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adopted searching for birth father
October 28, 2006
4:13 pm
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lolli
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does anyone have experience with this? i grew up with bio-mom but not with bfather. i feel like i'm dealing with some of the same issues as adoptees...

i met him a few times throughout my childhood but he was introduced as a "friend from high school," not as my father. then later i found out about him and we met. it was so awkward. i was still a teen. we had one more meeting after that and haven't spoken since.

i don't know where he is- trying to find him. i'm not sure why we lost contact. i fear my bmother told him to cut contact... but i also fear he rejected me yet again. the story my bmother gave was that he wanted to be there for me all along and he was nice guy. i don't know what the truth is. i want to know him but scared to find out he's really a jerk... and scared of being rejected yet again. all of my step fathers were either absent and/or abusive. i desperately want a relationship with my true father, but i'm terrified to take the first step.

anyone else been through something like this?

October 28, 2006
4:30 pm
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justhinking
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I can't imagine what you have been through but searching for the unknown is sometimes scary. Whether your father rejects you or not or whether you find him or not should be something in your life that will bother you and eat up at you if you don't let it go. And since you father does know where you are and who you are then when he is ready to face his daughter, he will find you. but why won't your mother tell you the truth? you don't have to answer just a question.
Hang in tight and be expect the best and be prepared for the worst.

October 28, 2006
4:37 pm
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mj
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Hi lolli,

I hope that you can find the courage to find your father again.

I was married to a man that had given his daughter up for adoption. I heard the pain in his voice and encouraged him to be open to reconnecting. He said that the reason he had given his daughter up was so that his ex-wife, his daughters' mother who had moved from coast to coast could have a father with her new husband. It seemed like such a self-less thing for him to do.

As Life goes, one day a letter came from her. My husband (ex now) was so happy. His daughter wanted to take it slow and to this day they communicate by telephone and mail but have never met in person. My ex sent her money for a flight to visit but she never came. Last I heard was that she had a daughter which he hasn't seen yet. It is sad why people get enstranged. My ex could never release him of his guilt. He felt like he was doing the right thing. The more he got to know her I felt like the more he compared her to his ex who had cheated on him.

Adoptions are painful. I wish you much love and comfort in doing what feels right for you.

October 28, 2006
5:16 pm
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lolli
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thanks justthinking and mj,

interesting to get two different points of view right away. i will think about them both!

i don't know if my bfather would know how to find me right away or not... he might have to go through my mom. but am i just making excuses for him??? i'm pretty sure i am on the web, but don't know if my contact info is...

this is complicated because as i said she might have told him i didn't want to see him again- which was a rejection to him that could have scared him away. and maybe he's not contacting me b/c he's trying to be respectful of my wishes (not my real wishes but the ones she told him).

i just don't know the truth anymore. I very recently started remembering about sexual abuse that happened by my adopted father that biomom always denied. i don't feel like i can trust her for any answers right now. plus, i'm starting to realize how controlling she's always been... she's told other lies that i believed - but now i'm learning they were lies aimed at keeping me enmeshed with her.

so when i lost contact with bfather, she said "i dunno why that happened, maybe he is intimidated b/c there is a financial inequity between us... or maybe his new wife got mad."

i believed those reasons at the time. and they are possible. but my bmom had talked to him on the phone and said i wasn't comfortable visiting him at his house - this i know. now i'm starting to wonder what else went on during that conversation.

btw, i think the only reason my bmom told me about him is b/c she was in the middle of a custody battle with adopted f (they divorced) who sexually abused me (which she denied).... i was getting ready to have visitation with aoptedfather and she told me about real dad b/c she was AFRAID i would choose him over her. so she only told me to manipulate. i don't trust her.

what to do??? if i go out on a limb and call biofather... what should i say??? i can't even begin to think of a script.

