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Archive for March, 2010

I never had much of a relationship with my father growing up. He was sort of just this figurehead in my life, that occasionally I would be sent to visit between the ages of seven and thirteen or so. I don’t remember him before that age, and he wasn’t around much after. He didn’t want a relationship with me, and my mother certainly never hid this fact, so I didn’t want much of one with him either.

He and my mother had me at a very young age. My mother graduated high school a year early, and had just completed her first and only semester of college (she returned when I was a young teen) when she found out she was pregnant. I was born nine days before her 18th birthday. She and my father weren’t together anymore at my birth, and she was seriously (so I’d assume) dating a man with the initials JF.

I went to go pick up my birth certificate yesterday in the awful, dirty little town I was born in. Just driving through that city makes me cringe. I moved out of there when I was five, and have scarcely found reasons to return since I turned 18. It’s just a dark, depressing place. I think the only way I could find beauty there is through the lens of my camera.

I arrived at the health department, expecting to grab and dash essentially. I filled out the little card with my mother and father’s names, my birth date, all the essentials. The lady started looking through the files – and here’s where I started becoming fascinated – my records weren’t computerized. They are WRITTEN IN A BOOK. With WHITEOUTS and HANDWRITTEN RECORDS. Omg, apparently I’m old. Or just from a little podunk town. -ahem-

She proceeds to ask me if I’ve been adopted. Um, what? She then says that the father’s name on my birth certificate is…different. Not the biological father I grew up half-knowing. I start wracking my brain; I know of JF and parts of his history with my mother but I cannot for the life of me recall his name. I remember that the card in my baby book, that was taped to my incubator at birth (I was over two months premature) bore his last name instead of my own.

She took his name off my birth certificate, at my request because I know that he’s not my father, and gives me the certificate. She recommended I head over to the clerk’s office to find out just what on God’s green earth is going on.

The clerks office is full of kind-hearted ladies who are more than happy to assist me. They find the court documents of my mother and JF’s history, and I sit down at the little worn table to thumb through the worn, faded documents. I was born in the summer of 1984. Approximately six weeks or so after my birth, there is a court request to change my last name from my mother’s maiden name to JF’s name, and for my birth certificate to be changed. Seven months or so later, there is a request from JF to remove it and remove him from parental responsibility. He states in his request that he was “deceived and given false information”, I’m assuming, my mother told him he was my biological father even though she damn well knew the truth. My head is spinning at this point.

Fourteen months after my birth, my name is changed back to my mother’s maiden name, my maiden name, and he is ordered to be removed from my birth certificate. Apparently, it was my mother’s responsibility to have the Health Department change this information, and she didn’t do so.

How IN THE WORLD did this happen my entire life? She had to have my birth certificate to enroll me in kindergarten, in my new school every time we moved. For health insurance, for all sorts of things. She saw this information day in and day out, and I could have sworn that I have seen my certificate beforehand – didn’t I have to have it for my marriage license? I can’t remember. It’s insane, this entire situation.

My biological father was ordered to pay child support when I was growing up, so I know there had to have been a DNA test to confirm he was the father. But why didn’t he ever see my birth certificate? How did he not know? Apparently if he did, he didn’t care.

My head is just SPINNING.

There is so much more that happened yesterday, but it will have to wait until later. This is all I can manage to sort through at the moment. I’m going back through the court papers today, and will likely make a trip to the county where my biological father’s court documents are held and get copies of those.

I just wanted my birth certificate. Turns out, I had a mystery to solve instead.

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Moving On

He makes me smile.

He does little things, like bring me flowers for no reason. Leaves sweet cards in my car. He sends me long, rambling text messages that make me swoon. He made me one heck of a dinner tonight.

I’m scared.

I know better than to hope, to tie a string around this happiness and let it float me away. I have to keep my feet on the ground; lest I lose all sense of reality and think that “maybe, just maybe, I can be happy this time. Maybe this time will actually be the one that works.” Maybe I’m not dreaming.

I know how I feel, beyond a shadow of a doubt. I know I love this man more than I could put into words. I know he never fails to show me how much he loves me in return. He’s been trying for months; finally, I’m starting to believe it. It’s scary as hell, and fills me with a childlike giddiness at the same time.

We’ve gone through a tremendous amount of stress together thus far, particularly in the last two months. Outside stressors as well as inside. I’ve even gone so far as to try and end things at least once; for his sake. I’ve asked him on many occasions if he’s “sure”, and I always get the same answer in return.

He is kind, compassionate, creative, wickedly intelligent, has a great sense of humor, and has endless amounts of patience for all my crazy. Which is a lot, sad to say. -grin-

I’m working through my feelings from my divorce, and will be entering counseling shortly. I don’t want any baggage coming between us, and as there are kids in the picture (I have one, he has two) I want to be the healthiest person I can be, for myself, for him, and for our children. I want this to work; I want us to be as ridiculously happy as possible. I want a new start.

He makes me smile.

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