Sunday, November 27, 2011

Smells like home.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We did.  My brother David came out with is kids and we've been goofing around all weekend.  Peggy's place had a nice Thanksgiving with lots of people and cooking.  It smelled like home.  All the residents responded with smiles and good moods.  Even if they weren't totally aware what was going on, they knew something comforting was.

Later after they helped us get Peggy in the car, David and I wrangled her out of it.  Let's just say it was not elegant.  Getting her back in the car was worse.  You see, Peggy hates being moved or touched and trying to get her from the wheel chair to the car is scary for her.  What she doesn't know is that it is scarier for us.  As she screams and hollers and resists we have to believe that we are not actually hurting her and continue with the back breaking twists, turns and lifts to squeeze her into the rented sedan.  Then she's in, we click her seatbelt and everything is okay again.  Whew!

But, as you can see.  It was worth it, here she is at my house at our table with everyone at Thanksgiving.   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Proud Mom

We decided to take Peggy for a walk.  I had forgotten something and was running behind to catch up.   This is what I saw.  Peggy Lu taking time off from her busy life to visit, Gidget being stubborn and insisting on pushing the wheelchair and Sunny growing up by her Nana's side. My lovely little family helping my lovely Mom.  Makes me proud.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Wonderful Life

We all met at Nat's Early Bite for breakfast.  Then over to Peggy' home.  The girls ran in, knowing the routine.  I was hesitant.  Th guys politely stepped in.  We open the door and the bell goes off, the dogs bark and my mom is there in a chair.  I go up to her and hug her, she responds.  Everyone says "hello".  We move into her room so I can show them some pictures of me and my family.  I look at one and say "she was so pretty"  Danny says "she still is."  I'm looking through the box of photos, I hear Danny whisper to my Mom.  "Thank you for taking good care of Lois" 

Wow!  I take these pictures, am overwhelmed with emotion, the girls bound in and we are all laughing again.  It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life.  Other than my kids being born.  That we all had that small opportunity to appreciate life and love and show gratitude, is what being alive is.

Thank you everyone for letting me share this story with you.  I know you all have your own stories, and appreciate you listening to mine.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The visit

The Fountain Family siblings

Me and my brothers
So, I hung up the phone.  Smiled for a week.  Liam came over to visit that Saturday and Danny and his best buddy were to arrive at the beginning of November.  The family shot over a few e-mails, I responded, we sent pictures of our families.   I saw pictures of them as little kids, and then as adults. We all friended on facebook.  I called my Dad, my brothers, my friends, my cousins.  It was exciting and weird.  I saw a picture of Patty, my birth mother.  They all see a resemblance but I don't.  I'm not sure.  I see a girl that I wish didn't have to go away to Green Bay to give up a baby.  I also see a girl that had a family that loved her.  Honestly I didn't feel any more or less connected to her after seeing the photos.  I'll tell you why, because she has a very special place in my heart, it's a feeling, not an image or a memory.  I always wanted to let her know that I was okay.  That I wasn't a secret or something to be ashamed of.  That I love her.

Liam and I called back and forth, he's the only creative one in his family too.  We seemed to hit it off really well and so easily.  We messaged back and forth, where should we take these Chicago guys in LA?  Definitely not Italian food, Jimmy's Italian (Danny's life long friend) and he definitely will hate the italian food here, as we do.  I know they are probably not picky, but we didn't think sushi would be quite right either.  So we settled on The Great Greek!  They even get the Pita bread delivered from Chicago.  So, after work I showered and my cousin Eric and mother' in law Beverly took care of the kids and Allen and I drove up Ventura Boulevard to the restaurant.  There at the table was Danny, Jimmy and Liam waiting for me.  We hugged, smiled and he gave me roses.  Lots of roses!  He was so nervous and grateful and happy.  I was nervous, happy and curious.  I asked if I looked like her, he said yes, but she was smaller!  I'm what most people would call "petite" so that was pretty funny.  We sat down, Allen and I held hands.  He told them that they didn't just find anybody, that I was special.  We've been married 13 years, together 18...we don't really say stuff like that anymore.  I smiled some more.  I kept looking at my roses.  We talked, and ate.  They have live music at the Great Greek and dancing.  Liam and I danced.  Patty used to like to dance.  It was really wonderful.  After dinner, I said "this must be really weird for you", Danny said "yes"  I said, "do you feel like your looking at a  ghost?"  He said yes.  We paused.  He loved his sister, and here I was, he wanted me to know that.  He also didn't want to say the wrong thing.  He wanted to hear about my family and tell me how grateful he was to them.  We said goodbye, they will come to the house  on Saturday and meet and hang out with the kids.   I have life drawing on Friday's, so I was busy.  Then I cancelled life drawing and they came over on Friday.  What the hell would I be doing at a studio drawing from life, when life was right in front of me in my own home.  

