The Un-Natural Father.

A young male and a young female have sex.

Years ago, a medium said my conception “feels like it was very…abrupt.  And aggressive.”  I have no idea what happened only that

the Female became pregnant.

Male has no interest in 1) any relationship with the female past the one (was it more than one?) night they had sex, 2) any relationship with the baby they created.

The years following reuniting with my mother, I learned several things about my natural father – not all of which was shared by her. Despite the narrative I had been told by mostly my adoptive mother, he was not a lawyer, doctor, pilot or banker, though in his current position – a CFO/CIO at a large west coast hospital conglomerate  – he has some corporate clout.

It was told to me he was kicked out of Harvard for stealing Science Department supplies and selling them on the black market (for drug manufacture).  It was also told to me:  In 1970’s New York City, posing as a gay man, he lured an actually gay man to that man’s apartment and beat him to within an inch of his life.  Because that man was gay.  My natural father may have performed this unthinkable brutality more than once; the person who told me, a member of his family, was unsure but clearly remembers hearing family elders talk of the crime.  (That same person also remembered, quite clearly, him bragging about getting a girl pregnant and that he didn’t have to do anything about it.  He was described to me as “smug, without conscience or remorse.”)  I don’t believe he served jail or court time for any of these offenses.  His father, high up in the U.S. military, likely had a history of “cleaning up” after his eldest son.

My natural father has siblings.  This was part of the non-identifying information from Spence-Chapin I received in 1985. Two younger sisters, one younger brother.  I wonder if they have any relationship as I’m pretty sure the younger brother is gay.  (My gut says hard no!)  One of the sisters is a real estate agent and looks to be a very active, on-the-go gal.  The other sister is outdoorsy, educated, down-to-earth and seems to be very real and very kind.  I have never met any of these people, though I have spoken to some – they called me first.  One of the sisters sends me a birthday card and checks-in via email or phone twice or thrice a year.  It feels good to have that connection.

My natural father has several children with several different women.  He is what my next-youngest brother, birth father’s eldest son, called a serial monogamist, during the one phone call we had about 10 years ago.  After me is that brother, named after our father; his brother from one of the father’s marriages, and the youngest, a sister, from yet another of our father’s marriages.  She was raised by our father, single-handedly, and from the way she spoke of him during the unexpected conversation we had in 2013 or 2014, he could do no wrong.  He also told her – because she found me on social media connected to one of our common brothers and asked our father about me – that I was not a relative, that I was making up my story, that he never got a girl pregnant who gave up a baby.  He told her that I wasn’t who I said I was.  He told this very young and naive father-adoring sister of mine (she was 32 when we spoke) to not trust me and beware.

Ah, but if she only knew what she was missing.  We shall probably never meet each other, any of us.  To be honest, it is oddly comforting to know those people are out there, and to know that I have never committed any crimes the likes of which exist in their narrative.

On my 40th birthday, my natural father and I spoke over the phone.  An email to his work and a phone message and he finally responded.  That he called on my birthday without knowing was just crazy irony.

The gem of that conversation is here for you to savor, as I still do, years later.  After brief introduction, here’s what he said – without any prompting:

You think about this day happening for like 40 years, but you never really expect it to happen; but, you know, it just might, and, well, her you are.  How old are you now?  [40, today.]  I tell him it’s actually my birthday.  He doesn’t recognize this nor wish me happy birthday.  There is a pause…he continues.

So, what do you want, after all this time?  You have to want something. [I don’t want anything other than to learn about you.  I take care of myself and my daughter, we’re fine.  I am not looking for a thing from you, I’m not like that.]  He doesn’t acknowledge my daughter, his granddaughter.  He is silent for a moment.

So, what do you want to know?  I will say we’re all very good looking and well-educated, bright and well-traveled.  Great dressers.  None of us smoke or do drugs, no alcoholics, and we’re all quite healthy, though there was an aunt on my mother’s side who died of some sort of cancer; she is the exception and I think her husband smoked a pipe or cigars…disgusting.  No one else had any diseases or anything like that.  No mental illness, no one incarcerated.  We’re not criminals or sloths and we are popular and sought in our communities.  We’re a hardworking and honest bunch.  We’re pretty great, I’d say.”

Speechless.  I was just speechless.  Is he for real??

For a moment, I hoped he might be putting on some act.  What a self-centered gasbag.  After his winded monologue, it was clear he was done and wanted to hang up.  I asked if he would like to see a photo of me and my daughter.  She was six.

If it’ll make you feel better, sure.  Why not.  You have a granddaughter, you jackass, I thought.  Good grief.  At no time do I see myself ever flying to California where he, and most of them, are.  Nope.  Not interested, except to meet one of the sisters, my aunt.  I emailed the photo after we hung up.  20 minutes later he wrote, “Nice.  Have a nice life.”  That was 15 years ago.  My daughter is now 21.

 

In many conversations about adoptees, the narrative about the birth father is left out.  Most adoption stories are about the mother, the baby she abandons for another life, what happened to the baby, what happened to the mother –  but hardly ever is there a narrative about the birth father.

In my story, one can clearly understand why.  And, while I am thankful for the knowledge I have about him and his contribution to my existence – what little that may be – I am not a complete and total horse’s ass.  Amen to the Father.

3 thoughts on “The Un-Natural Father.

  1. It’s so hard to imagine a human being with so little curiosity about or desire/ability to connect to a being he was responsible for creating!

    “Ah, but if she only knew what she was missing. We shall probably never meet each other, any of us. To be honest, it is oddly comforting to know those people are out there, and to know that I have never committed any crimes the likes of which exist in their narrative.” Sounds like a healthy perspective!

    As always, thanks for sharing. I appreciate these insights into your head, heart, and history.

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