The phone rang. "I'll get it" Adam yelled. "Hello?"
"Hello?" The caller hung up. "Strange" he said to his father, "that's the third time that's happened."
"What's strange, son?" Kyle asked his curiosity piqued.
"When I answer the phone, a woman asks for me by name then hangs up."
"When did this start?"
"Right after graduation."
"Hmm, we started getting a lot of hang-ups right after graduation. The caller-id box always said 'Private caller'. Maybe I should have your father look into it. You might have pissed someone off with your speech and attracted a stalker. Did I tell you how proud I was of you, and your speech?"
"Only about a million times!"
"Well this will make a million and one."
The phone rang. "Hello? Oh, Jay, I'm glad it's you. Listen, I think Adam might have a stalker. You know how, since his graduation, we've been getting a lot of hang-up calls? Well, when he answers the phone, the caller asks for him by name then hangs up. I'm starting to get concerned." There was a slight pause. "Okay, thanks. I love you. See you when you get home."
"Was that Dad? What did he have to say?"
"He's going to see about having a tap put on the phone, so all calls will be automatically recorded and traced."
"How can they be traced if the caller id says private caller?"
"I don't know how, but I know they can. I think they have it done by the phone company."
"Cool. This is beginning to creep me out. Dad, can we keep this just between the three of us? Kelly's still mad at me because I never told her about being abandoned in a dumpster. If she found out about this, she'd probably never see me again."
"Okay son. But you really should tell her. Imagine her reaction if she were to find out some other way, or find out later on down the road?"
"You're right. Maybe I should tell her. I wonder who the woman is."
A startled look crossed Kyle's face, followed by one of concern. "A woman you said?" He asked trying to keep the sudden fear he felt deep in his stomach from showing."
"Yeah, it's always a woman. Well, I think I'll head over to Fashion Palace and see about taking Kelly to lunch, if she's not too busy. Ever since she got promoted to Assistant Manager, it's been hell trying to have lunch with her. She's really overworked and I think they're abusing her, but I can't convince her of that. Anyway, I'll catch up to you later."
"Okay. Tell Kelly hi for me." Kyle watched his son get into his car and drive off, wondering if Kelly realized just what a lucky young woman she was, to have landed a wonderful young man like Adam. He paced around the room, a million thoughts bouncing around in his mind like ping-pong balls in a bingo machine.
He picked up the phone and dialed. "Special Agent Matthews-Williams, please. Jay, hi, it's me. Listen. Adam just told me that the person who keeps calling him is a woman. What if it's his mother, trying to take him away from us? Yes, I know he's an adult, perfectly capable of making his own decisions, but what if he decides he would rather be with his biological family rather than us? Okay. We'll talk about it when you get home. No, he went to the mall to take Kelly to lunch and tell her about the phone calls. Okay. I love you too. Bye."
Later that day...
"Jay, how could Adam's mother have found him? I thought adoption records were sealed."
"Relax, baby. We don't even know if it is his mother. It could have been someone who didn't like what he had to say. It could be a classmate, or a relative of a classmate."
"But how can we find out?"
"The next time she calls, we have to keep her on the line so that the phone company can trace the call."
"How long do we need to keep her on the phone?"
"A couple of minutes."
"Okay. Let's hope she calls. Are you hungry? Dinner is almost ready."
"Adam, you're just in time for dinner. We have to talk about these phone calls." Jay said as they gathered around the dinner table. "This woman who keeps calling, does her voice sound familiar to you at all? Like maybe the mother of one of your classmates?"
"Nope. I don't think I've ever heard her voice before the first call."
"Does she sound young, middle aged, old?"
"I really don't know. When I answer the phone, she says 'Adam' like she's asking if it's me. When I say yes, she hangs up. Why? Do you know who she is?"
"Your father thinks it might be your mother."
"After all these years? What could she possibly want? How could she have found me?"
"I don't know. Adoption records are supposed to be sealed, but I guess there are other ways. Perhaps she had your DNA taken and entered into the national database, and it turned up the last time you donated blood."
"If she shows up, I don't have to see her, do I?"
"No, of course you don't. But aren't you curious about her?"
"Not at all. I don't want anything to do with her. As far as I'm concerned, she gave up any and all rights to me when she threw me away. You guys are the only parents I've ever known, and the only parents I want to know!"
"Well, it's your decision, son. Aren't you the least bit curious as to why you were abandoned?"
"Yeah, I guess, but I imagine all I have to do is pick up any supermarket tabloid and read my life story."
