Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back

Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, yesterday was not quite what I had hoped.

I headed down to Portland to the giant public library there to look up some obituaries and old phone directories, hoping to verify some of the information I got from the search angels.

On the way there, I just happened to accidentally drive past the address that may - or may not - be the address of my biological mother. It wasn't really out of my way. No, really, it wasn't. It was only a few blocks away from the library, and I totally could have just gone that way by chance.

Okay, well, I didn't just go there by chance. I looked it up on Mapquest and drove by there on purpose. When I saw the house, with its big iron numbers on the front, my heart started beating a little bit faster. I drove by slowly. Very very slowly (sorry, Pepsi delivery truck behind me). And for a minute, I fantasized about just knocking on the door. Of course I didn't do it (can you imagine the headline: Adoptee Stalker Causes Bio Mother to Have a Stroke - and this state is so small, and so little happens here, this would completely be a front page deal.)

I know what you're all going to think, and you're right. I may be a little bit crazy. I just couldn't resist. My birth mother might live there. I think the fact that I recognize that this is a tad stalker-ish is an important step in the road to my recovery. Well, isn't admitting you have a problem the first step? Is there even a 12-step program for stalkers?

Anyway, I digress. (I've always wanted to say that.)

I went to the library. It is a lot bigger than the library that I normally use. And the people at the desk? Not as helpful. The librarian at my library (Hi Mike!) knows my name, and remembers all the authors I like, and saves out anything new by them so I get to be first! The eleven hundred people working at this library couldn't care less if I exist.

I found my way to the research section, got a lesson in microfiche from someone who was forced to assist me, and got to work. You know, it seems to me that a world that can put a man on the moon and invent velcro could figure out a better way to store old newspapers than putting them on a teeny tiny film strip which can only be read by a ginormous clunky machine designed mostly to make anyone using it go blind.

So, after a thousand hours, I found what I was looking for. Sort of. Unfortunately, the information I found doesn't exactly match the info I got from the search angels. So, now what do I do?

I think my plan is going to be this: I'm going to take the 22 tons of paper I have accumulated during this search, including all the stuff the searchers sent me, and take it over to Hallie's house. We'll spread it all out, and make charts and diagrams (I LOVE charts and diagrams - does anybody remember Alice's Restaurant, with the 8x10 glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one?) and figure this thing out. Hallie, as you may already know, is an EXPERT at this. And she loves company. I'm sure she won't mind. Who else wants to come?

29 comments:

kim-d said...

Me, me **waves hand wildly in air**--I'll join you and Hallisicle. But I might make us digress a little. I, too, love "but I digress" and I never got to use it until I had a blog. Now I admit to using it whenever I get a chance. But I digress...

I'm not sure what this says about me, but I don't find driving by the house stalkerish at all. That was merely a reconnaissance mission; stalkerish doesn't come until later. However, I prefer to think of it as practicing to become a private detective. Worry no more about this fear you have of becoming a stalker. I am here to serve all of your justification needs.

And don't worry about the discrepancies in info. The angels lulled you into thinking it would all be that easy, but there are bound to be things that force you to dig deeper. To my way of thinking, that's just a sign that it is still research time for you. If that makes any sense!

What time do we all show up at Hallie's? With all of us "helping" you, your poor birth mom isn't gonna know what hit her! Hehe...???!!!...

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Me an expert? I don't know about that!!

Just because I helped John successfully find his birth mom and dad... And just because I've helped facilitate the awesome relationship he now has with bio mom and siblings... (bio dad is a big meany)

And just because I won't stop digging until I find what I'm looking for?

Damn, MET...you are freakin lucky to have me!!!

Hee hee!!!

Bring it on baby!! I'm up for the challenge.

Btw, I think homemade chocolate chip cookies would help me concentrate better.

I'm just sayin'...

H

Andrew Scott Turner said...

That's not stalkerly behavior!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

me me me me me me!!! i just dont see that as stalkerish... camping outside with a camera with telephoto lenses for hours on end and taking pictures through the windowns ... maybe .... but buckle that seat belt a bit tighter some tidbits of information may be a bit off but in the end ... well anyway I want to join in the FUN :D
HUGSSSSSSS

Midwest Mommy said...

That is not stalkerish at all. You totally have ever right to drive by that house as many times as you like. Is it the same house she lived in while she was pregnant with you? Then it's your old house too :-)

Alice said...

I want to come too. But only because you mentioned my name in your post - even though you weren't refering to *this* Alice - but still....Actually, I love, love, love research. Which is why I was on the debate team in high school and worked in marketing in corporate America. Because as boring as it makes me sound - researching anything facinates me. Let us know when the party is!!

