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)  

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)  

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)