What a Day!

I spoke with my bio dad’s parents yesterday! I sat there listening to them with silent tears running down my face. Silent tears of joy. They said they have always loved me. My heart skipped a beat and swelled. Every year on my birthday they said a prayer for me. They think about me often, and have wondered what kind of women I have become. They wondered if they had any great grandchildren. We talked for an hour, before finally hanging up to make and eat our respective dinneres. I hug up the phone only to cry more happy tears, and skip through the house chanting, “I have another set of grandparents, and they love me!” I found out they are Roman Catholic marriage counselors. My bio grandfather has a hearty laugh. My bio grandmother’s excitement palpatable! They begged for pictures. I promised them. In fact, I spent four to five hours yesterday and created a bound memory book on the internet. I sent it priority mail, and they should have it tomorrow or Friday. They also asked if they could see me some day. I almost laughed. “Of course!” you can! They were downright thrilled about our adoption plans. “Are you going to try for a boy or a girl or both?” they excitedly asked. I was so touched.

The entire conversation was surreal. They did tell me that my bio dad had a message for me. He told them to tell me he loves me, is going to call me very soon, but has to absorb this all for a few days. I can understand that. It’s been 25 years since he’s seen me! I also have a six year old sister. Six? Wow! So, it looks like I will be the only one bringing grandchildren into bio dad’s life for quite some time! Sooo, I’m thinking bio dad must be having one very strange conversation with bio sister right about now. I also found out that bio dad became quite the high ranking miliary man. He lives in a large house in Florida. All of this means squat to me, but it’s more information than I’ve had. He’s been remarried for about twelve years, and has a six (seven in March) year old daughter.

I’m dumbfounded. I registered at B.abies R Us yesterday AND talked to my bio grandparents. That’s a whole lot of excitement in one day!

Published in: on January 31, 2007 at 8:25 am  Comments (5)  

Parenting

My husband fathered a child eight years ago. I don’t plan on going into how that hurts me, because I can’t give that to him. What I do plan on talking about is how that will affect our adoption plans and raising that child.

As I said a few days ago, I have a biological father who is missing in action. I grew up in a very happy home. I love both my parents. You get the idea.

So, you see…in essence my husband is “playing” the role of biological father, and I am the adoptive daughter. We have gained immense insight from this situation. I have taught him how it feels to not know your biological father. He has taught me how it feels to be estranged from his biolgical daughter, have somebody else raise his child, and how it feels to reunite with that child. My explanations of how it feels to not know your biolgical father is what promted him to reunite with his own daughter.

What Happened to Me:
I was told not to tell people that my dad isn’t my biological father. This really made me feel as if it was a shameful thing. In reality, I have nothing to be ashamed of. I was a little girl. I did nothing wrong. I would fantasize about what my biological father is like. Most of the time I imagined him as a real dead beat. Largely due to the fact of what I have been told about him. My new information doesn’t lead to that conclusion. I fought my entire life to not be like him. My entire life I have created a hierarchy of those who get to know and those who don’t. Who gets to know the big bad secret? A little honesty can go a long way. However, I was blanketed in secrecy for what my mother believes was for my protection. I have no information about his health history. Let’s face it in 25 years, one’s health can change a whole lot.

How It Will Affect My Parenting:
Keeping such a massive secret about being adopted won’t be possible given that we are adopting through foster care. However, even if I could keep the secret, I wouldn’t. I don’t want my child to form opinions about their biolgical parents through my eyes. I can give them any information I know at age appropriate times in an unbiased way. I don’t want them to fantasize about their biolgical parents unrealistically. I want them to know them. I don’t want my child to stare at the medical information chart with bewilderment. They have a right to know.

If I don’t tell the truth, then I won’t develop trust with my children. I don’t want them to divide their loyalty. They don’t have to choose. Their heart has enough love to go around. I don’t want my child to see any uneasiness I may feel regarding their adoption or emotions regarding their parents, because if it shows, they won’t feel comfortable enough to ask me questions about it. I plan to bring it up on my own, because I know how it felt to not be able to talk about it as a child.

I don’t want my child to feel rejected by his birth parents. I’m still working on how to help them with this.

I don’t want my child to feel like a fraud, and lie about his family tree. We all know how that assignment always show up in school. Rather I want them to understand and feal proud and confident in their unique story.

I understand the loss the child experiences. I also understand the loss as an infertile woman adopting. My husband understands the loss as a biological father. That’s a whole lot of loss!

