Growing up, it was always curious to me that searching out the birthmother was what would be talked about (when it was talked about), but not searching out the birthfather. I wanted to be equal opportunity, so when I put in to search, I said I was looking for my natural parents (not just mother), but all I found was my mother, who had very little information about my father.
It was actually exactly ten years after I met my birthmother, Kate, that I found my birthfather, John, and it's been thirteen years since then. That, in itself, is a long strange story.
What's interesting to me is the experience of being in reunion with my birthfather and trying to figure out what it means. The birthmother relationship is certainly more complicated - they hold the burden of the choice, at least that's true in my case.
I saw John this past summer. We typically only get to see each other once or twice a year. He lives over 500 miles away. But, when I had a business trip down in California, he rented a car and drove four hours so he can see me for a few hours. We had a wonderful dinner together, and he told me he like me. I smirked. He explained that he genuinely likes me, likes who I am, enjoys spending time with me. It was actually a really cool compliment.
I like him too. We've said, "I love you" a couple times - not many. It still feels awkward, but saying that he liked me was better in a way. And, when I'm with him, I feel like a little girl with her dad. It has that feeling and that's hard to explain. How is it that you can not know someone your whole life and still feel that connection? At least with the birthmom, you have those first nine months together, but with the birthdad it's just genes.
Sometimes I'll look at Kate and John and try to figure out how I was the result of the two of them together. It doesn't quite add up. And I realize that's because there's as much of my adoptive parents that are part of me too. My adoptive parents are my parents, I've never had question of that. But it was a different realization to discover that they were part of me, part of who I am, even without the genes.
My dad, my adoptive dad, is in the hospital tonight. He went in yesterday. He's 80. They don't know exactly what's wrong beyond that he has a lung infection, which he's gotten pretty frequently over the last five or so years. I'm scared. I know someday I'll lose my parents and then I'll be stuck being the adult. But, what's more is that I lose who I was as a little girl with her dad. I'm not explaining that well. He's my daddy, I'm his little girl, and I want him around forever. Even though I know that's not possible, the alternative is just as impossible.