Editorial – I found my family, now what?
6-14-12 *Editorial by John Ovenden*
Finding my family was a great thing. How many people in my position get that opportunity? I was put up for adoption for good reason and survived it. I’ve learned the whole story from beginning to end and I can accept it. I grew up in almost a parallel life of what I would have if raised by my biological mother. My mother and my adopted mother are very similar. The main thing is that my adopted mother loved me with all her heart and so does my biological mother. My adopted mother lived through the stress of me growing up and died hoping she taught me right from wrong. My biological mother is stressing about missing me for 48 years and probably afraid of losing me again. I need them both.
Probably 90% of the responses to my editorials about finding my family were for me to move to Tennessee to be with my newly found family. I understand where everyone is coming from. I moved to Madison during a search for my family because I assumed they would be here, or at least someone here would know something. It turns out; no one knew anything and none of my blood relatives have lived here in 48 years. “Move to Tennessee”, people say. Regardless of finding my family, I left Atlanta to start a life in Madison. It took me about 7 years to accept that people here want to drop everything in a deep fryer and lunch is called dinner but I get it, it just is. I’ve grown accustomed to the ways of Madison and have grown fond of the people here. I’ve formed some very close relationships and made some lifetime friends and even found love. This has been my life for almost 10 years.
Anyone following the progression, on Madison Voice, of my finding my family, can clearly see that it has affected me emotionally. I’m very torn at all times. One side of me says to pack my car, move to Tennessee and don’t look back. Another side says that Madison is where my life is now. An unexpected occurrence: after writing the editorials about finding my family, there was a surge of women contacting me thinking they love me and/or in love with me and aren’t afraid to tell me about it, most of whom are married. While this doesn’t factor into my decision, it didn’t go unnoticed. I mean, let’s face it, I’m openly right in the middle of a mid-life crisis. Apparently, writing from the heart is very powerful.
I guess what I’m hoping is that everyone will bear with me through this. Trust me when I tell you that no matter what seems to be an obvious answer to someone on the outside looking in, it isn’t always the right answer. I appreciate the advice from countless people that have been through similar situations. I listened carefully. Everyone handles things differently. I’m still trying to figure this one out for myself. I’ve done more soul searching than a ghost hunter. I can’t sleep and feel very displaced at all times, no matter where I am. My heart is very heavy. Something has to give, soon.