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Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Son the Godsend, part 5

My Son, the Godsend, part 5
I am going to backtrack for a moment and share some letters that my son and I exchanged, prior to meeting.
In preparation for meeting him, I wrote a the following letter:
April 29, 1999
My dearest son,
I imagine you are shocked, after 36 years, to hear that your biological mother is trying to establish a relationship with you.
When W.A.R.M  (Whatcom Adoption Reunion Movement) the search agency, asked me to write a letter to you, I sat down and wrote a ten page letter, all about my life and your biological family; that letter is ready to send, but I thought it best to keep things simple for this first contact.
What can I say?  When I held you the day you were born, I looked at your lovely long fingers and your exquisite little face and knew I was giving an awesome gift to someone.  Little did I know how intensely I would miss you.
I love you from the deepest recesses of my heart.  I think about you and pray for you every day.  I long for a relationship with you.
Please forgive me.
Then I made the decision, before he had a chance to respond, to send the other letter, thinking that he would be happy to know about the achievements of his siblings, essentially bragging about the family he was now going to be a part of.  How terribly insensitive that letter was!

His response: 
Every time I have tried to write something, I haven’t been able to.  I get angry.  Not so much at what happened in 1962, but what is happening now.
Why?  Why now?  Thirty six years later.  You come into my life and turn it upside down.  You want to be involved and you want it now.
You’re my blood and that is very important to me.  But so is commitment.  My family has made that commitment to me and for me for them. They saw me through all the bad years and stuck with me  and loved me no matter what.
You come into my life and send me information about how good your life has been, you and your family.  My life has been hard, very hard.  If you only knew some of the things that have happened to me, you would not be in such a rush to meet me.
Listen, I’m glad you are in my life now.  But I don’t know you and I’m scared.  I’m confused.  That doesn’t happen to me very often.
I don’t believe I had any hard feelings for 1962.  I just can’t understand, why now?  I’m sorry if this sounds harsh; it’s not meant to be.  
You could only guess what I am feeling, and you would be wrong.  I can’t help myself from loving you, but some days I try to. I do love you.  I do want to know you, but I make no promises other than I will try.
I have a high pressure job, a lot of stress.  I’m buying a house, our first one, at 36 years old.
I’m a drug addict in recovery and my life is great now.  It has never been better, my life.  On the other hand, I feel like I’m going through the motions.  I have a lot on  my shoulders.
I hope you try to understand.

How brutally honest he was and is!
After exchanging these letters. we met (see part 4) and one of the first things he said was “When you find out about me, you won’t want to know me.”  I realized I was speaking the truth of my heart, when I responded, “There is nothing you could tell me that would keep me from loving you and wanting you in my life.  I love you unconditionally.”
In fact, his story of addiction and recovery made me love him even more, if that were possible. He has overcome great odds, with the help of his faithful wife and supportive family.  At the time I first met him, he had just bought a lovely home and was running a successful business as a house painter.  I met his wife and son, his employees and the members of the adult softball team he coached.  I was so pleased to see how much he was loved and respected by  all of these people. 
  As we chatted at the coffee shop, drove to replace my shattered tire and drove to his worksite and ball field, he talked about how painful it was for him to hear what a good life I had and how successful his half siblings were, while his own father had left his mother and four adopted children, after suffering from alcoholism.  Things just hadn’t turned out the way I had hoped they would.  in the best adoption scenario, the child has more opportunities and stability in the adoptive family than what the single mom could have provided.  In this case, my other five children had educational opportunities that Jim did not, and more importantly, a steady, loving father. Thankfully, Jim  had a wonderful, strong mother, a nurse, who raised all four of the children alone after her husband left. 
His mom was lovely to me, and I am so happy that I had an opportunity, while she was still living, to thank her for raising my son.  I attended her funeral, at Jim’s request.

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