a sister always knows  

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I had a talk with my sister yesterday. it was one I was taken aback by, because it was a very candid discussion of my adoption. I didn't pull back from it, I didn't hold anything in and I listened to what she had to say, from the 'family's' point of view.

It was refreshing and sickening at the same time. I am still wondering if i feel better or not.

The whole thing started because we were to have a reunion with Lori and Jim in August. It would be the first meeting of all my parents and siblings, biological and adopted. I have been extremely excited and nervous about this for months. We wanted to do it in June, but Jim was unable to make it and asked it to be moved to August. Not a problem, it has been almost 36 years, a couple of months wouldn't hurt. Right?

I think that was my first mistake or maybe delusion is a better term.

As some of you have read in my previous blog, Jim has been unable to make time in his life for me. I am not angry about this, hurt a little, but not angry. I am a big girl and knew what the risks were when I started this. I was prepared to get only my medical information and move on. To be completely honest, I kinda thought he may have forgotten about me. Blocked me out of his mind forever.

But he didn't. He remembered all too well and seemed delighted to have me back. Others were not as excited as he was. He never told me, but his mother and sister made a few passing comments that some of his friends and family were not happy to have me show up. They said it with tenderness, they were not trying to hurt me, just let me know what he was facing. I appreciated their honesty.

When I tried to ask him about the lack of support he was getting he denied it fully. He was adamant that 'everyone is so happy'.

Again, to spare pain to me, he flat out lied to me. He was afraid to wound me and I think in his mind, it would be fine-someday. So why not tell me it was? He wanted it to be a warm and heartfelt welcome, but it wasn't turning out the way he thought.

I totally respect the protection his loved ones are passing out. It makes me happy he has people that love him.

But can't they just meet me first? I am not the ogre they think I am.

So the other day, my sister calls me to discuss the meeting. She has been so excited about this. She has spent months working on a special gift for the two of them, even through her chemo treatments and double mastectomy. It kept her going. She was going to give my 'mother and father' something, from the family. It is nearly completed. So she has many hours invested in this personally, not just what this will mean to me.

The conversation began simple enough. "HI, how are you, whats been up, have you talked to Jim and Lori yet?"

{{hic,gulp,hic,SOB}} I begin to explain how I don't know what is going to happen, Lori's van is broke, Jim is soooo busy......

OH NO, here it comes, the truth. It came out before I could stop it. It raged from my lips in blubbering gasps. I can't imagine she understood much of it. But she seemed to get the general gist of what was going on.

She quietly says "I thought something was off. What happened?"

Nothing happened-that's the problem. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. Not one solitary thing. No phone call, no letter, no argument, nothing. It was simply dead in the water. Period.

I told her everything. I was scared to be that honest, but I kept going. When I finally stopped or should I say was unable to talk any more, she picked the conversation. She told me it was all going to be OK, maybe it was too soon. Maybe he needed more time. She said he has never been a 'dad' before and this was all new to him. His whole life has been his work-not much time to be a member of a family.

I sat in silence. The tears quietly stopped and I felt much more calm. My biggest fear throughout all of this was they would look at him in a poor light. That they would kick into protection mode and start to bash him for being selfish, mean, uncaring or even a lower class scum. And he is none of those things. Actually, he is a tender man, riddled with much guilt of past events. Including me. He is soft spoken, with a gleam in his eyes.

And when he looked at me, uh, I felt so wanted.

But she didn't jump at the chance to make him into the bad guy, she comforted me but she also respected my love for him.

What the hell was happening? My family hasn't been very comfortable with discussing my adoption. They never ran from the subject, but it was extremely uncomfortable for them. I understand how they must feel.

But here I was, pouring my heart out and she was understanding me. SHE WAS HEARING ME. Come to find out, her and my parents had spoken about this. They all sensed something was wrong, but were afraid to bring up the subject. No one wanted me to think they didn't want the meeting to take place. All this time I thought I had been keeping such a good handle on my emotions, smiling my way through it. Boy was I wrong.

I told sister how I felt so abandoned. Like what his friends and family thought about me was more important than finding out about who I actually was on his own. Yes he loved me, but he was unwilling to allow me to love him. I told her I didn't expect anything from him but him. Just to hear his voice, see his face, learn his stories. That all I wanted was to be was PART of his life. How I felt that my chance of that was gone, possibly for good.

So when I got off the phone, I sat alone. Like I said, I still don't know if i feel better or not. I DO know I have the most wonderful family in the world. Lori is more than I could ever ask for, mom and dad gave me a life anyone would be envious of and my sister, well, if everyone in the world had a sister like mine, the world would be a better place.

Maybe instead of pining away for a father I will never be able to have, I should be more involved in the family have. The loss I feel for Jim is great and very real, but there has to be a silver lining somewhere and thanks to my sister, I see it gleaming brightly.

Thank you Lori, for the life you gave me, for the love you showed me, for never giving up on me and simply for being my mother. There is nothing more any child could ever ask for from a parent.

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2 comments: to “ a sister always knows

  • Lori A
    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 7:21:00 AM PDT  

    Thank your sister for me. She came through or should I say GOT THROUGH when needed.

    I still believe Jim is totally in love with the idea of having a daughter. He is just a simple man who takes his responsibilities to others seriously. He will make time eventually. We are moving too fast for him and too slow for you.

    I just want this period to be over. I want it to be 9 years into reunion with him, but that would be wishing more of our life away now wouldn't it.

    The van is half way fixed. I still need one more part. I will make August come hell or high water.

    I don't think he lied about his family either. The ones he keeps in touch with don't have a problem with you. Those are the only ones who count to him. So in a sense he was telling the truth.

    Simple yet soooo complexed he is. He loves you or he wouldn't have told you so.

    Repeat this: More time, needs more time. In through the nose, out through the mouth.

    Summer is his busiest season, people are depending on him for comittments he made to them before he met you.

    More time. Let him clear his schedule, or start that job not far from you.

    I love you and so does he.

  • Lori A
    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 7:27:00 AM PDT  

    I didn't want to just remove this comment and make you crazy. I posted my comment twice by mistake.


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