My adoptive name: Antonio Ricardo Dominico Sunico Abad V. Haha in short, Ard.Given I was at work at the time, it was a rather bizarre and hilarious message to receive. But it firmly established that Nico was going to continue to play a very large role in our forming relationship, among a bunch of other things at the time.
And yes, I've kept the original text message all this time.
I say the message was rather unexpected given the timing - I was still in another relationship and Tobie and I were still in that weird getting-to-know you stage where we danced between being friends and something more. I know it doesn't sound at all nice - I can't claim that it was nor will I. Owning up to the fact of the matter, it wasn't exactly a clean transition from one relationship to another.
But more importantly, Nico remained to be "our" (mine and Tobie's) staunchest supporter even if all the cards were clearly not stacked in Tobie's favor in terms of his risking his heart by getting to know me more. At the time I couldn't understand why Nico was the way he was - I barely knew him and had not interacted with him much at the time. But when Tobie would talk to his friends (now mine as well, of course), Nico was the loudest voice who supported us.
When Tobie and did eventually officially become a couple some time later, it became a bit more "official" that Nico was pretty much our son, as much as any gay couple can suddenly develop a son. And it's something I totally embraced - Nico is a brilliant young man who by then had more than earned my trust and respect and thus at the same time my "fatherly" affection. I have to admit that I have become rather protective of him over the years but at the same time I'm the one most likely to reprimand him more than most when needed.
We then became "Pamilya Egg" or the Egg Family, as weirdly as the term translates. The egg term comes from the fact that this was Tobie's weird code name for me when he'd blog about me during those times since he still wasn't out of the closet. And that's sort of how we referred to ourselves since then. It's a cute little term and it reflects the bond we share as friends. Of course it does mean the need to buy him extra beers sometimes when he's running low at the bar or of course the need to make sure I take good photos of him whenever possible.
We've had a lot of great experiences together since then. Heck, we've even had a "family" trip to Puerto Galera together (which is definitely something we need to repeat this year). I'm also happy to have been witness to his development as an individual and his recent progress in terms of his career. Definitely a proud parent, hehe.
And of course we've seen Nico go through the trials of the heart as well, as is the case for any young man. We've always supported him through the good and the bad, and more recently I'm glad that he seems to have found someone who really makes him happy. It's going to take work, of course, but I have faith in the two of them to keep at it and find their way. And I'm also feeling the same level of affection and concern for our new "in-law" as well.
So this is the currrent Pamilya Egg. I hardly expected to have a "family" before the age of 30, not did I ever expect for the family to grow the way it has either. But given how so many things seem against us in the LGBT community, it really helps when we establish such strong ties among ourselves as a way to forge new paths that society won't consider for us. And our little family is definitely something that I very, very proud of and I feel just as strongly for our two "kids" as I do for my actual siblings and such.