Empty Cereal Box

Views From Inside an Adoptee

April 24, 2006

I Wonder What My Life Would Have Been

Yeah!! Blogger publishing has been down for nearly 24 hours, and is now back working. I'm ecstatic, as are the millions of other bloggers out there. Thank you support for getting us back up!

I'm looking for a name. The one that belonged to my nfather. Last known residence: Buffalo, NY, the city where I was supposedly conceived. I would like to fill in the blank on my paternal side.

On Saturday I called both phone numbers that Heatherrainbow gave me. They belong to the only last names in the Buffalo white pages that are the same as The Man, DM, that I seek, the one who knew both my nmother and nfather, according to my naunt. I need to see if I can trace anyone who might have known anyone who might have known my nfather. One of the numbers belongs to a woman who has offered to help me try to track down DM, who helped my nmother hook up with a doctor in California that knew a couple who wanted to adopt a baby. The woman was so incredibly kind to call me back on her bill and chat with me, hear my abbreviated story, and sympathize with my need to search. I loved hearing her New York accent.

Last night I got a "message" in my head (like the one I wrote about earlier that proved to be true) that said that the reason my nmom couldn't keep me was not just because she had no support, no money, and a five-year-old child to care for (to say nothing of the pressure she must have had from the system as well as the social stigma) because she carried a married man's child while she herself was married. She and my nfather were both married to other people when they had their affair that resulted in me. So, if the "message" is correct, my nfather probably never knew I existed. My nmom had to get the hell out of Buffalo before anyone knew she was pregnant and had a baby.

Both he and the guy I'm searching for are probably already dead. If so, then I'm fucked. But right now I'm going to do what I can to find a name. Just a name. But most people who knew either of my parents in Buffalo have probably all moved away or died. I get the feeling that I'm shouting down into a wormhole. There are no soundwaves in space and a wormhole sucks up all the light and everything else.

Before my natural mother's sister, my natural aunt, died, she gave me some yellowed photos of my relatives, two multi-colored afghans made by my natrual grandmother, who died before I got to meet her, and two old-fashioned cookbooks that she used when she was a young housewife. I treasure these things dearly because now that I see that my sibs and the others have no interest in me, they are all I'm ever going to lay hands on of my ancestry. My natural uncle did give me a copy of the family tree, but of course my name is nowhere on it, so I don't really belong on it any more than I would belong on a family tree of my adoptive parents (they never had one that I knew of anyway).

The recipes in my naunt's cookbooks are not something I'd generally use because they list ingredients I know now are unhealthy, despite the fact that I grew up on home-cooked meals similar them. I can picture her as a young woman in her sunny kitchen whipping up a meal for one of the many parties she used to have. My natural aunt had hundreds of friends. Everyone loved her. She was a bouyant and gracious hostess. And even though she and my natural mother fought horribly, when my natural mother got too sick with cancer to take care of my two younger half sibs L and R (the ones from her third marriage--her second was short and without kids), my natural aunt adopted them (she never had children herself). I think this is one of the few cases where adoption was a good thing. And my half sibs both said they wouldn't have had a home at all if our aunt hadn't become their mom. I wish my natural mother had done something like that after giving birth to me. But I guess I'll never really know why she did what she did; why she chose to give me away. Unless I can find this man, everything is speculation.

On another note, I constructed and planted an herb garden in my backyard today. It felt so good to dig my hands into the warm, rich, post-rain soil and add compost and amendments to make the bed lovely and soft as I planted thyme, oregano, terragon, Italian parsely, basil, chives, English lavender, and madder, along with the rue and comfrey that had already been growing. I lined it with some lovely rocks that came from the trench we dug to lay the sewer line.


Blogger Kippa Herring said...

Your herb garden is kewl. You've got me thinking of the fragrances and flavours to come.
I love the 'stallions of the sky' on your previous entry too.
Riding on the edge of turbulance . . .

Sounds like your aunt had a great soul. I'm happy that you had the opportuntity to get to know each other, though sad that it was not for longer.

Here's fingers crossed that you learn your father's name.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Thanks, as always, Kippa, for your feedback. I'm exited about both my little garden and the possibility of learning more about my ancestry. I'm inclined to think that the first will be more productive than the second. The "stallions in the sky" photo expands something inside me that I can't explain, and I don't think it's gas.

Blogger Mia said...

I love your herb garden! I have been working in my garden as well and it really is the MOST therapeutic thing in the world.

All the best on your search for your nfather.

Blogger Marie Jarrell said...

Thanks, Mia. So far no reply from the lady in Buffalo. But it's all a shot in the dark at best. Gardens and pets are pure love and patience. They are my teachers, my therapy, my little corners of happiness.

Blogger Whosedaughter? said...

Hi Marie!
I am a donor conceived person and I can relate to many of your feelings. I also just so happen to be from a suburb of Buffalo, NY!!! I don't live there anymore but I did for 17 years. All these unanwsered questions are just so unfair. You...we all...should be allowed to know these basic facts about ourselves and where we come from. Thank you for sharing.



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