Sunday, June 03, 2007

yesterday aaron met his birth father for the first time in 30 years.


for the first years that aaron and i were together and he told me how he had never known his father i wondered what that would be like. i would ask if he were curious about him, or wonder what he looks like, he would often shrug and not seem to concerned with it. i wondered what it was like not to have a father your whole life, as mine was such an integral part of my life and someone i always counted on. aaron had obviously written his birth father off long ago and having just a mother was all he knew. and i would wonder about her, aaron's mother. especially now that i have children, i wondered what that was like, raising a child alone, working to stay off welfare, moving in with family because there was no other option, working days, nights, whatever it took to provide. letting aaron stay home alone younger than he should have because she had no choice. sacrificing. giving up her life to be a single parent. little to no time for dating, or the possibility of investing in new relationships or the potential of a sibling for aaron. with virtually no assistance and little family. but again, it's all they both knew and i think aaron has always admired his mother's strength and sense of responsibility and it taught him to be the amazing person he is now. and while i believe that everyone should have to overcome some kind of adversity, i also marvel at how well aaron and his mother have both done. aaron's mother married when aaron was in college, giving him a father, brother, and sister. then we got married, and suddenly he gained an extra set of parents, a brother, and a sister. we have cultivated our awesome family tree over time, always with a section missing.

we ended up making a spontaneous trip up to his aunt sue's house and the impromptu trip turned into a family reunion. aaron met cousins he never knew about, a grandfather, and his father and his wife. we knew that it was a possibility that they might show up, and after 30 years without contact you just don't know what to expect. i was so proud of aaron, i think it's obvious to everyone what a great person he is and just how good a job his mother did and what a terrific dad he is to his kids. and everyone was wonderful, his aunt sue had a giant trampoline, a big pool, tons of snacks, we were shocked the kids returned home with us in the evening! kieran and andie played with cousins (technically, second cousins once removed), they were spoiled with presents from aaron's dad and his wife, they were doted on and fussed over. every child should be so lucky, right? and aaron was wonderful, if it was awkward for him, i didn't feel it. he was his usual charming, polite, attentive self and i was so proud to be there with him. i had a nightmare before we left that things might not go well. at any disparaging word of aaron's mother or something like that, i wouldn't have been able to hear it. my loyalties are so strongly tied to aaron (of course) and his mother that i worried that i wouldn't be as open to this event. but it was needless worrying, everything was lovely and there was never a moment in which we didn't feel comfortable.

it was just a really enjoyable time for everyone, i'd say. and while i think aaron and i had both accepted he would never know his birth father, things have a way of working out differently. i'm sorry that aaron missed out on knowing his father and having a two parent household growing up, but i think it's even more sad that aaron's father, as well as this whole family, missed out on aaron. he's one of the most incredible people i know, and definitely the best fathers to his children. i personally couldn't image my life without him.

so, we'll go from here. i'd be lying if i said it hasn't been a range of emotions both yesterday and today. i wonder why it took 30 years to meet such nice people. i don't know if we'll ever know. i just know how vital my family is to me and that has grown from my parents and siblings, to include aaron and our children as well as aaron's mother and stepfather and step siblings. i'd like to think our heart are big enough to welcome all this new family into our lives and we can continue to get together with them and celebrate things like graduations, weddings, and birthdays together.

we are are all just fortunate to know one anther now and we'll see where life leads us :)


Blogger Jenny said...

omg. love the green goggle picture. classic.

7:57 PM  
Blogger Donita said...

what a great post, brought tears to my eyes.

yeah, the goggle one is so....Andie! it's great.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous jacob said...

wow. intense, but glad you all got to experience that.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Kris said...

Thank you for the wonderful writing about Aaron and I and about him seeing his father for the first time in 31 years.

11:17 AM  
Blogger joanna said...

yeah, i love that goggle picture too :)

i just want to be completely fair to everyone involved in our situation. writing in a public blog can be challenging, you don't want anyone offended or feeling judged because of something you write.

the whole thing went better than anyone could have hoped, i think. so that's great!

6:20 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm so glad your visit went so well. Long overdue but hopefully that can change now.

You have a wonderful way with words.

5:22 PM  

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