Telling your child that he or she is adopted is a sensitive subject. It can can be one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have, and many parents struggle with finding the right timing and deciding when they should do it. Should they tell their kids while they are young, or wait until they are older?
For Sharon Cuneta and husband Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, they decided to tell their son Miguel that he was adopted at an early age. Sharon shared their story in a YouTube video posted on her channel titled, “My thoughts on adoption. Is it better to tell your child early on or later?”
“In my opinion lang naman, Kiko and I decided na maliit pa si Miguel ay sasabihin na namin para wala nang questions. Lumalaki siya na, sa isip ko, alam niyang special siyang bata,” she says.
Around the time that Miguel came into their lives, Sharon was shooting Mano Po and had grown affectionate of a child actor who played her son in the movie. “I was ready for a baby boy,” she shares. “So, when someone said that there was a little boy, sabi ko lang, ‘That’s my son.’ It’s the right time [and] I just feel this is meant for me.”
“I didn’t even see a picture of him. Hindi ko alam kung may diperensiya siya, kung hindi sampu ‘yung daliri niya, I didn’t even ask,” she adds.
When Miguel came, the whole family fell in love with him right away. “He really brings us so much joy,” Sharon says.
Sharon admits she struggled with telling her son the truth. That’s because she had friends who had also adopted but chose to not tell their kids right away, and the outcomes weren’t always positive.
“Lumaki ‘yung mga bata knowing a different kind of reality. Tapos nung nalaman nilang adopted sila, iba-iba ‘yung reactions,” she shares.
Sharon always knew she wanted to tell Miguel the truth while he was young, and she believes things fell into place because God led her to it.
She shares, “We were watching this show called The Little Couple, and they adopted a little boy from China and later on, a little girl from India. One day, when we were in Tagaytay, nakahiga kaming mag-ina sa kama. All of a sudden, he asked me, ‘Am I adopted, Mama?’”
Sharon was shocked and caught off-guard, but she felt it was the right time. She shared how Miguel was put up for adoption by his biological mother when he was a day old. She told him, “The lady that had you really loved you but could not anymore afford to keep you. Your sisters came from my tummy, you, God sent you to us,” she said.
“Ngayon, kapag tinanong mo siya, ‘Who gave you to Daddy and Mommy,’ sasabihin niya, ‘Jesus.’ Alam niya na he’s a special child — special in a way na he was chosen by God, who sent him to our family when I was so ready [for a son],” Sharon shares.
The Megastar also revealed in the video that Kiko was apprehensive about adopting at first. But when Miguel came, everything changed. “He even sent me a message: ‘Sweetheart, I have a son. And you made this possible.’”
For parents who adopted kids and are waiting for the right moment to tell the truth, Sharon’s advice is to keep the conversations lighthearted, just like what she did with Miguel. Avoid making it a big deal.
Sharon told Miguel this way: “You’re special because you were chosen and you’re a part of our family. Even if you didn’t come from my tummy, you really came from my heart and God gave you to us because we really prayed for a boy.”
Sharon, who has three daughters, KC, Frankie, and Miel, said for every pregnancy she had, she prayed for a boy, but now she understands why she had to wait for a long time to have a son.
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“Nung dumating si Miguel, it answered all of my questions. Siya ‘yung hinihintay kong boy. I really feel Miguel was meant for us,” she shares.
The mom of four adds that the key is to make your adopted children feel special and loved always. “Family doesn’t always have to be blood,” she says. “This son of mine, the day that he came and I vowed to become his mother, the way I feel for him is no different than my biological children. It’s exactly the same.”