"Isn't that being a little cynical?"
"Put yourself in my place. How would you feel?"
"Probably the same way, I guess."
Kyle took a deep breath, looked pointedly at Jay before joining in the conversation. "Do you regret us telling you the truth?"
"Honestly? Yes. Sometimes I do. I mean, you can't imagine what it's like knowing that you were an unwanted child."
"Have we ever made you feel unwanted?"
"No, but sometimes I wonder why you wanted me when my own parents didn't."
"We wanted a child, but we weren't able to have one the conventional way, so adoption was our only choice. We love you, Adam. You have enriched our lives more than you can possibly imagine, and have tried our best to make sure you felt loved, wanted, and happy. Have you been happy with us?"
"Yes. You've been really terrific fathers."
"And you've been a wonderful son. You turned out better than we had hoped. We both love you very much, and are very proud of you."
"And I love you both. You guys and Kelly are the only family I want and need."
"So you don't want to have anything to do with your birth parents?"
"They didn't want me, so why should I want them?"
"I understand that you feel that way, and of course we'll honor your wishes."
"Thanks, Dads. If you will excuse me, I have to go have lunch with Kelly."
"Sure. See you later, son."
A few days later the phone rang. Kyle answered it. "Hello?"
"Uh, hello, is Adam there?"
"Who's calling please?"
"Beth. Beth McCondor."
"Hold on please. ADAM, YOU HAVE A PHONE CALL" He yelled out the back door where he was roughhousing with Bandit, their one-year-old German Shepherd. "He'll be right with you."
Adam came running into the house. "Do you know a Beth McCondor?" Kyle asked as he handed the phone to him.
"Beth McCondor...doesn't ring a bell. Hello, this is Adam." He said cautiously into the phone. "Can I help you?"
"Adam, my name is Beth McCondor. I have some information that may be of interest to you. Could we meet somewhere and talk?"
"What kind of information?"
"It's about your mother."
"Sorry. I already have a mother." He said, looking at Kyle, who immediately called Jay on his cell phone. "Jay, that woman who keeps calling here for Adam is on the phone with him right now. Yes, I have him try to keep her on the line for as long as possible. Bye" He motioned to Adam to keep her talking."
"I assume you're talking about my birth mother?"
"What kind of information do you have?"
"I think I know who she is, and where you can find her."
"What makes you think I'm interested in finding her, or having anything to do with her for that matter? She abandoned me when I was a baby."
"Wouldn't you like to know why she abandoned you?"
"I think I have a pretty good idea why. Let's see, she got pregnant with me when she was fifteen, and couldn't take care of me. She hid her pregnancy from her parents then threw me in a dumpster after I was born so her parents would never find out."
"No, that's not the reason why she gave you up for adoption."
"I wasn't given up for adoption. I was found in a dumpster. Look, who are you lady, and what do you want with me?"
There is silence on the other end. Kyle's cell phone rang. He looked at the caller ID display. "Hi, Jay. Great. Thanks. I love you too. Bye.
Adam, hang up. They've traced the call and your father is one his way to pick the woman up. Now we'll get some answers. C'mon. We're to meet him at the field office."
Without as much as saying goodbye, Adam hung the phone up.
Later, at Jay's precinct, Jay, Kyle and Adam watched through the observation window as Special Agent Lawrence interviewed the woman.
"Ma'am, several calls from your phone have been made to the residence of Adam Matthews-Williams. As soon as someone answers the phone, the caller hangs up."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Lady, don't play dumb. I have the phone records right here." He held up a computer printout with several entries highlighted. "Seventeen calls were made to the Matthews-Williams residence over the past thirty days. In the state of Massachusetts, that's considered aggravated harassment. Not to mention the fact that the residence belongs to FBI Special Agent Jayson Matthews-Williams, Adam's father. Now start talking!"
A distressed look crossed the woman's face. "I'm sorry. I didn't know I was doing anything wrong."
"Jay", Kyle whispered. "Who is this woman? Why does she keep calling for him?"
"Shh, Kyle, I don't know, but we're going to find out."
"You honestly expect me to believe that?"
"You still haven't answered my question. Why did you keep calling the Matthews-Williams residence and hanging up?" Agent Lawrence pounded his fist on the table, startling the already frightened woman. "I want answers, and I want them now, or you're going to be charged with seventeen counts of aggravated harassment!"
"Okay. I was trying to get in touch with Adam Matthews-Williams. I think he might be my son."