October 28, 2006
6:08 pm
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Ned 348
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Hi lolli,

I have an experience somewhat like yours. When I was born my father said that I wasn't his child (parents weren't married). When I turned six he wanted to meet me and whenever I visited my aunt she would send me over to see him, as they lived nearby one another. You know how when you speak to a small child they hold on to their mother's dress or father's pant leg, put their hand up to their face, shake their head yes or no, and can't look you in the eye? Well that is the way I felt when I visited him. Now perhaps if someone had accompanied me or if he and I went for a walk that would have helped divert some of the attention, it was just so overwhelming at the time and I didn't know how to express my thoughts. I would cry and cry after these visits because I felt he was a stranger and I wanted him to go away. I heard he did not want me and I did not want him. He backed off and over the years (my teenage years) I saw him a couple of times on the street. I didn't feel intimidated by him but I didn't know what to say, I know I didn't want anything from him materially. When I was a teenager I worked at McDonald's and there was another boy, whom I didn't like,(young boy thing) but I knew something he didn't - he was my brother. Then I had a friend, my best friend, whom I would visit. I found out his uncle was my uncle. One day I was waiting for the train and my mother says there goes one of your uncles - this one was different from the other I just mentioned. I met a woman in NYC and I was telling her my story and she got very quiet. Then she told me that my father was her sister's father. I married that woman and met her nephews. They knew me as their uncle by marriage but didn't know I was their uncle by blood. I know that I have about 7 - 10 brothers and sisters out there. So when I say I have a brother by another mother (and sisters)it is true. I met a woman that was staying with my mother and my mother told me she is my cousin. This cousin wants me to meet the rest of the family and she says they want to meet me. All those strangers and all those lost years. Am I nervous? You bet I am but I'm going to make myself brave and take my camera and do what VelvetHeart said and feel the love. I'll probably see my father there too. I don't know what the hell we will say to one another. I guess, Hi will be a good start.

October 28, 2006
7:16 pm
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lolli
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wow, ned. that is heavy stuff. i'm so sorry you had to go through all that as a little kid!!!

it is all so strange and twisted, isn't it???!!!

i feel like i am telling soap opera saga when i try to explain to my "normal" friends what happened to me.

there must be so many others with similar experiences... after all, we are the generation of "lost dads" or is it "absent dads" or is it... what do they call it when they don't pay child support??? "absentee dads?" i dunno.

it is all so painful. i still can't comprehend how/why adults didn't have the strength/courage to face this stuff and explain it to us in better ways when we were so vulnerable as kids. i'm angry at my mom about this... but also just beginning to get angry with my bfather. i mean, even if he "let me go" with the best and least selfish of intentions, i still feel rejected. so i'm angry he couldn't stand up for me and our relationship more. why was he such a wimp about it?

i have never had your experience of meeting people who turn out to be related to me. that is so interesting. but all the time i meet people and WONDER if they are related to me. it is a terrible desperate feeling.

when i was a kid, i had this book about a baby bird who fell out of her nest. she went up to EVERYBODY (including at one point, a backhoe) and said, "Are you my mother?" Have you heard of this book? That's how I feel... like on the inside I'm so lost and just walking up to everybody (random strangers) and I want to say, "are you my father/brother/sister/uncle/grandmother?"

I just really don't know what to do. I'm hoping there will be some good info/ideas exchanged on this thread.

thank you so much for sharing your story. it helps to know that i'm not the only one who has had this type of experience. even though i wish it never happened to you or me or anyone else! it's good not to be alone.

I am happy for you that your bio family wants to meet you. i will send you good thoughts that you will be strong during the meeting and make some lasting connections with people in your family. my heart goes out to you.

((ned))

October 28, 2006
7:34 pm
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justhinking
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Wow Ned, My prayers will be with you for your family gathering. Pictures capture memories!! Mostly the good ones and keep those in your thoughts.

Loli,
I think you should just be yourself and take the conversation which ever way it leads you and try to put some closure in your search. Sometimes trying to find family, you lose the one that's already there.
Or sometimes you find a family like mine where ever where you turn you get stabbed in the back quitely! That's fightning.

October 28, 2006
8:25 pm
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Ned 348
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lolli - hugs right back at you. Thanks justhinking. It is so strange. When I see people from well-balanced families, I think of them as being sheltered. That type of thinking is kind of out of whack. Lolli I hope you can find peace and your search will end up being a happy story. I don't even know how mine will end up. I know that families fight and so I do not think that even if I had of known the other family everything would have been utopia but not knowing somehow seems worse. Maybe I am being naive but that is the way I feel. Everyone has a right to know. And on the practical side I don't, and you don't, know half of our family medical history. I feel so foolish when my doctor says - does this or that run in your family? I feel like saying - as far as I know it doesn't.

