A Different Kind Of Love Story
By Christy Wiseman
Is he here yet? Adoption is a two edged sword. The best of all gifts for the awaiting parents; the greatest of all sorrows for the mother who is making the supreme sacrifice to give up her child in the hopes of giving him or her a home she could not provide. The baby’s biological father in some cases has no idea that he has created a life and if, as was the case during the Vietnam era, he is in the military, he may leave and never know.
I bugged the welfare worker, almost daily, I was so eager to get ‘my’ baby, the baby I knew was soon to be born who was destined for me. The baby we were told about several months before.
Finally we got the call and welcomed little Gregory into our home and into our hearts. He was so beautiful to us, so precious. I had all the latest little baby clothes; I remember the excitement watching him take his first steps, speak his first words. I wanted him to be bi-lingual so I split time in speaking or singing to him in French and English. Until one day, walking at the mall and talking to him in French, he stopped and said, “Don’t speak to me in that language.” I don’t think I ever did again and needless to say, he wasn’t bi-lingual.
That marriage did not last, but our love for Greg did. I later married Beau Wiseman who told me he considered Greg his son too. That was true until Beau died with Greg, Mark and Thomas by his side.
Once when I was ill and needed surgery, Greg was a little guy. My parents took him for six weeks and he cuddled up to my father and they were forever connected. In fact I thought he was more like my dad than any of the children who followed. They both loved the outdoors and hunting and fishing. Greg so admired my father that he named his son Dallas, after him.
Greg had a reasonably normal childhood, grew up and married Jenny. Then one day, Jenny found his bio-mom living in Idaho and Greg and Jenny went to visit. Greg found out he had a half-sister, April, and the two bonded immediately. He went back several times and even went back to attend April’s son’s wedding.
Greg and Jenny had two children; Taylor and Dallas. Taylor was always the curious type and one day, thru 23 and Me, she found the woman, Stephanie, she thought was her cousin, but it turned out she was Taylor’s aunt and Greg’s biological father was found. It turns out he never knew about Greg as he had been 19, in the army, and as way leads to way, he just never knew since Debbie had no way of reaching him.
Once Greg knew, he was in a state of shock. Greg’s favorite hobby was tying flies. His favorite outing was fly fishing at Pyramid Lake sometimes with his best friends, Jeff, Rich and George. He dreamed of one day being a guide. He had taken the class from his father, Gary, who had taught him to tie them. He knew his dad without knowing the relationship. His dad, now retired, takes people to Pyramid Lake as a guide for fly fishing there. Greg said, “OMG, Mom, I know him!!” It was a wonderful discovery, which isn’t always the case with adoptees. I saw the picture of the two of them together and it made perfect sense. Gary looked like Greg would have looked in 19 more years. Gary’s wife was also welcoming and Greg and his new family went out to dinner so he could meet his extended family.
Gary and Michelle, Gary’s wife, surprised Greg at work one day with a wonderful fly rod and reel. Greg said he told Gary he couldn’t accept such a wonderful gift, but Gary simply said if he wanted to go fishing with him, he’d accept it. He did and they went fishing a couple times together. Then this last Sunday Greg was home texting someone about going fly fishing and the lights went out and he was gone.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so we gathered and talked and laughed and gave thanks for each other and had a great meal and a great time with our immediate family. Thank God we all made that effort again this year. Little did we know.
I’m Greg’s mom. I have recently been thinking how lucky I am. That no doubt sounds strange. Let me explain. I had three sons and each is different from the other and each became a wonderful man. I am proud of all three. I’ve had some time to think about this and while my heart is broken, I am also so very grateful and that needs to be the focus. I am a co-madre with Greg’s biological mother. She carried him and I got to raise him. I am a parent with Greg’s father, and I am so happy Greg had a chance to meet and bond with him. He and his wife are good people as I’m sure are his new found sisters and brothers. Greg is a carbon copy of his father so of course I felt immediately close to Gary and hope all of this extended family will stay close.
Life is strange and none of us knows what turns it will take or when it will be over. I’m so grateful for the life my son had; for the friends and family in that life, many of whom are here to share and remember and be grateful for the time we had with him. They all have stories to tell, but the underlying current of all of them is their love for Greg; their understanding that this was a man of character “un hombre en serio” (a man to be taking seriously) and also to be respected and loved as he respected and loved those around him. The word I heard most often in reference to Greg was “kind.”
Go to God, precious son. You have enriched so many lives and have shown us that love, fun and kindness really are the answers we need to seek in order to have a life well-lived.