Most Fortunate with Two

the dads

Fathers are people too, I was both cursed and blessed with two Fathers through the course of my life. They would over time become touchstones, friends, guides, mentors and ultimately true fathers, dads and daddy.

I was always, from the day I was brought home from the hospital a ‘Daddy’s Girl’. At best I tolerated my mother, but my father, him I adored. The stories that were told of my bad sleep habits, bad eating habits, colic and overall bad temper; all these were cured immediately upon my Daddy walking into the room and picking me up. I slept on his chest, drank from the bottle he fed me and apparently any illness I managed to catch he could cure by a laying on of hands. I tracked him with eyes that did not yet focus, cooed happy sounds if he was in the room but screamed bloody murder at the approach of any other person. Mind you, I do not remember these things thus can only relay the stories I was told.

What I do know is my first memories are of my father, the smell of Fiberglass and sawdust.DAD&Me

I was adopted at birth and brought home from the hospital at three days old. My original birth certificate doesn’t have a name, it says ‘Baby Girl’ with my first mother listed and my first father listed as unknown. This last part wasn’t  true, my first father was known and had tried with the help of his parents to stop the adoption from proceeding, in 1957 though it was a different world and biological fathers were not afforded consideration regarding their children, born or otherwise.

My ‘Daddy’ and I had an imperfect relationship through most of my young life. In large part this problematic relationship had to do with his absence, not so much his physical absence as his emotional absence from our lives. I spent a very large part of my life trying to get his attention, even as a young adult what I wanted was my father to ‘see’ me. It wasn’t until my father remarried in later life that he and I finally learned how to talk, where secrets of my childhood were revealed and we finally repaired what was broken between us. Even with all that was broken though, I was a ‘Daddy’s Girl’, I loved my father he was my rock, the most dependable person in my world.

When I was 24 I had the opportunity to meet my first (biological) parents. It truly was unlooked for, not something I had planned but a gift. What I found, my first parents had married after I was born; married and gone on to have five (5) more children. It was an unusual circumstance, not something most adopted children find when the files get opened and their ‘birth’ names are revealed to them. By the time I met my First parents they had divorced, both were leading separate and different lives, my first father had remarried, had two step-daughters, a very pregnant wife not much older than me. The first time we met, it was a phone call. A short, stuttering phone call with each of us not certain what to say or how to react to this unlooked reemergence of me or him into each other live.

What is important to remember about my first parents, they and I, we are the same generation; all of us Baby Boomers though born at different ends of the generational curve we were still within the same generation, still had some of the same experiences and same expectations. My ‘grandparents’ biologically were the same age as my adoptive parents. It was a very strange dichotomy we created, when you added to this a sibling group, two sibling groups actually it was a great deal to wrap my head around.

LVD and dad

This takes me back to my fathers, two of them. The relationship with my adoptive or second mother was such, broken and toxic would be the kindest terms I could use that finding and meeting my first mother was something I considered a curative at the time. Something that would fill a hole in my heart, I believed since I hadn’t really had a mother – daughter relationship up to that point I would perhaps find what had been missing. The idea I had a father out there, one who was prepared, even eager to meet me had never crossed my mind up to this point and I didn’t know how I felt about it. In truth, I didn’t think I needed or wanted another father, despite truly not having mended all the broken bridges between my ‘Daddy’ and I.

What I found when I met my first father.

  • Someone I looked like in many ways, I am a blend of my first parents and you can certainly see me in them. When you line me and my siblings up there is no doubt we are related. I had never looked like anyone before, it was stunning and for months after meeting them I would stare at pictures.

o   Gee thanks Dad, love that ass you handed down to me

o   Yeah, and those hips gotta love those

o   But the cheekbones, I do appreciate them they give my face character

  • Someone with a similar sense of humor, until I met my father I hadn’t really ever met anyone who saw the world the way I did and laughed at it. Strangely my Dad had the same sense of the ridiculous, I never knew this was simply built in.
  • Someone with the same intellect. My Dad was truly a very smart man, I am fairly certain he didn’t always use it for good, but he did use it. I am so grateful  I inherited his intellect, his brain.

o   I am also grateful I was nurtured by my Daddy and gained my moral compass where I did, giving me a true sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ even if I did not always apply it to my own life until much later.

