Besides the three aforementioned children, they adopted three more, two from the Philippines and one from somewhere in the States I’m not sure. All six were great kids, well-behaved, and loved as far as I could tell. It might be because the parents had such big hearts. The father is about the coolest girlfriend’s daddy one can have: he would act like a scary father then immediately laughed with us about it. The mother was the sweetest. One time I got to hear her share how thankful she was for their marriage, that even though they weren’t wealthy and there were times they had to eat a lot of beans but they were blessed, that it’s amazing how this relationship she had with her husband would equip her to one day be with God. The sweetest thing was when they told me that though I already had a great American family, they would also always be there for me in Montana if I ever needed another Home. It meant to me a lot.
But things started to turn weird. Not that I was into their oldest daughter or anything, but this prospective bride of mine started to be a lot more masculine in college. It’s not just that her hair was already impossibly short, but she became… thicker and broader. The explanation I got was because of drinking beer – which makes sense. You look at high-school girls and see that most of them are energetic and pretty; you look at college girls and the majority is unappealing and sluggish; and the only new variable here is college parties a.k.a. beer consumption. So I told my little sister not to drink beer in college and she looked at me weird.
But who does what to oneself is usually none of my business. Not that I was planning to get married with the oldest daughter but even if I do, her brother would no longer be cool with it. In fact, he started disliking me after I left Montana. It’s amazing: through him I learned that people can still hate you even if you do absolutely nothing to them. And he hated me bad. Until this day I still sometimes wonder what could possibly have gone wrong between us. What a shame because I actually liked him, writing on his yearbook and all. When I asked my mom about that, she said how the military changed him, and that I wasn’t missing anything. Um Okay…?
Maybe the saddest thing happened was that both of the Filipino children left when they grew up – and in bad terms too. Full of resentment, they left and changed their last names to the ones they were born with as if to put all the experience with the American family into denial. Being adopted can easily be panful, especially when the child realizes he//she can never be considered their parents’ true child. But this family was so nice and tried so hard to make all their adopted children feel included. When the children left, under a picture of their “remaining” children, the mother captioned “Some of our children”. That’s so sad and so nice! Their hearts must have been broken.
The next strange thing happened was that the mother started taking on bodybuilding. To start something so physically demanding in the late 40s is both unusual and impressive. What makes it rather strange to my conservative eyes is to see my classmate’s mom in tight bikinis being extremely tanned and muscular. But really, I mean, who I am to judge? After all, God doesn’t say “You shall not take on hardcore bodybuilding if you are a middle-aged woman.” He only tells us to love them even if they do that.
Well, at least they are loving, right? Isn’t that the most important? The mother was a pretty awesome daughter-in-law when she called her husband’s mother “mother-in-love”. When her “mother-in-love” died, it brought her great sadness. Then one day I heard that they were getting a divorce. Wow. Okay. That’s… odd. But why?! What about those days that they ate beans? What about the “mother-in-love”? What amount of drastic changes can one expect for a family to occur?
But then again, what do I know? It may not be like that at all. It’s their family business, not mine. I know nothing.
It just pains me to see the family that I once found so great now falling apart.