Over the course of the past three years, through studying genealogy, I’ve learned that my life is a symphony of relationships. Although there are thousands of people that made me who I am today, I’ve really only known six of them. To be more specific, there’s my parents and their parents that have impacted my life. However, as an adoptee, there are also the genetic influences of my birth parents, whom I’ve never met. This divides my family tree into two distinct branches.
When I really think about it, my life was created in a short-term relationship, maybe one night, and stabilized by a 68-year marriage. Adoption was the fortunate course for me. Thankfully, Burt and his wife Cathy entered the picture. They could not have children of their own and I was available. This made me fortunate in many ways:
– I could have been aborted
– I could have been illegally sold
– I could have been born with a disability and unwanted.
– I could have been placed in the wrong home
– I could have never found a family
It couldn’t have turned out better, as if I was actually involved in the decision. They raised me as their own, and I eventually became a father myself. My wife at the time and I never had to make the difficult decision of adoption. It takes special people to raise what might be considered another couple’s mistake. The bastard stigma! I’d like to say that we found each other, but they did all the work and I simply claimed the benefits.
They gave me a church upbringing, good neighborhoods to grown up in, family stability, and a college education. It made me who I am today. It also makes me grateful that I got the chance to live with loving, caring parents. This is why I want to celebrate Burt on Father’s Day. He’s the only man in the world I can call “Dad.” However, there’s his dad, and his dad’s dad, and generations of dads before that somehow shaped my life. Then, there’s the DNA of my birth father and his family that comes into play. I recognize his contribution to my appearance, health, and behavior. It’s all part of that symphony of life that makes me unique. Much Love, Burt!