How it Went

Last week was a difficult one for me. I really had no idea what to expect. I was about to meet a man who gave me life, his new wife, and his daughter. I had no idea what was going to be expected of me. I was unsure of what my role was going to be. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be what you expected, and the trip would end with an “I’m glad we met, but there really is no room in my life for you right now.”

Your wife had said that she was impressed that I could get in the car with two strangers and go with what the day handed me. The truth is that I was terrified. I presented a calm exterior despite what was happening on the inside. Perhaps life has jaded me in some ways. I’ve had many, many, many people in my life say wonderful things to me, and then turn around and hurt me more deeply than I ever could have guessed. It was a natural assumption that this too could end up that way. It is one thing to say you are accepting of a twenty-seven year old woman that you really don’t know into your life, and a completely different thing to actually make it work.

That first day was interesting for me. I sat on the end of the couch and attempted to internalize all that was surrounding me. Nothing was familiar, and everything was new. This was the equivalent to walking on a tight rope without a net. I wasn’t myself that day. I was a more timid, quiet, and introverted woman, and I am almost never that way. The day came to a close and I was left ambivalent.

The next few days were a whirlwind for me. I get the days confused, and can’t remember what order they came in. This is what I know for sure. Pardon the list, it’s just a bit easier.

• I felt a lot of anxiety to immediately jump into the role of sister. I’ve never been anybody’s sister before. Compound that with the fact that I’m somebody’s sister who is twenty years younger than me, and I’ve never met her or her family before. It was a tad bit overwhelming.
• I do adore my sister. She’s silly and fun, and some of her behaviors remind me of myself. I too stuck my tongue out a lot, loved to strike a pose for pictures as a child, and enjoyed being with all the grown ups. I’m just not used to being around children so often. I hope I did a good job.
• I truly did not care what the house looked like. I wasn’t saying that just to placate anybody.
• I was beyond frustrated the day my mother and I went shopping. We had dinner plans that night for Red Lobster. We truly did rush our shopping and went home sooner than we would have. When we called for directions, and you canceled our plans; I was pissed as all hell. I could have spit fire. I thought it was inconsiderate to cancel plans at the last minute. I could have used that day to visit my uncle while we were already that way. Then, I could have gotten to see him too while we were there. A bit of a warning would have been nice that the plans were changing. This is not to say that I don’t understand why they were changed. In fact, I understand that circumstances were what they were, and that they could not have been changed. I would have just appreciated more notice.
• I truly felt as if the week’s plans were dictated by everybody but me. I’m simply just not used to that. Then, when plans were made, you were late or cancelled. This is in direct conflict with my personality. I was upset and hurt. I felt as if I wasn’t important enough for you to be on time for, or too insignificant to follow through on plans with. I felt these were rationale thoughts considering I don’t know you, and there was a serious lack of effective communication.
• I truly enjoyed spending time with my sister at Friendly’s, and want to thank you for making that happen.
• I politely request that any further comments regarding God and his plans concerning my reproducing cease. I seriously can’t guarantee that I will continue to be graceful and bite my tongue. I do understand that such comments are meant to be helpful, but they sear a hole in my heart. In essence it is as if somebody is saying that my having a child is based on God’s will, and since I don’t have one, then it isn’t his will. Don’t get me started on that.
• I felt a lot of the time there was spent appeasing others’ fears, and that mine were never addressed. (This is partly my fault.)
• I was extremely grateful to my mom for her care and concern and for contacting you with those concerns. However a part of me was screaming, “If I’m important to him, shouldn’t he want to spend some time with me? Shouldn’t this be his idea?!? Why should we have to tell him that I want time for just the two of us!?! Everybody else has him 365 days a year, and I have missed the past 25 years. I don’t want to make him spend time with me. I want him to want to.” Of course, these thoughts lead me down an emotional tear filled road.
• I enjoyed every minute that we got to spend together. It didn’t matter what we were doing. I was just glad to share the day together.
• Saying good bye to all of you was very difficult.
• I’m still concerned that you will disappear. I’m afraid that if I begin to care about you too much, I will end up hurt when you leave.

I did come up with a few questions:

• What made you decide to try and find me when you tried?
• How do you feel about me?
• Am I what you expected?
• Did you think about me throughout the years?
• Perhaps it would have been difficult to have a relationship while I was growing up, but why didn’t you at least write a letter or letters? (Even if you never mailed them, you could have saved them for a day like last week.)
• Why did you never try to see me after the visit when I was little?

So far, that’s how reunion has felt. I’m glad I did it. I do want a relationship with him. I’m just afraid to place to much stock in it just yet. I guess you can say I’m protecting my heart.

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Published in: on March 21, 2007 at 6:59 am  Comments (6)  

Reunion

My mother and I drive together today to make our way to Florida, where I will reunite with my biological father. I’m not sure there are the right words to describe the tornado I have in myself. We’ve been talking on the phone for the past month, and I really care about him and his family.

So, tomorrow morning, I will be drinking my morning cup of coffee when I meet him and his wife (whom I am so similar to it scares the hell out of me!)

Stories upon my return. Sorry I’ve been so distant, but I’ve been talking for hours each night to bio family! I didn’t think you’d blame me for that!

