Saturday, November 26, 2005

Part III: A Journey to the Beginning

I suppose a point is reached in every journey in which the people on that journey wish they could turn back the hands of time. They wish that they had never started the journey. They wish that they could go back in time to the day BEFORE they began said journey.

Today is that day for me.

You have to know when you begin a journey of this proportion that there will be unexpected surprises along the way. There may be some unpleasantness. "Things" will not always progress according to your perfect plan.

Again I say... Today is that day for me.

Today is the day when I wake up to a new identity.

This week, I received a letter and two emails from my birthmother. In the first communication, she reminded me that I am lucky to be here. And I know, being born 11 months prior to the legalization of abortion how lucky I really am. Before abortion was made legal adoption was relatively easy for couples who could not bear children biologically. Just over ten years after abortion was legalized, there were approximately 100 couples applying to adopt for every one baby born.

In the second communication, she encouraged me to ask questions. And I did. Who do I look like? Who is my father? The things that most adopted kids tend to wonder.

In the third communication she told me that I am probably tall like my father and that her side of the family is German, French, Dutch and Irish. If you KNOW me, you know what a shocking revelation this is. German, French, Irish and Dutch... ARE YOU KIDDING? I have spent the last 17 years of my life believing that I am ITALIAN and FRENCH on my mother's side and CHEROKEE on my father's side.

I am having a bit of an identity crisis, to be honest. I suppose this is normal. An uneasiness with which I am not familiar has come over me. But this is just the beginning of the journey. I am sure we haven't even gotten to the meat of it.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Even though

We all have EVEN THOUGH situations in our lives. Some are healthier or more reasonable than others. Some are downright destructive and we shouldn't put up with them. An EVEN THOUGH situation is one in which you are willing to put up with the "cons" in order to benefit from the "pros."

You may not realize the weight of the EVEN THOUGH situation until you are presented with an opportunity to get out of it. Then, you are forced to weigh the pros and cons. This opportunity challenges you to decide if the pros are indeed so incredible that they make the cons bearable. And often you may find that the cons dramatically outweigh the pros or visa versa. So the decision to take the new opportunity is easy. On the other hand, discovering that there's a balance in the scale, that neither one outweighs the other can make the decision-making process excruciating.

Today I am faced with the possibility of having to weigh the pros and cons of an integral aspect of my every day life. Preliminary thoughts have nearly brought me to tears. There may be an opportunity for me to relieve some of my daily stress, caused by pettiness and the unrealistic perspective of others, but it would be at the expense of a level of comfort that I have never felt before. It would also mean less time with some people who have become very important to me in my daily life.

So I ponder. Can I survive the EVEN THOUGHS if I don't make a change? Or will my life be richer, fuller and more enjoyable if I make this change and leave all these EVEN THOUGHS behind?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Just RING dammit...

How many of you have stared impatiently at your phone, waiting for it to ring? How many of you have even demanded that it ring?

For the last 2 hours, I have carried my phone from room to room, setting it down briefly but then picking it up again, flipping it open and making sure I didn't SOMEHOW miss the call. I've held it firmly in my hand and squeezed it as if a little pain would encourage it to DO ITS JOB. I've shaken it. I have changed the ringer twice and turned up the volume. I have done everything in my power to make that phone ring except call it myself. And, nothing...

Just RING dammit!

You see, I waited 2 months for this call. And when the phone rang two hours ago, I didn't pick it up. And the caller, the person I have wanted to hear from for two months, didn't leave a message. So, rather than calling the number back and PRETENDING not to know it's him, I am waiting for him to call again.

I could be waiting another 2 months. I know. You don't have to tell me. But I can't bring myself to call. If he wanted to talk to me, he would have left a message. He would have left a message and given me his number and asked me to call him back. And since he didn't leave a message, I can only assume one of three things:

1. He really doesn't want to talk to me that badly.
2. He isn't a message-leaver and he will call back.
3. He is as much of a chicken as I am... and he is never calling back...

This phone might not make it through the night.

A White Horse and Glass Slippers

Fairy tale endings don't happen to everyone. In fact, you may think they don't happen to anyone. That is, afterall, why they are called FAIRY TALE ENDINGS, right?

I submit to you that perhaps art does indeed imitate life. How is it that one mind could imagine such fantastic endings if they have never happened before? And if the mind is capable, as we have seen in the sciences, of imagining the unimaginable; of creating an existence that has ceased to exist previously; of authoring an ideal that is contrary to reality... then maybe life imitates art.

Either way, I have decided that I want a fairy tale ending. Secretly, I think all girls want one. I want something unexpected, spontaneous, surprising. I am not easily surprised but that's how fairy tales work. And I think if a guy is able to surprise me then I will know he is worth the work. And I will know he is willing to do his share of the work too.

The unexpected, spontaneous fairy tale ending happens in the movies all the time. And sometimes it's just a spontaneous ending. You could see it coming a mile a way. But it is always good and sweet and wonderful just like a fairy tale, without the white horse or the glass slippers. I want one of those endings.

Oh Michele, you silly girl, that only happens in the movies or in fairy tales. And you, Michele... You are just not that girl. The good and sweet and wonderful doesn't happen to girls like you.

Maybe. Or maybe not. A girl's gotta dream right? And at ALMOST 35, I might as well dream big. I might even start wishing for that white horse and the glass slippers.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Part II: A Journey to the Beginning

The call finally came. The red message light flashed LOUDLY on my phone. I couldn’t help but notice it when I got home from work last night.

“Michele, we have the information you’ve been looking for,” said a soft-spoken lady.

Just a phone call … Nine digits, a few rings and a sweet hello away… The first big step in the next part of my journey… It had taken longer than expected but only by two weeks. And once I summoned the courage to lift the phone from the counter, I would know my birthmother’s name.

Kicking off my shoes, I went in the kitchen and pulled Lean Cuisine pizza out of the freezer and popped it in the microwave. Then I changed into my volleyball clothes. And while the pizza cooked, I gathered up pen and paper and I dialed the phone.

Five minutes later, I had the answer to a question I had been silently asking for at least 30 years. What is her name? She shares my sister’s name, coincidentally. Her name is Denise. Maybe that was God’s plan for giving her a bit of an advantage with me. You know how it is when you meet someone for the first time that has the same name as someone you don’t really like very much? Well, she doesn’t have that working against her. You all know how much I love my sister. I hope this new Denise is half as good as the one I’ve already got I my life because that would make her a pretty good person.

So it has been roughly 24 hours since I wrote her name and address and phone number on a piece of paper. But I haven’t gone any further.

Over the last 15 years, I have weighed the impact that one phone call or email or meeting could have on a multitude of lives. I know life as I know it will be over the minute I hear her say my name or the moment I set eyes on her. Because then there will be a connection that never existed before… not for ME, anyway. I need time to soak this in. I need a moment to take a deep breath.
Maybe tomorrow…