Tag: adoption

The ‘other’ family

Reading Time: 6 minutes

My birth mother is visiting here for the first time.  It’s a rather different experience for me, since when I met my wife, my adoptive mother had already passed away, and my adoptive father was in the midst of his Alzheimer’s, so he didn’t possess his full faculties when interacting with my wife (who at the time was my girlfriend).  So, in this instance the woman visiting is my mother, but she didn’t raise me.  When we first met a little under 2 years ago, there was a point where we had to decide what I was going to refer to her as.  Would I use her real name?  No, that didn’t feel comfortable to me.  Growing up, when I addressed my friends’ parents, I never called them by their first name, it was either Mr. Smith, or Mrs. Jones.  As I got older, one of my neighbors had mentioned that now I’d gained my majority, that I was in my 20s, it would be ok for me to call them by their first names.  I tried it, but it didn’t feel right.  So I went back to calling them Mr. and Mrs. It just felt better.

So we settled on ‘Mom’.  She felt that was better, but she wanted me to be aware that in NO way was she interested in supplanting the memory of my adoptive mother, or replacing or disrespecting her.  She wanted that understood from the very beginning and I most definitely felt better when she said that.  She just wanted to be a part of my life now that she had finally found me again.  (Who can blame her, it took the better part of 50 years for her to be successful!)  Admittedly, after getting the message from my half-brother asking for information and trying to be sure I was the ‘right’ person, he did offer me the option of just telling her that I was ok, but I didn’t wish further contact. I thought long and hard about that…considering that both my adoptive parents were deceased, my adoptive brother is estranged and I don’t interact much (at all) with my cousins.  So in many ways, in a family aspect, I keep to myself.  My wife is much the same way with her extended (also adoptive) family.

After much thought and discussion with my wife, I decided to allow the contact to develop on its own.  Over the years I’d thought many times about taking the effort to go look for her, but was always stopped by the possibility that she didn’t wish for me to do so.  That she’d rather keep the distance the way it was.  I only had a basic understanding of what the circumstances were regarding the adoption, and certainly that was from the interpretation of my parents.  Their lawyer knew all of the details of course, but did he share them with my parents?  I didn’t know, and by the time I received the latter information from their lawyer’s office (after his death), it was a moot point.  There may have been details that he took to his grave.  In my adoption papers, on the cover, it said ‘Infant male baby Adams‘.  So, I had a probable starting point.  As it turned out, that was my mother’s maiden name.

As I always do, I’m getting off topic here.  If you’ve read me for a time, you understand that happens.  Long winded and get off topic….that’s me!  Anyway.

I was walking through the house this morning, and happened to look upon my (rather dusty) DVD display rack.  When I was cleaning house over the last month, I’d taken care to ‘sanitize’ the house of certain aspects of my kink existence.  Certainly there are hints (if one looked closely enough) that people are less vanilla than one might expect.  If my mother forayed into the back bedroom and snooped around, she’d find one or more of my toy bags, chock full of my BDSM paraphernalia.  Too, some of the larger steel items are tucked away in drawers and closets in one of the other bedrooms.  If she got really bold, in the back of my clothes closet is hanging part of my flogger collection!  But as I was looking at the display rack, I did a double-take and then an eye-roll.  Right there on the top shelf, between two Hollywood blockbusters were three kinky BDSM movies.  Oy.  Has she seen them?  I have no idea.  Should I remove them, and then she’d notice they were missing after looking over the collection again?  Well, I’m not sure, but I did remove them and put them elsewhere for safe-keeping.  Granted I haven’t watched those particular videos in probably 3 years, and by all rights I should have recycled, re-sold or just plain pitched them (they’re not original movies, just re-treads from a now defunct website).  But I just smiled a little to myself and thought “It’s an adult household”.  BDSM may indeed be becoming more mainstream, but not necessarily where my mother is concerned.  And no, I don’t wish to go to the spot in my mind (like every kid) where they think about their parents doing ‘the dirty’.  Or anything else.  Thanks.  Please pass the brain bleach on that one!

All in all, the visit with my mother is going well.  Two years ago I visited her at her house (I stayed nearby in a motel, I didn’t feel comfortable staying in her house, even though she VERY graciously offered her guest room) and we did some sightseeing in the area.  I grew up in the Hudson Valley, but my section was in the northern confines, and where she lives is a bit further south.  So, while being familiar with the area generally, she knew things that I didn’t and showed me places I was unaware of.  Too, she showed me where her childhood home was, and I did the same for her.  Showed her where I went to school, to college and where I lived at various points in my life.  She shared with me my family history that (naturally) I was completely unaware of, and certainly compared to my adoptive family, I have a far-flung off extended birth family that’s quite prolific.  Not to mention that I’m an Uncle four times over spread over two half-siblings.  And in contrast to my adoptive upbringing where I’m (by far) the youngest, I’m the eldest in this ‘new’ family.  Which is admittedly, weird.

Admittedly, I wasn’t looking forward to her visit, because we’re such homebodies here.  She’s going home tomorrow…and for some reason, I really don’t want her to go.