Best Friend Or Worst Nightmare

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I’m home alone, bored, and decided I wasn’t done talking in my last post about my wife’s big question. But wait, there’s more. Have you ever just bumbled around the house, bored, nothing really to do? I sat down this morning to write my other post, a tedious event since I do it on my phone, while I was deleting some music and downloading more, yes, I always want more music. But as I got a slab of meat ready for the smoker I wondered what I was going to be doing next. I already ran my errands and knocked that shit out. I realized while writing the last post that over the years as I’ve aged I have changed, both mentally, physically, and emotionally. Not that I miss my youth, but I do appreciate it now where I didn’t then. We all, I guess we all do, find a path in life and pretty much stick to it, mostly out of habit I think. Some call it a “routine”, I call it what it really is, and that’s a habit. Life happens, shit happens, and we roll with it or get rolled over by it.

I’m a pretty relaxed person, some say to relaxed, and I tend to roll with the punches instead of getting into the fight. I realized recently that I have become an asshole to people I don’t know and to those I wish I didn’t know. I suppose this happened over time and becomes more evident the more I get out in public. Seems like every time I open the front door I hear ” welcome to Walmart motherfucker” simply because in the course of my day I will inevitably be forced to interact with people, strangers, other people’s children, and people who definitely should not breed, ever, there dads should have had the common courtesy to just pull out. But noooooooooo, now people with common sense have to deal with your fucking problems because they never did. Anyway, this has nothing to do with the people of Walmart nor is it me thinking I’m better than others, it goes deeper, I’m the problem. I admit it, I’m the problem, or I’m the one with the problem. People are needy little fuckers that just suck the everloving life right out of me. There are many qualities I despise in people, the top two are being lazy and being a liar.

My wife says I have a strange gift, my ability to watch people, read people, and get just shy to understanding them before a word is ever spoken. You’re right, it sounds like I judge them before knowing them. Or I just don’t have time for bullshit and I just cut to the chase. I don’t want my son turning into me, he has a kind a loving heart that never stops giving. The world needs more people just like him, that is of course my biased opinion. I have a crude way I look at life in general, not that I’m special and I’m not the only one life has fucked without any lube, I just learned from it. I don’t want to be a repeat offender at the mercy of others to decide my fate which is decided with a thumbs up or thumbs down. Life has snuck in her fair share of surprises but looky here bitch…… I’m still standing. In people’s defense, I know I don’t give them a fair shake. Honestly, I see no reason to trust a person who has not earned my trust first. Maybe living in the big city has tainted me. I see what Christians call the “7 Deadly Sins” in almost every person I meet or know. No, I’m not perfect, far from perfect, but I do pay attention and I do have a considerable amount of common sense. I learned, and try to explain, the value of one’s life, it only holds value to yourself, only you value you. I spent a considerable amount of my life trying (and failing) to please others to feel as though I have self worth, something frowned upon by Christians, well Catholics, and it took some hard knocks to the head that made me realize I’m more than just a cog in a machine, my life matters to me, and that is what is important.

Getting divorced, divorcing the Air Force, and getting disowned by my family (parents and sisters) all within a few months of each other does wonders for my self esteem. However, I got mad and I stood the fuck back up, giving life the two finger salute she deserved and I got over it. Fuck it. Divorced? Yes, she needed other men in her life, I didn’t want to share. Over, 13 years in the toilet. The Air Force divorced me, I was no longer fit to perform. Over, 12 years in the toilet. My family, with exception to my mother, disowned me after the found out I was not only looking for my biological parents, but was in communication with my biological mother and the family of my biological father since he was already dead. Want to know more, search this blog, I’ve written extensively about being adopted. In their eyes I was wrong for wanting to where I came from. But, slowly, I got them to understand. Now, we all have a pretty nice relationship, except my oldest sister (also adopted) who still despises me all these years later. Fuck, I just wanted to know where I came from and why I was discarded. Anyway, as I said, I got mad, packing, and off to live my life on my terms.

