Sunday, November 4, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 4: The Natural Father

It's been awhile since I've posted on Lost Daughters, and I'm so glad I'm jumping back into it during November. Reading so many heartfelt and thought provoking posts by amazing women is doing wonders for my soul.

My biggest problem with blogging lately is that my creative juices seem to have dried up. That's why it's so helpful to have the prompts provided for us so I don't have to tax my brain too hard.

Writing prompt for today: The Natural Father

According to biology, it takes two to make a baby. However, when it comes to adoption often the natural father seems to be left out of the conversation more often than not. Do you feel that’s a valid statement? Were your natural parents treated as equals in your adoptive household? As a child, did you wonder about your natural father? Were you given any details about him? How did that make you feel? What is your view on natural fathers’ rights?

"Your birthmother was sixteen or eighteen and gave you up for adoption."

That was all I was told by my adoptive parents. Period. End of story. My father was never mentioned. I assumed my natural father was a teenager too, but had no idea whether he knew about me or what the back story of my existence truly was.

For what it's worth, I never really thought about him much until my natural mom found me. It was then that I realized I had other family members beyond my maternal side and I began to wonder about this man who was an integral part of my life's puzzle. As a child, when I imagined being rescued from the abuse, I pictured a woman showing up at the mother...coming to take me home. I never pictured a man with her. And to be honest, I was afraid of men as a child.

My natural mom found him on Facebook in December 2010. After writing him for several weeks, I truly felt like one more tree had been added to my family orchard. He had the same sarcastic wit that I share with my natural mom and family. I finally figured out where I got my vertically challenged-ness (my maternal brother and sister are 6'4" and 5'9", respectively) and once again, I could see myself in another's face. Powerful..awe inspiring..and sadly, fleeting.

I had a father again...and then, it fell apart. The emails dwindled down to nothing and aside from one phone call on Easter, I never talked to him or met him face to face. It was over. Just like that. But I don't regret finding him. I just regret putting so much of my heart into it so quickly. My reunion with my mom and my maternal family was so easy and comfortable that I just assumed it would be the same way with my father. After months of radio silence, I've come to realize that I can't make him want to be in my life. He has the right to back off, and I have the right to take care of my heart. I'm now working on contacting my two brothers and while they haven't written me back yet, I'm being cautious but hopeful at the same time.

I do agree that natural fathers are left out of the conversation for the most part. I'm sure many of us have read blogs written by potential adoptive couples lamenting the hoops they have to jump through if the natural father does try to contest the adoption. Fathers should have just as many rights as mothers but they are often kept out of the loop until it's too late. Just take a look at this blog and realize that this is a man who wants his son back and is fighting to get his son back but is being met with seemingly insurmountable odds.

Natural Fathers' Rights shouldn't be a question, just like Natural Mothers' Rights and Adoptee' Rights shouldn't be a question. Keeping families intact should absolutely be the goal, not the exception.

I've had to challenge myself on this very topic when it comes to my son and my ex, his father. When my son was an infant, his father left the state. For over two years, there was no contact from him and I had moved on with my now fiance. He became the father figure in my son's life that had been lacking. My ex came back with a new wife and daughter in tow and after mediation through the court, we settled on easing them into visitation slowly, building a relationship with the son he'd left. He has that right. I will never take the father/son connections away from either one of them, especially since the fathers in my life have let me down in different and yet equally painful ways.