This revelation had an immediate affect on the three men watching and listening intently. Adam sank into a nearby chair, wide-eyed, stunned into silence. Jay started to mull over the legal implications. In addition to the harassment charges, she could be charged with child abandonment and endangering the welfare of a minor, both felony charges.
Kyle reacted in his usual way, emotions overriding his common sense. "How dare that bitch try to worm her way into Adam's life after all these years. No way is she taking him away from us without a fight. I may not have given birth to him, but I'm more his mother than she will ever be. After all, I went through hell to adopt him, put my life on hold and raised him. I'm the one who was there to comfort him when the other kids picked on him and support him in his athletic and academic endeavors. Where the hell were you? You were nowhere to be found. Bitch, you want a fight, you got it!"
"Kyle, calm down. We don't know if she's really his mother. Besides, Adam's eighteen, legally an adult. She couldn't sue for custody of him, even if she were his birth mother. She abandoned him, which made him technically a ward of the state, and we legally adopted him. She has no claim whatsoever on him."
Having overcome his initial shock, Adam jumped up, rushed over to Kyle and hugged him. "It's okay, 'mom'. I'm not going anywhere but home with you and Dad, nowhere else. Actually, that not entirely true. I'll be going over to Kelly's from time to time." He said in his usual irrepressible manner. "I don't care who she is, or who she thinks she is."
"And what makes you think you're Adam Matthews-Williams' mother?" Agent Lawrence's voice was heard over the loudspeaker.
"He looks just like his father and twin brother." This time you could hear a pin drop in the observation room.
"Just because he may look like your husband and son doesn't mean he is your son."
"Isn't there some kind of test that can be done to prove it?"
"Yes there is, but he has to agree to it. Since he is legally an adult, he can't be forced to submit to a DNA test without a court order."
Both men turned to look at their adored son. His eyes were unfocused, an indication that he was deep in thought. "I wonder what's going through his mind right now." Kyle whispered to Jay.
"I don't know, but I'm sure he'll tell us if he wants us to know."
Is it possible that she's my mother, and I have a brother? Adam wondered. He had always wanted a brother, but Kyle and Jay were unsuccessful in adopting another child. The Judge that had approved Adam's adoption had retired, and the homophobic Judge that replaced him not only turned down their initial request to adopt another baby boy, but warned them that if they pursued the matter, not only would it be rejected, but he would overturn Adam's adoption as well. Jay didn't think he could legally do that, but they decided not to take any chances. He was too precious to them to risk losing him. Since Adam was eighteen when the state law was passed barring same-sex and un-wed couples from adopting children, his adoption could not be overturned. Unfortunately, the law prevented them from legally adopting Janita, but it didn't stop them from being her foster parents.
If I have the test, and it turns out that she is my biological mother, K-Dad will have a cow, and J-Dad will probably bring her up on charges for abandoning me. On the other hand, I may have the brother I've always wanted. What do I do?
"I want to take the test." He told his fathers. Jay gave him an I-kind-of-figured-you-would look while Kyle stared at him, in pain.
"Why, Adam?" He asked his voice breaking. "I thought you were happy with us. Were we cruel or unkind to you? What did we do to make you hate us?"
"Dad, it has nothing to do with either of you. You've never mistreated me. I'm very happy where I am, and I love you both."
"Then what is it, Adam? I don't understand."
"It has nothing to do with her. I couldn't care less if she's my mother or not. I only have one mother." He smiled at Kyle. "But if I have a brother, I'd like to know."
"I can understand that, Adam. But are you sure this is what you want?" Jay asked, placing his hand on Adam's shoulder.
"Yes, Dad, I'm sure."
"Okay. I'll arrange it. Be right back." He left and entered the interrogation room where he whispered something to Agent Hunter.
"You're in luck. The Matthews-Williams family has decided not to press charges, and Adam has agreed to the DNA test, but only to find out if he has a brother. He really doesn't want anything to do with you. Someone will be here shortly to administer the test. It will take approximately two weeks to get the results back. You will be contacted with the results when they become available."
"Don't thank me. I had nothing to do with it. If it were up to me, you'd be thrown in jail for child abandonment."
Two weeks later...
"Kyle, it's me. I need you and Adam to come to my office. The DNA test results are in."
"We have to wait until Adam is here. The results can only be released to him."
"I'll call him. He's out running around somewhere, getting the stuff he needs for the Academy."
"Okay. Just remember that, regardless of the results, he is OUR son, and nothing can or will change that. I love you, Kyle. See you when you get here."