But, damn, my future wife had (and still does) an ass that commanded my full attention. Women, eventhough they’ll never admit it, are tricky crafty creatures, they play coy but know they are the black widow. One can search the blog for more on her as well. I have a favorite story I’m going to share with y’all, which in my opinion sums up people’s selfishness and how self preservation is more often than not compromised because of being closed minded. The moral of the story you ask; don’t tempt fate.

One day, a scorpion was walking around on a riverbank wondering how to get to the opposite bank. He saw a crocodile basking in the sun. The scorpion went up to the crocodile and said “Crocodile, can I please ride on your back across the river?” The crocodile was taken aback with this said. “Why would I do that? When i am swimming, you will sting me, and I will die,” The crocodile said. “Well, if i sting you, you will sink, and i will drown, for I cannot swim,” the scorpion said. With that, the scorpion climbed on the crocodile’s back, and the crocodile swam across the river. In the middle of the river, the scorpion stung the crocodile. “Why? Why would you do that scorpion!? You too will die now! Why!?” “Because… it is in my nature,” the scorpion replied sadly, and with that, they both sank deep into the water.

I don’t recall where I read or heard this story years ago, but as I aged many things rang true in the story if you relate it to the people in your life. Everyone wants to trust everyone all the time while not being worthy of being trusted. Or let me say that in modern terms, we all want full disclosure but are not willing to provide full disclosure in return. With that being said, y’all can think how you will think, its not my choice. But, I do have trust issues outside of my immediate family, for two reasons, in my opinion, two damn great reasons. The two reasons I don’t trust people are because I don’t know them and becomes I do know them. Simple, right? My wife will tell you I trust only a few because it is part of who I am, part of being a Scorpio (either the best friend or the worst enemy), and partly because of fear. My lack of trust, I suppose, has many contributing factors, gathered throughout my life, and resulting in the current me. She tells me that she likes the fact that I write on my blog, she thinks I need to write a book full of the stories I tell here as well as ones in my private life. I tell her just like I tell y’all, this is just a place for me to “talk”. I don’t consider myself a person who writes, I consider myself a person who likes to share stories, I like it here, I share things I like here, I don’t want it to become ” work”, besides, it’s fun this way for me.

I will never see a day without sheeple being herded into conformity. I don’t want to be one of the sheeple. I’m only sure about one thing in my life, one day I will die, but life will continue for the living. I think on that note I will close this out, I expected it to gradually go somewhere but as we see it never really formed into anything. Like I said, I just wanted to talk. I do know one thing tho, the only alternative to being my friend or enemy is not to exist in my world. But, that would be allot like having a cake and eating it alone.

Taking Time To Breathe & Step Back

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Some months ago I was contacted by a twenty one year old young lady who asked if I had any suggestions in a direction to proceed if she was attempting to locate her biological family. She had read a few posts here on this blog about my own personal journey and how my personal search took place. She mentioned to me that I stated more than once that I would pass on my methods, recommendations, and free agencies that are available to the general public. We communicated much through email, then texting, and eventually over the phone. Then, out of the blue, everything just stopped cold, all communication between us ended, and we fell out of communication. I did wonder what happened, but I left it alone since I figured there was good reasons.

Until yesterday, the day when I got a fantastically wonderful and surprising email from her. She wanted to update me on what had been happening with her search. Before I get into the results I think, after I received her blessings, I need to tell her story. She has a story not unlike many, she found out she was adopted purely by accident, and it turned her entire world upside down as she had no idea to ever think she was adopted. I will begin her story from the point she found out at the age of nineteen.

