Fake-Walkin’ the Dog

When I found my son, he had been thrown out by his adoptive parents and they had gone to Europe.

I discovered where he lived because, for a very short time, he had a telephone. One day , for some reason, I cut through the telephone company’s building in the city where I live. There was a bank of phone books on the wall. Since I was searching for him, I decided to stop and take a look. Why not?

Among the phone books was a slim, interim telephone book for the city where he lived. His name was in it and his address. His name never appeared in the large regular telephone book, before or after. I checked. Finding that book was extreme good luck. Or the hand of God. Or something.

I knew from my research where his adoptive parents lived. I knew their part of the city well because their house was half a block from my grandmother’s house. The address in the little phone book wasn’t the same one. This other address was, you might say, in a poorer part of town.

I wrote him a letter.

Well that’s not exactly true. I drove to the city with my dog in tow, parked down the street from the house, fake-walked my dog and waited until I saw him come out. Then I followed him to school and took his picture courtesy of my husband’s telephoto lens.* Then I felt it wasn’t fair. I knew who he was but he didn’t know who I was so then….

I wrote him a letter.

He later told me that when he called his adoptive father and left a message that I had contacted him, his adoptive father didn’t call him back for three days.

The first time I talked to him on the phone, the first time I spoke the simple words with a history behind them as large as the universe, “How are you?” he said, I had some trouble but I am alright now. He had fallen in with a band of thieving juveniles and had gotten into trouble with the law. At one point he was living in a group home. It was located in a large co-operative apartment building that had been built in the late sixties as kind of a hippie experiment.

You know who else used to live in that building?


It was the location of my first apartment after graduation from university. I moved out because the hippie experiment was nice in theory but not too good for practical things like building maintenance. But I digress.

I find this happens a lot with adoptees and birth parents. Their lives seem to interconnect. Pure coincidence? I doubt it.

I believe that there are bonds between a mother and child that cannot be cut.

If you are still looking or waiting to be acknowledged, don’t give up.



* Somewhat disconcerting I know but desperate times call for desperate measures. I’d fake-walk that dog again in a minute if I had to.


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