Monday, March 15, 2004

Time Machine

Lanny asked a question on his journal about a week ago, "If you could take one and only one trip in a time machine to witness an event in the past, what event would you choose to see happen, and why?" Questions like this always stump me because I don't think about "What Ifs." I live in the present. For me, thinking about such things only leads to disappointment in what is real. But, I thought about Lanny's question and came up with an answer. My answer was, "My birth. So many questions, not enough answers." Lanny sent me an email asking if he could be so bold to ask what questions I have. I told Lanny as soon as I had a chance I would try to answer his request. So here it is:

My mother has a selective memory. I say selective because she remembers things in such a way that she can live with them. An example would be the number of times she has been married changes depending on who she is talking to at the moment, when in reality she is currently on her sixth marriage. Because of this, the things that she tells me, I take with a grain of salt since much of it probably isn't accurate.

For the first seven or eight years of my life, I didn't even know that I was adopted. My birth certificate has my adoptive father's name on it. That's one question that I have. How can the name of your biological father be wiped out of history?

My "real" father was/is an alcoholic. I say "was/is" because he has been sober for 30+ years now. My mom says that my dad was very controlling and demanding but she has never really been specific about the details other than he wouldn't allow us to eat dinner in our pajamas. My brother, Andy, has filled in some details for me. But even he was fairly young at the time.  As such, another question I have is: What was life like for our family?

My mom says that she went to the Priest for help and he told her to have another baby, so she had me. Given my mother's selective memory, I wonder if this is true. My mother has never told me specifically when her and my father divorced but based on some pictures I know that I had to have been younger than 13 months old. I wonder if the story about the Priest is true and if so, washaving me just a lame attempt to say she did everything she could before ending the marriage.

I've asked  my mom why she would name her only daughter after her father. Why wasn't Chris named after him? She says my dad insisted that I be named after him. I wonder if this is true, or did she just not care, or was there another reason. After all, my mom was named after her father.

My dad gave Chris and I up for adoption. I wonder what was going through his mind to make that decision. Was it an easy decision for him?  Why was I raised to believe John was my dad only to be told later on that he wasn't? Whose idea was that? I know my grandmother took it upon herself to introduce my dad to Chris and I but I don't remember if I knew before that time that I was adopted. If my mom told us when she divorced John, or if it was my grandmother who told us that summer so long ago.

These are the questions that I have. Maybe a few more. Nothing too intense just wondering what instigated the life that I call mine.


karensull12 said...

First off--LOVE the picture. You couldn't be any cuter!!! I can't imagine what it must be like for you to have all these unanswered questions, especially since the person that can answer them is alive, but you can't trust in her answers. That must be very frustrating for you. Maybe someday your Mom will come to her senses. I have no brilliant ideas to suggest as my floks are not beacons of parenthood either.

barebytes said...

Thanks for sharing your answers to the many questions of your birth. As to what was going through your fathers mind when putting you up for adoption? all I can say is that it must have been heavy because I can't see any reason to give up a child unless it was for their own good. As for your name, well, My wife's name is Larrie, she was named after her uncle and frankly I like a unique name, it gives you something special that is yours and you don't have to share. You are also so right when you say that you live in the now, that's the only place we are ment to live and the great plan that put us here is still and always will be a mystery. Maybe it's because I look at my own birth as nothing special that your answer struck me so odd. But after reading why you made a lot of sense. But however your birth came about, we are blessed that it happened, for it's a pleasure getting to know you. Hugs Lanny

deabvt said...

Ah, I`m so sorry, BUT, what a wonderful Picture!!!

debijanssen said...


babyshark28 said...

LOVE that baby's you right? :)
So, you weren't adopted as in...from a foster home. But, were you adopted by your step dad? and your real dad, just kind of left the scene? Just trying to collect my thoughts from your entry. :)
My dad was booted out when I was 4 (good thing) and then my mom remarried when I was 5. My step dad never adopted us children, too expensive he, we just went by his last name to make things easier. I can still remember that conversation, my older brother, me and my younger brother, my dad saying it was just too much.
I guess I was lucky, my mom was just solid enough to hold us all down, and if we had questions..she answered them honestly enough.
great entry RC, sad...but, it was good. I admire your determination in life, your goals, your friendly out-going nature...reading this entry, makes me think what a gift you truly are. :)

queenz43 said...