October 28, 2006
8:32 pm
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justhinking
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It's all upto you what you want to know. What's right for me might be wrong for you or visa versa. which ever it is everyones circumstances are always different from each other but yet similar. Ned you have to do what works for you and only you! and if that is what is missing in your life and it answers all your questions including medical which is extremely important than so be it.

October 28, 2006
8:58 pm
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Ned 348
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Justhinking - I'm not disagreeing with you. I agree that it is different things for different people. I know that families can be brutal to one another. I don't know if meeting them will answer everything or clear up what is missing in my life but I want to see where it takes me. I know, like you do, that sometimes you wish you could leave your family or at least some of them. I don't know the answer. Whoever said that life is easy lied.

(((justhinking)))

October 28, 2006
11:52 pm
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sis_who_got_help
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I have a bfather who just can't form close relationships. He's great at casual relationships, but he runs whenever you get too close. I've learned how to keep things at a casual level with him. Whenever I have a crisis, he never knows about it. He just knows when things are good and that's the only way to keep him in my life. If I let him know there is any hint of anything not being perfect he bolts.
Maybe this is what your bfather will need to start a relationship. It sucks to have a father who doesn't want to be a father, but it's nice to have him around from time to time.

October 29, 2006
1:57 pm
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lolli
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sis - that's really hard. actually i have an aunt and uncle like that. in a way they are like my 2nd set of parents. i spent a lot of time with them when my mom was with various abusive/dysfunctional husbands.

now that i'm learning about the sexual abuse that happened to me... i want desperately to run to a parent-type of figure. someone. anyone. i think that's part of the reason i am thinking so much about my bfather now.

but what you said reminded me of how i keep thinking too, that i will tell my aunt and uncle what happened to me. but like your bfather, they are so afraid of hearing any bad news. i told my cousin (their adult child) something painful about my life history (not the SA stuff, but something else less traumatic - i was testing the waters)... and my cuz gave me such a sugary and pollyanna reply that it was like she couldn't even absorb the depth of what i said. it would be like if i said, "i lost my arm in an auto accident," and somebody said, "well, everybody has a bad day."

so i'm pretty sure i can't tell any of them. which is so hard because i really want the comfort of somebody who knew me "back then" when all the sexual abuse was happening. i guess it's like the child in me wants to go back in time and be able to tell an adult and have the adult just hug her and tell her it will be okay. but none of those adults could deal with it then... and apparently none of them can deal with it today.

so i can relate to what you say, sis.
and i guess you are right... it is still better than nothing at all. i do like my aunt and uncle and cuz. i guess i just have to accept they are really only available for small talk type stuff. 🙁

i read on an adoptee support website that many adoptees have to face a "second rejection" when they realize that meeting their biofamily doesn't suddenly make them unadopted and change or fix their life. I guess I have been trying to deal with this notion since I first met my bfather 15 years ago.

one of my big fears is that like my aunt and uncle, my bfather won't be able to deal with my disclosre of sexual abuse either. or even worse - what if HE is a PEDOPHILE too (just like my adopted father). i'm so afraid because you know how those patterns just repeat and repeat themselves in families. and if my mom fell in love with a pedophile (my afather), what would have stopped her from falling in love with another one before she met him? she is obviously attracted to them for some reason. yuk. thinking about this makes me want to throw up.

i'm sorry to ramble. thank you all so much for your thoughts. it really helps me so much to hear others' stories and to know that i'm not alone.

if i may, i have a few questions:

sis- how did you regain contact with your bfather? or was he always in your life? how was it for you "before" contact?

ned- please, please, please let us know how things work out at the reunion. I am really pulling for you... but also know that we are here for you if it isn't all you hoped. you sound very well-adjusted... like maybe you've already come to terms with this idea that knowing your biofam won't "fix" everything. i really admire you for that!~ hopefully one day i will get there too.

also, i'm wondering ned... has your mom changed at all? what does she think about you having contact with your biofam? does she know? has she ever admitted that she could have done things better for you?

thanks everyone so much, really!

