Saturday, April 09, 2011

What I Want the World to Know About ...

... my real Dad!

This is post #2 in a series of guest blogger posts entitled, "What I want the World to Know About ____." Want to include a post of your own? Click here to find out how.

By: English B.

English is our nanny Veronica's older sister. I have had the pleasure of knowing English since she was in single digits of age! When our families relocated to Rochester, Minnesota at the same time, English commuted with me to St. Charles High School so she could go to a smaller high school where she knew someone (aka -- me!) I thought English's post presented a different perspective on the fact that who we are born OF is not nearly as important as who we are born TO. I'll let her explain.

I grew up with a my mother, stepfather, and three half-siblings. I have not talked to nor seen my biological father since I was three and have always considered and called my stepfather “Dad.” Sure, there were times growing up that I wondered why this mysterious man I didn’t remember had never tried to contact me or visit. Sure, I was curious to know what he looked like and if I resembled him since I didn’t look like anyone else in my family. And yes, it hurt every time we had to explain that Dad was not my biological father. It was painful to try and explain the situation without implying he was a “fake” father.

The worst part was when I turned 17 and decided that I would enlist in the Air Force after graduating high school. I had to have my parents’ permission to enlist in the Delayed Entry Program so early, but I only had my mother. The recruiter kept asking me who my biological father was, and he told methat I would not be allowed to enter early without his signature. Period. Since Dad had never officially adopted me, this created quite a quandary. Eventually, my mother had to write a notarized statement saying that he was not part of our life and had no say in my decision whatsoever. I was upset that they were putting my mother through this; couldn’t everyone understand that he didn’t exist to us?

Eventually, I got married and had started thinking long term instead of just about tomorrow. It was then that I realized that I have no idea what to look out for in the future. Should I worry about cancer? What about hereditary diseases? What am I going to pass along to my children? I know about my mother’s side, but what about this whole other half of me that I had pretended didn’t exist for my entire life? Eventually, I had to face the facts. I had to contact him if I wanted any information since Mom couldn’t tell me what I wanted to know.

As I was writing and rewriting the draft of the email I’m going to send him, it hit me: I hate this man. I hate that I have such a loving and complete family, yet I feel abandoned by him. I hate that he put us through so much and obviously could care less. I know that hate is a strong word, and I know that it’s wrong to feel so, but I really didn’t know what else to feel.

I settled on wording for my email, and asked him, very politely, to send a medical history so I could know what to expect in the future. He replied after many days, and what it said infuriated me. I can’t quote exactly what it said (I deleted it in my anger), but it was something along the lines of “you’re not mine. I do not claim you. If you want my side of the story and my reasons behind this, I am more than happy to let you know.”

You don’t CLAIM me?! I’m not your’s?! I never asked him to be a part of my life, I never asked him to do a single thing, and that was his response. I called Mom immediately after I got the email, and by the end of the phone call, I could hear her close to tears. I wrote back to him and let him know that just a medical history is fine, I didn’t want any further contact with him at all, which he in turn informed Mom of. She wrote me and sent me texts for quite a few days after apologizing for the entire situation and letting me know that she loves me.

I was angry for quite a while after all of this happened, but I’ve accepted it now and am actually glad that it happened. It was just the kick in the keister I needed to know that my life is perfect without him. I have the most amazing parents in the world, and a sister and brothers that I adore and that adore me back: there’s no room for him. So, Mr. Whoever, thank you for resolving this life long issue of mine.

Lesson I’ve learned: I have a real Dad that freakin’ rocks!

P.S. My parents don’t know I wrote this, nor have I ever told them anything about how I felt about this man. So, Mom and Dad, I’m sorry I’ve held this back, and I apologize for the times that I’ve made your life miserable for bringing him up. I hope that no matter how I’ve acted in the past and no matter what things I might have said, that I have showed you that I love you. Because I absolutely, completely, totally do.


Anonymous said...

Wow, English-YOU rock!!
I'm so glad for you that despite the obvious internal perioods of angst you've experienced the result is the wisdom you've gained and insight-that you knew all along:) that you have an AWESOME Dad and wonderful family!
Much love to you, sweetie! I know the Lord will bless your words and use them to help others.
grandma k

Faith said...

Great post. I have 3 partial dads, no REAL dad. It hurts. I'm so glad English has her dad. I would give anything for the experience of a true dad. The best I could do was give my children a real dad, and I heal through watching him with them. Rock on, English!

Joia said...

This was AWESOME!!! =)

Grama di said...

Wow English! That touched my heart!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I love you, English. You are amazing!!


denise said...

I don't know English, but that post made me cry!!! What an amazingly strong girl. What a testament to nature vs nurture. What a testament to God's goodness. Props to English for having the courage to write this!

English Anderson said...

Mom: I love you, too. :)
Wendi: Thank you for posting this, and thank you for hosting this series. I never knew I needed an outlet until I read your blog.
Everyone else: Thank you so much! I definitely appreciate your support, and your compliments are a result of said amazing parents and their terrific job of raising me. I hope I represent them well!