“Fernando, we must take them both, we cannot separate twins.”
“Christina, you’re too soft, we can’t bring up two children. You’re not strong enough to cope with the needs of twins. Your constitution is weak. It would be unfair to all of us.”
“I know my health is delicate, Fernando, and I will always regret that I can’t carry your baby to term inside me, but I know I can love and care for these twins. We can afford to hire help…” She trailed off when she saw the determined jut of his chin, the expression that brooked no further argument. Christina decided to try one last tug at his conscience anyway. “If we leave one behind, he might end up on the streets, an urchin living in squalor and fighting to survive… if he even makes it past babyhood.”
“Christina, your abundance of love does you credit, but I have no doubts the other boy will be adopted also. The only thing left to do now is to choose which one you would like?”
Christina’s heart sank as she looked at the two bundles in front of her. He was asking her to choose one, like picking out a pair of shoes from the rows on display in a shop. One stirred and let out a howl, disturbing his twin. It was almost as though he were alert to the inherent danger in this situation and was warning his brother.
Christina reached out a hand to each of them, touching their delicate tiny fingers and marvelling at how small, how fragile they were. Both lay quietly now, staring up at her with eyes as yet unable to focus. The boy who had been woken by his brother curled his tiny digits around her finger. In that moment she knew. He was asking her for help. The other twin would have the strength and tenacity to face whatever life threw at him. Christina couldn’t think about that, now that the decision was made. There was no hope of changing Fernando’s mind.
Without a further glance to the brother, she scooped up her new baby, cradling his floppy head and bringing him close to her chest so that he could feel her heart beat and know he was safe. She started to walk away with Fernando’s supportive hand between her shoulder blades. The baby in her arms let out a whimpering cry, and his twin, who still lay in the cot, responded with a heart-breaking howl which tore at her heartstrings and caused Christina to pause her flight. Fernando’s hand applied gentle pressure while she lifted one leaden foot in front of the other. A silent tear fell from her face onto the baby in her arms. She muttered a quick prayer for his twin.
“All that’s left now is to fill in the paperwork and the boy is ours.” Fernando’s handsome face broke into a smile. He reached out and touched the silent baby in his wife’s arms.
“You are to be our son,” he crooned. “We must think of a fitting name to honour your new status in the Sanchez family.”
“Jose, after your father.” Christina dimpled as Fernando rewarded her with a winning smile then pulled her and their new baby into his arms before placing a gentle kiss on her lips.