Finding myself

Are they like me? Neurotic, dysfunctional, OCD, ADD, ADHD, overachievers, underachievers, old, young, I knew nothing. Well that’s not completely true I knew a little

In 1998 my wife gave birth to our first child. You might feel this is no big deal. Lots of people have children. This, however, was my first known blood relative. I cant claim that I felt any different than your average new father when I looked into her eyes for the first time. This was the first time I looked in a persons eyes and saw myself looking back. It was like looking into my own soul and having it look back at me and ask "What am I supposed to do now?" For the first several weeks I would get up with her in the middle of the night and stare into her eyes. I was looking for clues, bonding with my own flesh and blood. This was a turning point in my life. I had to find out where I came from. Who were my parents? Do I have siblings? Are they like me? Neurotic, dysfunctional, OCD, ADD, ADHD, overachievers, underachievers, old, young, I knew nothing. Well thats not completely true I knew a little. I had a single page of hand-written notes from a social worker in California. Information relayed to her by the foster family who kept me warm and dry for my first 30 days of life.

I was born almost exactly 30 years before my revelation that I needed to find myself. As legend has it, my parents were both students in Arizona. They were both musicians. My father was Christian, my mother was Jewish. In 1968 mixed marriages were forbidden. So was childbirth out of wedlock and abortion, thank goodness. My mother, a daughter of a prominent dentist, was sent to California to incubate and birth her child. Once born my mother would offer me up for adoption. An orphan before I was even born. There was one prerequisite for getting me; you must be a good Jewish family. So with little fanfare I was born. I then lived in a foster home awaiting that Jewish family. The people who would choose me, and be approved by the state of California to take me home and raise me as one of their own. On April 1st, 1968 my fate was sealed. My adopted parents signed the final documents and took me home. I now had a mother, father, and three sisters. I was told that I was the chosen one and that my father wanted to raise a son. I was fortunate that he was genetically predisposed to generate only female sperm. Otherwise I might have ended up living with the Fagan and stealing pocket watches for a living.

Armed with my one page document and a computer I began my quest to find out where I came from and how I got here. The internet was my friend. I knew from experience I could find almost anyone by using Google. Then I stumbled upon an organization called ALMA. I registered with them and was given a package of instructions detailing how one would find their biological parents. It kind of threw me off a bit. Their methods made it seem difficult. They told me all the records were sealed. The only way to get them was to get a judge to release them from some vault in Sacramento. That it might cost me a lot of money and I still might not find them. Even if I did find them they might not want to have anything to do with me. I wondered how I would feel if I met my mother and she said dont ever call me. I decided I needed a strategy that would protect my feelings while giving me the drive to locate these people who obviously loved each other enough to inadvertently procreate. My strategy, when I find them is to ask only for medical records. For 30 years I had to tell Drs "I dont know when asked if I had a history of high blood pressure. I had to write unknown when filling out medical history forms. I was a ticking time bomb of medical uncertainty. Who knew if I was predisposed to Apotemnophilia and that I wouldnt start randomly cutting off my appendages some time in the future? I could have Alien Hand Syndrome and lose control of one of my hands or Porphyria which would make my pee look like red wine. I might even have Capgras syndrome and begin believing my wife is an imposter. I couldnt go the rest of my life without a genetic road map. It would be totally unfair to me and my children. Besides the risk of my uncontrollable hand strangling me was too scary, I might never ever sleep again. My plan was to find out about my parents using medical history. That way if they didnt like me I could at least know if I was likely to grow hair out of my ears and lose the stuff on my head. Surely that would help me find myself. With a plan in hand I began posting on adoption sites, petitioning the court to release my medical records. Following all the recommendations from the ALMA find your parents guidebook. Then I got the letter. It was from the Department of Social Services, San Bernardino California. It stated that unless both my parents wrote a letter asking to have my records extracted from this huge hidden Sacramento vault, I could only get non-identifying information about my birth parents. How could I get both my parents to right a letter if I didnt know who they were? I had to petition the court to get this data and it may take as long as a year to get a document as it had to be transcribed from microfiche by overworked underpaid county employees. This was going to be a big job.

