Saturday, November 7, 2009

Belated Birth Father Visitation Post



I haven't posted for a month, and it's the first time I've neglected my blog like this. It feels awful, but I have been incredibly busy and sick, dear readers. So I hope you haven't given up on me. I just needed to attend to a few other things, like my new job that is kicking my butt, and these viruses that are kicking my immune system's butt.

ALSO.
Also, my birth dad came to visit me for the first time ever. Yep.
Yeah, that's him up there in the picture standing next to me. I'd love to hear from you whether you think we look alike. He claims I am a spitting image of him and the rest of the fam.

So, you might ask, was his visit a big event for me? Yes. Yes it was. Was I freaking out? Oh, just a bit. Why? It's hard to explain.

But that's what I want to write about because that's what everyone wants to know about this business of being an adult who was adopted as a newborn under the closed adoption system. What's it like to meet a parent you've never known, a parent who (at least claims he) never knew you existed, and to try to strike up a relationship with him? Especially when that parent is a 65 year old politically conservative male cattle rancher who runs a heavy equipment leasing business, and you are a youngish-middle-aged, super lefty female college professor and writer who has no business sense whatsoever? But there is some spark of recognition between us, and there's a drive to know one another, to understand what we mean to each other and what we have in common.

The real problem is that there's no map.
Francis and I are Lewis and Clark stuck in a canoe together with nothing to help us navigate but an overused spotting scope and some old inkpens.

One thing I learned about him during this visit is that he's a pretty quiet man. or maybe this quietness is a new thing--he's had some pretty serious health problems during the last year, and I can't help but wonder if they have changed him. He seems more forgetful, more reticent than the first time I met him (about a year ago), when he seemed gregarious, loquacious, forthcoming. Which one is the real him? I wonder if I'll ever know who he really is or who he has been all these years that I didn't have the chance to know him.

Another thing I learned about him during this visit is that he's really into geneaology, which would explain his interest in me. He even asked to see baby pictures of me! Too bad he asked for them when he was on his way to the airport to depart, but it's a start.

So, do you think we look alike? (Maybe just in my baby pics?)

4 comments:

The Golden Papaya said...

Sorry to hear that you've been sick. Hope you're feeling better.
That is big news that your bio dad came to visit. I don't see much resemblance. Maybe I'd have to see the baby pics.
Glad to see you posting again!

JBH said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better! And glad that YOU brought up the "look-alike" question...

It's weird how I'm so "programmed": whether it's because of society/human nature to find visual cues for tribal groupings OR it's because I'm an adoptee constantly searching for a person who looks similar to myself, but the first thing I do with a family picture is to look and see if there are similarities! So, I wasn't going to bring it up - but I'm glad that you opened the door:-)

I DO think I see similarities - in your eyes and smile.:-)

Andrea said...

p.s. I totally agree with JBH that my eyese and smile are like my birthdad's. I also agree that we adoptees are always looking for resemblance.

Lola Canola said...

I think you look alike. The nose and mouth....the eyes too!