October 29, 2006
4:37 pm
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Ned 348
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Hi lolli. I have mainly thought about my relationship to my mother. Read the thread Wouldn't it be awesome if... It is when VelvetHeart brought up what was my story plus the recent event of my cousin wanting to hear from me that all this came out of me. I know that it was repressed and it is not something I think about all the time.

My mother doesn't have a problem with it. She is old now and way past it. She is the one who gave me my cousin's phone number. They live in NY, I live in NJ. My mother is religious now and says that was her old life, which it was.

I hope everything works out well. I hope to hear some stories of their lives, any tidbits that they have to say about me if anything. But I do try to keep it real to myself. I know that they are not going to create magic in my life as though this were a movie with a nice ending. If I just get to meet them and it doesn't work out that would be okay. I just want to know. I have my cousin, she's a nice lady and that will be good enough. Hopefully I'll connect with some of the others on a congenial basis but I'll take it for what it is. Mainly I think I want closure.

Like my name here Ned means (not everyone's delighted) well that was certainly true when I came on the scene but I say to myself I will not let that consume me and doom me. So I try to always remember that.

You are definitely not alone. Remember the sister I was telling you about in the above post. Well when I married my ex-wife I wanted to meet her. She told my wife that she has gained a lot of weight and has health issues so she didn't want me to see her like that. She never came to any of the family functions. She has a very poor relationship with her mother and her bio father too. I was thinking - boy is she taking this thing hard. Then my ex-wife said that when our sister was a young girl her step-father (my ex-wife's father)who was an alcoholic, sexually abused her. When she told her mother, her mother sent her away and our sister never forgave her. That was an ooooooh moment for me. No wonder the child is so troubled. I'm sure she blames her bio father for not being there for her. Life sure can be screwy. Too bad kids have to be involved.

October 29, 2006
4:48 pm
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lolli
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ned,

thanks for your comments. i will definitely check out your other thread.

what has helped you get to this point of acceptance? are there any books you can recommend? was it through therapy? or just time???

thanks and hugs ((ned))

October 29, 2006
5:01 pm
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lolli
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ned,

just took a moment to read your other thread. i am so sorry you were verbally abused. As Velvet said, don't discount it. you never deserved to be treated that way... and it is so hurtful.

part of what kept me from healing for so long is that I compared what happened to me to the most horrible sadistic cases of satanic ritual abuse you'd hear about on talk shows. I'd say, "well THAT never happened to me," and so I'd think that I wasn't really abused. or that "I wasn't abused THAT bad." But abuse is abuse and we all deserve to heal from it. I have read that "minimizing" is a way to shield ourselves from the pain of what really happened. I know I definitely did that! and I even still do it sometimes.

you seem like such a strong and caring person to have survived all of this with such grace. if i ever do get to meet my bio-brothers again, i hope one of them is like you:)

((ned))

October 29, 2006
6:42 pm
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Ned 348
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Aw shucks, ((((((lolli)))). Love you too. That is so sweet. I wish you peace and comfort and closure. You touched my heart today.

October 29, 2006
7:43 pm
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lolli
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ned,

i wish you all the same too. many, many warm fuzzies!

lolli

October 30, 2006
7:24 pm
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lolli-

On a whole new level here...I need your advice..

My daughter is 9. She hasn't seen her bio-dad since she was 6 months old. I have been dating my now husband since she was 10 months old. She calls him dad. Until she was 6, she thought he was really her dad. We finally told her the truth there. But we told her that it wasn't that her dad didn't love her or anything else, but that he didn't know how to take care of her. Now, there is NOT a lot of truth in that. She is the result of a one night stand. He didn't believe that she was his. She looks just like him, and there was NEVER any question in my head. But, he was a refugee from Iraq. It is completely against their religion to have children out of marriage...Do we know one that is okay with it? Just checking. But anyways, actually tomorrow, we are intending to file the paperwork for my husband to adopt her. That is what she wants. My husband is the one who sits through conferences, music concerts, basketball games, brownie ceremonies, her 11 brain surgeries last year, and EVERYTHING else. In every other sense of the word he IS her dad. What do you suggest that we tell her, having walked in her shoes?

