As I parked my black Nissan in the gravel, I heard a plane fly over the dark sky. My stomach suddenly dropped, and for a split second, I thought my whole insides were going to explode from the inside out.
As my bluish, pale shaking hand took my hand off of the black car handle, reality began to set in that I was finally going to meet my biological father. The man I had been searching for since I found the adoption papers when I was in middle school. The man I’ve imagined in many types of different forms and personalities.
Once I realized I had a father out there in this world, my mind went into infinite possibilities, because my parents never even wanted me to find out the truth of it all. My biological father was never supposed to exist. I was told by my parents’ that my “real” dad was a Joplin, the town drunk and it was in my best interest that he’d be taken away from me.
So once that black car handle opened my door, instant panic struck my brain to that very moment in time. “Is he still a drunk?” “Will he be kind to me?” “I am making a mistake.” And I decided I no longer wanted to go on this adventure. But I couldn’t be a coward and back out, so I tried to pick a fight with my innocent boyfriend in the passenger seat. “Could you go any slower?” I began screaming at him, as I closed the Nissan car door and clung my hand to the steering wheel.
My poor, poor boyfriend looked at my helpless face and had no idea what to say, I mean how could one truly understand what to do in this situation? All he wanted for me was to be happy and loved. I tried to pick a fight yelling about every little damn thing, those around me from the outside looking in probably thought I was losing my damn mind.
And the cold hard truth for those few moments I truly was. But not once did my boyfriend allows himself to snap back, he didn’t deserve the pain I lunged at him, but he knew I was looking for an escape a reason to go home. So he took the heat and for the next three hours of our lives, I was trying to convince myself out of happiness as we sat in those cold, hard airport chairs.
As my boyfriend slowly drifted off into a trance, I looked up at the ceiling, closed my frightened, hazel eyes and reminded myself that “I am strong. I am brave. And I can overcome.” I must have said that to myself a hundred times before I opened my freckled face and took that much needed deep, deep breath. I was beyond terrified. I was opening my heart to a complete stranger in hopes that this man wouldn’t completely destroy my heart, like my adoptive father and my Mother.
Long story short my adoptive father decided to videotape me naked without my consent and my Mother allowed this behavior. The two people that vowed to protect me from heartbreak caused my heart to shatter into a million pieces. And sadly no matter how hard I try, the pieces will never fit the same again.
So hence the wanting to just sprint the hell out of the large, overwhelming, anxiety-filled airport. I couldn’t handle yet a third parent throwing me to the side. Now I don’t want you to think I wasn’t grateful for this opportunity, like I said before I was so excited before this December, gloomy morning arrived. I lost my entire family a year before to that horrific sexual act and sadly two weeks before this very airport day, I finally parted ways with my delusional mother.
And right between all of that madness, I finally found my biological father. I felt as if all the stars were finally aligning in my favor. I expected there to be some drama-filled situation. But honestly, since the very day I’ve reached out to my family they’ve been welcoming and beyond loving. And the most important part of all, they’re accepting of me. Just me. And want to get to know who I am, bipolar mess and all. I am grateful to be wanted, but reality does overtake.
The reality of it all can become quite overwhelming. I am a grown adult woman who has to find a way to connect with these strangers. But I never faked going to the bathroom and running out to the overly crowded, Orlando airport parking lot, because my gut was telling me I needed to fight through the anxiety and the complete and utter fear of yet another heartbreak. Heartbreak is just apart of life and I needed to be the woman who takes risks and stands on her own two feet.
So once more I looked up at the ceiling, in the cramped, airplane seat and reminded myself once more, “ I am strong. I am brave. And I can overcome.” As I looked back, I saw my boyfriend fast asleep, and that gave me peace that he was resting before our new adventure. I turned back around and began reading. Reading all the quotes I could find that would uplift me into a million pieces. Reminding me that conquering our fears will lead us to our destiny.
I truly wanted to believe I was destined for greatness, but nothing came easy in my life before. After about an hour of reassuring myself, I grabbed my pink pillow, laid up against the window, and began imagining our first encounter as I did as a little girl, but this time my dream was finally turning into reality. A joyous encounter I hoped.
After two very long hours, I finally heard the monotone pilot over the intercom announce, “The plane has landed in Las Vegas. Please remain seated until instructed to do so.” This was the moment I dreamt of my entire life. But like before instant panic sunk in, “Is he going to like me?” “Will I look like him?” “Will my brother and sisters like me?”
And the happiness slowly faded as I began waiting impatiently for all the slow, slow people to get their luggage and be on their way. Now my poor boyfriend was waking up towards the back of the plane. I patiently tapped my foot while I waited for him to come up to my seat.
As my boyfriend approached he slightly touched my shoulder, and as much as I wanted to embrace his affection, my whole body jolted back, and screamed, “Don’t touch me.” “Why did I just do that?” I thought to myself, but that was a problem I would address a different day. As my boyfriend and I walked down the claustrophobic terminal, my mind began wondering in countless directions.
Every single damn voice in my head wanted to appear this very moment, and I just couldn’t handle the pressure of them all or so it seemed. Tim, my adoptive father, was laughing hysterically in my pale ear. My mother was sobbing, “How could you do this to me?” While the rest of my voices just tagged along and comforted my mother for the devilish act I was about to encounter. Meeting my horrific father, according to her.
All awhile my strawberry red, headed brother appeared next to me, begging and pleading to not leave him alone as we walked to find our luggage. I just wanted to reach out to my imaginary brother and let him know that I truly did love him. All I wanted was his happiness, but the closer I reached the terminal with our luggage, the quieter his voice became.
As I looked back once more to see my pale, freckled face brother, he waved in the distance, and blew me one final kiss goodbye. I took a deep, deep breath, turned my teary, hazel eyes towards my new awakening, my biological father and his family. I instantly knew it was him, I’ve only studied and stalked him for over a month analyzing every little thing.
Technology brought me down a dark, dark hole, where I’ve jumped to every new conclusion I could about this average height man. This average height man locked his blue eyes with mine and both our smiles began to rise and rise. Tim and my mother drifted off into the distance slowly, desperate and pleading not to be forgotten. My long, brown boots sped up fastly towards my brown-haired father and his smilie, blonde-haired wife.
As his hands reached out to give me a hug, I closed my eyes, took another deep, deep breath, and hugged the man I now call my Father.
I embraced the touch of his cold sweatshirt, and laid my head on his shoulder, for just a split second. But for that split second, I finally felt complete. The part of me that always been hiding away finally had the peace she deserved. The piece that I deserved. And as my grateful eyes opened, I looked at this man, and realized my destiny has just begun.