Thursday, March 31, 2011

I am growing up

My best friends all coincidentally warned me yesterday to not dive headlong into my relationship with my birth father and to trust every word that comes from his mouth or rather, in this case, gets typed out on the computer. Their warning was a day late. I had already sent an email with part I of my childhood describing in brief but candidly the various shades of grey that I was surrounded by. There was nothing false or contorted about it, it was what it was but to a biased reader like him, it must have seemed the perfect opportunity to jump at.

I have been waking up in the middle of the nights and reading his emails and then have not fallen back asleep and have just been jetlagged from the past week or so, since we started writing to each other. Yesterday I drove an hour out to the Sai Baba temple here. As soon as I stepped into the hall and saw Sai Baba smiling at me, I felt at peace. I left my problems there, asked him for guidance, drove home and went to my desk and saw his reply.

His mask had slipped away. In haste he had gleefully jumped to conclusions and I could see how little he thinks of my grandmother and my birth mother. And how highly of himself and his family. He sees himself as this visionary of the future - we need to advise future generations so they dont have to go through what we went through. So now he sees himself as the victim along with me, and my grandmother and mother as the inflictors of crime :) I was so relieved to see his reply. I should have felt sad but I was relieved to recognise and realise the real person behind the glamor. And just like that I have grown up people.... I wrote to him admonishing him to jump to conclusions and how he should realise that the world is shades of grey and not black and white and no matter what their personalities were, the fact remains that my mother and grand mother love me immensely and have stood by me forever.

Anyways my head has cleared and I am focusing on the things that matter to me - my job search, my family, exercise, planning vacations etc... :) And one surprising side effect of this journey is that I have a renewed sense of patience and affection for my in laws. No matter how troublesome they seem to me, they have stayed together, given their kids a good life and have done their duty as parents. I was taking this simple act for granted until I realised some parents can get away with not fulfilling their responsibilities forever.

Travelbug had quoted from Obama's book on how he focused on the absent parent instead of celebrating the life of the one who was there. I was so caught up in the emotion of connecting with my birth father that I had not realised the impact of this statement until today. I have three sets of parents in my life, God has been very good to me. Everyone who has parents will admit to being frustrated with them at some point of time or the other. I have three (counting my in laws)! Add to it, the interference of well meaning relatives and a loving but fiercely protective and dominating grandmother, I have had my share of frustrations.

So here are my next steps, I have written to him, lets see how he replies back. If he admits his mistake and shows some amount of understanding and humility, our ties will be strengthened forever. If the reply comes back as self centered as before, I know how he is and can stay emotionally detached and still be in touch once in a while. In the meantime, I will try to patch things with my inlaws. I was so busy ensuring that my comfortable life doesnt get any bumps that I didnt stop and think about taking the first step to create win wins for them. I went out of my way and shed my ego for a man whom I have never met, who has not done anything for me in his life. I think these two people who have done such an excellent job of bringing up my husband and caring for his emotional, physical and financial well being when he was growing up, deserve better. I do not regret anything that has happened. I am thankful for this journey of self realisation which is definitely making me a better person and opening my eyes to what is really important with people and relationships.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whats going on with me....

My birth father and me are emailing each other almost daily. I dont know if its the freedom of writing to someone you have never met or its his personality but I find that I can ask him anything and he answers truthfully. It has been exhausting...initally when he wrote a long email to me for the first time talking about how painful it was to be detached from me all this while, I cried over and over and couldnt sleep at night. I still cannot and I wake up repeatedly to refresh my mail on the phone and to see if he replied back to my latest email. I read and re read my emails and his replies over and over until I know them by heart. I am so worried of losing him but can I really lose someone who was never mine?

My mother is freaking out with the thought of my birth mom finding out about us. She says that all hell will break loose when that happens. I am struggling to keep my loyalty to my birth mom as I get closer to my birth dad. I should remember that she kept me and stood by me, and that is the reality. All of our personality clashes on one side and this truth on the other. She agreed to the best route for me according to her and for that I owe her my gratitude. I shouldnt forget.

