Wednesday, December 2, 2009

hey ryan

where do you lurk online? what do you think about, relate to enough, get reved up enough about that you leave a comment on a blog post? have you ever felt such a surge that you found your comment turning into its own blog post?

well my friends, im inviting you in.

i tend to leave personal comments to personal blog posts, which i guess is the point since the author has opened up, touched on the topic, so it fits. my personal ramblings can be found in the comments of blogs that include much better written blogs by BHJ and a Million Universes, for instance. as im sure many of you can relate, i consider some of these blogs and the actual humans behind them as my little online family. people i relate to that i only know online. people i have somehow found, in this world, that i seem to relate to. not in a creepy way, freaks. in a wow! cool! hey there (waves)! sorta way. in this particular instance i started to leave a comment on Pacing The Panic Room and his post entitled Grandpa. I encourage you to head over there and check out Ryan (<= link to previous post) and his awesome blog of photography. This post was timed for me. Im convinced. So as I wrote my short reply, it turned into a monster all about ME and not really at all to him, and so i decided just to cut and paste the whole thing here and avoid the embarrassment of hiding behind other peoples blogs.

here we go:

hey ryan,

this post hit a soft spot. i am also in the god-awful process of trying to navigate which connections to make, hold on to or reestablish in my own Family. at this point i am actually more estranged than connected. being adopted and then having parents divorce in my effing 30s has way spun my mind.

in my early 20s i met my birthmother, 1/2 sister, a houseful of relatives who all look exactly like me, talked like me, were artistic and creative - like me! My grandfather came from across the country to meet me one summer. He said he loved me and was so happy to meet me. It was nice really nice. And then I came home. And then I was sad, and then really angry for never having the chance to have that love and support my whole life. people that looked like me. guilt and anger brewed from having to hide it from my adopted family since my effing father & his family would not accept that reunion. so i stopped communicating with the biological side. the guilt was too much for me, in this case. it still is. now i feel bad for NOT talking to them, but guilty towards my other family for wanting and perhaps needing to know the blood side. oh life! damn catch 22.

then there is the father thing. i have never met my birthfather. he does not know i exist. i have his name, thats it. product of a one night stand. classic or what? its naturally totally effing complicated as well. my adoptive father (who i call dad)and i have not spoken in 11 months. there. i said it. he lives 5 minutes down the road. he sent me a letter telling me he was getting remarried to his mistress of 3 years (who he left my mother for 10 days after our wedding) a birthday card in May to say Enjoy Your Day, and not a single phone call. i so have no time for that BS. so, i have to figure out if i want to find out where i come from. i know 1/2, and that hasnt turned out so shit hot, but i have answers, right? dont we all want to know where we come from and how we fit into the long chain of evolution? i surely do. maybe that comes from feeling so disconnected my entire life, to now being 37 and saying eff the wondering, lets find this shit out and deal with it. you know, slay some of those dragons.

so to stay or to go? it does come down to what some others mentioned in the comments - regret. but dont look at it like that. look at it from 20 years from now and what THAT ryan would feel with either choices. think of the discussions and examples you want to set for LB and the Tangerine - and especially Cole. But most of all for YOU. Do you want to let your life be guided with love - as hokey as that is - or with hate. You can choose. You can tell your kids that you met your grandfather and gave that a chance. You can be different than your parents.

Holy Shit. I think I need to find my father.


The Panic Room said...

you know one of my best friends in the world just found her father who she had never met via facebook. Well I should say her mom found her father, from a similar situation that you described. She had never seen a picture, heard from him, nothing. Now she was talking to him thru FB messages. too weird. It has been really interesting to hear how she is processing it all. I am not sure she has even been able to make heads or tales of it. The one thing that was the craziest was how much they looked alike. I think that alone has to be stunning. Just to see one another.

I think Cole and I are going to MS for sure. Thanks for the message/post

be sure to follow up if you seek out your father.

oldskoolkid said...

Hi Leel :) Hope you get whatever it is your looking for if you do look/find your birth father. I know your pain..although at the moment I doon't care a flying leaf about mine.. maybe its because Im a bit younger than you. Also wanna add, my grandma lives 5 minutes from me and its a shame I hardly ever see her..this DID give me some motivation to go out and visit her. Time is NOT forever.

firstofmany said...

I am also adopted and right off the bat, know that I should probably go make my own blog posting, but I really really want to respond.

It's all so complicated these feelings about birth parents and adopted parents and not looking like anyone else in the family and remembering the adopted family members that could be heard whispering when we came to visit, and the list of hurt and heartache goes on and on. But, as an adult, so does the appreciation for giant sacrifices made by my adopted family to bring an orphaned 8 year old into their home, disrupt their family order, and burden themsleves with a distraught child that wanted to sleep all the time because there in her dreams, her previously adopted mother was alive and would take her to the movies and tell her secrets, and that everything was going to be O.K.

