Father’s day is coming this weekend. I do not get the same sense of despair as I do with mother’s day but it fills me with another sadness. My daughters father was never given the choice for adoption either. He was present when she was born and throughout the pregnancy, but his mother had already made “plans” for our daughter. I know that he suffered and still does. Although I get angry that he refuses to release the secrets that are held surrounding her adoption, I know that he loved her then and loves her now. I regret not talking to him as much as I regret not speaking to anyone about my pregnancy and the impending birth. I wonder at times that had I not shut down emotionally, would I have been able to save us from this unnatural act. This is part of the guilt that comes with adoption and I know this. I also carry guilt over the pain that he endures/endured over not being able to parent his first daughter. Society places the burden of “decision” on the mother and excludes the father entirely when it is his right to parent as much as the mothers right. In doing so, I think that maybe he was silenced which is what may have ultimately allowed this thing, adoption, to be done to us. I regret not allowing him to grieve also. That one gets me. I was so wrapped up in my own grief that I forgot that he was grieving also. I didn’t acknowledge it until last year, a couple of years or so into my electronic reunion. By then, it was too late for me to tell him I’m sorry. I had already asked him for the truth behind our daughters adoption and he cut off all contact. I am sorry though, although I could not have stopped the adoption which was never my choice nor did it ever cross my mind as a “plan”, I could have been there for him as he suffered silently.
In realizing my own story, I have to acknowledge the multitude of men who were never given a choice to parent their child. Yes, they were not traumatized and brow beaten nor drugged or held against their will, but many did not consent either. Some were never even told that there was a baby. Maybe that saved them the hurt of never knowing their child though. Being forever a legal stranger to their own offspring. Some of these men willingly walked away. The problem being is that the child has the right to know their father even if they were legally severed by adoption.
I think of my own father as this day quickly arrives. How he abandoned me when I needed him to protect me most. I celebrate and honor him still. He has made devastating mistakes but he is and forever will be my father. I know that he regrets how he helped to destroy me. If we only had a time machine.
So for Father’s Day, I would like us to all remember the fathers who are separated unwillingly or unknowingly with their children. They may never reveal their pain but I am certain that they feel it.
Fathers Day by vampporcupine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.