The last five weeks had been so busy for Richard and Jane. They were going through a process that would lead to the adoption of a new member of their family, Ruth. They had also moved up and down while preparing their home to accommodate her.
The aim was to ensure that Ruth felt at home upon arrival.
“Darling, this was a good idea,” Richard said.
“You see, and you had doubts about it the first time I told you.”
“I agree that I had doubts, but come to think of it, my doubts and fears were valid. Bringing someone into your family requires you to provide for them all they need to live comfortably. One should be sure that the coming of this new member into the family won’t mean that they go and continue living in lack. At least they are comfortable, and we do not strain also from our end.”
“Yeah, I agree. But we were in a good place to do all that. Not that anything has changed ever since.”
“I know, but such decisions require time and surety. I needed to be sure about this step. It was a big step to make and the decision needed to be thought through.”
“I get you.”
This decision had taken them six months to make. Though, it was something that Jane had mentioned to Richard repeatedly ever since they started dating. Jane illustrated her love for children in how she lived. She visited children’s homes more often than not, taking what she could get to these children. A month would never pass by without a visit.
That was not all; Jane not only showed her love for these children by merely visiting them. However, she went ahead to create a blog about children to ensure that in her little contribution, people online could have a change in perspective towards children. She repeatedly mentioned the importance of providing care for them at home or in the care centres.
When she mentioned adopting a child to Richard, it did not come as a surprise. This announcement was in line with Jane’s life and everything she professed to believe.
“Honey, when you mentioned that you’d love to one day adopt a child. I did not know how to react at first. I thought it was a beautiful idea, but then I thought about your life, and one thing came out clear. That you love children not just in words, but also in actions. I then knew that your intention to adopt one shortly was not just a beautiful idea, but something that meant so much to you, and that as a family, being intentional about it was mandatory.”
At this time, they were halfway to where Ruth was. They had started the long journey at around 9:00 in the morning, a two-hour drive, and in half an hour, they will have arrived. Jane decided to call and inquire if they had prepared Ruth because they were almost arriving.
“Good morning auntie.”
“Good morning. How are you this morning?”
“I am well. We are all well. How are you people over there? How is Ruth?”
“We are all well. Ruth is well too and very excited as she waits for you”
Jane chuckles. Hearing that Ruth, the little girl who would be joining their family was eager to make that move made her so happy. “It would make the whole process easier,” she thought.
“Oh! So nice to hear that. We started the journey some one and a half hours ago, we are almost arriving. I wanted to know how far you people were in preparations but I can see you are ahead of time.”
“Yes, we are just waiting for you people.”
“Thank you; we will be there in a few.
“They are already waiting for us, or what did I hear?”
“Yes, they are and Ruth is eagerly waiting.” Said Jane.
“That is good to hear, it is a sign of a good beginning for her joining our family.”
“Absolutely,” Jane agreed.
All this while, though, one thing was on Jane’s mind. What if Richard discovered the truth about all this plan and everything about a secret she had kept for the five years they were married?
This thought ate her up since they started doing the paperwork and home preparations to receive Ruth. She knew very well that saying it to Richard would cause so much damage. Their marriage had been good, with a few fighting moments but more good times and two beautiful children. Their friendship had blossomed, and they had also achieved several goals they had set together. She dreaded anything that threatened all the good they had worked for, but the adoption of Ruth seemed to be one thing that would come to bring this threat. Yet, there was little she could do to prevent it from happening.
Right now, she knew she was on a highway to a destination she wasn’t sure about. They were all smiley and happy with conversations about how God would be happy with their efforts to help the needy, but she was unsure of the mood in that car on their way back. So, she decided to enjoy this light moment as it lasted because she did not know when next it would be a reality.
They told jokes as usual and they laughed and made final anticipations of how their family would be after Ruth had become one of them. As they neared the place they were going, Jane started feeling sweaty and shaky but tried as much as she could to keep things unseen.
She held Richard’s left hand, looked him in his eyes, and said, “Thank you so much for being a part of this.”
Richard smiled in turn, “You are welcome, babe.”
Jane was thankful, not because of the reasons that Richard had in mind. Richard thought that he had helped his wife fulfil a desire within her heart of touching a needy child. Also, Jane had made it appear that way. Everyone in their circle knew this was the main reason behind this move.