"I'm on my way. I love you too, Jay." He hung up, and then dialed Adam's cell phone number.
"Murphy's Mortuary. You stab 'em, we'll slab 'em."
"Ha, ha, very funny. Listen, your Dad wants us to meet him at his office. The DNA test results are in."
"I don't know. They'll only release the results to you."
"Okay. We'll head right over."
"Yeah, Kelly's with me."
"Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"I promised her that she'd be there when I found out. It's the only way I could get her to forgive me after not telling her that I was found in a dumpster."
"Okay, it's your call."
"Thanks, Dad. We'll see you soon. Bye."
"Bye son. I love you."
"I love you too, 'Mom'. Don't ever forget that."
Kyle smiled at that. Ever since that day in the observation room in the FBI field office, Adam would call him 'mom' from time to time, confirming Kyle's position in his life.
Later at FBI field office...
The door opened. "Adam Matthews-Williams?"
"I have the results of your DNA test here, but I need to see some identification." Adam took out his wallet and showed the agent his driver's license.
He opened the envelope. "The results of DNA tests are ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-seven-percent accurate, and it indicates that you are the son of Beth McCondor."
Kyle swallowed the lump in his throat and exchanged worried looks with Jay.
Adam went to them and hugged them both. "I told you that no matter what the test results showed, you are still my parents. You always have been and you always will be. I'm not giving up the only home I've ever known. I'm staying with you." He looked up and motioned Kelly over to join the group hug. Kyle started to cry tears of relief as his worst fears were alleviated. Adam knew who his biological mother was and chose to stay with him and Jay.
The agent reluctantly cleared his throat, getting everyone's attention. "Adam, your mother is in the next room. Would you like to meet her?"
Adam had been mulling over that question in his mind since the day he consented to the DNA test. "Am I required to?"
"No. It's your choice, strictly up to you."
"Does she know, and is my brother with her?"
"Yes to both questions."
Rick, could we have a few minutes, please?"
"Sure Jay. I'll be right outside if you need me."
"Thanks." The agent left them alone. "Well, son, it's your choice. What do you want to do?"
"Would you all be upset if I wanted to meet and possibly get to know my brother?"
"No" responded Jay and Kelly, almost simultaneously.
"Yes" responded Kyle, drawing puzzled looks everyone. "I wanted so badly to give you a brother or sister to grow up with, but I failed miserably. Now some stranger is going to give you something that I couldn't."
"Mom, it wasn't your fault that the cool Judge retired and the bigoted jerk who replaced him wouldn't allow you to adopt another child."
Kyle could tell my Adam's facial reactions that he had much stronger words in mind than bigoted jerk. Fucking asshole would have been more appropriate, but he never used words stronger that damn or hell, or bullshit if he was really angry.
"If it really upsets you, I'll leave and go home, to OUR home, and never mention it again."
"No son. You're a man now, and this is your life we're talking about. I'm not upset that you want to know your brother. I'm just upset that your father and I were not the ones to give you a brother."
"But you tried, and that means more to me than you can possibly imagine."
"What about your mother?"
"You're my mother. That other woman simply gave birth to me. I guess if I want to meet my brother, I have to meet her too."
"Okay son. We'll meet you back home."
"NO!" came Adam's vehement response. WE, the four of us, are a family, and I want us to meet them as a family."
"And if they don't approve of your two gay fathers, or want nothing to do with you because of us?"
"To hell with them if they can't deal with it. Besides, I thought you all were curious to know how she found me."
"Yeah, I guess we are. When do you want to do this?"
"No time like the present."
"Okay." Jay walked over to the door, opened it and called to the Agent who gave them the test results. "Erik, Adam wants to meet his mother and brother. He wants us there with him."
The agent came into the room. "Adam, are you sure? It could get ugly."
"Yes, I'm sure."
"Okay. Let's go." he led them into the other room and made the introductions.
"Beth McCondor, Phil McCondor, this is Adam Matthews-Williams, his parents Jay and Kyle Matthews-Williams. I'm sorry, young lady. I don't know your name."
"I'm Kelly Anderson, Adam's girlfriend."
Phil gave his mother a shocked look, clearly not expecting Adam to have two gay fathers. Adam, in turn looked his mother over. His mother was petite, but looked quite elegant, about his fathers' age, which he didn't expect.
"Hello, Adam. I see you've grown up to become a very handsome young man. Call me mom."
"Why? I already have a mother." He placed his arm around Kyle's shoulders.
