While I’ve discussed how birth mothers and adoptive parents view Father’s Day in varying ways, I saved the most important group for today: the adoptees. Like the other groups, their experiences vary widely! Quite a few individuals replied on the forums and I had a few e-mail me privately, saying that they didn’t want to be attacked by others for their views. (Of note, a few birth moms did the same but no adoptive parents. Interesting.)
Some adoptees in reunion did reply that they do acknowledge their biological father on Father’s Day. A few had a discussion within the thread that “appropriate” cards are hard to find. One user had the answer.
I am coming up on four years of reunion with my father. This is the third fathers day. It is hard to find an appropriate card so I tend to pick the humorous ones. His birthday is a week after and I do observe that too. We have had a great reunion experience.
(Honestly? I most often buy my own Dad a humorous card. It’s more fun!) A few others spoke of sending cards and presents as well, talking positively about their reunion experiences.
One adoptee responded in a way that I think many others might be able to relate to on some different levels.
For me, both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are a time to celebrate my parents, who happen to have adopted me. The day that I acknowledge my birth parents is my birthday–this is the day I give myself to focus on the ties that were formed by my birth.
I think this was a great addition to the conversation. The few adoptees that felt forced to e-mail me did so because they’ve been attacked for feeling it was appropriate to honor both sets of parents on the day. Those doing the attacking felt very strongly that the day was reserved for the ones kissing boo-boos and staying up at all hours of the night. I think the previous answer about reserving a birthday to think of birth parents and the formed biological ties may be a great answer for those who specifically want to honor everyday parents on their respective days. What a great point!
Other adoptees kind of broke my heart. Some spoke of not knowing any information or very limited information about their biological fathers. Out of that group, some said that they would and some said that they would not acknowledge their birth father on Father’s Day if they knew his identity. Others said that there was no possible way to acknowledge their biological father as he had passed on. (Flowers on a grave? Releasing a balloon? There’s always a way.)
One adoptee e-mailed me with a great little story that I’ll leave you with today. It makes me smile a bit and gives me hope for future generations.
I send cards to both of my Fathers, writing relationship-appropriate notes inside each. But it’s not what I do that I think speaks volumes about the possibilities of good reunions. Switching off every other year, my (adoptive) Dad will call my (biological) Father and wish the other a happy day. The next year, my (biological) Father will call my (adoptive) Dad and do the same. They’ve been doing this for about six years now. I know it’s a day meant to honor them… but when they do this I feel so loved.
Tomorrow, a challenge!
For more on holidays, read these posts.