Family trees and how we related with adoption

Originally posted 13 December 2011

I have a fairly complex family tree. I have tried to put it down on paper for my children as well as my self, but a traditional style family tree format is just not the right tool. When you leave here confused all I can say is shake it off and welcome to my world. Before I begin this little saga, lets give a little background history of me first. I am adopted. I have known this fact forever, it was never hidden from me nor was it spoke about in a shameful manner. My parents were very open on this subject to me and my older sister, also adopted. I spent my life up to my early 20’s content with not knowing anything about anything other than my own family. I always had to fudge a little when filling out medical forms about family medical history, I was healthy so why the hell not. Let me tell you what changed all of that. In October 1990 my daughter was born. Again, we, my now ex-wife and I were given questionnaires about medical history. I became overwhelmed with guilt because my side was basically blank except for information about me. I didn’t know what I had passed on to her genetically. How could I know? With that, I promised my hours old daughter that I would embark on the journey I said I would never take and find my biological parents. I never wanted to, my family was all I needed. I looked at it very simple, very black and white, they put me up for adoption, they made that choice, they washed their hands of it all.This trek to gather needed information was a bit challenging in the beginning, partly because I lived in Japan and partly because my mother had zero information and my father was deceased (these being my adopted parents). On top of all of that, my adoption records were sealed permanently. Well, nothing is permanent, except death, and that can’t be fixed. After a few years I got my adoption records unsealed. Many thanks to all the clerks and judges who made it happen, because all of it was done through international mail. To my surprise, there was very little useful information. The pages were blacked out like you see in the movies where all the pertinent information is censored out and you are left with gibberish and crap. The background “story” was an interesting read, years later I found out almost every detail was fiction. The useful information was I had my biological mothers full name, social security number, and last known address in 1968. Everything else was fiction. I did find out why it was supposed to be sealed for life, because she was a minor (16 to be exact) and the adoption was treated as an unwanted child due to rape. I spent many years believing what I had read. During the course of life I had become divorced and remarried in 2000. I hadn’t given any adoption any further thought for some time, for good reasons, because I decided to bury my past, well, somebody’s past, and continue to live my life. But, and this is a big but, after I re-married, we were unpacking, me in a room, my wife in another. Then all of a sudden she comes out balling and whimpering. What the hell? She had found my buried box and read everything I had. Oops, did I forget to mention I was adopted? Of course not, but it was a very short and simple conversation when we were dating. Talk about opening old wounds, because she wanted to talk about it all with me. Why? I think she watched to many stories on tv. Now, this gets real interesting from this point forward.

A few weeks later I get a phone call. I worked graveyard shift so my wife came in to wake me. It was a call from my biological mother. I would have liked to see the freaking look on my face. After I hang up I find out that my wife has been busy on the internet and had been taking some stabs in the dark hunting for information, behind my back. I had told her back when that it was all settled and done for me. Wrong. We got some limited information from her, basic stuff really, some I already knew. Over the course of the next several years, due to lack of time or lack of interest, or both, I would delve into the information, hit dead ends, stop, start again, until finally I got frustrated, especially when I discovered, by accident, that my biological mother was lieing to me this whole time. Angry, I phoned her and asked what kind of games she thought she was playing. She was trying to protect her family who knew absolutely nothing about me and she wanted to keep it that way. Fine, fuck you, I wont ever contact you ever again, have a nice life. Apparently she had a clearing of thought and mind, maybe a little guilt, who knows, but she called me out of the blue a few weeks later to lay it all down for me. Reasoning? We are all adults now so we must let the chips fall the way they will. I was given the real name of my biological father and she explained how everything was bunk to protect him and his family. So, you probably gathered, it wasn’t a rape.

Now, now the story gets good. She was their babysitter. Gasp. What? Really? Anyway, they had a thing that was going nowhere because he was married and had kids and she was 16 and so on and so forth, you get the jist. But wait……….. she gets pregnant, oops. Which leads us right back to the beginning. Now, I think I know it all. Wrong. Way way wrong. I did find the phone number for whom I was very confident was my biological father and a few of his sons. So, one day, after staring at this freaking number for about 6 months, I got a wild hair on my ass and just called. Probably one of the most screwed up phone calls I have ever been a part of. A man answered the phone. I asked if I could talk to bleep bleep and the man said that would be a doozey of a trick because bleep bleep was deceased. The only thing going thru my head was sooooonnnnnnn offffff aaaaaaa biiiiiiiittttttccccchhhhh. So, I asked if these names were his sons and were these still good numbers, he said yes, and we hung up. Now, this is 2008 when this conversation took place, my biological father died in 1996. I called one of the sons, no answer, had to leave a message. It was a strange message, I explained who I was and that I would like to speak with to see if he was who I was looking for, left my cell phone number. A few hours later, I get his call. I couldn’t speak, I was afraid, so my wife spoke first. It is his son she explains, so I spoke with him. I gave him the details I knew and he confined them. He also filled in a few of the empty places for me. He said he needed some time to absorb all of this new information. As he explained to me that no-one ever knew and his dad died with the secret intact. I found out a few days later that the person I spoke to the first time was my deceased biological father’s wife’s new husband. The second person I called, the son, broke the news to his mother as gently as he could I guess. How do you start that conversation? Sooooo, I got this call from Texas today…..

Since all of this started, I have managed to meet all the children on my biological fathers side and spoke to the two boys on my biological mothers side. Let me see if I can work this out so everyone might understand. I have 2 step sisters (both younger), I have 6 half sisters (1 younger and 5 older), I have 7 half brothers (2 younger and 5 older) and 1 adopted sister (older). So, now I will explain how it all comes together. My parents adopted my older sister and I at birth. My parents divorced and both remarried, each having a daughter. My biological mother had 2 sons after me and the rest belong to my biological father. The only person I have not met or spoke to is my biological father because he has long been deceased by the time I got around to digging.