As an infertile woman, I can understand feeling defective. As an adopted child, I can understand feeling unworthy. As a biological father (whose daughter is being raised by her mother and second dad) and being the husband of an infertile wife, he can understand the loss felt by all of us.

I’m sure there is more I can come up with, but that’s all I have examined thus far.

Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 4:30 pm  Comments (5)  

Holy Crap

Ummm…all I can say is holy crap I found my biological father’s parents. Holy crap. The strangest conversation I have ever had. It was very short, but they all but confirmed they are them. Phone number was exchanged, and are going to contact bio dad. They will call back soon, real soon…they said. Holy. Crap. What’s going to happen now???

Published in: on January 27, 2007 at 9:08 pm  Comments (9)  

Scared as all hell…

Background:

My mom is my mom and my dad is my dad. There you go. My mom is my biological mother, but my dad adopted me when I was two or so. I have always always wondered about my biological father…yes, even though he was an abusive, cheating, not so very nice man.

I am reading a book called Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child, Making Sense of the Past by Betsy Keefer and Jayne E. Schooler. If you are considering adopting or fostering, run and get a copy today. It is wonderful.

This is disconnected in part because it is very difficult to write. I understand why my mother gave me very limited information as a child about my biological father. She wanted to protect me. She wanted to protect me from what he was or could still be. He didn’t abuse me, but my mother. Badly. She didn’t want me to know the gory details, because they are painful for her. She probably didn’t want me to think that I could turn out just like him. She probably didn’t want me to open a door you can’t shut (in her opinion.) I’m also thinking she was worried about my loyalty, and about the concept of me loving him.

This is all so strange to me. I’ve never thought one should have to choose one side over another. You have enough room in your heart to love both your parents, relatives, spouses, etc. Why can’t I love him too? Ok, I’m not sure whether he is worthy of my love or not, but I sure would like the opportunity to know. I am very aware of this very secret past of mine (shhh….don’t tell. Don’t get me started on that,) every time I fill out a medical questionnaire. I don’t have the words to express how strange it is to have missing pieces.

As we walk down the road of adoption, I’m very clear what I will and won’t do to my own children surrounding adoption. They have every right to know their biological children. Let me be very clear here…I don’t care how bad they are perceived to be. They have the right, the need, and should be provided the opportunity. I don’t want my child to sit in front of their computer one day, nearly in tears, because she is scared that she truly wants to know more about her biological parent. This won’t be acceptable to my parents (I understand, don’t blame them, and love them regardless.) I simply have to know. I need to know. God help me, but I am not sure I am brave enough.

He has always known my mother’s last name when she remarried. He could have found me, but didn’t. I have to know why. I simply have to, but am scared.

Published in: on January 25, 2007 at 9:50 pm  Comments (5)  

I don’t want to!

I just got a call from a family member saying, “Guess what!?! We’re coming to visit July 16-26th!” Damn. These are the house guests you don’t want to be seen in public with, they don’t help cook or clean after themselves, and expect you to foot the bill for everything you do while they are visiting. Worse, we have nowhere for them to sleep at our house, and my parents are out of town for all except two days of their visit. As a result, they have to stay at my parent’s house, while they are not there. So, that means we have to sleep there too. They cannot be left in that house alone. Um…yeah…no. Things would sprout legs and walk off. I don’t want them to come! I guess I will have to figure out how to set some clear boundaries.

I feel like pitching a fit over the whole idea.

Published in: on January 22, 2007 at 2:23 pm  Comments (9)  

Considering It

I’m considering taking birth control. I’ve never taken it before. The original reason was because we have had blood clots in the family. However, thanks to my over $3,000 worth of genetic testing, I do not have to worry about this any more. I’m free to take it if I want to. Of course this means I would have to move past the fact that there will be no surprise pregnancy. However, let’s face it, that’s probably not a bad thing. I love the path we are going down right now. I would also love to not feel like death is preferable to my period. My back aches, my cramps are strong, meds don’t touch it, heat only helps minimally. I hurt. So, considering birth control it is. This is an entirely new arena for me. Where do I start?

Of course, this too has also made it to the secret site, because while the fact that there will be no pregnancy for me if this comes to fruition is tough. For my mother it would be devastating. You know how badly she wants our geneticly produced offspring. This would send her over the edge. That makes me chuckle in a very wrong kind of way. I know this decision is personal, and don’t want her input.

There you have it.