She was on her way home from college to spend time over the holiday break with her mother who had become very ill over the prior year. Unfortunately, during her visit her mother passed away. After the funeral she tasked herself with clearing her mother’s house of personal belongings so the home could be put on the market. She had made arrangements for everything to be placed into storage after she had taken the time to box it all up neatly. She wasn’t really sure what to do with anything, so she figured storing it all would give her time to sort through her emotions first. After a few days of packing up the rest of the house it was time to start in her mother’s bedroom, a place specifically left until the end because she figured it would be the hardest for her. After countless hours in the room, folding clothes neatly, wrapping the breakables, and taking down pictures from the wall, she entered the closet to get it over with. Midway through the closet she sees a small metal box on the shelf above and when she gets it down she sees it is locked. She remembered there was a small key in her mother’s jewelry box and after digging it out she gave it a turn, and to her surprise it opened the lock. Now, she has never seen this box before so she was pretty excited. In the box there was a single legal sized envelope inside, nothing else, just the envelope. She struggled with the decision to open the envelope, as much as she wanted to open it she really understood the importance or secrecy, because, as it is, the sealed envelope was in a locked metal box on the top shelf in the closet under years stuff which secluded it nicely.

She set the box to the side, envelope remaining inside unopened, as she finished her task of packing. It has been an emotional so far since she found boxes upon boxes of memoirs of her entire life, she remembered most of the captured glimpses of time, so the emotions were grand and somewhat severe. That night she prepared a pallet to sleep on in the middle of all the boxes in the living room and decided it was time to get some rest. As she layed there she could see the metal box resting atop other packed boxes. Still wondering about the contents she sits the box in front of her on the floor. She opened the box. She again sees the envelope. But this time she opens it up, she removed the contents and placed them on the floor beside her, and now it is time to review the paperwork which much be very important information. The first letter was from an attorney, addressed to her parents. It was a message to inform them that their wait is finally over because a newborn girl was immediately available for their review and potential adoption. Enclosed was a picture of the newborn, she recognized the picture, why wouldn’t she, it was a picture of her. Needless to say she reviews all the documents, trying to process them mentally, and trying to find the sanity in the madness.

The following morning she started googling information, names, agencies, and in the crazy mix of it all landed right here on this very blog. She chooses to not leave any public comments on any of the posts she found dealing with my own adoption story. Instead, I get an email asking, and I will quote, “are you for real in your offer to exchange information about being adopted”? She said quite a bit more, asked a few more relevant questions, and then closed out the email. I replied to her, answering her questions and reassured her that I will share whatever I know. Soon enough, we exchanged 20 plus emails which evolved into texting which evolved into actual telephone conversations, there were even two occasions we did the Skype thing so I could physically show her a few online processes. As I mentioned earlier, our communication stopped abruptly, and I have been left wondering about her and her situation.

I got an email yesterday, it was from her, and she explained that she had some luck in her search but thinks she will put it all to rest because she was heading down a road she didn’t want to travel. She did, however, locate her biological grandfather, who was a disabled Marine veteran who now lives in a VA sponsored retirement home. To make a long, wonderful story short, he is her only surviving blood relative. I was asked not to share anymore than that, so I know it seems as if the story has taken a bad turn, but I assure y’all that after talking with her last night that just the opposite is true. This story isn’t actually over, there’s more, but I was asked to follow up with her in a few months when she goes on summer break, where, if I choose to do so (her words) I can write more in detail about her personal journey. I agreed.

I lead a super simple life, I like it this way, and I am very pleased that somewhere in the midst of all the different crap here that at least one person found something that happened to me personally to be useful or beneficial in some way. I just wrote about my life knowing that sometimes, not always, shit happens that you just have to deal with, being adopted is one of those times, one of those things, that a person can either roll with or fight, its all about your own perspective in life.

Explaining My Three Fathers

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Explaining my three fathers to my children has always been stories I enjoy telling. Sometimes it is like going down the wrong rabbit hole because it can be just a wee bit confusing. For those of y’all who just started playing along then I would guess y’all are at a bit of a loss. My recommendation is to search The Sting Of The Scorpion using the terms adoption, adopted, and biological. Then, perhaps y’all will be up to speed. Let me give a very brief review. I’m adopted, I’ve known my entire life. The fact that I was adopted was never the secret. In fact, until I turned 18 I never knew there was even a secret that people wished I never learned. In my case the records were sealed due to the circumstances of the pregnancy. Fortunately I was able to get them unsealed and have spent the better part of 25 years piecing together everyone’s dirty little secret, me.