:: Awwwww,pinching those sweet little cheeks of yours:: :: Pausing, and wondering did that come out the way it should have:: Anyhoo, Robbie this was powerful to me. I just finished a series of entries on my own biological family and can say I understand the queries you have surrounding your birth in regards to your life. I hope one day you find these answers if you decide to seek them. But like Lanny said, I too am just happy that you are here and our paths crossed here in Journal Land. Take care,

lucylouladybug said...

when I got the email alert, and read just the opening line, and thought about it, asking myself the same question, I thought the exact same thing! I kid you not! To see my own birth, and to see my mom. Of course I would have all the knowledge of all that I know now, but just seeing my parents when I came into the world, well, I can only imagine. I know that my mom was in the delivery room with just the hospital staff, just the same as I was when Dallis was born, and I wonder what she thought when she first saw me. I know at some point in my life I was told, but with her being gone now, the details are fuzzy. But I know that she was scared just like I was, and she cried too. Her mom was in the States, I was born in France, and she was so homesick. My dad still tells me to this day that I was loved, wanted, and that my dad thought my mom was so beautiful when she was pregnant not only with me, but all my siblings. I wish I would have had same experience from my husband, but I didn't. And another thing I would like to go back in time for, is to see Dallis born again too, but this time, I would have had someone with me.....with pictures taken on the day she was born.
Love, Penny

lucylouladybug said...

BTW, what a cutie patootie you were and still are!
Love you, Penny

lisbnjvi said...

Oh Robbie, you and I could talk girlfriend! I have similar circumstances surrounding my birth and I have never known my "real" father (but I was told he was an "alcoholic" too). My mother has the same "selective memory" as your mother and when I asked her one day what time of the day/night I was born she answered "How the hell would I know?!". Umm, thought you were there, thanks anyway! My mom told me my father left when I was 2 years old, come to find out, the divorce was final when I was only 6 months old (my own research found this out). So, you see, I have the same thing, all little white lies of my childhood that have no resolution. It's kindof nice in an odd way to know that I am not alone out there, and that there is someone like me with unanswered questions. Maybe one day, Robbie, we will find them.
Hugs and love, Lisa

itsjustusinnc said...

Now I like what if questions. Maybe it's just the theoretical physicist in me. LOL! I can see how your scenario would be enticing. For me, I think it would be either the creation of the universe or the near-extinction of Cro Magnon about 100,000 years ago. Toss up. :-)


freeepeace said...

Precious!! That pic is absolutely precious! Great questions. Is there anyone around who might have answers? Other than your mom's selective memory, that is. Remember too, this is the life you call yours...nothing changes that. It's all in your perception :) But still, great questions. And an incredible bit of your life story - thanks for sharing. xo

gingergirl05 said...

Wow, this entry was moving and...interesting? Can I say that without seeming as though I take entertainment from your quandaries? I hope that you are able to receive some answers at some point. I always had minor questions about my childhood, but it's "hush hush we don't talk about those times" around here lol. Good luck with finding answers. ~ Kate xo

kathlyna22 said...

haha! what a cute baby picture, those are very deep questions, with some tough answers~Kathleen

andreakingme said...

Who's dat baby? LOL!

Fascinating entry here, Robbie. It's surprising that a priest would advise having a baby to keep a marriage together. Or maybe not.

My parents divorced when I was 3 and my sister was 1-1/2 and back then, you didn't see many kids who didn't have both parents. It was rough sometimes.

quroboros said...

Wow, you've delved deep with this entry. Don't know if I'd be that brave. My choice for Time Travel question- I'd go back to New Mexico in July 1947 to see what happened at the Roswell crash. Hey, I just gotta know! ¤Holly (Jrnl: A Fool On The Lake)

bridgetteleigh75 said...

My goodness. I can see why you'd like to have some of these questions answered. It would be hard for me not knowing the answers either. I hope that one day you'll find these truths, robbie...for your sake.

XO ~ Bridgett

p.s. I've missed you!

alphawoman1 said...

My brother was married and had a child who was one year older than my Bridget. He was divorced and she moved to FL. To make a long story short, the ex asked my brother to allow her new husband to adopt his child. He wrestled long and hard and finally did what he thought best for the child. She will be 25 next month. My parents and my family hope that some day she tries to find us...she was four years old when they left. Anyway, it took a lot of love for my bro to let go.....

musenla said...

Aww, such a cutie! I love baby pics, and yours is adorable!

You certainly have pertinent and completely valid questions. I think all of us have an innate need to know our origins, and being adopted I'm sure makes this even more important to you.

Sixth marriage? Wow, I know of only Elizabeth Taylor and Rue McClanahan as having been married more than that. At least your Mom hasn't lost her belief in the institution of marriage!

slowmotionlife said...

Don't you just love [loathe] that selective memory thing? ::smile:: My mother has it too, unfortunately. I remember as a child, listening to her tell stories that I knew were untrue... we always agreed with her, because that's what children are SUPPOSED to do, but as an adult, I have trouble believing everything she says. I'm sorry so many important questions in your life have been left without solid answers. That's really difficult... you were a beautiful baby. :)

mw15mw99 said...