Liz said...

Not only would I have driven by... but I may well have parked and just watched for a while... and maybe even gone to the door... or at least made a phone call...

Your journey is coming to a pivotal moment! You have so much support and love around you!

claudia said...

I so would have done what you did!
I don't know that a 12 step program is in order though, it hasn't gone that far.

AirmanMom said...

ME, you're no stalker (that's my Lloyd Benson impersonation)

Pray Hard!

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Lynn said...

We have a good friend who is a private investigator...if you hit a brick wall, consider hiring one...you would be surprised who they can find when all research and hope fails !

Under the Influence said...

I would have totally done the same thing. Keep up the good work!

Becca said...

oh wish I could help, i Love those kind of mysteries.

Abby Reed said...

I just booked a plane to your small town and will be there in hours to help ;)

About driving past her house! OMG! I totally did that with my bio dad!! I drove by like a million times... just so curious... like "Wow, is he in there RIGHT NOW?" I also went to a convenient store next door, and every person who came in, I was like "OH MY GOSH, is that him?"

Totally normal! I can relate on so many levels!

Odette said...

I am sure that when you all put your heads together you will come up with something! I have faith that you will find all the answers you are looking for. But I agree with Hallie I think that this group must be fueled by cookies! xo

justlori2day said...

I'll bring the wine and the Kim!

Reddirt Woman said...

ME, ME!!! I want to come, too. I'd even bring the cookies! I love putting puzzles together and when the pieces fall into place it is so satisfying.

I agree with Kim-D... driving by does not qualify as stalkerish, unless it is the 47th time in, oh say, 12 minutes. It was merely reconnaissance (God, that is a good 35 cent word). But I digress... and digression is such good clean fun... Hrmmmppph..
Anyway, I don't think you could find anyone better to help you than Hallie. Talk about give a dog a bone. She will tackle that and work it over until you all get solved. The woman won't quit on you, for sure.

Keep on keeping on and keeping us posted.

Helen

Sarah Laurence said...

Mary Ellen, how amazing that your birth mother lives so close. What an emotional ride this has been for you, understandably.

You are a reporter at heart to check the facts first. I can’t believe microfiche is still in use – I spent hours scanning them for a research assistant job after college. The technology felt antiquated even then.

I’m impressed by your self control, but maybe you should just call. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Debbie said...

Just found you and your compelling story. Can't wait to read more.

Merrily Down the Stream said...

I would be TOTALLY stalker-ish. Like binaculars-phony business cards-'I ran out of gas and my cell has no charge' kind of thing. You are not even close to that. I'd help if I were more geographically desirable. FIngers and toes crossed! xoxoxox

Scriptor Senex said...

Cannot envisage your situation and so cannot offer even the tiniest bit of advice but would like you to know that whatever you eventually decide - be it turn your back, stalk, phone or visit - there'll be bloggers supporting your decision. Just getting as far as you have must have taken a lot of courage. Good luck in your quest.

Robin said...

oh what the hell? i could use some time away, so count me in.

but i would totally go up to her house, knock on the door, pretend to be a census worker, pretend to be lost,something. so maybe i better just stay here and wait to see what happens next.

but the chocolate chip cookies sound soooo good........

Stephanie said...

I would have done the same thing...totally normal and not stalker-esque at all.

I'm excited for you that you've come this far already! I hope you find the answers you're looking for;)

Mrs4444 said...

What do you mean, do I want to come? I'm already there! I've got the coffee on and cookies in the oven. Hurry up!

Mamarazzi said...

wow this is quite a journey you are on...seriously fantastic!

Happy New Year!

Tonjia said...

me! me! I would love to be there! I know you and Hallie will be able to work all of this out.

This is kind of exciting!

I wouldnt have gone up to the door either, what would you say?

Sue said...

Is this a BYOB party? Obviously you are bringing the chocolate chip cookies.

I digress.

I am in! What time do I show up? I love sorting and mapping and solving puzzles.

I don't think you are stalkerish either. I would have totally done the same thing and probably parked across the street to spy for hours.

kimmy said...

Hallie is perfect for the job! She is the best mulit-tasker in the state! Just don't offer her any DC & Captain though, cuz then her eyelids go numb!

Kimmy

~*amber*~ said...

I don't think that is being stalkerish at all, just curious.

You know I would SO help you if I lived a tad closer.

Vegas Princess said...

I would so be there in a second...if I didn't live 3000 miles away. I love organizing and lists and puzzles! And to think of the results of all this is just exciting in itself! Oh man, I so want to come help!