Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Baby Steps

He called.
So, I'm in reunion again. Sort of. This time is so different from the first time, which was a headlong rush into relationship. My biological mother and I met each other with open arms. It was clear, from the very first contact, that she wanted to get to know me as much as I wanted to get to know her. And her family, too, greeted me warmly; it was as if a seat at the table had been kept open for me all those years and they had simply been waiting for me to arrive.

Image copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Also, getting to know my original mother was easy because we are both comfortable in the same medium. This thing that I do, processing my life with my fingertips on the keyboard, making sense of my experiences by putting them into written words -- I get that from her. By the time we met each other in person six months after first contact, we had exchanged numerous lengthy letters and emails and already knew so much about each other.

My biological father hates to type, and I have no idea how he feels about being in contact with me. I haven't asked. I'm aware that this process may bring stuff up for him -- emotions from the past that I suspect he hasn't spent a lot of time processing over the years. I hope that ultimately this reunion that I have dragged him into will turn out to be a gift to him too -- that through it he will find some measure of peace with the actions and choices of a 19-year-old boy who, to use his words, handled things badly. I hope he will find a way to lay some things down. But that's not why he's doing it.

He has stepped into this reunion for one reason and one reason only: because I asked him to. I don't underestimate the power of that. It is the gift of yes. I made several specific requests, and he has answered some of them already and is working toward meeting others, including the big request: an eventual face-to-face meeting. He has emailed, called, and sent pictures -- which, when I think about it, is quite a bit already. And though we may be baby stepping, to borrow his words again, we are baby stepping in the direction I asked to go. All in all, it's a pretty good start.

10 comments:

  1. Wow! Things are moving along, even if it is "baby steps" . How are you feeling about everything? What do your girls think of all this? I always wonder how reunions affect the other members of the family.

    hang in there!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Barbara Jean WalshJune 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    I am sooooo excited for you. Just think: Six more aunts and uncles and who knows how many cousins with your cheekbones, allergies, and feet! I always loved being in the middle of that family, and I do so hope you will find a waiting-for-you seat at that table, too. It seems to me that they always did have room for one more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reading this literally gave me chills. I'm so happy things are progressing this way. Men tend to approach reunion much differently because they have so much guilt surrounding relinquishment in the first place. Men grow up having those strong biological urges to parent the kids they've fathered and when they don't that creates as many problems in their psyche as it creates in mothers who relinquish - just different ones. I hope like you that this reunionallows him to process some of this stuff even if that's not why he's doing it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Monika. I'm actually going to respond to this message off-blog ... facebook message or something.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ha! Don't get ahead of yourself -- I haven't been invited to dinner yet! :-p

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, Andy, those aren't easy questions. lol. Emotionally, I would say up and down, but mostly happy and relieved. I mean, he _is_ basically saying yes to all of my requests.

    As for the girls, that's a topic for another post! I actually haven't told them yet, but the reasons why are complicated. Long story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. that is all really WOW. the power of yes. YES.
    what a powerful experience this must be for you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's great to be getting a positive response from your father! What an intense experience this must be...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I can only imagine what that must have been like for you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. NEVERSAIDGOODBYEJune 29, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    I am so glad Rebecca! Sometimes it is better to go slow- I know with my birthdad who did like to type we sent many many lengthy emails for a long time. I am so glad you are sharing this journey on your blog. I was shocked to find the similarities I have with my birthdad and his family! I know my birthmom was very cautious about him hurting me- or ANYONE hurting me as I sought out that part of my family. VERY leary- did not want me to get hurt or for him to reject me. That was a whole other layer because it brought up feelings for her that she had not really dealt with- in regards to him.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...