You are an amazing person.
The selective memory?? I guess that is a nice way to put it. My sister has 'selective memory' and in our family we are supposed to just smile and go on...all the time knowing that what she is saying it total nonsense...but No one confronts.
I really admire your thoughts on living in the Now. You are Amazing.
:) Kate

krobbie67 said...

KAREN: Thanks! This is one of my favorite baby pictures. I like the ‘tude I’m giving off. LOL My mom will be 67 this year. I really don’t think she’s going to change so I don’t waste my energy hoping that she will.

LANNY: Your own birth not special! I find that hard to believe. After all, we too are blessed because it happened.

VINCE: Nothing to be sorry about. Such is life. Thanks!

DEBIJANSSEN: I believe you are new to me. I hunted down your journal but haven’t had a chance to check it out yet. Thanks for commenting. Unfortunately, some of my mom’s selective memory is due to keeping skeletons tucked away in the closet. Oh well!

BABYSHARK: You are so funny! Yes, it’s me if me means Robbie and not RC. LOL But I understand the mix up because according to her comment she just finished a series of entries about her family. Yeah, I was adopted by my Stepdad – not from a foster home. When my mom married husband number 4 she tried to get us to take that husband’s last name by just assuming it to save her embarrassment from being called Mrs. K instead of Mrs. H. But, we were old enough to say Hell No! by that point in time. He was a real jerk! Your mom sounds like an amazing woman. And, thank you!

krobbie67 said...

RC: Ah…it came out the right way. Thanks! I haven’t caught up on your journal yet, but I will be sure to read your entries. One of the reasons I don’t mind sharing about myself the way I do is because one thing I’ve learned in life is that no story is too tragic, someone surely had it worse than I, and maybe by showing someone they are not alone will help them in some small way.

PENNY: I envy the love you have for your mom. She sounds like such a wonderful woman. I imagine you and Dallis will have the same kind of special love too. I’m sorry you had to experience Dallis’ birth alone. Didn’t you have any friends who could have went with you? I was in on one of my friend Debbie’s deliveries. It was so wonderfully amazing!

LISA: I’m sorry that you can relate but I’m glad if my sharing makes you feel even a little bit better that you are not alone.

GREGG: Funny, I have an interest in anthropology myself, more leaning toward the cultural aspect though. I believe you are confusing Cro-Magnon with the Neanderthals. Neanderthals have no recognizable sub-species. Actually, Cro-Magnon man is an early Homo-sapien that existed somewhere between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago. And, quit muttering B*tch under your breath. LOL ;-)

FREEE: I am hoping to visit my father this year. If the environment is right, I will make an attempt to ask his version of the story. But, yes, it’s my life and makes me who I am. No regrets!

krobbie67 said...

GINGERGIRL-KATE: No it doesn’t sound bad. I think people’s “stories” are interesting too, even comforting in some respects. I can relate to the “hush-hush.”

KATHLEEN: Thanks! Yeah, I get deep every now and then.

ANDREA: Maybe the priest did or didn’t. Who knows with my mom? But back in that day, I could see a woman being advised to do such a thing. Ya know? I had a few friends from divorced families so that didn’t feel so odd.

HOLLY: Roswell, heh? Are you a conspiracy theorist? Funny though, for some reason I thought Roswell was in Colorado? But, I don’t pay much attention to Sci-Fi related stuff.

BRIDGETT: I can’t really say it’s hard. I’m just curious. Thanks! And, I miss everyone too! I feel a little disconnected but hopefully I’ll be back on track once next week is over.

MARY: I’m sure it did take a lot of love for your brother to do what he did. I’m grateful that my brothers and I all had the same last name. We are pretty close even though my oldest and youngest are by different fathers and I think a lot of the closeness is due to the fact we have the same last name so we never looked at each other as half-siblings.

krobbie67 said...

MUSE: We’ve teased my mom about her being in the running with Liz but I didn’t know Rue McClanahan was also up there. Yeah, my mom definitely believes in the institution of marriage! I’ve asked her to believe more in the idea of shacking up but she just won’t listen to me. LOL

SLO: Thanks! Yeah, half-truths, that’s a nice way to put it. My mom hates it when I call her on her “white-lies” but I am very much about the truth. You’d think she just wouldn’t say stuff in front of me but still trips up sometimes and I of course nail her now that I’m older and know some of the truths. LOL

KATE: Thanks! Lucky for your sister she’s not around me! Because I have no problem calling someone out right on the spot, my mother included. LOL!