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Letter 3: Your Parents – Dad #2

August 5th, 2010

Dear Dad,

Funny how, though you’re my birth father, and my adoptive father and I have a million and one issues, you’re still “Dad #2”.  Why is that, I wonder?

What’s odd is that I can’t bring myself to hate you.  I’ve heard stories, and logic says at least some of them are true, but stories or no, I can’t preach innocence until guilt is proven without allowing you the same privilege.

But really?

Five thousand dollars, even in the 80s, isn’t much for a baby.  You could have gotten more on the black market.  But here you were, with your hand out to the only living daughter of a man who’s always done pretty well for himself, and all you could think to ask for was $5000.00? Was it that you didn’t think they’d agree to more, or just that I wasn’t worth more to you?

You wanna hear my version?

Until I was trying to support four children on my own, I didn’t really understand having to steal to survive.   I knew there were people who lived that way, but I didn’t understand the thoughts or feelings surrounding it.  So it didn’t even occur to me, until I was an adult, that when you robbed… where ever you robbed, it could have been because you needed the money to support your girlfriend and your daughter, and not just because you were the hardened criminal K wants me to believe you were.  I mean, Mom was working at a fast food restaurant and living with her grandmothers when she died.  I was under the impression the two of you were still together when you were incarcerated.  So maybe you did it to help support me.  Who knows, right?

Everyone always left me to come to my own conclusions of you.  Except K, but I know enough about her to know she’s batshit, and you can’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth.

They told me you took money in exchange for signing the adoption papers.  They also told me that you didn’t want to sign the adoption papers.  That you were going to send me to live with your mother until you got out of prison.

They said I was already old enough that a change like that may have proven traumatic.  I’d already lost one parent.  Losing a second set might have been too much for me.  They didn’t say who offered the money deal.  K did, but my adoptive parents refused to corroborate, and I haven’t asked anyone else.

I still think you’re an idiot.  I still think you could have gone about things differently.

But mostly?

Mostly I wonder if you’re still alive.  And I wonder if you ever think of me if you are.  I wonder why you haven’t come looking for me.  My birth mother’s family never went anywhere.  Finding them would have been easy.

I wonder if you did and they never told me.

We went looking for you, you know.  We found two men with your name and birthday, both incarcerated around the time you were, and both dead with no living ancestors.  We didn’t do a huge search.  It’s probably going to cost more than we can afford to find you.  Especially if it turns out you are dead and have no living ancestors.

It doesn’t really bother me that I might never know anything about you but the stories.  I’m none the worse for wear not knowing.  I’m just… curious.  And I suppose that’s a natural response.

Anyway…

~Rayne

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