Observations of a Misfit:
One Man's Search for His Own Truth
Within the Lies of Adoption

Copyright 2001-2016, Charles A. Filius

"As a man is said to have a right to his property,
he may be equally said to have a property to his rights."

James Madison


August 15, 1961
"Mom & Dad Buying My Love"

The earliest KNOWN
photograph of me.
(age 6 months, 3 weeks, 1 day) 
My mother was overjoyed
while my father,
in all probability, 

was wondering why I had 
more hair than he did.

 

An interesting side note about this photograph: It was taken by a member of my newly adoptive family. Recently, this person sent me an email expressing her utter disgust with the above caption. She wrote, "Those gifts were given to you to welcome their new "son" into the family." As you can clearly see, I wasn't their son... I was their "son". Thank God I have no connection to this self-righteous public nuisance, either emotionally or genetically. It's this type of narrow-minded labeling that I have fought all my life.
 

 

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Once Upon A Time...

I was born in January 1961, and was immediately whisked off into the random arms of the foster care system. The self-righteous doctor who delivered me commented to his staff at the beginning of the procedure (purposely within ear-shot of my birthmother), "Let's make this as painful as we can so she won't do anything like this again." My birthmother heard me cry and only caught a glimpse of my feet as I was rushed out of the delivery room. One of the nurses begrudgingly told her that she had given birth to a boy. That one cry had to sustain her. It would be 33 more years until my birthmother would hear me again. 

After going through three foster homes I was finally adopted by my parents in August 1961. The adoption was finalized in March 1962. My parents separated seven months later. As you can see, it was a very thorough home study. It is a documented fact that my father pulled out a gun and showed it to the adoption case worker during one of the home interviews. And the worker was impressed! My father also made the comments, again documented, that his house would not be 'child proofed' and that he had no interest in me as an infant. He wanted an older child. He could play with an older child. As an infant I just sat there, drooled, and was quite useless. (Actually, I haven't changed all that much...) So this man, unprotected guns and all, was approved as an adoptive parent. The only complaints the social workers had about him was that they felt he wasn't attractive and didn't dress well. Again, this is all documented. 

I can just see it now:

"He has loaded guns in a house where the child could stick his finger in an electrical outlet! Let's give him a baby!" exclaims the first social worker with great delight. 

"I don't know," says the second social worker, "he's not very handsome. And have you seen the way he dresses? I just know, in my heart, that he would wear white after Labor Day. Are you sure he'd be a good parent?" 

"Sure," says the first. "He can always use the child's college fund to buy new clothes or get plastic surgery!" 

Mom was quite a trailblazer in the early 60's: she was a single working parent. Not the norm for the 'June Cleaver Era' (for the record I never once saw Mom vacuum while wearing pearls and heels). She and I moved in with her mom and dad.

To my mother's credit, I never knew of a time when I didn't know I was adopted. Thankfully, my mother never gave me the absurd, and insulting, "You were chosen" speech. Mom was always there when I wanted to discuss the facts, as mythical as they were, of my adoption. When I began searching for my birth family in 1984 my mother was supportive. But, to be totally honest, if she had not been supportive I would have searched anyway. My searching had nothing to do with my adoptive family. My searching was the first thing I had ever done in my life for me. And no one was going to stand in the way of my civil rights. 

One of my many pet peeves (and I do have a lot of them) is anyone who asks me about my "real" mother. For the record my adoptive mother is my "real" mother. She was the one who raised me. She was the one who was there; the one who taught me right from wrong. My birthmother simply did what the title implies.

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