Saturday.

Lance is this little kid that my mother-in-law adopted. The adoption papers aren’t set yet, but the little tough guy’s story is… unusual. Lance was an unwanted baby. The mother got pregnant out of wedlock, and although the Philippines is slowly getting Americanized when it comes to music and to attitudes about sex, a young girl getting pregnant by some guy without getting married is still devastating to most families. Anyway, the young girl couldn’t bring herself to have an abortion, so she still delivered the baby. The thing is, she’s still a student, and apparently her parents didn’t know she’s had a baby, and if they did, they’d probably cut her off from her family fortune or whatever. Anyway, she’s approached several families to adopt the child, and by the time the baby was seven months old, the poor kid had been to five — yes, five — families already.

That’s when the baby finally landed on my wife’s family’s doorstep about a month ago, via a friend of my mom-in-law’s who also happened to be the first person that the young girl had approached to adopt the baby, or at least to help with finding the baby a new home.

My wife and I were the first candidates in mind by my mom-in-law to be the child’s foster parents; we still have no kids of our own, but back then I wasn’t ready financially. Anyway, my mom-in-law took the kid in, and that’s how Lance entered into our lives.

I named him ‘Lance’. It’s a good strong-sounding name. I’m not really into cycling, so the fact that he had the same name as Lance Armstrong only dawned on me later. I figured ‘Lance’ was a good fit for the baby, since he was a tough guy, surviving an ordeal of getting passed around by parents who either did not want him or could not afford to have another mouth to feed.

To give an example of just how tough the little guy is… The first few weeks he was at my Mom-in-Law’s, Lance wouldn’t cry when he was hungry. He’d just force himself to sleep it off. He’d grow all deathly cold, and the top of his head would be really soft, almost convex, caved-in. You can imagine how life must have been like for him before he came to my in-laws, for him to be able to train himself to ignore hunger at such a young age of only seven months!

Another example: To this day, he doesn’t cry when his pediatrician sticks him with an injection. He would tense his muscles and be very still and then before you know it, the injection’s over and he didn’t even let out a squeek! The only time he cried was when he had to take two injections — he couldn’t stand the second one anymore and he cried then. But after it was over, he wasn’t angry with the doctor! He just stopped crying and then was all smiles again, even to the doctor that gave him the shot!

So, Lance is a good strong name for a good strong kid.

Sigh. I could go on and on about what a great kid Lance is. He’s smart, smarter than his age would suggest; at only 8 months old, he already understands what you’re saying to him, it’s just that he still can’t control his speaking aparatus enough to actually talk back to you clearly. He’s also a large baby, and physically strong for his age, almost as strong in body as he is strong in spirit. But if I gave all the details and examples here, I would be at this for hours before I finish telling his stories.

And so finally my wife and I were able to take him out to the mall, as we had promised him several weeks ago. We had lunch; it was funny how he wanted to take a bite at everything we grown-ups were eating. He seems so much in a hurry to grow up! We also took him for coin-operated rides at the cafe in the toy section of Rustan’s; he especially liked the horsie, screaming so loudly with delight that everybody around couldn’t help but take notice (at first you’d think he was crying, but then you’d see him smiling and waving his arms!).

The kid also has a potential to be a ladies’ man. On the way up from the parking lot when we arrived, a young lady and her boyfriend stepped into the elevator, and he smiled at her and made those adorable goo-goo eyes at her — much to the delight of the young lady! The lady was so delighted in-fact, that when the elevator doors opened at the fourth level, it took several moments for her to notice that we all had to get off at that floor already! Her boyfriend even had to nudge her a bit forward, before she seemed to notice we all had to get off already! Lance the ladies’ man, indeed!

It was a fun, fun Saturday. I really love the kid. I’ve taken stock of our finances and have decided to take him off my Mom-in-Law’s hands and adopt him ourselves. My Mom-in-Law’s in her sixties already anyway; my wife and I would probably do a great job — if not a better job — with Lance now. And my in-laws all tell us, he seems to eat better, sleep better, and just generally be more cheerful when my wife is around, than when she isn’t. I think we’d all fit each other very nicely in one happy family. And with greener pastures for me right around the corner; he’d never want for anything anymore — whether it be food, clothes, a nice home, or people who love him.

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