Published in: on March 10, 2007 at 6:30 am  Comments (4)  

I Feel Guilty

There are so many emotions and thoughts running around in my mind. My bio dad reads my other blog every day, and calls when he wants to talk about something I wrote. It’s nice, and I enjoy talking with him. We talk about three times a week. It’s a great ice breaker. From what I can see his is a doting dad to my sister and a nice guy. Yesterday we chatted about different jobs he’s held in the past, what he does now, and where he is going. I talked with my husband about it after we hung up. Instantly I felt guilty for feeling that I lived a much more priveldged life by living with my mom and dad. It’s a fact though. Socioeconomically we travel in different circles. It doesn’t make us better by any means. It just a difference. There wouldn’t have been trips all over the world if my mother had stayed with him. Rather, we would have struggled our entire life. It’s just strange. This of course does not affect my relationship with him or the type of man he is. It’s just a difference.

My bio dad is a welder, and my long time dad is a nuclear engineer. I would have been raised so differently. It’s interesting to sit and think what my life would have been like had things been different. Now I feel like a spoiled rotten brat for being grateful that things turned out the way they did. However, why wouldn’t I? I love my long time dad, and wouldn’t trade him for the world. Now, I’m just struggling to figure out where bio dad fits into the picture. Perhaps it will all fall into place when we meet. Perhaps not.

Published in: on February 16, 2007 at 5:00 pm  Comments (7)  

Counting Down to Reunion

I am sooo nervous about meeting bio dad. Give me strength to follow through. I have the normal fears…what if he doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like him? What will we talk about? Where will I fit into his life afterwards? Where will he want me to fit? Where will I want to fit? Am I ready to do this? If I ask that question, I will get overwhelmed, and chicken out. So, counting down the days, and hoping for the best!

Published in: on February 14, 2007 at 7:35 am  Comments (6)  

Pleasantly Surprised

Today my mother and I were in a car accident. It’s written about over on my main site. I know that my bio dad reads my blog. He’s told me so. However, I know that he is also busy. So, I wasn’t sure if he read about the accident or not. In the back of my mind I was wondering if he would call? Would he care? What did I expect him to do? I wasn’t even sure. He did call. My husband saw a blocked number, and I was next door visiting my neighbor. So, I didn’t get the message until after he had already gone to bed. Bummer.

He called. He cares.

I am so touched. Our relationship is so new that I never know what to expect. Today made me glow from the inside out.

Every step I take towards establishing this relationship, I make sure to note how it feels. I want to remember this from the child’s point of view. Some day my own child will want to know his roots, and I plan on talking about it from the very begining. I want to remember what is in my heart now, so I can understand how my own child will feel later. It’s not about my parents, but about me. It won’t be about me as a parent, it will be about my child. Do I get a gold star for that?

Published in: on February 9, 2007 at 9:00 pm  Comments (8)  

This I Know

Despite all of the craziness there is one thing I know for sure….

I AM LOVED.

I’m not mad at my family for having a tough time with this. They weren’t adopted. How on Earth could they imagine how it must feel. I can’t blame them for not understanding, if I can’t even explain it to them. It’s my job to help them learn, understand, and work towards accepting. I can’t confront the situation with anger. Rather I should be patient, and give them some grace and time. They wouldn’t worry if they didn’t love me. They wouldn’t be scared if they didn’t love me. They wouldn’t be so torn up if they didn’t love me.

When a parent comes from a place of love, it is hard to be overly upset with them. The fact remains, they are supportive. My mother is footing a hotel bill for a week at $168 a night so I can see bio dad! She wouldn’t do that if she wasn’t supportive and if she didn’t love me. She may not always get it right, but damn do any of us? This is where you learn that forgiveness is better than anger. Giving the benefit of the doubt is better than jumping to conclusions.

These people all love me. Yes, I want to pull my hair out, because there is so much raw emotion and baggage floating around, but the fact is through thick and thin we will be there for each other. That’s what family is. That’s what families do.

Today mom pointed out a gift for bio sister, but she refused to say sister. It was a gift that would be engraved. She said you could always put y’know on it. She couldn’t say sister, but she thought it. That is progress. That shows just how hard she is trying. So, I will choose to focus on that.

Published in: on February 6, 2007 at 4:12 pm  Comments (6)  

Opinions

Why is it that everybody has an opinion on something that really is none of their damn business? I’m ready to pull out every hair on my head. I’m babysitting everybody and their baggage. Brother feels blindsided, and has no clue why I would want to do this. He’s fiercly loyal to long time dad. (Ummm…me too.) Mom is frustrated and running around like a chicken with her head cut off. She’s all kinds of twisty on the inside, but trying to be motherly and supportive. (I wish I could make this easier for her.) Long time dad is insecure and scared. Bio dad is excited and thrilled. Bio grandparents are over the moon. Bio sister is the most excited. (And I find that touching.) I’ve goteen calls from family members all of which are trying to be supportive, but for the life of them can’t figure out why I would do this to myself and family. (How the hell do I explain this?) My long time grandma has been my best ally other than hubby. Long time grandma is actually long time dad’s mother. Who would have guessed she would be the most supportive one in the family?!

Please tell me everybody chills out soon!

I have booked a week to see bio dad with mom in March. I had no way to not have her go. She’s been with me through everything else, and she wants to go. So, I guess I want her there in some ways. Perhaps this will help her heal.

I would kill for some good sleep!

Published in: on February 5, 2007 at 8:41 pm  Comments (6)  

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)  

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)