I just sat there in shock when mom told me that another woman thinks that I was her real son. She thought that somehow that I was switched at birth. My mind could simply not understand it. I suppose that is a natural reaction. What would you think if someone told you that your mom and father were not your real parents? You would be like me. I was so confused and thought it was impossible. How could the hospital switch babies and send a baby home to the wrong parent?
People always said that I cry very easy and my cheeks were wet from tears as mom told me this. I only had one question and asked if she was still my mother. Mom was also in tears and said she would always be my mother. She assured me that babies switched at birth was very rare and a simple test would solve everything.
I was not worried, as I believe mom. I believed my parents were my right parents.
What mom did not tell me was that the hospital rang to her and informed her that there could have been a switch, as their records were not done properly. This made Dad angry as he was asking why this was being told 11 years later and why did they not know before the lady came. He thought the whole thing was from the twilight zone.
I read the newspaper and could read about the baby switch.
" A hospitals mistake could cause a custody case between two sets of parents. The City Hospital announced today that two babies could have been switched at birth 11 years ago. They would not clarify how long they knew this. It was only when one of the mothers asked to see the records that they did admit there could be a switch.
The mother had a son that was transgendered and lived as a girl. The child died in an accident while riding a bike.
The mother now wants custody of the child that could have been switched.
City hospital has been criticized for improper records, announcing their mistake and worse is they informed the parents of the surviving child days after they told the mother that lost her child.
This is a case similar to the Bible story of King Solomon. What will happen to the boy that two sets of parents want? What should happen?”
The newspaper article confused me so I asked Dad what it all meant. He explained that the hospital found out that they could have made a mistake and only now is revealing it. He explained that it may never have happened if the mother of the other child did not lose her child in an accident. The answer to the problem was that they could take a test to see who was my real parents. I wanted to ask Dad who I would live with, but I also knew that I did not want an answer.
I asked Dad what it meant by transgender. This made dad nearly choke and he said it was nothing I had to worry about.
The next few days were like a circus. My name was never mentioned, but it seemed like everyone at school knew that it was me. Everyone was extra kind and asking me if I would be taken away and living with some strange parents. Others asked me weird questions like was I kidnapped from the hospital or did my parents pay for me? All these questions annoyed me and I refused to answer them. The only answer that I gave was that this strange woman was not my mom. I had parents!
I could not even play football as media vans would come and these journalists would be taking pictures of me and asking what it felt like to be switched and did my parents take care of me? I covered my face. This happened a few days then Dad told me to stay home from school until the whole thing blew over.
I had to take a DNA test which was OK. The people were nice at the hospital. Mom was mad at them and at one stage, she asked them if they would also make a mess of this. I think that the hospital could have apologised a million times, but as mom says, some things have been hard to forgive.
The newspapers wrote a lot about the dead boy. They all wrote that he was transgender and I really wanted to know what this was. I asked mom did it mean that he was gay? I had a good idea what that was. Mom told me to sit on the sofa so she could explain. After she explained, I understood a bit better. The other boy was a boy and had a boys body, but he felt like he was a girl. So he wore girl clothes and did girl activities and lived as a girl. I nodded my head as I remembered a boy in our school that looked like a girl. We called him a sissy.
Over the next few days, I could not help thinking about the dead boy. I told my best friend Sean about it when I was at his house. He had this crazy idea that we should dress as girls to see what it was like. I went along with it. It is hard to explain why I did this. I think I wanted to understand why the dead boy was transgender. So Sean’s sister was more than happy to loan us some of her own clothes. I ended up wearing a light yellow party dress and tights. His sister put my hair in a ponytail. I felt so strange with a dress on. I could feel the air against my legs. The tights felt soft and that was a strange feeling. When I looked in the mirror, I looked like a girl. I bet if I walked outside, no one could see that I was a boy.
When I came home, I did not tell mom or dad that I dressed as a girl. They had other things to think about. They were busy fighting for custody at court. Mom told me not to worry about it, as she knew that I was her son. Even if there was a switch, then I would still be her son. She took care of me and raised me. She loved me.
Dad on the other hand was angrier. He wondered if she would be seeking custody of me if her child was alive. Dad did not like when I asked about the dead boy. He would have been mad if he knew that I tried dressing like a girl. The fact was that I looked like a girl, but I knew that I was a boy. I was not happy that I looked like a girl and I still felt like I was a boy.
Mom was very sad one day. She was sad every day, but this day was worse. Dad explained that the DNA results were released and the strange mother was my birth mom. Mom hugged me more that day and kept on saying that no test can take the fact away that she was my mother. She was the one that raised me. She was the one that loved me.
Things were not the same as they were before. There was no laughter in the house. My parents did not understand that I could be given to some strange woman. I was so confused about everything and understood very little. It was hard to understand that a woman I never met gave birth to me wanted me. I wondered if I would have been so happy if I was not switched and had to live with her. I also wondered would she have wanted me if the dead son was alive. I doubted that and I doubted that I would be happier. At the same time, I wondered what she was like. Did I take after her, and who was my real Dad?
I was confused. Where did I belong? Why did no one ask me where I belonged? I knew that if it was up to me, I would say to live with the parents I had now. Maybe I could stay with my birth mom on some weekends or holidays. She lived close by.
I also wondered when this was over, would things return to normal?
One day Mom and Dad came home late. They told me that the court case was over. Mom was crying and said that I was to live with the strange woman, but I could spend one weekend a month here with them. My head could not cope with this. I ran to my room and cried on my bed.
Later, mom came to me with something to eat. I could see that her eyes were red and I knew that she was crying. She hugged me once more and said she did not understand either why this was fair. The judge was a conservative man that obviously didn’t think the case was over. She told me that I would always be her son. Then mom tried to be brave and tell me to trust that God had a plan and that I should be brave and try to accept the new change.
I pleaded with mom to let me stay. I did not want to replace a dead boy and I did not even know these people. Who was the strange woman? Who was my Dad? Where they nice or would they be mean to me?
Mom was now crying as well. She told me the woman’s name was Tammy and mom thought she was a nice woman despite what she put our family through. My birth Dad died of cancer years ago, so it would just be me and her. I would never replace her dead son if I kept true to myself and was myself. She tried to console me by saying that I was lucky, as I had two moms that loved me.
Dad suggested we did not use the week I had left to moan and feel sorry for ourselves. So we tried our best that everything went back to normal and have a fun week. It was hard as there were times when we held back our tears.
The time came when I was to be handed over to Tammy. Tears were flowing as I nearly had to be torn away from mom. Things went so fast as before I knew it, I was sitting in Tammy’s car and we were driving away from the only house I ever knew. Tammy kept on telling me how much she had to fight for me and how much she loved me. She knew that I would be happy there.
I remained silent.
Her house was similar to ours. Except with different furniture that looked posher. I saw pictures of her son, that looked more like a daughter. If I did not know that he was a boy, I would think that he was a girl. He was also very pretty. He must have been teased a lot. I felt sorry that his life was ended so fast. Tammy told me his name was Christoper, but he was called Chrissy. I whispered back that my name was Jonas.
Then she showed me my new bedroom. I nearly fainted and at the same time, I wanted to scream.
It was a girls bedroom
To be continued