Poor Fella

I guess the man is just plum dumbfounded as to what to say. He called me on his way to work for a few minutes to say he got the information about my surgery. He said he read through all of it, and asked if I really knew that much information about it. I actually laughed, and said, “Sadly, I do.” He really was confused on whether the surgery was a good thing or bad thing, and that definitely complicates picking up the phone to call. Ahhh, I see now.

Perhaps I need to be a bit more basic when I speak to people. Have you heard a doctor give a seminar to people who aren’t medical professionals? They continue to use the jargon and manerism that accompy their occupation. However, the information often falls on deaf ears, because it isn’t in words the listener understands. That could be what is happening here. I’m not saying I need to dumb down what I’m saying, but rather be mindful of the audience’s knowledge base. I needed to say, this surgery is a good thing. That would help people. I need to be clear on the fact that while I’m nervous, I still feel that medically it is beneficial. So, now that I know that, it should be easier to bridge this giant chasm between the two of us.

I need to bear in mind that our worlds are completely different, and that under normal circumstances we probalby would never have the opportunity to meet much less know one another personally. Despite this fact, the circumstances aren’t normal and we must find some form of common ground. Dear God, please let us find one soon. Food? Nope, totally opposite. Music? Ha, not even close. Entertainment? We both like movies, but my husband and I rarely watch them. Hobbies? Not remotely similar. Books? I read, he doesn’t. Interests? Polar opposites.

If I had been raised by this man, people surely would have asked me if I was adopted. (Yes, I know, we would have had more in common if that was the case, but you get what I’m saying.)

So, tomorrow is his birthday, and I will call tonight to wish him well and happy 50th. I did get him an rediculously expensive watch in honor of the big FIVE-OH. He’s on the phone tree list to call post surgery, and he knows as much. He seemed appreciative. So, let’s home most of this crap is just due to a bunch of new beginnings clumsiness and not par for the course.

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Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 8:35 am  Comments (6)  

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.

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

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)  

More

My Reality said this a few days ago. I’d be happy to answer.

“How fantastic! All of it! I am glad that everything just feels right. I am glad your mom took this well and I think Mel might be right about the “I did this” vs. the “I am considering this.”

I hope that things continue to go well. Any plans for meeting up with your bio dad? I am still curious – how did you find your bio grandparents? I know how overwhelming this can all be, so when things calm down, maybe you can fill in some blanks for me!”

Yes, I formed plans to meet bio dad today. I think I will go after my foster to adopt classes are done. It is perfect timing for my newly found sister’s birthday. She turn seven. My grandparents will be visiting then too. So, I guess I will get to meet the whole darn family at once. At this point the plan is to rent a car (we only have one and a motorcycle. It’s too cold for hubby to ride right now, and he has to go to work. Not enough time off right now), and possibly stay with them. I am contiplating the first few days staying in a hotel. Just until we all know each other well enough. Of course this will cause an uproar with my mother. She doesn’t want me driving the ten hours alone. She also thinks I will need emotional support. She wants to go. She said I could have the evenings with them, and during the day she and I could sight see. My dad vetoed that idea. Sooo, I guess we’ll see.

I used the internet to find bio grandparents. I went here, and here.. It wasn’t too difficult, because there are the only ones that came up in the search. I had three phone numbers that came in a report that I paid for. I called the first one, and it was disconnected. The second number rang and rang. The third number, bio grandparents answered. It was an awkward situation after that. We worked our way through that.

I have now had several conversations with bio grandparents and bio dad. Oooh, and two conversations with little bio sister! It still feels strange to have to write bio in front of things. I find I do it for my family, and not for myself. Yes, my dad is my dad. I just view it as now I have two dads. It doesn’t negate everything that my dad and I have gone through. It simply validates the fact that my bio dad is also a dad. Sooo complicated. I’m swimming in the see of unknown. My bio dad’s wife had her ovaries removed, due to a long family history of ovarian cancer. Her doctor suggested she remove them. She just lost her mother last year due to ovarian cancer. So, she followed his advice, and the stirrup queen in me was sad for her. I know she wanted more children. However, she sighed and said to bio dad last night that she is happy that she now has two daughters and she’s glad bio sister won’t be an only child per se anymore. I was touched. The mama bear in my mother would be ready to kill. I can hear her snarling now, “She’s not your mother! I’m your mother!” Yup, I know. Doesn’t stop me from feeling very moved that she is so welcoming and loving.

Any other questions? My head is just floating with things. Must put feet back on floor. It’s that whole honeymoon phase.

Oh, and Mel was right. I think my mother is better with “it is” as opposed to “it will.” 🙂 Very astute!

Published in: on February 4, 2007 at 1:46 pm  Comments (3)  

A Whole Lot of Information

Ok, pardon the lists, but it has been one hell of a week.

1. I told my mother. I decided that I have made my decision to pursue this, and I need to accept the consequences. More over, I need to help her understand why I want to walk down this road. She shocked me. She wasn’t over the moon thrilled, but she understood and said she’d support me. Wow! She stepped up to the plate in a major way. She also dug out old photos that she kept in the safe, and turned them over to me. I give her major credit for all of this. It must be hard for her and my dad.

2. I spoke again with my bio grandparents. They were soooo excited! We laughed and chatted for an hour or so. I sent them a very nice bound photo album with pictures from the past few years. My mom said that we could gather an assortment of pics form my childhood and send them to them.

3. My bio dad called yesterday. I about died. We talked for over an hour, and I’m still speachless. He emailed me pictures of him, his wife, and my sister. He has never kept me a secret…not even from his daughter. I feel so blessed right now.

4. I called them this morning due to major storms in their area last night. They have no power, but are ok. I talked to my sister. I still can’t get over the fact that she is six and I am twenty seven. I guess that just means I get to be there and experience her life as it happens.

So, I’m so scatter brained right now that coming up with a coherent post is impossible. I’m so excited, scared, thrilled, happy, insert any other adjective you can think about. Crazy! My world just feels right.

Published in: on February 2, 2007 at 10:10 am  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)  

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)