Is it just a piece of paper?
I just don’t understand why I had to fight so hard for the love of a father, and still I lost out in the end.
As I had said previously, since I was young girl, I had been led to believe this “father,” my adoptive mother’s second husband, had adopted me. Why would a child think anything different? I kept blaming myself that I had let my guard down and trusted this father figure with all my heart.
At the age of 32, when I had been going by my married name for over 11 years, my father asked “out of the blue” to adopt me. His only explanation was to make sure my “disowned” non-biological brother that I was raised with didn’t get any of his inheritance. I had not stayed in touch with my troubled brother who also thought all this time that he had been adopted by this father as well. Over the years, my parents were very secretive about their often strained relationship with him.
How dare I even feel the slightest bit betrayed and confused? Instead it was just supposed to be this joyous moment that my adoptive mother wanted to take a picture of me and my dad hugging while holding out some kind of unofficial-looking court document.
I knew my parents would never tell me the full-story, but I truly didn’t think my father would play such a big part in the many lies that have been difficult to untangle.
Sometimes, I find myself still needing to take that long, deep “I am still here” breath again. In recent years, a judge’s secretary at the courthouse had contacted me concerning my inquiry for information about my adult adoption. That joyous moment where my adoptive mother was supposed to be taking a picture of my father and me after finally adopting me. After all these years, I was trying to figure out why I was still listed on my only birth certificate as my birth mother’s child.
When the judge’s secretary started out our phone conversation by saying, “I don’t want your heart to break any more JoAnne, but there’s no need for you to drive down here;” I knew something was terribly wrong.