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Adoption is and has always been a sensitive topic for most of us Filipinos, given the social stigma associated with it, such as what we see and hear on mainstream media—adopted kids often portrayed as "damaged" or "troubled", or foster parents usually depicted as emotionally disconnected to their adopted children (sometimes even hostile—hence the infamous line "ampon ka lang!"). 

 

For Sharon Cuneta, a proud adoptive mother to her only son, Miguel, this is not at all the case.

Photo from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)

"Nung dumating si Miguel, it answered all my questions. Siya 'yung hinihintay kong boy," says the Megastar, who, prior to adopting her youngest, only has female children—KC, Frankie, and Miel. "I really feel Miguel was meant for us."


'I WAS READY FOR A BABY BOY'


In her first vlog entry published July 18 on her official YouTube channel, Sharon Cuneta Network, the seasoned actress, for the first time, talked about her experience at length as a foster parent as she attempted to help a fellow adoptive mother over a once-shared dilemma: Is it better to tell your child the truth early on or later? 


"Kiko (her senator-husband of 23 years) and I decided na maliit pa si Miguel namin ay sasabihin na namin para wala nang questions,” she shares. “Sa isip ko, lumalaki siya na alam niyang special siyang bata. Ang sabi ko sa kanya, the lady that had you really loved you but could not anymore afford to keep you. Actually, mas malalim ‘yung istorya pero it’s not time for that.”

 

Photo from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)


Miguel came to the couple when he was about one day old. At the time, Sharon had been wishing to have a baby boy, a realization that came to her when she was shooting the film, Mano Po, 10 years ago. "'Yung anak ko doon na baby, patay na patay ako sa kanya. I really said na, ‘Sana akin na lang ‘tong baby.’ I was ready for a baby boy. So when someone said that there was a little boy, sabi ko lang, ‘That’s my son’,” she says.


Hindi na ako nag-isip nang dalawang beses. I didn’t even see a picture of him. Hindi ko alam kung may diperensya siya, kung hindi sampu ‘yung daliri niya. I didn’t even ask."

 

Photo from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)


THE 'TRUTH'


Miguel was not just welcomed into the family, but has been deeply loved by his parents and three ates. After all, he’s one of their own now. “When Miguel came, well, we fell in love with him right away. I was happy to know that he didn’t have any problems," shares Sharon. "Not so much dahil sa amin, kasi kaya naming panindigan ‘yun, pero ‘yung siya mismo. Na habang lumalaki siya, everything was right, physically and all. As it turns out, now, he really brings us so much joy."

 

Photos from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)


The truth about his identity came to light when Miguel was still very young, and Sharon, for her part, was still not ready for "the talk". But, as they say, you can never be 100% ready for these things. "Nagkataon naman si Lord, kung mag-orchestrate talaga ng kanyang grand design. We were watching this show, ['yung bida], the little couple, nagkataon, they adopted a little boy from China and later on a little girl from India. Kaming lahat [sa family], nanonood no’n, even Miguel when he was so young."


"One day, we were in Tagaytay and nakahiga kaming mag-ina sa kama. Nagkekwentuhan kami… then all of a sudden he asked me, ‘Am I adopted, mama?’ Sabi ko, ‘Lord, please guide me. How will I answer this?’ Kasi I wasn’t prepared. But I said, ‘Yeah.’”

 

Photo from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)


'HE WAS CHOSEN'


Like how she raised her daughters, Sharon made sure Miguel knew just how special he is to the family. "Alam niya na he’s a special child. Special in a way na he was chosen. Not so much by us, but by God who sent him to our family when I was so ready in particular. Kiko was kind of okay, but later he fell in love with Miguel, and he even sent me a message, [saying], 'Sweetheart, I have a son, and you made this possible!'"


"A character" is how the Megastar would describe her son. "He's a funny guy without knowing it," she shares, adding that Miguel's love language is acts of service. "Mahilig siyang magsilbi. He's very malambing. Very affectionate." 

 

Photos from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)

 

It was through Miguel that she learned that family isn't always about whose blood runs in your veins. Being his mother felt so natural, so easy for Sharon. "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. Parang nanggaling siya sa akin." Whether that's thanks to her huge heart or his pure soul—or both—it's clear that they were simply meant to be. 

Photo from Sharon Cuneta (@reallysharoncuneta)