Chapter 1, Part 4

When I Was Given Up For Adoption

"Askin' if I wanna stay wit Aunt Susie in a sweet voice/
As if I really had the fuckin choice/
I remember promises how they'd switch off every summer/
Lookin back at 5, I was so much dumber/"

Adopted Tattoo

MY TATTOO ‘Adopted’ From The Beginning Of The Story

So because my mom couldn’t handle me, my dad was too ill to take care of me, and no one in the family wanted a little bastard child. My aunt took me as a dying wish to my father.

He knew it was just a matter of time before he passed and wanted to make sure I wasn’t given away to the system, which my mom and stepdad tried to do behind everyone’s back, but we will talk about that in a minute.

The Court House Hand Off

What I do remember…is being in the Cook County courthouse. My mom asked me, “Do you want to go stay with Aunt Susie for the summer?”

I said something like, “Yeah, then I’ll see you after the summer!”

I remember her bending over and putting her hand on my shoulder crying as she talked to me. Aunt Susie behind me about 25-30 feet back towards the courtroom where we were about to be meeting.

She asked me if I wanted to go live with Aunt Susie literally 5 minutes before the adoption took place. I’m just realizing that…wow, shitty…almost as shitty as the interior of the courthouse itself. I remember dim lights, a lot of shades of brown, the benches…just…not a pleasant place. Especially if you’re there for a felony and your lawyer doesn’t show up because you couldn’t make his last payment, trust me.

WTF?

I am adding this note right here…that about 5 months ago… it being 3:29 AM March 17, 2014, that my Grandpa Novak and Grandma Regina came up with my Aunt Susie to pick up the autographed Villainism Mixtapes I had made (my aunt Susie and uncle Rick send out the T-shirts and CDs since my aunt Susie works at the Post Office. It helps me a lot! They are awesome like that).

Anyway, I hadn’t seen my grandpa in like 8 years. I was always so turned away from him – he would always spank me because I was always in trouble around him. I didn’t like that, but it’s what I needed! But as a kid I guess it made me scared of him.

They visited and we all went out for food. Knowing I was already writing my life story, I wanted to get their side of the story from when I was a kid.

PLEASE NOTE: This is their side of the story. I don’t have my mom’s yet.

When they told me the things they told me, it is actually the moment I stopped telling myself it was okay that Mom gave me up.

They told me their side of it all:

01

Things I had never known.

02

Things I had never understood.

03

Things I had never asked.

04

Things I never wanted to know until I was mature enough to understand it as a grown person.

They couldn’t have told this to 20-year-old me…trust me…you’ll see why later. They told me what happened when I was being given up for adoption.

Again, WTF?

Apparently, my mom and stepdad were trying to give me up without anyone knowing. They were trying to give me away to a home and then lock it so that no one in the family could ever find me or have anything to do with me.

Basically, they were trying to get rid of me so that I would never ever be in their lives again – so they would never have to worry about me and could just raise their own son.

At the time my father was dying fast…he lived in a senior citizen home in his 20’s because they were the only place that could care for him properly.

My grandpa and grandma were visiting him at the senior citizens home when a person from Child Services came to speak with my father about if he had given them permission to give me up, since he was still alive and coherent.

Though dying, he had a right as my father to make these decisions. What’s fucked up is he had absolutely no idea. My mom and stepdad were trying to do it without anyone knowing, even my dad. They didn’t think they would go to the home and talk to my father.

So my dad immediately told my grandpa and grandma to ask everyone in the family if they could take me since he couldn’t in his condition.

Envision this entire conversation happening in sign language because the brain tumor didn’t allow him to speak properly and he couldn’t hear because he was deaf from the brain tumors. Someone had to translate to both him and the Child Services person.

Everyone in my family said no…except my aunt Susie. She was single with no kids. The way I see it, it was my father’s dying wish…though he didn’t go for a year and a half after that. He knew it was on the way.

I remember when we were sitting at that table eating food, I told my aunt Susie that my mom said we were going to switch off every summer. My aunt Susie said “She said that?!” with a look of anger that I have never even seen on her face.

My grandma Regina told me while we were sitting there that she had visited my dad in the hospital before he died. She said she asked him, “If you could have anything right now, one wish, what would it be?” And he said, “My son.”

My vision gets cloudy just thinking about it because I don’t even doubt it.

So, we flip back to that moment in Fort Campbell right after I was adopted. Let’s get to the second half of 1st grade and see what I can remember.

PLEASE NOTE: I need to get my mom’s side of this but I have no idea why my Grandma and Grandpa would randomly say these things almost 20 years later. Or why My Aunt didn’t exactly deny or correct anything they said.

Up Next: Part 4, Moving From Chicago To Fort Campbell

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