Days like Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) are days of reflection for a large number of the population. If we’re not parents of some sort, we’re at least a daughter or a son, somehow brought into this world and raised in some fashion or another. While some have had good experiences, others have not. That truth goes both for being raised and parenting. Hard stuff, either way!
I hopped onto Post Secret today knowing that the secrets shared would most likely be about fathers and parenthood in some way or another. I was right (as I usually am, of course). I had a feeling that some of the secrets might talk about fathers in relation to adoption but I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, on the internet in general, you really never quite know what to expect, do you? Post Secret is no different.
Today they delivered two adoption related secrets. The first is rather benign.
Sometimes I think I’m more curious about my boyfriend’s biological parents than he is
Truth be told, that might very well be the case. We know, from having read the blogs and memoirs and forum posts and comments of a wide-range of adoptees that not every adult who was placed for adoption as a child has that strong feeling to search. We also know that sometimes it takes a life changing experience, like the pending birth of a child or a marriage or the dissolution of a marriage or the loss of a child, for an adoptee to find that there is more than just a hint or spark of interest in searching, in connecting. Not knowing the boyfriend’s history, personality and stage in life, I don’t have an answer. I do know, however, that sometimes significant others can push too hard toward reunion and upset their partners. At the same time, sometimes that partner is the catalyst in a beautiful reunion story. It could go either way. I do hope, however, that the secret prompts the two of them to talk about it, if only between themselves. Communication is key to any relationship.
The second secret was hard for me to look at and digest. The postcard is a picture of the adoption decree that reads, “Certificate of Adoption.” The secret text reads:
Even though I’m curious… I won’t ask about my BIOLOGICAL FATHER… for fear of insulting my DAD.
I’d like to find this adoptee, set him (or her) down with his Dad and let them talk. I don’t know either of them, of course, but I bet the Dad would love to broach this subject. To explain that he loves him because he is his own son, that he never thought of him as anything else. And, maybe, just maybe, the conversation would provide information that the adoptee was curious about or even the permission to search. It’s not that I think that adoptee should be searching. I think, instead, that the adoptee and the dad should be discussing such things. I hate when we have silence and secrets (on any subject) in our families. It destroys trust and breaks down the flow of communication. If you can’t broach this subject, where are other lines? What about if something health related pops up? What if the dad has been wanting to broach the subject for years but has been too scared to upset his child? Why can’t we communicate? Why aren’t adoptive parents counseled on broaching these subjects early and often.
And, of course, my heart thinks of that biological father. Does he know? Is his child on his mind and heart today? Does he possess the fear of interrupting his child’s life? Is he too scared as well? These are all the results of what the closed adoption system has done to individuals, to families. It has made them afraid to communicate with one another. Fathers and sons. People who are in love, making their way through life together. And all because of a broken down system, they can’t even talk to one another. That’s sad.
(Wouldn’t it be quite interesting if the first secret was from the girlfriend and the second secret was from the boyfriend? And she recognized his handwriting? And they had a good heart to heart about what is really going on in the situation? I mean, these are the things of great novels and movies, folks!)
Heaviness aside, I’m hoping that all of the fathers reading this are having a beautiful day. If you haven’t had a discussion with those in your life about the reasons you love them, wholly and completely, please do so right at this moment. Not only do those people deserve such candor, but you deserve that open flow of communication as well.
Happy Father’s Day!