He missed out on 42 cards and 42 ties. He missed the day I took my first step, said my first word, hit my first ball, dated my first girl, married my first(and only) wife, had my first two(and only two) kids, and I’m not sure he even knew the opportunities he was missing.
My biological father had an affair with my biological mother, a coworker. My mother had me, gave me up for adoption, and never said anything else about me or their affair. I am not sure he knew anything about me, although working with a woman you had “relations” with and seeing her stomach swell would cause some concern, you would think. The beauty of the mind is it can create connections, make up stories, and absolve us of any responsibility. Since my biological mother was married, who’s to say the increase in belly circumference wasn’t due to her husband.
So maybe he didn’t know or didn’t want to know. After all, my non-identifying information that I received from the adoption agency tells me he already had children of his own from his own marriage. Therefore, maybe he already had enough ties, saw enough first steps, heard enough first words, witnessed enough first dates, weddings, grand kids and opportunities. Why would or should one more mean anything?
Because it was mine.
Over those 42 Father’s days, I can’t say I thought a lot about my biological father. That statement does not come from a bitter corner of my heart and is not said to inflict retaliatory pain. It is said honestly and matter-of-factly. The emotion that should be connected to this person was never planted so it never grew and that is a shame. Every now and then I run back to that little patch of heart-space where that feeling should be hoping the beginnings of something will show; hoping a small, tiny, curled up leaf will be breaking through the flesh of my heart right next to my right coronary artery or from underneath my left anterior descending artery.
Logically, it makes sense. How can I feel a connection to something I never had a connection with. But hope and the fact that so many have that connection to their biological father makes me stroll by that place straining to see the first sign of growth from this germinating seed.
This week I reached out to test this absence of feeling. I wrote a check and signed the paperwork to begin the process of locating my biological father. Since his co-worker/my biological mother never shared with anyone his name, no one but the adoption agency knows his name. To get his name, that was typed out clearly by a manual type writer and added to MY file that I can’t get access to, I had to petition the probate court of Wayne County, Michigan to allow access to MY file. Once that was done, the court gave access to MY file, to a court appointed intermediary, an unrelated third party, who will open my file, get MY biological father’s name and begin the search. Although, the intermediary is appointed by the court, she is paid by me. Last Wednesday, I wrote the check and signed the agreement to move forward in this unjust process.
Now I wait and calculate and strategize. I calmly run through possible scenarios like a pilot would run through a checklist prior to a flight.
If he’s alive and willing to meet, request a meeting.
—–If the meeting goes well…
—–If the meeting doesn’t go well…
If he’s alive and unwilling to meet, hope shrivels and dies; the heat too intense for survival.
—–Hope could still live in another relative that wants to meet.
If he’s dead, request a death certificate, search for an obituary tied to the name that is now released because dead people can’t object to their privacy being violated. In the obituary search for names of relatives and reach out to them; knowing I maybe the one who has to tell someone their father, brother, uncle, cousin had an affair 43 years ago. Request a meeting.
—–If that meeting goes well…
—–If that meeting doesn’t go well…
The possibilities branch out like roots from a tree moving and sprawling in every direction; over and back, reaching and clawing for room to grow.
My hope is that through the stress, as I plod forward in a mechanical and logical way, a connection to my DNA will water and feed that small dark and cold place in my heart. My hope continues. From the stressful search, I will find someone who looks like me, acts like me, and someone who will accept me; be excited to find me. Someone who was looking for me. Someone who…
Hope quickly grows into fantasy as it has since I can remember. As a child, the thoughts of who I came from rode on my stream of consciousness and this simple question evolved in to an elaborate secret fantasy. A fantasy that over the years got pushed further and further in to that dark corner because no one shared it with me. No one came looking for me. No one spoke about it in my home. I assume because they thought it would bring up too much pain. But ignoring my reality probably created more pain than was ever tied to this small seed. So I danced alone with this elaborate secret fantasy for many years and as most children do, I grew out of the need for this imaginary relationship; frustrated with a relationship that only took and never gave. I filed it away but occasionally I would return but never spending much time with it.
Now I’ve come to a point where I just want it resolved. I want a real story and not fantasy. The unworthiness that attaches itself to adoption tries to convince me I don’t need this or I shouldn’t be entitled to answers. But my ever-evolving, I-deserve-more-attitude pushes through to find more of me in those answers.
The unstoppable ball is in motion and soon the answer will come and I’m not sure how I will respond, if at all. Maybe, I’ll find him alive and he will want to meet and at that meeting, I can give him a Father’s day card and 43 ties…
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