On the backside of my property there lives an enormous oak tree. I find that when I’m in the presence of this oak tree that I tend to think of my family tree. My family tree is really twisted. If one was to look at it analytically I am actually the part of three family trees, if not more,  each in a separate way that leads into a different direction. Confused yet? We’ll get back to that. I have had “family”, specifically my biological family, on my mind recently since we (my wife & I) are planning to visit my oldest daughter (23) in Rapid City South Dakota over spring break this coming March 2014. Most of my biological family lives in the state of South Dakota, as well as my biological father and adopted father are both buried there also. For the purposes of explanation in this post the following will be the reference points when I discuss my three fathers, BF = Biological Father, AF = Adopted Father, SF = Step Father, my BM (biological mother/birth mother), and my AM (adopted mother/mother). Refer back to these abbreviations during this post if needed.

Everyone seems to want a piece of me when we go on the trip when all I really care to do is spend time with my daughter and my 2 y/o granddaughter whom we haven’t seen in some time now. Now, personally, my “agenda” will be to spend time with my wife, kids, and my granddaughter. Now, will that happen? Your guess is as good as mine. As my younger children get older they have began to have questions about family because my side of the family is kinda complicated. Recently I, for the second or third time now, tried to explain things to my son, who I finally now think gets it. Me being adopted is not what is in question. How this fits into my life as well as my kids life is what always seems to be confusing. And, when I explain it here I might go out-of-order and bounce around a bit so just try pay attention. Like I mentioned above, from this point further I will address my fathers by their relationship to me. I needed to explain all of this to my children because they have never met my BF (biological father) or my AF (adopted father), all three of them only know my SF (step father) and all three of my children will be meeting my biological family (many of them but probably not all of them) in March.

So lets see where to begin here. I was born 06 November 1968 in a little town in the southeast of South Dakota. I was placed with my adopted parents within days of my birth. My adopted parents were divorced by the time I was 6. I will get into that another time. By the time I was turning 7 my mother was re-married and we all moved to the southwest side of Houston Texas. My AF remained in South Dakota where I visited him every Christmas break and summer vacation until he died at the end of the summer in 1983. I remained being raised by my SF and still to this day consider him to be my dad. Anything y’all read around this blog about the current happenings with my parents is about my mother and step father, which he is never referred to in the real world. There was never any secret of me being adopted, I have always “known” because I was told early on. Why? I don’t know. Before I start the next part, let it be known that my SF and my mother (AM) have always loved me and raised me if I was their own blood son. Their loyalty to me as a son has never, nor will it ever, be in question.

Once I was out on my own, joined the United States Air Force, married, and had my first daughter I was asked about my family history so medical records for my daughter could be started. I was at a loss, I was actually crushed because here I brought a child into existence and I don’t even know if I passed something on to her genetically that had the potential of being bad. I struggled with this fact for a few months as I held my daughter in my arms wondering if there were going to be things about herself that she would never know. After a brief discussion with my wife and a long conversation with my mother (AM) the decision was made I was going to find out who I was. It was the thought at the time, it gave me hope for myself and my daughter. Since I was stationed in Japan in 1991 I had to do things the old-fashioned way, I had to write letters. I actually only wrote two different letters, form letters, which I used to inquire about my adoption records and my biological parents. I won’t lie, I hit allot of dead ends, I got wrapped up in allot of red tape, and I was at a point (after a year) where I was ready to give up because there didn’t seem to be any information to have. Then, out of the blue, when I was ready to quit, I received a letter from the office of the Judge that was over my case back in 1968. I was informed that they had the information I was seeking, but, since I was overseas I needed to provide all my personal information along with an affidavit from my commander confirming my identity.

