Thursday, January 5, 2012

i went looking for him~

One of the strange things about adoptees is how little interest, statistically speaking, we seem to take in finding our birthfathers. We get all worked up and pent up and straight up go looking for that one woman who birthed us. As one of my anthropology professors said, "the investment is so much greater on a woman's part. Plus, you always know who you're mother is".
Do you?
I think he was referring to the fact that there's no denying it when a baby comes out of your body. You know who that child is, that child knows you. But there can always be questions about who the father is. Some anthropologists say this is why marriage was created. It was an attempt to guarantee that a woman's child was only your own, because heck, who gives a damn about sex other than that Big Red Flag that results from its greatest byproduct: whose kid is whose?

Which brings me to the topic of my post. As most of you read in my previous posts, my birthfather is, to blatantly put it, not a very nice man. Well, people can change, yes. So we won't assume that he hasn't...tried. But for now, we'll stick with what we know. And what we know is that he was a man who pushed a pregnant woman down the stairs because he was afraid of the consequences of his actions. Me being, of course, the consequence.
I wasn't exactly interested in finding him. Mostly because of the reasons that I stated when I opened this post. But also because I just didn't think I'd find him. Hell, M was having a hard time remembering even how to spell his name. And my adoption papers only said that he was Saudi Arabian and lost his parental rights (not that he was exactly begging for them) on the basis of abandonment. I mean, so many Saudi men have multiple wives and many, many children. The culture is so different from western culture in so many ways. That's not necessarily a dig (although I don't appreciate how women are viewed and treated there in particular). Either way, there were so many factors working against finding him, and even if I did, any relationship resulting being even slightly meaningful (I can just picture our conversation: Oh yes, M! I kind of remember her! She was the quickie I had at a party I skipped out on right after!) Some men are not fathers. Some men are merely sperm donors.
So I left it at that.
I did, however, look his name up when I found it out. A man immediately popped-up who's a part of a D.C think tank for promoting middle-eastern and U.S agenda. He's the middle man. He was within the correct time frame for "life-dates" and locations, but for some odd reason, I brushed it off. It seemed a little off. Or maybe too easy, you know? I type in a name and voila! a guy pops up with an impressive resume and pictures? Seems like every adoptee's internet-search-fantasy!
But an old friend of M's who knew him also did a search and realized that the man we'd found was indeed him.

So after I gathered myself enough to go back and re-read his resume and allow myself to truly take it all in and soak in the pictures and believe it to be true, my feelings finally set in. It's obvious in the photos that I really have his features, especially his profile. M says it's all in the nose and eyes and lips. I always knew, that I had to look quite a bit like him, considering my coloring and strong features. But how crazy that with a quick search, we found so many images and so much juicy life information about him.
Having said all this, I can see where I got not only so many of my features, but my intellectual side, my passion for writing and politics (he wrote a book about Iraq---in English, too!) He's also got a PhD from an Ivy League school, is a professor in Riyadh, a businessman, and a bigwig on so many U.S/Mideast boards it'll make your head spin.

While we have some similarities, he mostly stands for everything I'm against. While Saudi Arabia is a conservative muslim nation, he wears expensive designer suits and drinks wine while rubbing elbows with stuffy D.C elites, power brokering economic agendas between the U.S and Saudi Arabia. Oil corporations. Big Money. Dirty Money---blood money.
Funny thing: deep down, I always knew this.
So, dear Birthfather, while you wanted nothing to do with me to protect yours and your family's reputation---and yes, appearances are clearly everything to you---I want you to know that I think I got your best trait: I got your wits.
But you know what I got from that girl you slept with that was merely one of many to you? One of your American fun-time conquests to sweep under the rug? The one who laughed when she saw the current pictures of you online because, while you look dashing and suave, she knows your dirty secrets?
I got her genuine kindness. I got her honesty, her ethics, her sense of loyalty. Her sense of duty to the less fortunate, even as her own life has not turned out well financially. I got her street smarts. I got her loud laugh, her fearlessness and her endless openness. She carries a well of regret inside her heart, but she can admit it.
You may be smart, but what good is smart when the rest of the world carries you upon its back? We are meant to be good. To be good not only to ourselves, but to others. As Mother Teresa said, "There are no bad people in the world. Some people simply choose to neglect the good in themselves."

I think I got the traits I like most about myself from her. And for this, I'm thankful. It's made me a better person, a person I can live with inside myself: no dark, dirty secrets, no facades, no lies.