Poor Reviews For Addie’s Story

As most of you have noticed, I don’t write about my personal experience with adoption much here.  There is a reason for that.  I don’t know what my personal experience with adoption really is.

I know what I experienced, but I don’t know why it happened.  I’ve never assumed that I know others motivations.  Without knowing why people did things, I don’t feel like I can give an accurate account of my own experience.  

I’ve heard the stories surrounding my adoption.  They don’t make sense to me.  I know the players, the time line, the basic events.  I just don’t know their motivations.  It’s like a movie without direction.  There is a story, but there is nothing to make me care about the characters.  It comes off as one dimensional.  

There would be no Academy Award nominations for anyone involved in my adoption biopic.  The actors all seem to be totally without conviction.  They speak of desires, regrets, and deep feelings, but come off cold.  It’s as if they are only reciting.  

Maybe they had told to the story too many times before I could ask.  Maybe it was over rehearsed.  

It is hard to pull off a piece where the title character doesn’t speak.  It leaves the other characters to struggle for relevance.  It is easy for the actor to forget that it really is about them, not the title character.  They forget that it’s all about their reaction to the situation.  The title character is only a catalyst.  They approach the role not realizing that it’s an ensemble piece.  It makes for a poor performance. 

Whatever the reason, I am unmoved.  

If I had known, I would have never taken the role.

Fathers Day

Ah Fathers Day,  brought to you by Craftsman Tools, Hallmark Cards, and the American Necktie Marketing Institute.  That one day when dads reign supreme.  The day when no one messes up the Sunday paper and mom serves dad’s favorite for dinner.  We couldn’t have mom using up all of our discretionary gift giving income, now could we?

As an adoptee this day should be big for me.  I have two fathers.  I should be concerned with how I’m going to divide my between my two dads.  Be rushing around trying to find just the right present for both of them, wondering if I can get away with getting them both the same thing.  But it’s not quite like that for me.

As my constant readers are aware, I’ve got a whole lot of dad in my adoptive father.  To describe him as a strong personality is an understatement.  He’s hard to buy a gift for.  One can only have so many flashlights shaped like a large mouth bass and lifetime subscriptions to UFO Journal (they ARE among us).  I’m always at a loss for Fathers Day gifts for him, but I’m at even more of a loss when it comes to my natural father.

I have no idea if my natural dad is into fishing, UFOs, or the Chicago Cubs.  I don’t know him.  There was a time that I thought I knew who he had been.  I was told by my natural sister (mom’s side obviously) that he was a man that had died many years ago.  After my n-sister found that I had contacted his family, I was told that it couldn’t have possibly been him, and in this she was honest.  Upon further questioning, all I could discover is that he was most probably “some guy named Eldon”.  Apparently “some guy named Eldon” had a family and they must be protected at all costs, though she didn’t know him well enough to recall his last name.

My sister’s devotion to this guy named Eldon is incredible.  I cannot imagine depth of feeling involved that would make you choose Eldon and his family over a blood relative.  All I can come up with is this Eldon must be a hell of a guy.  Heck, I’m feeling kind of left out, he is my dad after all.  If Eldon has the power to inspire someone who can’t even remember his last name to silence for over 40 years, I think he might be able to handle meeting me.   Maybe if Sis thinks this would come as too much of a shock for this guy named Eldon, I should inform her that I am fully trained in CPR.

I can’t see any other reason why Sis would be protecting Eldon.  It couldn’t possibly be about appearances, after all she had nothing to do with any of it.  She surely couldn’t be so embarrassed about her bastard sister to think that it would reflect on her so many years later.  She couldn’t be thinking that Eldon and his family are more important than me.   I’m pretty sure Eldon didn’t do anything for her, other than make a big impression.  She couldn’t be that self conscious or uncaring could she?

I’m an optimist, and like to think the best of people, so I’m going to go with my “this guy named Eldon must be a hell of a guy” theory.

I wonder what Eldon would like for Fathers Day?

Be Aware

National Adoption Awareness Month.

I’m familiar with adoptee awareness. I have always felt like I needed to be very aware of what was going on around me. It was too easy to get blind sided by someone’s reaction to what I thought was an innocent remark or movement.

I wonder about that.

You know the feeling when you meet someone and you instantly have a connection? Maybe it’s something about their voice, their movements, just something that you can’t quite put your finger on? There is just something compatible between you. There’s no way to predict this, it just is. Compatibility, attraction, chemistry.

Or maybe you meet someone you instantly dislike. It’s not something they have said, what they are wearing, it’s just a feeling. Somehow you are put off. Sometimes no amount of trying to set these feelings aside can make you feel comfortable around them. Incompatibility, unease, chemistry.

These things just happen. There is something buried deep within us that makes us feel this way. Exposure to one you are compatible with can lead to great friendship or even love. In my experience, many of my dearest relationships were formed almost instantly. It just felt right from the very beginning. The same thing can be said of those who I instantly disliked. I have either struggled to maintain a relationship, usually because my well being or income depended on it, or just avoided them all together in order not to make an enemy.

The relationships that I have struggled with the most are those with my adoptive family. That feeling of instant connection just was never there. No real connection grew with time. We were all forced into a very strange relationship where we had to try to care for each other. It reminds me of when I was a child, other children would talk about not really liking their cousins, but they had to love them because they were cousins. That’s not quite the feeling but it’s close.

With so much pressure from within both my adoptive family members, and myself, to make things work, it just never did. I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, it was just, and still is, very uncomfortable for us all. I should love them, they should love me. It should work.

It just doesn’t.

We find each other maddening.

I can recognize this for what it is now. When I was a child, I could not. I don’t think that my adoptive family really ever will recognize what’s going on. They won’t recognize that the chemistry just isn’t there.

I’m no longer careful about my movements or words around them. If they don’t like me, it’s their turn to struggle with it. I’m not bad, I’m not mean, I’m just not compatible.

Fairy Tales

Cinderella has got nothing on me. Evil step sisters…Pfffft……….right.

If evil step sisters were all I had to deal with, my life would be a fairy tale. Somehow I’ve drawn the evilest set of a and b sisters imaginable.

The a-sisters aren’t actually dangerous or evil, they are only rude, dismissive, and shallow. My B-sisters, that’s where the true evil lies. And lies. And lies.

In the past I had been prone to trying to explain away all the lies my b-sister told me as a defense she used to deal with what she may have been through, or a way to overcome societal pressures that still seemed so predominate in her mind. After this last episode, I will no longer give her this consideration. I will make myself see her as she is. An evil and uncaring woman who will do anything to protect the lies that she has based her life on.

I care for her reasons for doing what she did no more than she cares for me.

There was a time, before I started my search, that I thought of myself as unique, as not being tied to any other person on the Earth in any kind of biological way. Then I found people who looked like me, talked like me, and all this changed. I felt that at least in a distant way I was part of something.

I think that I’ll go back to thinking of myself as unique. They may look like me, talk like me, but they cannot be like me. I am made of better stuff than that. I do not have it in myself to do to anyone what that woman did to me.

So I will go on as I did for many years before, an orphan, unique, and without ties. Maybe thinking of myself that way for so many years made me into a better person. Maybe only having to answer to the mirror, not some past that I had no responsibility in, made me stronger. I don’t know.

I do know that I am not evil.