I gathered everything I had, to include birth certificate and the letter from my commander, loaded it in an envelope and sent it on it’s way. For the first couple of weeks I waited very patiently, then a month rolled by and my patience was wearing thin. After 3 months I just gave up. Soon after I received another letter from the office of the judge informing me that he has reviewed my case and my request and is granting my request to have my adoption records unsealed. I was informed that they were ordered sealed due to the circumstances of the adoption and the biological mother as a request of her parents. I had no idea what all of that meant and was more confused than ever. The following day I received a package (large envelope) from the judge’s office that had a complete copy of everything that was filed in accordance with my adoption proceedings. It was worse than my worst nightmare, everything I wanted to know was blacked out like this was some kind of top secret document. All of the names, dates, places, agencies, and so forth were either removed or blacked out altogether. These documents read like a very well written mystery, with one exception, I never got to find out “who did it”. So, for now, the quest for information is dead.

I was divorced in 1998, we split everything up, she went one way, and my daughter and I remained. I put 90% of my stuff into storage where it sat for the next few years. In 2000 I was remarried, I welcomed with open arms my own step daughter (that will be the only time you ever hear me refer to her as a step anything) and finishing up the remaining time I had for active duty Air Force Guard. In 2001, after my son was born, we decided we wanted to raise our family in a house and not an apartment. I didn’t want just any house, I wanted a house we could grow into, grow old in, and not need to move any more, as I was tired of all the moving over the years being in the Air force, I was done moving. I spent the next 18 months designing our new house. My wife thought I was the obvious choice as the architect since that is what I have a degree in. So I did it, between working for my SF as a concrete contractor I spent the hours needed creating our dream home. Once we were happy with the design I submitted it to a Texas state licensed architect for the “stamp of approval” I needed to move forward. I found 10.4 acres in a large lot subdivision that we really fell in love with. For the next 18 months we watched our dream come true.

After we got moved in I announced I needed to make a trip to New Mexico to gather my belongings out of a storage unit there. So, my oldest daughter and I loaded up a trailer and made the road trip. It wasn’t much, mostly boxes full of records, pictures, and different things I had collected while I was in the Air Force bouncing around the world. When we got back home I went to unpack the boxes and noticed the one that had all of my adoption research in it. Not wanting to stop, I had my daughter just put the box in the master bedroom closet for later. After about a month of organizing I was at the computer paying some bills, checking the weather, and just when I was getting done my wife comes in and announces “we need to talk” with tears rolling down her face. (Fuck! What did I do?) I knew I have done nothing so that couldn’t be it, so what was it. I noticed in her hand a letter that I had written so many years before and she asked me when I was going to tell her. Tell her? I thought she knew I was adopted, I really thought this had come up in conversation before. It had, but my quest for information was never talked about. To tell you the truth the box was put in my closet to protect it from humidity damage, I had no intention of going through it because in my opinion the quest was dead and I had given up. I explained to her I had no interest in talking about it but she was free to read all of it if she wanted to.

A few days later I was piddling around in the garage putting some shelves up when my wife comes out to let me know I had a phone call. Weird because I didn’t even hear the phone ring which was mere feet from where I was working. My wife holds her hand over the mouth piece as she whispers that she loves me in my ear. After I said hello there was an extremely long dramatic pause, so I said hello again. This time a woman said hello back to me. She went on to explain that my wife contacted her the day before and asked if her and I could talk. Okay, lets talk. She informed me of who she was, she explained to me that she was my biological mother (BM). I was at a loss for words. She told me she would tell me anything I wanted to know. She said we are older now so it was time for the truth to be told. Okay. She gave me a name and claimed it to be the biological father’s name but never kept up with him after I was born so that is all she knew. She then needed to go, this was too emotional for her, so we hung up. I was dumbstruck to say the least. Seems my wife is pretty sneaky. She told me she had “friends” who knew what to do with the information I had and in less than 24 hours had a name and a current phone number. Really? Really.

