The next day, David called as I walked to work.
“Hi Janeen, it’s David.”
“Do you own a red Mustang?”
“Do you own a red Mustang? I see a red Mustang on the street near your house.”
“What?!” I started looking around and over my shoulder and saw the car he was referring to.
“No. That’s not my car! David, Are you in Santa Monica?!?”
“No! I Google Earthed your address. I’m just trying to get an idea about what
your life is like.”
“Goodness, David! You can’t do that! You’re stalking me!”
“Oh! I’m sorry. I’m just so excited we found you.”
“I’m on my way to work and will call you later.”, I huffed.
That exchange wrecked me even more.
Once I got to work, I spent most of my time calling my family to let them know that I found out about my adoption. Before each call, I’d get the sickest pit in my stomach and the tightest feeling in my throat. If I were a man, I’d swear someone was crushing my Adam’s Apple. Each call was utterly terrifying, and they all started with, “Hey, Aunt__?” or “Hi Uncle___!” except for my Uncle M who offered to take the DNA test and my Aunt P, who whispered,” Noooooo…” when I called her and mentioned I’d taken the test. My uncle apologized and said he wanted to tell me, but he was sworn to secrecy by my father. And Aunt P? She just repeated over and over that my Mother and Father loved me and that THEY are my real family.
My other family’s responses were quite interesting. One aunt claimed she never knew, and an Uncle said that I had approached him at 5 y.o. and asked him why didn’t I look like everyone else, and none of my cousins nor brothers knew and were just as shocked as me. All in all, most of the family was thrilled that I found out and sighed with relief, you know, like when you unbuckle your pants after overeating during a holiday dinner—satisfaction. Next on my list were my closest friends and family friends. But that was enough for the day. I still had to work!
As I tried to get the smallest thing accomplished on my desk first, I received a text from David.
Will it bug you if I text you?
I know you’re working, so don’t feel like you have to reply right away.
He then sent me several more texts about a letter he and his sisters sent to the adoption agency when they were kids. He also texted me about my birth mother’s mother, Nana Brooks, and how she always loved me.
Later that evening, he sent me this text.
I was extremely overwhelmed, and this guy was forcing me to put up boundaries.
>>Pause. I’ve NEVER been good at setting up boundaries. I’d always preferred to avoid it because I was more worried about other people’s feelings and needs instead of my own. Don’t you do this at home. Please set up boundaries!<<
The next day I sent David a text response:
April 12, 2018 // 6:24 am
This month isn’t going to work. I’m not ready to meet.
I’m not sure how much more clear I can be. I need you to slow down. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve only known about my adoption for 3 days. You and your family and everyone else has known about this for a very long time. This whole process is overwhelming. You MUST understand that I never went searching for my “parents”. I found out online only because I was working on a family tree project. I had no clue I was adopted. This is a CATACLYSMIC adjustment for me.
You, David, are also making me uncomfortable when you tell me that you’ve Googled my home location, my place of business, and that you’ve pulled a background report. You know, all of the areas that I’ve lived, where I worked, etc. You’ve even given me suggestions on securing my social media accounts because you said it’s too open, and you seem to be a bit proud of this effort. STOP. I need room to breathe and expand as I adjust to this new information in my life.
Please send me Sam’s email address. I’ll contact him directly.
David- please respect my boundaries, don’t contact me.
He then apologized and sent me his father’s email. I never heard from David again.
Do you have trouble at setting boundaries or are you great at it?
Most women I know put other’s feelings before themselves. Why do you think this is?