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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.