On the job front, its silence. I can hear the crickets chirping. I am beginning to get bored and am losing patience. I need to shake myself out of the slumber and re focus. And be patient and tell myself over and over and over that I will get a job soon, soon, soon... All the other projects in the house remain pending now. Its gym, birth father and job search in that order during the day. And of course playing with baby S is on the agenda all over all day... I still cannot believe I am talking to my birth father. I never thought this day would come in my life and I would be hearing him say all these things which I always hoped he would say to me someday. God is good to me. Thank you lord!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fairy tale endings in real life

He replied back to my messages on FB. And told me that he is so pleased to hear from me and how painful it was to be detached from me and how all these years he never knew where I was or how I was doing and how he still remembers coming to meet me as a baby. I cried after reading each one of his messages. We are communicating with each other. I cant say or share more. I have decided I am going to keep my family out of it, I dont want their personal opinions or biases to cloud whatever relationship we choose to create. I cannot believe how blessed I am. Thank you God a thousand times over for showering so much love on me. After every message, I have stayed awake all night and cried over and over. I feel jetlagged without any travel now. And I have an interview to prepare for.

Many many many thanks to all of you guys for supporting me and giving me the strength to reach out. If I could meet you in person, I would be hugging you tight right now, but for the meantime, virtual hugs from me to all of you...Seena, Anon, Tys, Tears and Dreams, Swaram, Titaxy, Nidhi....all of you and anyone else I forgot to mention...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Because I am a slow learner..

and cannot take hints...

Hi Mr.XYZ,

Lets start over again. My name is Sonia and I was born on so and so in so and so city. My parents are divorced and happily remarried with families of their own. I have had a happy childhood too and continue to lead a loved and peaceful life. So you might say; why do I want to look in my past and reach out?

I dont know if its because I am an optimist and believe in happy endings (for myself) or maybe because I have stayed too long in the US where having birth and adopted parents is nothing new, I dont know. But I am 34 today and have few regrets so far, and I know that when I will be your age, I will regret never having gotten in touch with you. Over the past couple of years, since having kids and being a parent myself, I began to wonder if you ever thought of me. I do not know anything about you and I am sure you dont know anything about me but I have this wish of getting to know you a little bit someday.

I would like to hear your thoughts. If you do not appreciate my contacting you, please let me know and I will never bother you again. I do not intend to cause you any trouble, nor do I expect anything from you.

Best Regards,



I also told my parents that I reached out and the amazing awesome parents that they are, they totally understood where I was coming from. They also said that you have done what you had to do, now forget about it. Same advice as given to me by everyone else. I am not going to tell anyone of this second email now. For the three of my readers who know me in real life, I do not wish to discuss this with you so shoo away :) I am saying this with louuwe :) For my virtual friends, its easier to hear criticism and support from you guys ;)

NOW I feel better and have closure. NOW I do not care if he gets back or doesnt. End of story until there is an update...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Seen and ignored...

I think this is my time to face rejection - Its "Apply apply no reply" for my job interview applications and I am pretty sure my birth father has looked at my email and ignored it. How do I know? Because I remember the last activity on his wall and I checked now, after a couple of days and there is new activity - adding new friends etc. So very good chance of his having read my message.

Well, the message is clear to me too now. He does not care and never has. Its good closure for me now. Many times over the last couple of years, I have imagined bumping into him somewhere, us talking, him feeling bad over how things have turned out etc. Now I will stop with the daydreaming. I always gave him the benefit of doubt in my mind that they both must have made mistakes and were not together. At times when I was angry with my birth mom, I would also think that maybe she was the problem and thats why they got divorced etc etc. But now I know, I know my birth mom and she is a genuine human being, full of love and affection and respect and regard for others. I know him from our one way interaction and know that he doesnt care. So this is the end to this chapter in my life. I will pretend I was never the baby of divorced parents.

I told P over the weekend and was so super glad he understood and supported me. He also thought that my reaching out might relieve my birth father and was confident that he must already be thinking about me all this time. These are the thoughts of an adoring husband and loving father of two girls. I need to tell him not every man is like you honey..