We found a number for the name she gave me and gave it a call. The plot thickened because the person she had me call was my BF’s good friend from back in the day. He put his name as the father and so forth to protect his friend’s marriage. This lie came between them a few years later and the friendship was severed, so he didn’t see the harm in giving me his name, the real name this time and he even had the phone number. After hanging up with him I called the number and asked to speak with the named person I was given and I was informed at that time by the man on the other end that he has been deceased since 1996. The man I was talking to was my BF’s wife’s new husband. He gave me the name and phone number of their oldest son if I wanted to talk with him because he might have more information. When I called him I got the answering machine. I left a message for him to call me and my information. When he returned the call we spoke for many hours because I knew things that nobody outside of their immediate family should even know. We were able to fill in each others blank spaces so to say. I offered up a DNA test to prove who I was and I was told that it wasn’t necessary he knew that I had to be genuine. The puzzle was indeed coming together for me and I basically unraveled everything he had ever known to be true. A few days later, his mother called me, she said she felt obligated since her husband had died before I could “confront” him in person. Yea, him being dead really did throw a wrench in it all for me.

I kept in telephone contact with my BF’s side of the family for a couple of years before it came time to go to my oldest daughter’s graduation in Rapid City South Dakota. She decided to go live with her mom, who guilted her into believing that her life was just too damn lonely without her. Since we were going to South Dakota for her graduation I had the bright idea that this would be the perfect time to meet my biological family as well as visit my AF’s grave that I have not seen since the day I buried him. I also contacted my BM and told her I was willing to drive to northern Idaho to meet her while we were on our trip. She declined as well as asking me not to contact her or her two other sons ever again. I have honored her request. I visited my AF’s grave, which was hard, it was emotional, and left me drained. The following day I visited my BF’s grave. This was hard as well but something I felt I needed to do. Why? I felt he needed to “see” me and “hear” my voice, I needed him to hear me and see me. I met all of his children, 4 sons and 4 daughters, and a whole slough of grandbabies, nieces, and nephews who had zero idea who this strange man was that was at their grandma’s house. The accepted me, it was like I had been on a long trip or lived far away and was finally returning home. Was it bizarre? Absolutely bizarre. by the time these 3 days were over my brain was mush, I felt like the wash cloth that gets crumpled up and left to dry in the corner of the shower, I was just done. But I had a graduation to go to, I had to get back on the road to drive five hours away to get to the next town for my oldest daughter’s graduation.

I talked with my daughter quite a bit about what has been happening. It involved her as well because the people I just met were here “people” biologically as well. I don’t think she was prepared for these talks but I know she walked away feeling better because now she had a few more answers that I could never give her before. The graduation was awesome, we were so happy for her because we know what an accomplishment it is to graduate. We spent the next few days with my daughter, doing different things, just her and I, it had been a long time since we got to just sit and shoot the shit together. The day came that it was time to head home, it was time to head back to Texas. I was out of energy, I was drained, and borderline torn if I needed to extend my trip so I could go to Idaho. Then, after a heated debate with myself, we drove back to Texas.

To this day I am close to my father (SF). He is close with all of my children. Until just weeks ago my 17 y/o daughter and my 12 y/o son didn’t know he was my step father. I had to explain so much to say so little. My son is looking forward to the trip to South Dakota to visit with people and to see the grave which bears the name of his grandfather which he has never met but was named after. It should be an interesting trip. My whole family will be involved this time in meeting all the biologicals, I’m told it will be a family reunion of sorts. I hope my wife and kids are up for the journey which is ahead of us. I will let y’all know if I was up to it when we get back. Until then, I guess this story is on pause. It’s not over, but it’s over for right now. I wonder what other people do when they try to explain their own family tree(s) to their kids. I bet allot of people are glad their roots aren’t so complicated.