Friday, March 23, 2012

Five for Friday: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle That Is Me

I haven't written much about my biological father on this blog. Of all of my parents, biological or adoptive, he is the one who lives closest to me geographically (if I started driving now, I could be on his doorstep in a few hours), but I've never met him or spoken with him. I sent him a letter a few years ago; he didn't respond. At the time, I was a bit ambivalent about whether or not I wanted contact and, as a result, my attempt was half-hearted at best. He likely picked up on my ambivalence. I think I wrote something like "If you would like to contact me here's how," but I didn't say that I would like him to do so. I'm considering making a second attempt; this time with a clearer request for contact and an explanation of the reasons why I would like to hear from him.

In the meantime, here's a twist on my Five for Friday theme: 

Five Things I Know About My Biological Father:

1) He wore a white a jacket and black bowtie to my biological mother's Junior Prom. (The only photo I have ever seen of him was taken at that event.)
2) He is of Swedish and Danish descent.
3) He had a stutter that went away when he sang. (This information is courtesy of my first mother.)
4) In the 2000 presidential campaign, he donated money to the same candidate as I did. (This information is courtesy of Google. Yes, I've Googled him. Wouldn't you?)
5) He owns a sailboat. (Also Google.)

I write all of this with a certain emotional distance that belies a deep well of emotion underneath. Reaching out to my biological father -- really reaching out, in a way that does not cushion myself for rejection by half rejecting him first -- will require vulnerability on my part. (Reaching out to my first mother was easier, though still terrifying, because she had signed up with a reunion registry, thus letting me know that she was open to being found.) Am I ready to take the risk? I'm really not certain, and I may never get to full certainty, but the pull to know that part of myself that I can only discover through knowing him is growing stronger.

6 comments:

  1. Wishing you the best in this. I come from the mindset that I'd rather know then not know. So I say go for it, but in the end it's all about how you feel because you are the person who has to live with it.

    My reunion with my first mother was reduced to holiday emails. They were half a line. Like "Merry Christmas! -N" It was horrible. So I reached out and asked her to meet me. I made sure that I explained why it was so important to me. And she agreed. You never know what's going to happen if you reach out again.

    Good luck no matter what you pick!

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  2. Barbara Jean WalshMarch 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I think about this often. I always thought he would be as excited to know you as I am. I see so much family resemblance in MacKenzie's face, and I have so many happy memories of hanging out in his family's house with a herd of kids running through it any time of day or night. His silence is a puzzlement. (He didn't answer my letter either.)

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  3. Great blog Rebecca! We did a show recently on birth fathers. Many times people completely forget that he is part of the triad. I understand your ambivalence as much as I can as an adoptive mom. I cannot pretend to understand all the feelings that go with it. Having to one day assist my little ones in their individual searches, I am thankful for having your blog and resources to shed light on the adoptee perspective. www.familybydesignadoption.com

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  4. I wish you the best. I know that fear of reaching out.. Hang in there!

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  5. Rebecca - would he show up on the 1940 Census so you could trace your ancestry? 1940 is being released at the beginning of April - may help you to make the decision. The release date is April 2nd but not sure when ancestry.com would have them all available - you could do a free trial.

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  6. Hoping for the best for you in trying to connect with him!

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