Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thoughts on talking with my "Biological Father"....

I've only started this post about 10 times....can't seem to get past the first line....

I have very mixed emotions about speaking with my biological father (who I will refer to as Dennis from now on).  Since I was seven (I remember before that age that there was a name change but I didn't "comprehend" what was going on until I was around seven) I have known I was adopted (given my dad's last name) by my dad.  Though, through my childhood and even teenage years, I tried to make that an issue I always knew my dad loved me and considered me his own.  The hardest part was knowing that Dennis existed and I had never met him.  Now that it's been 30 years I can understand that there was just a "void" in my life that needed some kind of filling....
As I grew up I often wondered who Dennis was.  Did I look like him? Act like him?  Did I have any other brothers or sisters?  Would my life have been different with him?  I'm not sure at what point my mom told me that he had been accused of rapping a 14 year old girl but when I was told that it hit me like a brick wall.  Once highschool was over and my first year of college was through I remember riding with my mom and asking her what she though of me trying to find Dennis.  She was clearly not "ok" with it but said she understood my desire and told me things that had happened while she was married to him. He was very controlling, a pathological liar and cared only about himself.  I saw the hurt she experienced and put the nagging feeling of trying to find him behind me.  Once married life seemed to speed up and I was to busy working or trying to not be sick to think about finding Dennis.  The internet became more and more reliable and I remember looking his name up and finding some addresses and phone numbers.  I would talk to Tim about finding Dennis.  Tim always supported my decision in this area.  He would always tell me "I can't tell you what you should do but either way I will support you"....
About 6 months ago, Tim was out of town on business and something in me made me look up Dennis' name again.  I found an obituary that his mother had passed away and within the obituary it had listed his name, his sons name (who is older than me), and his brothers and sisters. I called my mom and asked her about Dennis' son and she said she knew of him.  As I read her the obituary she told me about Dennis' mom and dad, his brother and his sisters.  The more she talked the more confused I was about what I should do.  My mom would never tell me I can't find him.  She just gave me warning after warning and experience after experience that it was almost "dangerous" to find him.  She knew how he was and what he was like and was terrified about bringing that kind of danger into my life.  I respected that.  My mom doesn't sugar coat anything and I appreciate that about her.  I talked to Tim for a while that same night and confided in our good friend Rich who has a similar story of adoption (he found his biological mother ) and went off of the words of encouragement he gave me.  I put the nagging feeling behind me once again because I knew I was not ready to handle these emotions that would come with the call. 
Wednesday, July 13, 2011, my dad calls to talk.  We spend 3 hours talking.  This is the longest I've talked to my dad on the phone in my life! It makes me smile just thinking about it.  Within our conversation my dad brings up Dennis' son and asks me if I've tried to contact him.  I told him no and told him I was a little to nervous to bring that into my life.  He said it had been 30 years and people change.  That was the end of the discussion but the nagging feeling was there, again, and I couldn't stop ignoring it anymore.  That night I called several of the numbers that were listed and finally a lady answered.  I asked for Dennis and she told me he didn't live there but that she was his mother in law.  I froze.  The thoughts of "what if she doesn't know about me, what if I ruin this for him" were flooding me.  I asked if I could have a number to reach him and she said she could give him mine.  I told her my name and she said "How do you know him?" I told her he knew my mother.  Little did I know, she knew exactly who I was.  I didn't hear from Dennis that night nor the next day....until around 8pm.  My phone rang and when I looked at the number I knew it was him.  I answered and He asked for me....and told me it was him.  I asked him if he knew who I was and he said yes, he knew I was his daughter.  I won't go into detail about our entire one hour conversation, but I will tell you that my guard was up, I saw a few red flags go up, and the nagging feeling is no longer there.  I don't know how this will turn out in the end.  I'm glad I got to talk with him, I'm glad he is doing well and I'm sure he's glad to know I'm doing well.  There are some major concerns but that is what I expected....
What I am so thankful for is my mom who protected me all those years ago to make sure I wouldn't have to go through such a scary life.  I'm thankful for my dad, who is confident enough to know, that no one could replace the love I have for him.  He is my dad and will always be my dad.  I gave my dad a pocket watch one fathers day and I had it engraved with "Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad". 
Just another chapter in my life....

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