The Original 1982 [Book]

downloadA reader of this blog sent me this book recommendation today. Sent rather cryptically with nothing but my own blog post attached to it along with the the book title.  Later I saw it again on my Feedly feed under The Rumpus, a site I read regularly.  Skimming through the Rumpus post by Eileen Drennen I am stopped in my eyeball scanning tracks by this paragraph:

“Then a trip to my hometown gave me a chance to revisit the past with new eyes. I wondered which moments make you who you are, and if it’s ever possible to know while they’re unfolding. When I ran into my first love at a high school reunion – the father of the son I gave up for adoption – I was surprised at how calm I felt. My neck wasn’t prickling with the anger I’d nursed for almost 40 years, despite the many times we’d talked or made tentative peace. He reached out nervously to shake my hand, but I hugged his shoulder instead. In that moment, I saw him not as the boy who repeatedly broke my heart but as who he’d always been: a guy perpetually three steps behind his best intentions. My worry over whether he’d finally do right by our son – telling his other kids about him, standing up at last to take responsibility for his part, making amends where possible – eased. I’d spent so many years waiting for him to change that I’d lost sight of how little it ultimately mattered. I had changed. Something inside had shifted. I’d let the bulk of my anger go…

Holy moly.  This hits too close to home for me.  I am momentarily thrown back into the many, many years, I spent pining for my daughters father hoping that this day, one day, some day he would do right by me, his daughter, even tell his other children about our daughter.  I am trapped in an odd place reading the Rumpus post while the words switch from my black and white computer screen to images of my past with him, around him, writing to him, wanting him, crying over him.  I gasp for air, my eyes begin to hurt from holding back tears.

I click over to Amazon and find this review from Booklist:

At 24, Lisa Nelson is a waitress in a New York City diner and a hopeful singer-songwriter with a talent for the guitar and a gifted voice. She is in love with Gabriel Luna, a famous musician and elusive playboy more than a decade her senior. When she becomes pregnant, and he doesn’t want her to have the baby, she faces a monumental decision. What will happen if she goes against his wishes and raises their child alone in a world of poverty and struggle? Alternately, where will her life go if she puts her career and her desire to please Gabriel first? Lisa decides to have an abortion, but many years later, famous in her own right, she looks back and records this story of what-ifs as a message to the child she never had. In this first novel, Carson, herself a singer-songwriter, commits her artistry to paper, creating a lyrical story of love, longing, and acceptance. Beautifully imagined and authentically told, the result is a deeply meaningful exploration of an often painful subject. –Cortney Ophoff

Oh gods.  Alternate universes, those what-ifs.  Yeah.  I know that as well.

Needless to say, I bought the book and am reading it today. You can buy it on Amazon.

 

Dreaming of bGramps

I had an incredibly lucid dream last night about my daughter’s paternal grandfather. He was in the dream and in the dream I was telling him about his first born granddaughter, the child I had with his oldest son, a child he does not know exists. Said grandfather has at least three other granddaughters (my daughters half sibs on her fathers side). It was an emotional and rather sad dream. It is at least eight waking hours later and I still feel the way I felt in the dream.

I am always amazed how powerful and vivid my adoption trauma dreams are. I have had many things happen in my life, many people cross my path, many good events, several negative and many somewhere in between. I do not always remember my dreams but when I do, and they are this vivid, they are almost always adoption related.

I have carried guilt (likely misplaced, at least in part) about my daughter’s father’s parents for years. I feel responsible for their lack of knowledge, lack of awareness in the events that took place in 1986.  Their son gave up the family rights to their first born child and my mother helped him do it. Unlike my parents, they were not even given the chance to judge and reject us (or by that token, accept us).

His mother liked me. I liked her. His father, well, he was a rather stoic sort, never really spoke much, seemed to tolerate me. Daughter’s father’s parents were divorced and bdad was raised largely in his fathers home. When we spent time together it was usually at the male dominated residence comprised of one father, two sons and a grandmother (who was usually in her room or off at a church related event). I was around his father far more frequently than I was his mother yet I barely knew him. He was a rather introverted stoic sort. I always felt he was not quite sure what to make of me, this female creature that so loved his oldest son and hung around his house, making out with his son on an orange plaid couch in the basement TV room (with said makeup session caught by father as he walked past the door to change laundry). I have clear memories of sitting at his dinner table, eating with him and his sons. They did not speak.  Rather they sat and chewed food while I observed them all.

Why would I dream of him?

Do you believe dreams have meanings? My therapist used to love my dreams. Wrote them down, tended to try and find some sort of meaning in them. I tend to go with the usual explanation that they are events in our everyday lives getting twisted. Stress will cause different types of dreams for me, as well as medication. Not sure where this one is coming from or why I woke with such a strong urge to contact my daughters biological grandfather.

I won’t of course. I will however spend too much time trying to figure out what my mind is telling me – adoption related or not.

 

 

Pick a God, Any God

Father consent to Birth Hope in AZ agreeing to allow them to place the child with a family of any religion. I find this ironic. A friend, a mother in IL, a devout Catholic, begged for her child to be placed with Catholics. Easter House assured her he would be.  When mother and I found her son a few years back, we learned he was raised Jewish.  Ooopsie!

Consent to Religion (or not) signed by Father.  Click Image for larger view.

Consent to Religion (or not) signed by Father. Click Image for larger view.