Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thinking aloud

I dropped another letter into the mail for my grandparents on Monday.  I have written them twice in the last 2 1/2 weeks...and the last letter before that was sent in December 2005.  I didn't know it then, but my father had died three months prior.  My grandparents have not responded to any of the three letters.

I realize that my recent letters are very recent and they may be composing their thoughts before responding, but it still begs the question...  What do I do if they don't respond?

I have known for at least eleven years that my father had a son 12-15 years after I was born.  I haven't seriously searched for him for many reasons - one of which is because I don't have one question answered for myself.  Why do I want to seek out someone who is blood related, but I've never had a relationship with?

I can hardly articulate it, but I understand the thoughts that run through an adoptee's mind.  Who did I come from?  How are we similar?  Why did my parent(s) leave me?  Do I ever cross their mind?  Do I matter to them?  Would they like me if they knew me?  Do I have siblings?  If yes, do they know about me?  Do they wonder about me?  Do they know this same lonely feeling of being left?  That last one chokes me up.  It hits one of my nails on its head...  Having also been abandoned by our father, his son is the one person on the planet that I know experienced the same thing I did.  Our dad leaving.  (Although I realize he may have emotionally experienced it much differently, and perhaps he isn't even aware.)

While I do not even know my father's son's full name, of the nearly 7 billion people on the earth, he's the one I don't know but think of specifically and consistently.  He could be in one of my classes or standing beside me in line at the grocery store, and without the knowledge that it's him....he is no one significant.  But if I were to know that he is my father's brother...that somehow changes everything.

Like the day I met my father.  He was just a guy in an airport.  Very tall, thin, red headed, wearing a ball cap, waiting beside the elevator...but I knew that we were a piece of each other and that somehow made him familiar - not a stranger at all.

On one hand that seems illogical.  This brother is someone I've never laid eyes on, but there is an instinctive care and concern...perhaps even love.  This pull towards my stranger-brother....and practically-stranger-grandparents is so hard to wrap my brain around, yet completely understandable at the same time.

If I've learned nothing in the last 2 1/2 weeks, I've learned that time does not stand still...and it eventually runs out.  My dad died while I was waiting.  Are my grandparents even still living?

But...again...why do I want to seek out family members that I have never really known, and some who may not even know I exist?  It is very possible that my brother has no idea about me.

I am really thinking aloud here.  Writing helps me process, and having it here ensures that I will not forget this part of my journey.  As if I could ever forget.  There is such a strong pull towards locating and contacting my father's family members...but there is also fear and uncertainty.

If you are reading this and have a relevant experience you'd like to share, I'm all ears.  I'm not looking for anyone to tell me what I should or should not do, but I would love to hear real stories that deal with the heart of what I'm going through.  Remember?  I'm a support group kind of gal.


Anonymous said...

Thought I would share my experience since it is similar to yours. My Mother gave up a half sister for adoption and in my 30s she looked us up, connected and several years later we have welcomed her and her family into ours. A very blessed experience and it is amazing how much her life was like my Mother's. On my Father's side I had 2 half brothers I never met. They were older(my Mother's age) and I lived within a few miles of them at one point in my life but never took the time to reach out to them. I had cousins that indicated they would like to meet, but I just never followed through. About 3 years ago my Mother told me that the older one had passed away, she saw it in the paper. I thought at that time well I should look up the other brother before it is too late. But I lived in Florida and he in Virginia so I waited. Within 3 months my Mother rang me up with the news the second brother had passed. I really did not have much of a connection with them as my father had abandoned them at a young age and I could only remember seeing my father twice in my lifetime (both by chance). So what am I saying, I met the long lost Sister and it became a good connection. From what I heard the 2 brothers were good men with strong family ties and perhaps a connection with them would have been possible. People pass through our lives quickly my Father left several children that he chose not to raise, support or visit. Maybe my Father left the best part of himself in his 3 sons? If I had been smarter or more complete as a person, I would have reached out to the other 2 brothers. There was nothing to lose and alot to gain. So maybe I am feeling a little inspired to see if there are any nephews or nieces to meet. Maybe it is not too late? Certainly not for you. Good Luck!

The one girl said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate it. If you decide to contact your sister, I would love to hear about it.