She gave him a puzzled look. "Son, they're gay..." she replied, stating the obvious, since Jay and Kyle were holding hands, fingers intertwined.
"Excuse me, but you gave up any parental rights to me when you threw me away in a dumpster. I am a human being, not something you can just throw away because you don't want it! My fathers wanted me so badly that they risked everything to adopt me. They love me. And you know what, I couldn't care less if you like the fact that they're gay or not. If you have a problem with that, deal with it. As far as I'm concerned, you have up any right to even think about me when you threw me into that dumpster, and I hope you rot in fucking hell."
"Adam!" Jay exclaimed. "That was uncalled for." He never expected to hear that. Adam had never before used the 'F' word in any of its numerous forms.
"No, it's alright, Mr. Matthews-Williams. He has a right to be angry, even though his anger is misdirected." She held out her hands to him in an open gesture, knowing that he would most likely not take them, as angry as he was. "Adam, please listen to me while I try to explain what happened."
"How can you justify throwing me into a dumpster?"
"I'm not going to justify it because I didn't do it. Your father did."
"Let me start from the beginning..."
"The very beginning."
"I met your father in college at a fraternity party. We fell in love and got married. We did pot from time to time. Eventually it got to the point where it just wasn't enough, so we started experimenting with other drugs, and ended up addicted to crack. Then I got pregnant with you and Phil. Both of you were born addicted, and two months premature. Phil was okay, but you had underdeveloped lungs and would not have survived without extensive medical care, which we could not afford. So I became a prostitute to try to raise the money for your medical care.
Then one day I came home, to find all the money I had saved was gone, and you were gone as well. Carl, your father, told me that he had sold you to get money for drugs. I lost it then. I took your brother and moved in with my mother. She tried to help me find you, but couldn't. Carl couldn't remember who he sold you to. It was then and there that I decided to get help. I checked myself into rehab. I'm clean now, and have been for fifteen years."
"A touching story" Adam responded sarcastically.
"But a true and verifiable one. I can give you the name of the rehab facility. I'm sure that the agent who was just in here can look up my record and verify my story."
"No need." Jay said. "He's already done so. She's telling the truth, Adam, at least the part about the rehab."
"When I got out, I did everything I could to find you. I went to the hospital you were born in. I went to the police. I even contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Nothing. No one could help me. But I never gave up hope."
"So where is my loving father now? I have a very strong desire to meet him. Meet him and make him a permanent resident of the nearest cemetery"
"Adam, that's not going to help matters any." Jay warned.
"He died from an overdose sixteen years ago. Do you want to know what we named you?"
"We named you Peter. Peter Toby McCondor."
"Thanks, but I'll stick to Adam James Matthews-Williams. I like it better. I am curious about one thing, though. How did you find me?"
"I was at your graduation. Sara Jones is my niece. You're speech was wonderful, by the way. When you stood at the podium, I couldn't believe the resemblance to your father. I started to wonder if you were my son. So I looked up the number in the phone book and called. But each time you or your fathers answered the phone, I couldn't say anything. I was so nervous that I could only get your name out. But I had to see you, to meet you, and know that you're okay."
"You're not going to try to get me back? Not that it would do you any good to try."
"No, I'm not. Your speech convinced me that you were very happy. I just wanted you to know the truth. Please don't hate me."
"I don't hate you. I don't feel anything towards you at all."
"I can accept that. But can we at least be friends?"
"No. Maybe someday, but not right now. Thirteen years of wondering who you were, and what I did to make you hate me so much that you threw me into a dumpster is not something I can just overlook."
"I understand. Honey, listen. I'm a legal secretary for Linscome and Myers in Arlington. If you ever want to talk, you can reach me there."
"Okay, but don't expect it to happen anytime soon."
She turned to Kyle and Jay. "You've done a wonderful job raising him. Thank you. It was nice to meet you all." She left.
"Adam, please don't Judge her too harshly. Once she got her act together, she was a good mother."
"I wouldn't know about that."
"I do. You don't know how many times she cried herself to sleep, missing you and wondering if you were even still alive. She went through hell getting clean and sober, and trying to find you. She's a good person. If you have to be mad at someone, be mad at our father."
"I'm not mad at anyone. It's just that this is a lot to take in all at once."
"I can't even begin to understand what you're going through, but I'd like to be your friend, if you'll let me." Phil said, as tears start to form.
"I don't want another friend. But I would like a brother." Adam reached out and pulled Phil into an embrace, his tears flowing freely.
"I'd like that too." Phil said as he returned Adam's embrace.