October 30, 2006
8:41 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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bumping this for lolli to find it a little easier...

October 30, 2006
9:09 pm
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lolli
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Hi scared,

First of all... MANY pats on the back to you for caring so much and taking time to write here.

It is difficult for me to give you any suggestions, because in a way "her shoes" and mine perhaps are quite different. Let me try to explain what happened in my case that is different and maybe that will give you insights? ...

The first person my mom married called himself my dad. She was married to him until I was 8, and until then I thought he WAS my dad. When they were in the middle of their divorce and my mom started dating someone new, I was understandably upset (even though my *dad* had been sexually abusive, I still thought he was my dad and didn't want to lose the tiny bit of identity I got from him) and I started causing trouble. I did something that embarrassed her in front of her new boyfriend. So she took me in another room and said, "look here... i don't know why you are so upset. you know ___ might not even have been your REAL dad."

Obviously NOT the best way to explain it to an 8 year old.

She ended up marrying that boyfriend.

But right away, he told me to call him dad, and I was all too eager to do it. (the first guy had been such a jerk and I was SO desperate to have a real dad). We even talked several times about him adopting me, and me changing my last name to his (until then it had been the last name of fake dad #1).

thankfully, we never went through the legality of changing my name. that guy ended up being an alcoholic and verbally abusing me (and some covert sexual abuse too). But I always called him dad. I was SO angry and hurt and felt like I had given up so much trust by calling him dad. When my mom told me we were going to leave him and that she was just saving up money, I completely 100% stopped talking to him. No "please," "thank you" "hi" "bye" or ANYTHING. 100% silent treatment for about a month. I was 12.

When my mom immediately remarried (to a thankfully, FINALLY non-abusive guy), there was just no way I had any trust left in me. They are still married and 18 years later, I still don't call him dad. We are polite, but not really close.

When I was about 16 and my false dad #1 filed for custody (for bizarre unknown reasons- he rarely even called me), she got scared and told me again how he wasn't my father. I had COMPLETELY blocked out that she had already told me this when I was 8.

I'm telling you all this because I want to offer it as a type of warning I guess. I don't know your situation and I don't know your husband, but from your post he seems like a pretty good guy. But my warning is that you need to take this so seriously (as you obviously are) because if for any reason you get divorced or separated, he STILL has to be willing to be 100% her father. Otherwise, it will hurt her doubly. Does this make sense? Maybe you and he have discussed this? If so, great. If not, as hard as it is to talk about "what if" scenarios, this is one I think you should discuss, for her sake.

SO... it seems like my case and your daughter's case are different... because if nothing else, I was abused by my "adopted" fathers. Now I wonder "what would have been" if I had had my REAL dad all along. I know that is a fantasy, and he is probably a jerk too, but it is no consolation that I had 2 men willing to "adopt" me because they were just doing what they thought my mom wanted. They weren't doing it for me. And each time I realized that, it was a HUGE rejection.

I can conceive, however, of having only one adopted father... a good one (like your husband seems to be). I can imagine I would still have some of the "what if" questions about my real father, but I think they would be somewhat less desperate.

I can remember when I was her age and my mom told me about my real father, asked me if i wanted to be adopted, etc. To tell you the truth, it was really too much for my 8 year-old mind to process. I didn't have many feelings about it at the time. Those didn't happen until I became an adult and THEN I started realizing what an impact the original "rejection" (by my birth father) has had on my life. Obviously, the abuse has had a greater or equal impact on my life.

So I guess if I had to give you "advice," I'd say to let her talk about it if/when she wants. My suspicion is that she probably hasn't delved too deep into the implications of it yet. And the fact that she has been through 11 brain surgeries in the past year-- whoa. She's probably still a little in shock from that, I imagine. It is great that you and your husband have been there to support her through that, too.

I'm not saying any of this to make you feel bad, I'm saying it if anything to reassure you that in a strange and magnificent way, SHE knows how to handle the situation when she is ready. If she is ready to process it and deal with the feelings of it now, she will try. And the best thing you can do is be there and listen without offering advice, suggestions or minimizing it. But chances are (or am I just filtering this through my own messed up experience?) she won't be able to fully process it until she's an adult.

