February 11, 2018
One month ago today I spoke to my father for the first time. It was an overwhelming conversation. I couldn’t believe he actually responded to my letter and so quickly. Today, I called him to celebrate it has been four weeks. During the course of the conversation he talked about the importance of getting to know me before throwing my daughter directly into the relationship. He genuinely wanted to know who I am – while I know my Mom and Dad are very different I so desperately wanted (and continue to want) to be important to Mom (as opposed to one of many in the tribe). Now, really! I am a 40-something seeking attention and wanting to be prioritized. With competing siblings and grandchildren in both my Dad and Mom’s lives I understand how an adult child, one neither of them raised, isn’t the easiest choice. Playing with the babies is by far easier. But, I am craving the connection.
I mentioned to my Dad that gifts are unnecessary and his response was – a gift should be enjoyed, we should be grateful and demonstrate appreciation. While it isn’t natural or even comfortable for me to accept the attention I am ever-so-grateful my Dad is willing to set the pace and the tone.
For all of my life I wanted a parent that put me first. My adopted mother put herself first, my adopted father did the same. My Mom puts my daughter first before me but certainly places my siblings and their children well ahead of my little family. My Dad seems to be trying to put me first. He calls either daily or every other day. He expects nothing of me other than to call him back and to tell him I love him.
My Mom has said many times I don’t need a mother as an adult. I wasn’t able to really express to her that I have finally processed my feelings from growing up and I am not sure I have a good example of a mother but I want to belong. I want to fit in a family where I don’t feel like the outsider. I want to believe I am wanted, needed and that I am the missing link in someone else’s heart as much as my parents have been missing in my heart and in my life.