Me and Danny Fountain
Jimmy, Liam and Danny
So they came over on Friday and we hung out all day, they brought the kids a Wii game and we all played bowling, and got to know each other a little more each visit, each day.  People came over to say hello.  Beverly was there and Eric.  Saturday Allen made tons of food and I bought coke's for them, Barbie and Ray stopped by, and Danny made sure to thank her for helping me make the call. 

Then it was Sunday....Danny said he would like to go visit my mom Peggy with me, if that's alright.  

Next post, visiting my mom.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How I made the call.

Wow, so life is beautiful.  What else can I say. I know it is not always that way and sometimes a lot of sorrow leads up to these beautiful moments. I'm working now, and only have a little time for everything, so it's going to be told in parts.  But hang on it's a good story....

I had been searching for my birth mother for 25 years, not actively that whole time but, every now and again the urge to know what happened, what my story was, would surge and I would search the internet, draw a picture, go through my old manilla folder of paperwork that I have been carrying around with me my whole life and update my information.  I'm turning 43 this year and  I began to feel more and more that I was going to have less and less of a chance to meet my birth family.  I thought, I have ONE life, that's it, and decided to implore my girlfriend Barbie's help.  She's a producer, one of my oldest friends, and well let's just say she know how to get things done.  I called Catholic Charities to get things started.  No one apparently has opened the file since 1968.  Darn, so they aren't looking for me...this is what I had feared.  Do I want to continue...yes, I do.  It's up to me to take the first step.  So, I filled out some paper work, donated some $ to the Catholic Church....asked myself the question, how will I feel if they don't want to hear from me.  Honestly, will that be worth it?  I'm very happy with my life, I love my family and we all get along, I dont' have emotional problems and besides the regular tulmoutuous life of trying to make a living through creative pursuits, I am a generally happy person.  Why screw it up?

The nun loses the paperwork, she doesn't call me back, so I have to constantly get up my nerve to pursue this and make more than one phone call. Finally after one more call back, she phones.  "I believe your birth mother died" she says.  "Oh"  I said.  That's it.  Not much more, she can't tell me much because of the closed records.  I only had her name. She asked me if I wanted to pursue her family.  Yes, I did.   She had 4 sisters and a twin brother, yes, yes I did want them to know that I am interested in contact with them.   I contacted the ALMA society, who help with adoption searches, let them know the info I found from Catholic Charities and they were on the case! And that's where it sat for a long time...
"She's Buried in My Garden"

They found Danny Fountain. Patty's twin.  They forwarded me the number.  Now here is something that   was very difficult for me. In my "non-identifying" paperwork, it stated that everyone knew about the pregnancy except for Danny, he was away serving in Vietnam at the time and they didn't want him to know.  I kept reading this...why did I have to be the one to tell him.  I didn't call.

Barbie and I went to lunch.  She dropped me off and I said, "oh yeah, Catholic Charities called again, now they are not sure if my birth mother is really dead."  She looks at me and says "Just call the brother!"
She was right, I should just call the brother.  So we parked, went into the house and I found the number.  I knew exactly where it was, underneath this entire pile of disorganized projects that if you asked me to find something else we would of been there all day.  We went into the bedroom and I dialed....the previous post tells the rest of this story.

The next will tell about Danny coming to visit me.