First Contact

I love Mondays. I know this is probably a very offensive statement to many folks. I love the idea of a fresh week ahead. I used to loathe it. I have gone through some very undisciplined periods in my life where I contributed nothing of substance or improvement in my life. I enjoy the personal challenge and try hard not to get hung up in the drama of pessimism and fear. That is a horrible place and offers no improvement in my life.

I have enjoyed the last week of writing. It is so many things to me: good practice of skills, good therapy, good introspect. Most of all I hope it gives you, as readers, a glimpse into my life. My life contains the same ups and downs as we all have. I just have some anecdotes and experiences that I hope can educate, encourage, or simply help anyone who can take even a sentence, that they can apply to their own lives, research, or perspective. Thank you again to all of you who have shared, liked, or encouraged. It really means a lot to me.

The story continues:

Phone in hand. Number dialed. Ringing. “Hello?”

The voice of a woman came over the line. I felt my body tense up. Paralysis. The words were there but wouldn’t come out. I remember that internal dialogue coaching me. “COME ON! RESPOND!” I was frozen in place for what seemed 20 minutes. After what was really 20 seconds, the voice said “Hello?” again. I found the words. “Hello, my name is Rick Fogarty. I live in Oklahoma City. I have some information that has led me to believe we may be related.” I got it out!! I said it! The voice, which was very polite, replied “Well, what makes you believe this?”

I started from the beginning. “I was born July 7, 1977 [yes…that’s my real birthday and isn’t nearly as lucky as it sounds] in…”. I laid out all the information I had as she listened patiently and quietly. It was all out there, all I had put together. The voice came back and said “Well…I am your grandmother.” Paralyzed again. All I remember from that moment was thinking “Wow,,,this really happened. I wasn’t expecting all of this”.

Soapbox moment:

This is where I enter a word of caution. I made a decision based on some very deep consideration. I discussed the ramifications, consequences, and potential fallout from my decision to make contact. I respect the decision that my birth family made under the conditions, discussions, prayer, or necessities they HAD to make. I respect that decision with NO KNOWLEDGE of their dilemma. I had the information I needed. I gave myself some rules of engagement and where I would stop. I did not HAVE to have answers. I would encourage anyone who is starting an adoption search to discuss the issues with persons who has been involved in all aspects. I am aware of people in our current genealogical community who are involved in adoption search and who are involved in practices that are questionable. I hope that those persons can be educated before they find themselves in a damaging situation to themselves or any parties involved. Respect is critical: respect for privacy, respect for feelings, and respect for safety.

Stepping off soapbox. Back to story.

I had made contact with my biological grandmother. She asked me a few questions about myself. She was very kind and curious about my life. I had a question that I wanted to ask her. I built the courage. I fired. “Do you know where my mother is?


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