This is a GOOD thing. It means you and your husband have another 15 years or so to honor her trust, protect her, respect her, and allow her to find herself. Then she will be strong enough to deal with it. And it would be natural for her to have some feelings of sadness about what "might have been" even if her adopted father turns out to be the best father ever. So, be ready for this. She might not tell you or your husband though, for fear of hurting his feelings.

And maybe, just maybe... by then her bio-father (if she wants to meet him) will have had a change of conscience and want to meet her too? Things are always changing you know... so I wouldn't rule out this possibility... but maybe for now you should just tell her that he lives in another country (if this is true?).

BTW, I am starting to find adoption support groups somewhat helpful for dealing with all my unresolved "what ifs" - so when she's older and starts wondering, it might help her to seek out other adoptees and talk about it (even though she grew up with her biomom).

I guess the best thing you and your husband can tell her is that you love her no matter what. No matter what her name is. No matter what she decides about the adoption. No matter what mistakes she makes in life. Don't rush the adoption decision. Let her feel that she came to it 100% on her own and that she has the power to decide.

And if you ever do separate or if she ever asks you what would happen if you do... be sure to tell her (and mean it) you will both love her and be her parents even if you were to split up.

I hope this helps. I hope I didn't upset you. I'm just trying to be so honest about my feelings in a way I wish I could be with my mom. Maybe it will help you be a better mom to her (it sounds like you are a pretty darn good one already!).

Good luck to you and your whole family. it sounds like there is a lot of love there:)

((scared))

October 30, 2006
9:27 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi lolli,

I encourage you to find your father, and face whatever truth you discover in that search.

My opinion: The TRUTH is better than not knowing.

October 30, 2006
10:38 pm
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lolli
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thanks, worried dad.

i am curious to hear about your own experience. have you been on either side of this issue? you sound very well-grounded in your opinion.

i hope i can get that grounded someday soon!

October 30, 2006
10:48 pm
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Hi lolli,

I have been on both sides of this experience.

On one hand, I think that I was basically an abducted child, and that my Mom did the parental alienation thing on me.

My dad was my favorite parent, and we were spearated because of my Mom's mental health problems. After that, I only had step-dads and boyfriends of mom to act as father figures. And that hurt me badly.

I have a son, and for the first five years of his life, I was what they call the "primary parental attachment figure" in his life.

His Mom disappeared with him in 2002. That has been hard on me, on my son, and on lots of other people.

To separate a child from a loving parent is not only a form of domestic violence and a form of child abuse, it is also a Crime Against Humanity.

October 30, 2006
11:07 pm
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lolli
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worried_dad,

I'm so sorry all of that happened/is happening to you. It is really sad to hear how these kinds of things somehow repeat themselves.

If you don't mind talking about it... I have some questions for you:

1- did you ever get the chance to re-unite with your father? if so, what happened?

2- what is the story on your son's mom? i'm sure you've asked yourself this 1000 times, but why do you think she did it? does she have mental health problems too?

this must be so difficult for you. I am really curious to hear about your feelings and thoughts because i hope it will give me more insight into possibly what my father was thinking/feeling in my case.

Although, as far as my mom tells me (and she could be lying), my situation is a bit different because my father willingly gave me up for adoption (i.e., he didn't put his name on my birth certificate. my mom decided to marry someone else and he let that man put his name on it). but who knows??!! hearing your story makes me wonder...

the sad thing is-- i still don't know the truth of what happened.

i hope you are able to one day re-unite with your son and your father. it is really a tradgedy that our society doesn't have more of an understanding about how this affects fathers who have been forced into separation from their kids...

October 30, 2006
11:31 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi lolli,

Yes, I re-connected with my father. Some.

He loves me and respects me and has helped me some. But after 30 years, he has his own life, and does not seem very passionate about having a relationship with me as an adult. That breaks my heart.

Why did the mother of my son choose the parental abduction route?

I suppose because she has problems. She was a batterer, for one thing. A special kind of batterer.

She wanted to hurt me and my family and she wanted to hurt our child. She said she was going to and she did.

She could never have accomplished as much damage as she did if she had gone about things in the fair and square legal-in-court way.

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