Published in: on January 15, 2007 at 8:56 am  Comments (9)  

A New Perspective

Thank you so much everybody. I seriuosly wondered whether I would be able to speak with my mother this morning when she called. However, I decided that the best way to face a difficult and angry situation, isn’t with more anger or resentment. Instead, I’ve decided that the best way is to be a mentor. To help teach and educate, in essence hold their hand through our process. I will take one event at a time. My brother is right (God help me for saying it,) but you can’t expect things and people to feel the same about adopting as you do about giving birth to a “natural” child. They are different. So, I will embrace all that is different about it, and try to show the beauty in the differences.

The focus on race is because our area (let’s face it we live in the deep south,) has a high population of black people. I will not turn down an infant. I just can’t! I guess this is just me trying to get all of the issues out in the open before they directly affect a child in our care. I am confident that we will make it past it, but it will take me and my husband being confident, resliliant, and patient.

It took a lot of thought and tears yesterday to come to this conclusion. When you are as close to your parents as I am, it is safe to assume that they will always be by your side. They’ve never really disagreed with a decision that I have made. They have always been supportive. I guess this is a bit of a growing process for all of us. However, I will do my best to be strong in the face of adversity.

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 11:45 pm  Comments (8)  

So Complicated

Life can be so damn messy. I’ve known for a while that my mother (and according to her my father too) feels strongly about us adopting a child of a different race. I thought things were getting better. Not so much.

I guess yesterday we hit a nerve. We met my parents at their house for a scheduled game night. My husband had brought printed copies of the paperwork that was completed yesterday. I was reading some of the questions and answers. Well, today the proverbial shit hit the fan.

My parents are left numb from infertility, and subsequently our decision to end treatment. My mother would have lovd to see me wear the gold medal in the pain olympics. There I’d be standing baby in arms from the event we all know as IVF. However, we bailed out and didn’t make the team. She feels as if we worked so hard to get a diagnosis, and then we walked away without seeing things through. She feels I will regret it, especially when my sibling has children.

She has made comments that left me reeling. Well, if it was me I’d want to adopt with a “birthmother.” Oh the shame of adopting through foster care. Grrr. The problem she says later isn’t with adopting this method, but the child we choose. Oh, no, not a child of another race! Say it isn’t so! She reiterated again, how she just doesn’t know she could love them. Again I was subject to the fact that she grew up in a violent neighborhood, and now I was considering adopting one of them. One. of. them.

Grow up. Get over it. I have no patience for this lame excuse for bigotry. She in no way treats other races differently, but accepting one of them into the family is another story. She says she’s tired of hearing how accepting we are of a child of a different race, and how a child is a child is a child. She reached the end of her rope with this subject, and has shouted (literally) “Enough!”

That my friends put us an at an impasse. Neither side willing to budge or change. This is my freakin’ life.

My parents have always been by my side. My number one fans. Biggest supports. They say, “Now, you husband’s parents will just have to step up to the plate. Since they are sooo aceepting of your polka dotted baby.” (Side Note: We always say we don’t care if the child is green with yellow polka dots, etc.) Knife in chest, and twisted. Cast aside for standing up for what I believe in. Lead to believe I should hold my head in shame for doing what we feel is right.

I’m sad, hurt, and angry as all hell.

What to do….

Published in: on January 12, 2007 at 2:49 am  Comments (7)  

So Close

Tonight, a mere hours away we start our first step towards expanding our family. We have our orientation for our foster to adopt classes. In three hours, I will be walking into that room. In three hours, I will be judged. In three hours, my heart will be in my throat. I’m jumping out of my skin with excitement….vacuum the living room, put away a few dishes, fold a load of laundry, scratch something funky looking from the countertop, consider cleaning out the fridge, deside not to. Just. can’t. focus. on. anything.

This is our first step towards being a family. How mind blowing is that?!

Published in: on January 10, 2007 at 2:35 am  Comments (4)  

From the Other Side

To make a long story very short, my mother is my biological mother. However, my father adopted me when I was two or so. It’s a story that’s filled with sadness and pain for my mother, but love on the account of my father. I grew up with mom and dad, and everything was as it should be.

However, in the back of my mind I have always wondered what my biological father is like. I’ve never met him at an age where I could remember. I have no desire to replace my dad. In fact, I can’t stand the thought of my biological father. He was evil personified. This much I am 100% certain of. Trust me. We never talk about this little detail in my family, and often it has me wondering if the adoption of me by my father has tinted my mother’s view of our desire to adopt. Just something I’m mulling over.

Perhaps she is coming around a bit more. She bought us some books on adoption the other day. It was really sweet of her.

Published in: on January 4, 2007 at 10:14 pm  Comments (3)