My dad as a toddler. I believe this photo may have been taken at the Salvation Army home in El Paso Texas at least a couple of years after my dad was adopted. His original mother was probably still working there at this time. This photo came from her own album, even though he was adopted at 8 months of age. I do know that my Granny went back to them to adopt a baby brother for my dad and so this may have been when she went there to get my Uncle Buddy.
The look on his face leads me to reflect on what it might possibly mean. His original mother was fond of taking photographs and so it may be that she actually took this photo. Did he recognize her now ? There is no way to know really.
What I do know is that my mom and my dad, both adoptees, responded to that fact of their very lives differently. It never seemed to matter much to my dad. His adoptive mother was the prime source of security for him and the reason he was adopted. She actually kicked my dad’s first adoptive father out of the house for abusive behavior. My nephew says my Granny (what we called this woman growing up) said he was hurting one of the boys and she threw him out the window. Whatever the truth was, she was that feisty, and he died young because his liver was too damaged by alcohol.
My dad was actually adopted twice. At the age of 8, he was adopted again by my Granny’s new husband and he was a good man and they stayed married until death did part them.
When my mom wanted to search for her original family, my dad warned her against it saying she might be opening up a can of worms. I believe that statement represents his thoughts about his own adoption. Preparing for this blog, I went looking to see if gender makes a difference in one’s feelings about having been adopted. At least one story I found seems to indicate as much. He said, “I still do not wish to find my biological parents, but I am thankful every day for the love and the sacrifice they made for me,” even though he now has biological children of his own.
Maybe it is because mothers have a different kind of relationship with their children than fathers do. My mom once explained her effort to find her mother this way, “As a mother, I would want to know what happened to my child.” My mom really seemed to have zero interest in her father.