So, I challenge someone to make me a family tree. Don’t forget my two daughters, one grand daughter and my wife. I can’t pay anything to anyone, just do it for fun and see what a fine mess it creates. We can get to all the aunts and uncles and so forth later, it isn’t really needed for this demonstration. This tale gets easier to tell when writing it all down. Usually I get very choked up and have a hard time finishing. Its dramatic to me, starts out with joy, moves to saneness and disappointment, joy, anger, let down, excitement, and then I can relax before I go finish sending out all my Christmas cards. That used to be a simple task, quick too. Anyway, thanks for listening and hope someone got something out of my real life tale.

Are we all not infidels?

Originally Posted 03 December 2011

In·fi·del /infdel/ Noun: A person who does not believe in religion or who adheres to a religion other than one’s own. Based on the definition provided, however you choose to slice it or split hairs, aren’t we all infidels? Because if you don’t follow a religion or are not of the religion of someone else that makes Y.O.U. an infidel. So, why is that term so important? My answer is it is just another excuse to justify any religion and it cause.So, lets begin. To make things absolutely crystal clear for all of you, this entire post is based on my opinion. I am not asking you to agree or disagree with me, I am just throwing some thoughts out there for y’all to chew on a bit. Those who know me, had dialog with me, read different things I have written, or any other way you may have come into contact with me, know I do not believe in god and think the bible and books like it from other religions are pure fairytale fluff. Don’t leave yet, I am just getting wound up for the first pitch.

There is not one single person on planet Earth that is not an infidel. Disagree with me? Re-read the definition. We all on the same page now. Where am I going with this? I am not really sure, but you will know when we get there. Deep down inside my core I hope this pisses everybody off enough to start questioning the reasons why we have allowed stupid bullshit like faith, religion, or the lack of both, to be a reason to hate our neighbors, whether that be next door or next continent. I am, for the first time, very angry. Why? Good question. You will have your precious answer before you leave. Do not skip to the end. If you do, you wont get offended and then I have failed.

I find this very simple when it gets broken way down to the basics. We will work our way back up to global in a bit. People are stupid by nature, they need to compete for everything so they have an opportunity to lose and have someone to be pissed at so they can blame someone else for their failures as a human. That’s bullshit, but all humans do it. Someone is better than you and beats you, so you have to hate them. Someone makes more money than you, so you have to hate them. Someone has something you don’t, so you have to hate them. You are of a different religion or don’t follow a religion, so you are hated. Too simple? People have been fighting wars for these reasons since the dawn of time. Why? What makes you better than me? Or……… what makes me better than you? I will tell you a secret, you need to have a seat with the rest of the bitches while you are waiting for me to actually give a fuck.

Does the topic of being considered an infidel piss me off? Yes, it does. Because it is a hypocritical statement made by people with no tolerance for anything except for what they have to say. I don’t believe in god……………..hate me. I don’t believe in your god…….. hate me. I don’t care that you hate me…………… hate me more. It goes way deeper than a country, a society, a community, it goes straight to the individual. I am lucky I live in a place where I think and believe what I want. But is it lucky? People from my own country hate me because I think god and the bible are fairytale. But, I think that about all religions and all gods. It is stupid for humans to put faith in nothing. I have said it in the past and I will say it again, if you need to hate me or kill me because I wont be a part of your little cult, then come on, don’t be a pussy.

I spent way too much time in Iraq and Kuwait making sure that people of those nations knew they picked a fight with the wrong country. It gave me pride to know I was hated for being an American. Great. Be pissed at me because I have what you don’t have. Your pissed because you aren’t supposed to like the the things I do and the freedoms I have, but you do like them. But, we go back to a basic question, why do humans entertain the feeling of hate? Why is that a “need” that has to be fed? Are we not all different in one way or another for many different reasons? Isn’t that what makes us individuals? I get aggravated on occassion for reasons beyond my knowledge about things that I really consider dumb reasons to do something stupid. I use that word, stupid, quite a bit. It isn’t my judgement on someone, a group, or idea, its just how it appears. People will die for their beliefs and will kill fro their beliefs. I too would do the same, but not in the name of a god or a religion. I am not a sheeple, I don’t need to be led anywhere. I don’t have this empty void that needs to be filled by fantasy or fairytale. And, I surely don’t hate someone just for being better than me or worse than me.

I find my self caring about things that are real, things I can touch, like my family, my job, and making sure that both are happy. That upsets many people, but I have a bad knee so it is hard for me to make the jump onto the bandwagon. Am I an infidel? Sure. Why not. I do fit the definition. You will never see me use my differences with people as a launching pad to hate them. Fuck that, I don’t have time in my day for all of that. We work hard, we play hard, and we live our lives happy. If someone can’t handle that the things in my life make me happy, step up and we can set you on your way with your tail between your legs. I have an extremely low bullshit tolerance and that has hardened the way I think about the petty shit that happens on our planet. I will not change.

I suppose I should close this entry. Before I go tho, I want you to have a final message. I am who I am, I am like many who fail to grasp the idea of hating someone for their beliefs. Religions around the globe teach intolerance. They say love thy neighbor, but act in a way that is different. It should be love thy neighbor only if they agree with you. Believing in a god does not make you better or worse than me, its your choice, as it is mine. When the war of infidels explodes just know this, I will fight by your side whether you choose to return the favor or not. I am not changing for anyone, but that doesn’t make me your enemy.