Ayear ago today, thanks to my birth mother Lana’s search for the truth and the man connected to it (and her sharing that information with me), I learned my birth father’s name is Jerry Knight. I learned one year ago, on this day, that he was alive and very much wanted to meet me. Within a few days I wrote him a letter and took the second step on my adoption journey.
With my first courageous step into reunion I had found my birth mother, and maternal family members, including my grandmother, aunts and cousins, and my dear half-brother Bill. With the second step I would return to facing the great fear of what might be found on the other side of reunion, but this time with my birth father.
Would he want too much? Not enough? Would he like me? Would his family embrace me? Would he be gentle and embracing, or callous and dismissive. Would I like him, respect his choices in life, be able to fit him and his people into my world? Would they want or be able to fit me in theirs? The first reunion taught me this is no walk in the park. I was vastly more scared the second time around.
Yet I dared to believe, and in doing so I found a tremendous amount of love, acceptance, and an additional amazing and loving family; Susan Nance Knight (and all her Peeps), my half-brother Bart Knight, his wife Marlane Maisel Knight, his son Morgan Knight, Laura Kato Knight and Cailey (who I better meet soon), my Aunt Patricia and her kids, my cousins Heather Ammons, and Kelly and Ken and their families; and so many new wonderful friends, Sandy and Dana and Becky and their husbands, and many many more dear people.
I also found in this wonderful man, a person so much like myself, physically, mentally, personality-wise. Hardheadedness and stubborn yet loyal and determined – it was all there and all so much like me. We bonded instantaneously; and family, while at times scratching their heads about the eerie Twilight Zone feel of the whole thing, accepted our closeness and the way it made us different yet better people because of it.
These are not blessings just for me but for my daughter Victoria, as well as many others. Through this reunion, my birth father had another reunion of his own. Recently, this past Father’s Day Weekend, he and I went to Lubbock so he could reunite with his sister, my aunt Patricia (after 30 years of disconnect). There we celebrated her 80th birthday. There I also met my cousins, who ironically are also adopted like me.
As to the miracle of my reunion journey coming full circle on this day well, I must say it would have made my mother and father so tremendously happy to know we have this beautiful new canopy of leaves on our family tree. We even learned my daughter’s father’s family is related to Susan’s family. So Victoria and Susan are related through their royal English blood.
And so I will conclude this tribute to this special day with a bit of advice to adoptees on that paralyzing edge of beginning search: Never be afraid of discovering your truth, it is the most loving, nurturing thing an adoptee can ever do for themselves. It does not always come with as much bounty and blessing as this family has been fortunate to find, and with growth does come pain and loss, sometimes profound pain and loss even, but to know your full story and fully own your past, present and future – that is truly priceless.
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~ “Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland I am this: Reunited Adoptee/Daughter, Inspired Writer/Author, Wanna Be Yogi/Techie, Advocating Adoption Reform/Komen 3-Day 60 Mile Walker, Hungry Organic/Optimist, Lover of Coffee/Wine/Cheese, that’s me.