So it was that I continued my quest to find myself. I contacted private investigators. They wanted too much money. I asked my lawyer friends. They were too busy to help. It was up to me to keep the ball rolling. I as an amateur sleuth looking under rugs and deep into the crevices of the world to find my parents. Six years later I received a five page document from the department of social services. It was the one month history of me with non-identifying information about my birth parents. I found out that the first document was wrong. Translated like a game of post office my parents were from Minnesota not Arizona. My father liked music but he wasnt a musician. My mother was a student my father was some beatnik party guy. I went back to all the postings I had made on the various websites intended to help people like me, people potentially stricken with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome or other bizarre genetic maladies that they dont know about because they were orphaned at birth and the records were hidden in some top secret location close to the earths core in a place called Sac-ra-ment-o. I added in all the data supplied to me by the social worker. I posted my birth certificate number and then I filed everything away thinking I would never know anything about my roots. Thirty minutes later I received an email. It was from a Search Angel she was going to contact the Dr who delivered me. Perhaps he remembered me. Did I have some distinguishing mark that I dont know about? Was I some sort of freak at birth? Perhaps I was born with a tail or teeth. I might have had a birth mark that looked like Abraham Lincoln that faded over the years. How in the world would an obstetrician remember a baby he delivered 30 years ago? It turns out he was also the person my birth mother lived with leading up to my birth. But he didnt know anything. Two hours later I got an email. It was from another search angel, she found my mother! Or at least she thought she did. Five minutes later, she had confirmed it, she called my mother. Did she say she called my mother? Holy shit! I didnt want anyone to do that. I had a plan. Medical records.no room for her to close the door in my face. This angel had called my mother. She had disrupted her life. She had never spoken with me, had no idea I had a plan. She had no knowledge that I didnt want to be rejected and therefore was not going to officially identify myself. What the fuck was I supposed to do now? My birth mother received a call at dinner time from some random woman asking about a child she left on the doorstep of a church 36 years earlier. All these thoughts going through my mind and I hadnt even completed my commute. I probably blew it. She would probably change her number. Probably call the people in Sacramento and tell them that the records need to be destroyed. I had come too close to finding her and about the families secrets. I got home and called the angel. She said my mother was too busy to talk to her. That she confirmed she was my mother. She told her that she would call back at a better time. Three weeks past and no call back from the vessel who had carried me and delivered me unto this earth. I did have her phone number and from that I found her address. Which I was able to Google and saw that she lived in a nice house, worked in some sort of medical role, and was married to a business professional. After mitigating the risk of her being an undesirable. I decided to craft a compelling letter. In it I would offer her options. I would ask her to fill out a medical form, sticking to your strategy is important. I would also offer up the possibility of being pen pals or talking on the phone. Surely she would respond. She was human and said she would call back. A week later I got an email. She told me she got my letter and would like to talk.

A week later we had our first conversation. It lasted a couple hours. It was great, we sparred back and forth trying to feel each other out. We each asked questions and rambled on topics from her life history to bizarre connections either concocted or real I am not really sure. We have been talking for 2 years now. We still haven;t met in person. Just havent got around to it. I found out I have 3 sisters from her side and that my father married a year after he sired me and he had 5 more boys. So I have 8 half siblings. I developed a relationship with one of my brothers and have met 4 out of 5 of my brothers from another mother. I also talked to my birth father once on the phone. He was not real receptive. The greatest thing is that when I look into my brothers eyes I see myself. It was like I did when I met my newborn children. We are connected to the soul. We are more the same than we know. Even though we were raised by different people we have a lot of the same genetic traits. Good or bad we were grown from the same seed. We are all family.

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