S4E13 – UNRELATED: A Series of Unrelated Thoughts

Unrelated Thoughts on Being an Unruly Adoptee – Part 13 of 13

Meeting one’s biological relatives after years of costly struggle is, to be frank, a privileged position. That I succeeded, that I haven’t died along the way, that I somehow found the funds to travel across the country once I did locate them, and that my encounters with my relatives has gone as well as it has–all of this is a blessing, and such a strange sequence of events in retrospect that I find myself stunned at how it played out, reflecting specifically on my memories of visiting Twin Falls, Idaho, where I was born. I’ve visited three times since I moved away from there, and in each visit I thought I would experience something which did not happen. The first time I came I was young, alone, and meeting all my friends two years after having left town. I had thought I would see one of the girls I’d known years earlier, rekindle a friendship that would somehow become something more. I was young, and that did not happen. A year later I returned, driving with Amy, my then-girlfriend, from Wichita, Kansas to Twin Falls, Idaho, with the plan to stop in Salt Lake City and get a signed copy of the leather Seasons of Mists graphic novel from Neil Gaiman. I also secretly believed I’d somehow learn who my real mother was on that trip. I did meet Neil Gaiman, and was in fact the first person in line at the comic book store in the mall that day, and he graciously drew a Morpheus in the book I’d purchased alongside his signature, but I didn’t learn what I’d hoped to learn, something I didn’t admit to myself until I’d returned to Kansas and fell into a deep depression that lasted years, until I finally did begin searching in earnest. Visiting the third time, I feared that I wouldn’t want to leave, that somehow the pull of Idaho would overpower the life I’d built, the world I understood, with my wife and son. Meeting blood relatives for the first time is a powerful thing, it is atavistic, it doesn’t resonate so much with the daylight world as it does with drives, needs, hungers, fears. Finding my way through that required the guidance of my wife, Shira, much like the trip long before I was ever fully conscious of my desire to search was navigated by my friendships and my girlfriend, Amy. That I sought out my mother before my father, and that I relied on the emotional support of my women friends is not lost on me, I have always been more comfortable with women than with men, and my relationship with my adoptive father set the groundwork for conflicts that I’ve had with other men throughout my personal and professional life. So when I visited the third time, to meet my biological father, I was also braced for a conflict that never arose. There isn’t yet a central theme to my life, there’s no grand thread to pull at, other than this–the worst that could have happened never did, and the strangest situations have all resolved themselves. All I did was ask the right questions for a long enough period of time, and I have had more than my share of luck along the way. I’m deeply grateful to everyone I’ve named, and thankful that you, as an audience and readership, have taken the time to listen and share my story.