Why Aren’t You Calling Me ‘Dad’?
My adoptive father didn’t talk much and when he did, it wasn’t conversational. The phrases were typically six words or less: “Let’s go,” “Why is the garage door up,” or “ok.” During family dinners no one spoke. The silence was stifling. He upheld the middle seat at the kitchen table, I was on the left and his son on the right. As I ate dinner I would day dream about going to my room – my little world and being ok in my silence. Didn’t he want to know how my day went? Wasn’t he curious if I came in first or last at my track meet or that the cheerleading coach was furious that I only had underwear on under my skirt minus the burgundy shorts that accompanied the uniform? What about his own son – didn’t he want to hear about his goals?
One day we all went to the store – I recall it being a large one-story retail outlet that had limitless racks of clothing. Out of the blue my adoptive father looked at me and said, “why aren’t you calling me dad?” I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. All I could think of was, he wasn’t my dad and how uncomfortable I felt. Shortly thereafter I began calling him dad. It never felt right. Never. I can’t explain it.
How in the world did he pass it the adoptive parent screening process? Who gave him the thumbs up and said, yeah he will be a great father or that his home was a better situation than my foster home? The only conclusion I can draw is that oftentimes adoptive parents think they are doing foster kids a favor by “saving” them. Perhaps that’s what the system tells them – “these children need you.”
Actually the children need a loving environment conducive to growth and development. They need individuals that are willing to put in some good ole sweat equity and understand the nuances and circumstances of the child they are interested in. They need love, conversation…..they need to be taught.
My adoptive father never uttered the words, I love you. Perhaps that’s why I never felt comfortable calling him dad – I’m not sure.
While everyone’s story is different, my purpose behind sharing this blog is two fold;
To provide some insight into how the foster care and adoption experience can impact and shape one’s life and perhaps demystify a few things. and 2.
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I am grateful for many things even when they days seem dreary. Grateful for the ability to inhale deeply and breathe in the desires of my heart. Grateful to exhale and let go of tension.
Remember January 1st 2020? Similar to most January’s – people were off living their best life- hitting the gym to cement those New Years resolutions, checking out Dave Ramsey’s content around financial freedom, napping, cooking good luck meals such as black eyed peas and removing the final Holiday decorations from doors, windows and fireplaces.
It’s been communicated that my biological mother named me, Monica Marie Garnett. I love being named Monica. It’s not terribly common, I adore how it sounds, and there’s only one way to spell it. Inserting a “k” rather than a “c” is just wrong. : )
When I was a little girl I prayed daily that one day I would meet my biological family. It happened. I also prayed for a certain career path, that I would buy/own a home and that I would finish college. It all happened.
March 31, 2017
Children in foster care: In its last governing act of the night, the Senate voted to send a bill back to committee that would have updated the state’s adoption laws for the first time in a generation.
We are in full swing of the holiday season and I’m looking forward to the decorations, wintry weather and overall holiday cheer.
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