Well, I do feel better I got this done and out of the way and this was an outcome which was very much expected so no broken heart and tears over this. Its my birthday tomorrow and for all my birthdays to come now, I will not think of him.

Thanks to all of you - Tears&Dreams, Nids, Brahma, Tys, Seena, Anon and Comfy for your support and advice. I do believe this makes me a better person - reaching out and facing the rejection :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I did it....

One thing crossed off my list of things to do in life.....
Here is the message I sent him:

Hello Mr.XYZ,

I am ABC's daughter. I saw you on Facebook and thought that we should say Hello once in our lifetime - yours and mine. So Hello :)

Have a great rest of your life,

I do feel much more peaceful now. I hope he checks his FB himself and does not rely on his kids or his wife to do it for him. I am not really keen or enthu to be pally pally with his whole family. Why stir up trouble and I have a pretty awesome family myself too, its not like I am yearning for love..I also realized that I won't even feel bad if he doesn't respond. I know that he will have read this message and looked at my profile picture and I am satisfied with that much. I did not want to go through life never ever saying Hi or being aware of each other - I have seen his pictures but this way I know that he has finally seen me too.

I have not told anyone except one of my closest friends and my best friends from school who know of my blog will find out about this eventually too so girls, if you are reading this, please don't call me up and yell. Its done. But just in case I get into trouble or am hurt, please do hold my hand ;)

Now I should focus on to more productive things in my life :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The power of social networking

Today on a whim, I typed in my birth father's name on "Search everyone" in Face book and there he was. A hand around his wife who was holding their grandson. I looked and looked at their picture for a long time. I thought to myself meanly that my birth mom is more beautiful than this lady for sure but even then couldn't bring myself to think bad for her. Because she did seem like a really nice woman. This just led downhill as I then discovered his kids and their spouses and looked through their photo albums and read the posts on their walls and discovered his brothers and their extended families. All of my day which should have been productively spent in job search or chores around the house or spending time with baby S whizzed by as I looked at the lives of these people with whom I share a common gene.

For some time I was tempted to add him as a friend and send him a message. But it has passed. He has a great family, I have an awesome family. There are people on my side - especially my birth mother, who will be hurt as hell if I reached out and I am sure there will be people on his side who will be hurt by me.

I am lacking for nothing in my life, I have no void left over by an absent father just because my Dad, the person who had no obligation and blood relations to me adopted me and has stood steadfastly and firmly behind me all these years. He has been a pillar of monetary, emotional, moral and physical support for me. From teaching me how to ride a bike to wiping my tears away when I flunked my CA finals to encouraging and cheering me on every obstacle I faced to celebrating my successes - my CA degree, my first job, my marriage and on and on. He is still there, a phone call away telling me confidently "You will of course get the job you want, enjoy this time with S and R and everything will work out just fine". I have no void. I have a father who has gone above and beyond his duties/responsibilities as a father.

But still I stop and wonder sometimes, especially after having babies of my own, does he ever think of me? His first child, the first grandchild in their huge family? Does he ever stop and wish to get in touch with me, to know me? He turns sixty one this year, as he enters the last phase of his life, does he wish to talk to me, to apologize for walking away, to not getting to know me ever. I stop and wonder and then again am tempted for a second to click the "Add friend" button on Face book.....

I think this is one situation which I know I will regret for sure - I will regret never ever talking to him when he passes away but yet, I am paralyzed and cannot proceed for fear of hurting a lot of people. If I was assured that no one else in this world would know and if we could just meet together - only the two of us, I would take the first step. But for now, I am scared. I have not been the greatest daughter to my birth mom, I have punished her long and hard for not being strong enough, but this is something I cannot do to her. I know it will crush her and I love and care for her more than him to hurt her like that. I am also not sure of the kind of person he is, and I do not want to hurt myself. I do not want to risk opening Pandora's box and upsetting a lot of people. Maybe this is for the best, if fate ever brings us together in a chance meeting, then so be it. Until then I will push these thoughts away and focus on my present and the people who love me and cherish me and have fought for me to keep me and to nurture me.

P.s: I realize I had written a similar post when R was born :)
Sigh....what is the right thing? Who can look in a magic ball and tell me the answer?