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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ask An Adoptee: Married First Parents

I have often wondered how adoptees feel about learning that their first parents have married after giving them up? Would you be comfortable elaborating more on that?

My adoption file was very confusing for me.  I assumed that nobody ever knew who my father was because my adoptive parents never said anything about him.  Yet there he was on my non-identifying information.  And his family didn't know about me.  So I assumed I was the product of a one night stand (Turns out my mother hid her pregnancy, he was in basic training for the army reserves so wasn't around, and while she saw his family all the time, nobody ever realized she was pregnant with me).

When I went searching, I looked for my first mother.  I had her first name and birthday (as well as his first name and birthday).  I sent away for a report that would tell me all the people with that name and birthday born in the state.  I figured a bunch of names would come back.  There were only two.  And they also listed family members.  And one of them had the same first name as my first father.  And the free online birthday database confirmed it was him.  She was married to my first father, or at least had been at one time.

I remember staring at the computer screen wondering if I was reading that right.  Then I did some more Google searching using the names I had found.  And I found my youngest sister's birth announcement.  They were defiantly married, and had two more children.

I personally was thrilled.  I was so excited.  I was scared that I was the product of two people who didn't love each other.  They were married, had two other children, and his Facebook profile picture was one of the two of them.  So they must have been happy.  And that made me happy.  It's surprising to me now because I would have assumed I'd be angry.  But to be angry never crossed my mind.  It never entered into the picture.  I was just happy.

Them being married however makes things a lot more complicated.  They don't agree on how to handle me.  One would prefer not to deal with me while the other wants very much for me to be included in the family.  It makes things harder because it did hurt my relationship with my first mother when I got in touch with my first father.  I made her deal with their differences.

It would have been easier if they were totally separate and I could deal with them separately.  If my first father wasn't stuck in the middle.  If my relationship with him didn't have her hanging there as a ghost.  I've read that parents who are married are more likely to reject their children when they come knocking.  It doesn't surprise me.  They have found a way to make it work (they just don't talk about me or deal with me together) but it's not easy.  He lives an active lie each and every day.  I can't even imagine what he goes through on a regular basis.

But as hard as it is, I still am happy that they ended up together.  I like that at the end of the day, they have each other.  And that I share the same parents with my sisters.  I like that my sisters grew up in the family unit I would have grown up in.  It's a nice thing to think about.  I could be angry about it, but I'm not.  It is what it is.  It's in the past, and I can't change it and insert myself in the picture.  I can just hope that in the future, I'll be able to fit in somewhere.