If you’re old enough to remember, there is a famous episode of The Dick Van Dyke show where the couple bring home a baby, only to discover it’s of a different ethnicity than their own. They humorously exchange the newborn with an African-American couple and take back their own little one.
But when these situations happen in real life – and they do – the simplicity of retrieving your blood baby is not always so uncomplicated.
And such was the case for El Salvadoran-born Mercy Casanalles and her American husband Rich Cushworth. Due to legal complications, Mercy had to go back to her Central American homeland to give birth to their son, while Rich waited back stateside.
But after seeing her newborn right after he came out of her body, when the baby was handed to her the next day, she knew right away that the Indian-looking child was not hers. Without any actual proof, and possibly doubting her own perceptions, Mercy went back to America with the baby she didn’t think was hers.
Little did she know her problems were only just beginning.
Unable to quell the feeling that she had taken home someone else’s baby, Mercy convinced her husband to take a DNA test with her, and lo and behold, the little boy was not theirs. Gut-wrenching though it was, having already bonded closely with the little baby, the couple brought him back to El Salvador and returned him to his correct family.
But after locating the boy who really was theirs, their problems still weren’t put to bed. Her homeland’s government got bogged down in red tape before Mercy and Rich could get the necessary paperwork to bring Moses, their real son, back home. The ordeal dragged on for an entire year before they finally had permission to take him to the States.
Finally, back home in Dallas, the nuclear family is happy to have their own child, but it’s been bittersweet losing the boy they raised as well at first. But all’s well that ends well, as Shakespeare said, and for this Texas couple, the long and winding road has finally led to their own door.
Cue the TV music.
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