  • Someone who truly did love his children, all of them. He wasn’t always present, didn’t always do what was ‘right’, he did though love his children and from what I observed they knew it. In later years and with his youngest daughters he was their primary parent, present and very much part of their lives, he and I talked about this once, he called it redemptive.

When I met my first father I was most fortunate, I didn’t know it then and wouldn’t realize it for many years but I was most fortunate to have another piece of me returned. I was also most fortunate to have my Daddy encourage me to seek a relationship with my ‘other’ father. My Daddy was secure in his place with me and felt no jealous need to hold me back, instead pushing me out of the nest and into the arms of another ‘father’.

Both of my fathers are lost to me in this world, but not from my heart. I treasure their contributions to my life, to my mind, my heart, my compass through the world. I am most fortunate to have had them as a measure of what men should be.

Comments

  1. A beautiful post, Val. This conjures up questions and internal discussions about any circumstance in which we have more than one person playing the “Dad” role in our lives–the allegiance to one or the other, the feeling that we somehow need to choose. Ultimately, I’ve realized there is love enough for as many who wish to be that person to us. The capacity to love and be loved is unlimited. Thank goodness!

  2. You were doubly blessed Valentine! Happy that you have a lot to take away from both relationships. Hugs 🙂

  3. Very powerful and revealing, Val. I feel bad for your birth father and how the law offered him no protection, no way to keep you. Sounds like you gained much from both, though. Thanks for sharing such personal memories. It gives me new insight into who you are. Sending you hugs!

  4. Great post. I come from the most unbroken home ever (parents have been married 47 years this September), so I have a hard time imagining what it must be like for adopted kids. Then again, Tara didn’t meet her own father until she was 10, so I do have some inkling of how that goes.

  5. I envy you, Val – but perhaps, it is more, happy for you, than envy. Two fathers in your life and done the whole gamut of emotions. Glad that you continue to hold them in your heart.

    I lost my father when I was three and the closest father I had was my maternal Grandpa.

    Knowing the vacuum, I try hard to be there for my three children.

    Peace and blessings,
    Eric
    P/s Off to take my medication and to bed. Good night 🙂

  6. Oh my goodness. Two generous men, two fathers. God bless them.

  7. Val this was a loving tribute to both men, where you acknowledged the warts we all have and focused on the good.

    It is always interesting to me to read of your complex family. Since Jacob is adopted I am fascinated by your stories of the layers! Jacob has no interest whatsoever in his birth parents. I imagine one day he will, but it is unlikely to be satisfied ; international adoptions are closed.

    Anyway, I loved this.

    • Oddly Elyse, if it hadn’t been for some health issues in my 20’s I would not have asked the court to open the files. Originally, I only asked for the health records. Both my first parents had left Letters of Consent as recently as 5 years previously, I talked to my adoptive father before proceeding with fully opening the file, it was him who pushed me toward the meeting.

      When I was a teen I wanted to know, by the time I was in my 20’s I was no longer interested. I am of course really happy I met them. I am truly happy I have the relationships I have with my first mother and with many of my siblings. They have enhanced my life and blessed me with a much greater understanding of where I come from.

      My adoption was closed, fully sealed. It took a judge and a court order to open it.

      Thanks for the Love!

      • I don’t know how it would work in Chile, where Jacob was born. His birth father was a casual lover who probably doesn’t know a baby was created. Jacob’s birth other was from a large family, her father, shenot be understanding

        He has our blessing and our help if/when he wants to find them. But not the help of my iPad which is impossible for commenting.

  8. A very nice post. Life itself is rarely sugar coated. Well done.

  9. Would you believe I had to subscribe to your blog again? This makes 4 times I’ve had to subscribe, hope this time I am alerted by notifications when you publish. 😀

    • Wonder what causes that? Others have had the same problem. I am happy though you think it is worth going through the trouble of doing so and four times at that. ❤

  10. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

  11. Yes we all have our memories. Fortunately mine are all positive.

  12. This post carries a variety of emotions … and even in the end, various emotions come through. But the most common emotion throughout the piece was pride. Well done.

  13. Thank you for sharing a part of your past on this special day Valentine, I grew up without my father around very often, he was always on some business trip or another until we found out he had found mistresses, I vowed that day not to go down to his level and be there for my daughter always, If you had asked me where I’d see myself now I would of never guessed I’d have a daughter though 😀

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