My father was adopted.
It’s not something I think I’ve brought up here before, but it’s something I plan to revisit in the future. The effect it’s had on him, on his family, on our family. The positives and negatives and the way it has always made me want to go out into the world and find a little boy or girl who needs a family. It’s part of who he is and it’s part of who I am.
I love my grandmother. Grandma Honey, we call her. She’s 96-years-old and lives over a thousand miles away from me. Roo gets her middle name from her. She is my hero, because she has loved my dad like he was her own. She is my mother’s hero, because without her? None of what we have would have been possible. She saved my dad. I believe that with all of my heart.
We have one picture of my dad’s birth mother. He finally found her, after years of poring over old phone books and fighting to have sealed adoption papers opened. She had died about 15 years prior. To say it was heart-breaking news is an understatement. The answers we will never have could fill books. He did meet her nephews, though. We got some bits and pieces. Her name. And one picture of a woman a little bit older than I am now, who looks a whole lot like me. Who loved math and order. I like to think she’d have liked me.
When I was in 6th grade, we were given a discussion topic in my Gifted class. If you were given a time machine and could only go back to one point in time, what would it be? Everyone wanted to go back to meet all sorts of famous people who died long ago. Athletes. Politicians.
I wanted to go back to the day my dad was born.
My teacher almost cried.
So, to be the sappy one of the bunch, my birth grandmother would be my ideal lunch date. I am desperate to know her. Not because I don’t love my Grandma Honey, my REAL grandmother, but because I see that picture of her and feel like we both missed out on something.
I would want to go to her favorite place to eat. I would ask her who my father’s father is. Did he have any other children? Do I have aunts and uncles and cousins out there? She never had more children. Giving up my father, the result of an affair with a married man, broke her heart, and it never healed.
She’s the missing piece. A mystery I’ve been solving in my head for over 10 years, as my own eyes and lips face me from that frame.