With transparency being my foremost writing style, I quickly realized the level of honesty in my posts was too much to handle at times for many adoptive parents and some people in general. Others say reading my posts has “saved them” whether it be from making a mistake to losing their mind. While I certainly don’t consider myself a savior of any sort, I am grateful my words have been a blessing to a number of people.
|Dad and Me, April 1967|
Many days we've gone head to head.
Or toe to toe. (Enough cliches already?)
My adoptive mother once told me that the social worker assigned to my case told them, "Bring her home and raise her as any other child. She will need no special treatment."
My parents were in the dark. I don't blame them for what they didn't know.
What I want to focus on today is my Dad’s response to me going public and sharing my story here.
|My Dad, trying to figure out his iPhone|
Not, “I’m sorry you wrote any of that. It was so uncomfortable for me."
Just "I'm sorry."
One of the first things he was sorry for was how he and my (adoptive) mother's divorce affected me. Viewing my adoptive parent's divorce as an informed, forty-something woman versus an in-the-dark teenager, I see things differently now. Understanding my adoptive father's decision to leave doesn't mean an absence of heartache. Nobody desires a broken home, even for what may be a justifiable cause.
With that said -- although it may have been necessary, my father is sorry for how the divorce hurt my sister and me. He is sorry for the compounded significant losses in our lives.
I sensed that he was sorry he had not been informed about post-adoption issues in general.
Following the reading of my story, he asked, "Are you okay?" and "How can I help?"
When my biological mother got cancer, Dad was very encouraging and prayerful.
When she passed away, he was the very first one to reach out and tell me how sorry he was for my loss.
The biggest ever, in my life -- next to relinquishment.
My Dad always recognized by bio mother as family.
She was not just a friend, or a stranger out there in the world somewhere.
She wasn't just a lady who was special.
She was family.
"I'm praying for your entire family," he said.
Because they are.
Calling them my family doesn't make him any less my family.
He seems to understand this, while so many in this world don't. There are other adoptive family members who do not understand or accept this at all.
I don't make this statement unfounded. Scores of adoptees have told me their adoptive family doesn't recognize their natural family as their [the adoptee's] family.
I am very appreciative of my dad recognizing my entire family, as part of me.
Encouragement and Prayer
These scriptures were not a backwards slam of some sort. (We've all probably received those at times. Sad.) Everything he sent me was a true word of encouragement, not a passive aggressive message that made me feel even worse.
I didn't receive a worn out Christian cliche.
What I received were scriptures of encouragement sent from a pure heart.
He prayed for me daily and asked how he might direct his prayers specifically.
|My Dad and Kay|
|My Dad teaching his Sunday School class at his church.|
I have never contacted him and said, "Hey Dad, you really need to get behind this equal rights thing for adoptees and support it because it's important to me." He just started supporting it.
|Dad and Me ~ Graduation|
Why am I searching, if my Dad is so great?
I am seeking him because I have a human right to know where I came from.
|Dad and Me ~ My Wedding Day|
Our relationship going forward
Rightly motivated support makes all the difference in the world. This comes from pure love, not something for selfish gain of some sort.
I don't have to be someone other than who I am for my Dad to accept me.
I hope all adoptive parents can grasp the significance of how my dad has responded, whether your son or daughter is seven years old, or forty-seven.