Jane wished she had mentioned from the start that she had had a baby in her early twenties. She had left the child with her mother’s sister who agreed to raise her as her own child. This fueled her love for children because the challenge she had gone through while adjusting to motherhood was not easy. From that moment, it became apparent to her that whenever one can stretch a hand to improve any child’s life, they will have done something very great.
Then she met Richard. Good-looking and exactly the way she loved her men to be. Richard made her feel things she had never felt before. After dating and their love growing so much to the extent of wanting marriage, she had resolved not to talk about Ruth. From conversations here and there, Richard had shown some attitude that had Jane fearing that she might lose him if she mentioned her baby. So she kept quiet about it.
Though she kept quiet, she knew she would one day be reunited with her daughter, come rain or sunshine. She had to find a way, and that was when the idea to mention it from time to time came through in whichever setting she got herself in.
However much she wanted to be married, Jane could not replace her love for her daughter. Every day she thought about her lovely daughter until one day she decided to be deliberate about adopting her so she pushed a few buttons, and here they were.
She had said, “rather than going to another place and adopting from far, why not start charity at home? I know of a relative, my auntie, who is struggling with health and financial issues and she has a girl I am very fond of. Stretching a hand to help may go a long way.”
The visits to the countryside became frequent, and everything was set and ready after a short while. Ruth knew her mother, but many years of living apart led to her calling the mother by her name. The visits ensured that Ruth was psychologically ready for the new start. All of this made Richard see the whole process as authentic.
At this time, they were at the gate where they were received. They could see the beautiful Ruth on the verandah as they were parking at the compound. They had already become “friends,” and as they alighted from the car, Ruth came sprinting toward Richard, who was delighted to see this.
They settled down and had lunch as it was lunchtime. After that, they had a long moment of conversing and doing the final touches before they wrapped up the whole process.
Then, as they were still seated, Liz entered. There and then, Jane knew hell would break loose. She wanted to wrap up the whole process and disappear, but it was too late.
In his younger days, Ruth’s father had chosen Jane over Liz, leaving Liz bitter. Any opportunity Liz could get to open the gates of hell for Jane would not be wasted; she’d take it and allow the hot lava to flow over Liz’s whole being.
Why was Liz here and she had not been invited? She was the last person she expected to see. She pulled her aunt aside and asked her, “What is Liz doing here? You know hell could break loose?”
“I don’t know. I am shocked as you are.”
Efforts to get her out without Richard noticing were futile. Everyone could see from her eyes that she came to bring trouble. At one point, Jane called her aside and asks, “I hope we won’t have any trouble.”
“Of course, I am here to bring you trouble. It’s been ten years but it’s never gotten better. Does he know? Did you tell him?”
“Liz, this is unacceptable. It was not my fault that he chose me, go ahead and do what you want to do.”
Okay. Let me show you what I can do.
Liz walks to the front of the house and speaks loudly, “Ruth, mum amefanya vizuri sana Kuja kukuchukua. Utakuwa unakaa na mama yako sasa.” Translated to your mother has decided to come to take you, you will now be living with your mum.
Richard heard this and wondered what it meant. He stood and walked to the door. His eyes met those of Jane, who stood a few meters behind Liz.
He walked to where Jane was. All this while, Jane looked very worried. She did not know what would come next. However, it was clear that things would not end well. The truth was too heavy to continue hiding. The moment, to tell the truth, had arrived.
He then asked that they walk over some distance from everyone. To this, Jane complied. They made a few steps toward the fence.
Jane did not have the confidence to look Richard in the eyes.
“Is there something that you think I should know about?” Richard asked.
Jane fumbled with words trying to find the appropriate words to use.
All the while, Richard stood and maintained his cool. He looked at her in the face squarely. Jane amassed courage and spurt out words that found their way to her mouth.
“Ruth is my daughter, I feared telling you may ruin the good thing we had going.”
“And you thought lying would keep it going?”
“Babe, it was all for love.”
“If you can lie about such an important part of your life, what else have you not told me about?” he said this calmly.
“Nothing else, this is the only thing that you did not know about. There is nothing else.”
Richard was upset but he knew he loved Jane too much to let her go. He pulled Jane into his embrace, and said, “I don’t want you to ever fear telling me anything. We can walk through anything in this life together.”
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