Full of Complex Carbohydrates and MicroNutrients

I am a novelty to many (and I'm fine with that).
I have a very silly sense of humor usually riddled with malapropisms (and I'm fine with that, too).
I ask too many questions of Life and I expect all the answers.
I trust people too easily when I shouldn't; however, I respect everyone regardless…unless they do something to make me think twice.
I don't cheat. I am tactful yet will give the truth up front (and never mean to hurt anyone's feelings with it).
I like to help the people who have helped me, and even those who have not.
I never forget... but sometimes I misplace things.
I never lose hope.
I am awesomely blessed for the people who have come into my life, and I am blessed for the people who have left because I realize I didn't need them anyway.
I honestly feel that laughter is the best medicine you can have.
I believe in being strong when everything else seems to be going wrong.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles. In other words, I'm human, and definitely not perfect.
But tomorrow is another day, and there's so much cheese to be had...
(thank you to Ranae S. for this bit of inspiration!)

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Everyone, get up and dance now!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I once was lost, but then got founded...

All I can say is, "Wow" as I sit here wiping tears away.

This evening on ABC channel was a show called "Find My Family." It was about adopted children and their biological parents searching for one another, and chronicled the search up to their reunion. Wonderful, emotional stuff, I tell you.

Boy, is it ever emotional... I know that story personally and very firsthand!

I found my biological father in 2002 after several years of intense searching. I'd acted on a hunch and sent a letter to him, saying for the most part that I did not mean to infringe on his life; all I wanted to know was my family heritage (as it turned out, I'm Scottish/Irish/French) and whether or not I had any brothers or sisters. I put a stamp on the letter, and dropped it in the mailbox. The very split-second I did, I wanted to scream out a regretful "NOOO!" and pull the letter back out - because, what if he did not want to be 'found?' Not all adoptees and their parents have good reunions. Some are downright sad and angry. I'd read some horrible stories of reunions gone terribly wrong, and bit my nails to the quick with fret as I awaited his reply.

About a week later, I got home from work and checked my phone messages. There was this really nice, musical sounding voice saying with a chuckle, "Hello, Ellen, this is Gary, your father. Boy do I have a lot to tell you!"

Let me tell you, it was a good thing that my bed was right behind me because my knees literally crumbled.

When I spoke with Gary, I felt like I'd known him my entire life. He sounded so familiar, like an old friend calling to chat and laugh about old times. I really liked him! Got no bad vibes whatsoever. To make a long, long story short and sweeter than it already is, he flew out soon after to meet me, and we spent the better part of a week just talking, talking, talking. He was a very tall man, with dark hair and dark sparkling eyes that always had a hint of mischief to them, and they always smiled, if you know what smiling eyes are (I hear "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" in my head right now which is totally befitting of Dad!).

Turned out I do have siblings: an older sister, Gay, an older brother, David, a younger half-sister, Maggie, and a younger half-brother, Rex. Sadly, my biological mother had passed away about 10 years prior to my finding Dad. Dad had remarried an absolutely amazing woman named Andi, who from day one, loved me as much as Dad did. It was easy to see why Dad married her - she was his soul mate, and I considered her my new Mommy instantly.

L-R: My older sister, Gay, my older brother David, and me. Taken June 2009 in Kansas City, MO at our annual family reunion. It still feels amazing to know that I have siblings!

My head spun the first time I flew to our ancestral home in July 2003, in the middle of Kansas (a very, very small town called Osborne), where the entire town knew about me and showed up on the front lawn of Dad's house to welcome me! I was lost in a crowd of well-wishers who all knew my name. It was incredible.

On November 23, 2004, I was back in Oz (as it's called) for a very special event. It was Thanksgiving week, and Dad, Andi-Mommy and I were in the process of an adoption... that is, I was being adopted by the man who had given me up for adoption. I'd come full circle.

And my beloved Daddy, Hy, who had adopted and raised me, had given us all his blessings to proceed as such. Earlier in June of the same year, at the annual family reunion in southern California, both of my Dads got to meet each other. It was the most emotional event I'd ever witnessed... just beautiful.

On January 30, 2005, I was on my way back to Kansas to visit Dad-Gary, who was in the final stages of prostate cancer. At my stopover in Denver, I called Andi to tell her I was almost there... and got the news that he'd died. He was 69 years young.

You know how people say that a part of them dies when they lose a loved one? Well it's true. It was like a big piece of my heart was hacked off forever.

Then on September 9, 2005, my other Daddy, Hy, passed away from complications of diabetes and heart failure. He was 85. (He's in a previous post here on my blog)

Of course I could sit here and say I'm sad and miss them (of course I do), but instead I count my incredible blessings to have been conjoined in such a journey with two men - two angels - who loved me so very much.

Thanks, Dad, and Daddy. I love you both!


SquirrelQueen said...

That is a beautiful story, you are lucky to have had two wonderful dads in your life. To have lost both of them in the same year must have been so hard to deal with. This post is a lovely tribute to them both.

The Quirk Shop said...

Hi, Squirrel Queen! Thank you so very much for your kind comments! I had to edit so much of the story to keep it short enough and readable, but yes, wanted to make it a nice tribute to two truly amazing and wonderful men. More to come in the near future!

CatLadyLarew said...

What a great story! What a gift you've been given, to have not one but two loving families! I love your slide show too.

The Quirk Shop said...

You are too sweet. Thank you so much. I treasure the gifts I've been bestowed with, and am still amazed to think it's all happened to me... seems more like a story than reality. Whew!