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Your Adoption Journey

LeTroy's Story

For the record my journey still has a few miles and hopefully I will complete it real soon.  I posted this blog on my myspace page this Father’s Day and it received rave reviews:

Although  i've interviewed the likes of Tavis Smiley and several WNBA players no  individual intrigues me more than Terry.  Through no fault of  my own I have very little knowledge of Terry  All I know about him  is that one June night in 1980 him and Gail Daise made a decision that  produced a baby on Feb. 28, 1981.

I  can honestly say that my childhood was normal.  Being the only  grandchild for 6 years gave me all of the love and attention from my  family.  This puts in perspective why i've been treated like a Prince my  entire life.  Originally the void that Terry left was never felt from my  standpoint.  I can remember going to work at the Pizza Parlor with my  mom smashing slices of pizza and playing arcade games.  I recollect all  of the nights spent at my Aunt Pearlie Mae and Cousin Eunice's house playing  with cousins while my moms went clubbing.  I can remember playing with  my grandfather's vinyl’s and breakdancing in his living room.  I  loved the moments spent at my great grandfather's pool/liquor hall hanging  out with drunkies and hustlers.  Memories of playing at the waterfront  and going to Savannah  ring eternal.  TERRY SEEMED IRRELEVANT!

My  mom married Alfred Gardner in 1985 which solidified Terry's absence from my  life.  Before the nuptials my mom had to "pull teeth" to  receive child support from Terry.  This eventually simmered into  several heated altercations involving both sides of the family.  After  reaching a boiling point my grandfather threatened to kill Terry if he  stepped foot on his property or messed with my moms ever again.

Sometime  in 1986 Alfred received his military orders and we were relocated to Havelock (or Cherry  Point), NC.  This was another world for me.  I can remember bribing  the kids in the neighborhood to play with me by offering them candy and  popsicles.  Needless to say at age 5 my friend list grew at an  astronomical rate.

Later  on that year Alfred and my mom sat me down and told me that he was adopting  me.  This was strange because I was calling him daddy since the  inception of their marriage.  They said that Terry was giving up his  rights to me and that my last name would change from Daise to Gardner.  I was  reissued a new birth certificate and Terry's hands were washed clean of me in  a legal sense.  My parents constantly reiterate that if I want to meet  Terry they could arrange the interview I would love to do.

So  as I fast forward 20 years in time I've grown into a 26 year old man.   Thanks in large part to my dad i've become a high school and college graduate  embarking upon horizons many will loathe over.  He helped to raise a  respectful, caring and righteous Christian man that is endeared by  many.  Due to the respect and love I have for my dad I have never  mentioned my desire to meet (interview) Terry.  I feel like that would  be a "slap in his face."

Although  I carry no animosity towards Terry this meeting will bring closure to a  one-sided chapter in my life.  This meeting will sprout mixed emotions  of gratitude, sorrow and anger.  Gratitude because a more responsible  man raised me which allowed me to form relationships with people I wouldn't  have met otherwise.  Sorrow because I felt being born a black man  is automatically one strike.  Being born a black man without a  father dealt me a double whammy.  Anger because he robbed me of a  relationship with his 4 other sons.  I love my brother Nicholas to death  but its difficult to disguise the misfortune of not having that type of  relationship with 4 other siblings as well.

So  if this day were to ever happen I would ask Terry the following questions:
1)Why  did you make this decision?  In my mind it equated to having a  living abortion.
2)Did  you regret giving me up for adoption?
3)Would  you do things the same if you had a 2nd chance?
4)Do  you ever think about the son you let get away?
5)Do  your other kids know of me?
6)Were  you scared to meet me out of fear that I would hate you?

I  would tell him that I've wrestled with meeting him for 11  years.  Also I would thank him for being my source of  motivation.  Whenever I feel depressed and ready to give up I think  about him giving up on me.  I would thank him because i've gained  25 Father's as a result of his actions.


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