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Yellow Submarine

So I get a card in the mail yesterday from my biological grandfather, a cute little card with a submarine on it. It has a check and a note about "missing" some dates, and buy the girls something, and give them a hug and a kiss for him.

This after hearing nothing for almost 2 years from any members of my biological family.

Have I ever explained that situation?

I was born to parents who were 17 & 18 years old. My biological grandparents moved across the country while my mother was pregnant with me, only moving home when she was near birth (as far as I know-no one was very clear on that story). I was given up for adoption, and I don't believe my mother was really terribly happy about it.

I was adopted by a couple who couldn't have children, who lived 45 minutes away. Ironically, my adoptive mother, who later died of breast cancer, had her chemotherapy treatments in the hospital I was born in. But I didn't know that then.

My adoptive mother died in 1989, when I was 11. (and ironically enough, my biological father died that same year in some work related accident) Yes, I am aware that there is far too much irony going on today.

When I was 17, I decided to attend a ParentFinders meeting, with my father's blessing, and my brother's annoyance. My brother has never wanted to find his parents, despite the urging of our father, who believes you need to know where you came from.

I put the info I had on a list, my "number" and the birth name that I had. Patricia Lynn C.
After much thought, I decided I wasn't ready for the possibility of meeting my birth family, and I stopped attending meetings. I never removed my information however.

A week after Christmas, I receive a phone call asking me if I'm sitting down.

"Your mother is looking for you."

She called me shortly afterwards. The only thing I remember from that conversation was her asking me what color my hair was, and me joking that it really depended on the day. She was blonde, and had spent the past years searching for a little blonde girl who looked like her when she walked around.

She cried, talking to me, tears that I think caused more from relief that I turned out ok, and was real and alive and bore her no ill will.

So I spent some time shuttling between her house and my father's, and meeting the four million relatives I suddenly had.

In hindsight, I'm not surprised I had tension headaches. My father started drinking again after I met my mother, something I hated myself for. Meeting my biological family only made things worse.

I fell in love with the Dorf that spring, and refused to spend the summer with my mother. I don't think she ever forgave me that. That Christmas, she was very sick, and I remember telling myself I couldn't do that again-I couldn't become emotionally involved and lose another mother. I'd lost her once. I wouldn't survive another time.

So we drifted, and now, have sporatic contact. My brother had initially told them of my pregnancy with Vivian when he ran into a relative of mine. My grandmother called the May before I had Vivian, and we spoke, and she was glad to be a great-grandmother, and I was sad to not be closer.

What she didn't tell me was she was dying of terminal cancer, as her mother had. She had months left, and died shortly after Vivian was born.

My mother and I fell into contact again, in a manner of speaking. Neither of us ever called the other, and I don't know why. She had pictures of Vivian, and now Rosalyn, because I don't mean to burn a bridge. I send Christmas cards with updates. But they aren't involved.

So to receive a card from my grandfather (who is REALLY cool btw) is odd, and strikes me as some measure to alleviate his own guilt. I wish my girls knew, I wish I could get to know him better. I wish to have more than a surprise 100.00 in a card every few years.

Wow. what a story. I can relate to your frustrations of wanting more than a suprise $100.00 in the mail;through expierience with my son. His biological mother barely ever comes around, but sends cards stuffed with money at Christmas and for his birthday. Of course, being 11, he appreciates it, but I think as he gets older he will realize that she is trying to substitute a relationship with cash. I wish people would understand what an insult it is to send money instead of maybe a visit or even phone call. I tell my son when he gets $250 or so that it's too bad she couldn't have saved the money to come visit him. But, ultimately, it's their loss.
I think people get blinded by money, and think it can compensate for whatever mistakes they have made. But, who knows? Maybe it's his way of trying to open up a line of communication with you and your girls.

I an only echo, "Wow." It's funny how more than anything else, family problems can get under your skin and never really leave you alone. My father is kind of like that, for years we didn't have any kind of relationship but he would always say proudly, "I never missed a child support payment!" as if that was all that mattered. Maybe it's an older generation thing, and it's the only way he knows of reaching out. I do hope it works out for you, and maybe your kids will get to know him somehow from this.

mag That's exactly what I'm trying to do. I spent my lunch composing an honest but polite letter to him-trying to express how much I WANT my kids to know him, and my family, and that it's NOT me preventing it.

And while money is nice, I would totally prefer my family to visit me. To some degree, I agree with both of you that it's an older male thing-that was their ROLE years gone past. Now...not so much.

And yeah. Sometimes when I write down what my "life" involves, I'm just like...jesus, how do I keep all that straight?!?!

My birth mother is my adoptive father's first cousin. It's great fun keeping that straight.

My great-parents and most great-aunts and uncles remained the same but the person I thought of as my grandfather was actually another great-uncle and my great-aunt became my grandmother.

All when I was about 17.

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