Running into someone who knew the birthfather…

Posted on January 6, 2008. Filed under: My Adoption Story |

By Joy A. Kennelly 

Years ago I used to produce short film festivals. As a result, I was constantly scouting for good films by attending all kinds of events in town. One time there was a screening and I went by myself (this was maybe 6 months to a year after my son was placed in our open adoption – this has meaning to this story – bear with me.)

After the screening there was a long line to get food so I went and stood in it. Friendly person that I am I began speaking to the cute guy in front of me.

He told me his name and it sounded very African. I said, “Are you Nigerian? I have some friends who are Nigerian and your name sounds familiar.” He said yes. Then I asked him if he knew the birth father of my child seeing as the birth father was Nigerian too. Now I never in a million years expected him to answer yes, but he did to that question too!

I was so freaked out (because I never really communicated with the birth father after he became verbally abusive to me when I told him I was pregnant. Then months later when my attorney contacted him to sign the adoption papers, furious that I was choosing adoption – to which he finally agreed when he realized he’d have to pay child support!) I left the building.

Now flash forward five years. I’m sitting in a meeting listening to the speaker speak and I keep staring at this guy wondering why he looks so familiar. It’s a completely different setting, five years have passed, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It starts to bug me though so after the meeting I go up to him and ask him his name. That’s when it hits me.

This is the guy who knows the birth father of my son! I finally confess to him about meeting him so long ago and getting freaked out by our chance meeting and here I am meeting him again.

He’s very curious about Eli because his friend/the birth father never told him he had a son! Turns out the birthfather finally found the sugar mama he wanted (which he thought I was – why do guys always think that? I don’t get it, nor do I want that – yuck! GROW UP AND BE A MAN BOY! It’s not that difficult and you’ll respect yourself in the morning as will I and all the other women in your life will too.) He’s now living in Beverly Hills with a small daughter. Apparently, he never told his current wife and didn’t want to rock the boat.

I learned that after my friend became so curious he asked if he could see pictures of Eli and then asked if I’d mind if he shared them with TJ. By this time so much time had passed and I really do want TJ to know how handsome our son is that I agreed.

Plus, I wanted him to know that the couple is open to him being part of Eli’s life because it’s best for Eli. That way if he ever wants to meet his biological father it won’t be a shock.

Thus far though, the birthfather has never made any effort to see him or contact him even though he had the adoptive parents sign paperwork that he had that right. Legally, when Eli’s 18 he will be able to know all about his birthfather and has the right to meet him if he desires. It used to really hurt me that he would, but now I have no feelings on the issue at all. We created a beautiful, happy, healthy son and that’s all that matters.

For those of you curious about my relationship with the birthfather – we didn’t really have one. If you’re still curious about my reasons for choosing adoption- read back a few blogs for my Reel Moments submission. I should hear in January whether or not that piece got selected.

So long story short, I have a deep connection to my Nigerian buddy. I feel grounded when I speak to him about Eli. What’s so funny is that a lot of the people who knew me when I was pregnant really aren’t part of my life now. The only way people even know I have a son now is if I tell them.

As the years go by and the less I stay in touch, the more I let the relationship go which is sad, but also natural apparently. I know he’s very well-loved and taken care of which was my highest priority. He’s very happy and doing well in school and doesn’t seem to miss me.

I just know that when/if he does want to spend more time with me, I’m available and will have plenty of love to give him.


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