Adopting My Dad

I really think I am trying to accomplish the impossible and quite frankly for the LIFE of me I can’t come up with a sensible reason why. My dad is incredibly difficult which I knew BEFORE I moved him in here last month but our backs really were against the wall. It’s a fairly long story but the short version is that his caretaker took care of my dad AND his bank account.

I actually think I am doing a pretty good job with the day to day things like remembering his pills, taking him to the Dr., getting him to change his clothes (yes, this is actually an issue). I am even staying relatively sane in spite of having NFL Total Access blaring on the TV from 7 am until 10:30 p.m.. It’s his temper that I am having a hard time with because he’s mean. He has always been mean. He actually took a swing at me yesterday because I turned off the TV so we could talk for a moment. I’m not in any physical danger or anything, I mean he’s strong as hell but he is 84 years old so I’m much faster and I just moved out of his way. I stayed relatively calm but I CLEARLY informed him that I wasn’t a child anymore and that if it happened again he’d find himself sitting in the closest nursing home I could find.

I spent the rest of the day forcing images of the past out of my mind. Images of a time when I wasn’t 41 and he wasn’t 84 and I didn’t have any choice in the matter. Here’s an interesting fact; my brother (bio. son) has NEVER heard my dad so much as raise his voice. Seriously. Never. I on the other hand have spent YEARS trying to make peace with my childhood (my brother was long gone when I was adopted) and I think it is some sort of twisted irony that I have willingly put myself right back in that place I worked so hard to escape. Ironic…… or maybe MORonic.

The worst part is I actually feel some measure of guilt for being angry about the fact that it’s him here instead of my mom. She and I had issues for SURE but she would have acknowledged my children were in the room and loved them, she would have been aware of the sacrifice we were all making by having her live in our home. There would have been some measure of gratitude involved (now THERE’S some irony). Not so with my dad. He believes the world is here to serve him which is exactly what I do.


Crazy for sure and I really can’t answer that yet. The only thing I can think is that he is my father and despite everything- I do love him- and I love my brother -even though neither of them make it very easy to do. I guess I want my kids to know that this is what families do for one another, that love isn’t always reciprocated and reciprocation isn’t WHY we love anyway.

And then I think that all sounds like a bunch of crap and I really have NO IDEA why I’m doing it.

You know, sometimes I wonder what kind of family the social worker that facilitated my adoption has. What did her model of “family” look like? What personal criteria did she pull from when she made her decision? I wonder if she lives in a nursing home now or if her adult children are caring for her? Mostly I ask myself why she didn’t question the motives of two people wanting to adopt after 21 years? Had she DONE that she may have discovered the fact that my dad never wanted to adopt to begin with.



Filed under Adoptive Family, Life in general, Truthful Musings

7 responses to “Adopting My Dad

  1. Kim

    Putting him into a home where he would be well cared for is not a bad idea. I am curious why you are letting someone in your home who is violent towards you and who isn’t being respectful and appreciative of what you are doing for him. Why are you exposing your children to this stress, don’t they deserve better? I know you deserve better Mia, you deserve to be cherished and loved and appreciated. If he’s in a home you can visit him and then leave and have a life too.

  2. Kim

    Or he could share a flat with Nina’s a-dad……

  3. How amazing, I was just thinking of you about an hour ago! That’s beautiful synchronicity.
    Nina’s dad and my dad…HA! LOL Well that would be something wouldn’t it?
    Believe me Kim I hear you and my kids well-being is my number one concern. If I thought for a moment he would display any of that behavior in front of my kids he wouldn’t be here. I know what you’re saying though and of course our stress does affect our kids. I can’t stand people fighting in front of children or even under the same roof where they can hear it. I know first hand how damaging that can be and you don’t come back from that very easily. Far better to eliminate the connection.
    We are all on a trial basis here with the understanding that if it doesn’t work-it doesn’t work. I guess there is just a part of me that really needed to at least try. I can’t answer WHY I needed to try because I have no idea.

  4. I know that wanting to try and for the life of me not being able to come up with one good reason why I should.

    I’m just sorry because this sound very hard. And very exhausting.

  5. kim

    It’s all good as long as it’s not because you feel that you have to. If it’s because you want to see if it can work then I totally understand.

  6. mia

    Thank You Theresa. It is exhausting but actually overall not the mountain to climb that I thought it would be.

    Another totally valid point Kim. The results are still out on that question too. I definitely do want to see if it can work, I’m just not sure whether that’s because I really want to or because I feel I have to. I guess only time will answer these questions.
    Its been SO good talking with you. I miss you.

  7. carosgram

    Personally I think you are teaching your children an important lesson. Loving someone is something you do because you want to and not to get something back. Loving someone isn’t easy and not always rewarding but the act of loving in itself is a valuable thing. It makes you a better person even when not reciprocated nor appreciated. In fact it is a lot like raising children. Just because you love them does not confer a responsibility on them to love you back and they often do not appreciated what we as parents do for them. And yet it is worth it to us to have and to love them. Thinking of you and wishing you the best

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