Now is probably as good a time as any to mention that I was adopted as an infant, adopted parents died, and then I was adopted again by people that I remembered meeting once. I had always been told they would take care of me if anything "happened" and in retrospect I feel I was always being prepared to leave, to go, to fit in anywhere, to make my life somewhere else.

My feelings about finding my birth parents change; between 16 and 25, I was adamant that I must find them and I was certain that they would love me and when they saw what a wonderful person I had become they would be so regretful they had ever let me go, we'd all cry and live happily ever after. At 26 I found someone that loves me, got more family legend about the circumstances of my beginnings, and I realized that I could have been contacted at anytime if they loved me and wanted me, and all signs indicated some serious disfunction had played into their decisions; I registered on the adoption registery and found that I was most satisfied and content with the family that I had chosen over the previous 10 years. Now, as I near 50, I realize that soon, opportunity to meet my birth family will be lost and I waiver in my confidence with the decision to just be available IF anyone wants to contact me.

I wish you happiness Leely, in whatever you decide. I wish you strength and courage. And I wish you loving kindness for yourself, for your birth parents, and for your adopted parents.

leel said...

hey guys. thanks so much for all your comments. it is really nice to share this, for once, and i am glad i have opened up a bit about this part of ME that i dont ever reveal. with that being said, i will definitely keep posting any decisions i make either way. this is something ive been dealing with my whole life, naturally, and am generally paralized by fear when i think of the answers that lie behind so many of my questions. so i am considering the options, and thinking about my choices. Anyway, thanks so much for your well wishes, warmth and friendship. It has truly made this so much easier

@ThePanicRoom - I think its great you and Cole are planning to go to MS. Personally, i tend to prefer taking action and finding out things rather than sit on them and wonder my whole life. Plus, I think its generally good human behavior. I wish you well in that process and hope it brings you any answers you require. Ok, I also happen to selfishly hope there are more jumping pictures, i can admit that too.

Thanks for sharing your friends story - I found my birthmother during the prehistoric dawn of e-mail, the late 90s, so the options of communicating were via good oldfashioned handwritten letter. I can only imagine what she is experiencing with that monster Facebook. I wish her well in her journey as well. Let her know she can contact me at any time with regards to adoption issues etc. There isnt much out there in regards to literature and studies, since this is only a recent topic discussed. i do have a few resources she might want to check out and would be happy to help in any way I can, simply by saying I can relate a bit. Thanks again. Always looking forward to reading and seeing what you are up to. Honestly. :)

@oldskoolkid - thanks so much for coming over and sharing here. like you, i havent really wanted to find out my paternal side of things. until recently, when i had been asked what my family health history was and was told to maybe seek it out did i really start to consider finding anything out. Like i touched on in the post, I did reuinite with my mom and the maternal side, but with that being as stressful as it has been has made me shy about showing up on some poor guys doorstep and saying Hi! I dont REALLY want to know you so much as get some answers, but Im your daughter. I mean really. DRAMA is not a thing I enjoy. Anyway, Im glad you were inspired to think about seeing your own grandma, and im sure Ryan from Pacing the Panic Room who inspired this whole thing would be supportive of that too. Well done, and thanks pal!

@thefirstofmany - thanks lovey. your comment is so appreciated. knowing there are others out there who wonder and have confusing family histories/realities helps me feel like im not alone. that is huge. thank you for sharing it with me, here. losing your parents at 8 and losing that family must have been a shock to your little soul. wow. i remember how i felt at 8, and i would not have reacted well that at ALL. i am so truly sorry for your havinng to suffer that loss, from one adoptee to another. so, now im not sure what to do, as you can tell, but i just want to not have any more questions about the whole paternal side when i can take the time and find out. i mean really. the wondering is not helping my sanity, so why not wait? oh yah, because the outcome might REALLY make things confusing for my poor brain and heart. Just so many people to fit in.

peace and contentment to you all!

Dia said...

Your comment about not wanting to just show up on some guy's doorstep reminded me of a friend whose oldest daughter wrote him out of the blue - & tho he knew about her, didn't realize he was the dad!
It was a brief relationship in his late teens, & another friend had also dated the birth mom - 'everyone' assumed the other fellow was the dad! The girl was adopted as an infant, & was in her mid 20s when she began the quest to find her parents - the birth mom had recently died (Cancer?).
He has two younger kids, who were eager to meet their sister, & after a rocky start (the girl was pretty angry with him, & he was pretty confused - what would he have done if he'd known that the baby was his?) they've kept in touch. She lives overseas, & they went over for her wedding.
Several other friends have recently connected with birth parents or children they gave up for addoption - my sense is to approach it with curiosity, openness, & good boundaries!
Good luck!


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