Find my feral family – uncut

You might be wondering why I’ve posted another version of FMFF, see previous blog Find my Feral Family. Any way, my daughter reviewed the version below and loved it but I was a bit worried that it maybe a little too offensive, because when I feel strongly about the subject matter (in the moment),  I don’t hold back – just ask my friends. So to be true to how I feel and think about certain things and with the encouragement of those close to me, I thought “what the hell” if it provokes a negative response, then so be it.  So here is the uncut version.

I remember a few years ago being rather exited when I saw Jack Thompson advertising a new TV show called ‘Find my family’. I’ve been a fond fan of Jacks over the years so instantly I gave this show a creditable rating given that Jack, an Australian icon who also is an adoptee, was going to compare each episodes.

If you haven’t watched this show, it’s about people searching for family members lost to each other for various circumstances, mostly adoption.  Being an adoptee myself, I was immensely interested as I too started my own search for my birth mother about 30 years ago, without any luck.  So it goes without saying I was looking forward to the first episode.  I even jumped on the web site Jack mentioned in his monologue to register – now that was in 2008 – I’m still waiting for even an acknowledgement email.

The format of the show starts with the ‘story’.  The person searching tells the story of who they are searching for and the details they have so far.  In most cases it’s children looking for estranged parents or birth parents.  As the show progresses and we establish that the other party has been found, they tell the story from their point of view.

This is followed by each participant viewing a video of each other recanting their story – the searcher telling how they longed to find the other party and the found party telling the story from their point of view.  In between 100 adverts and the whole story being retold prior to the commencement of the show, we finally get to the finale.

The first episode was certainly a slight disappointment but I seem to recall that it touched a nerve and I was hopeful it would improve in the coming weeks – WRONG!

The class of people they help each week seemed to decline. I remember one episode when the birth mother met her daughter in what appeared to be a trailer park. The mother was sitting on a fold-up camping chair dressed in tracksuit pants. Her hair was probably brushed, not a good look for a women with curly hair.  We all know that you don’t brush curly hair; you scrunch it while applying styling moose and blow drying with a baffler.  Or how about this for an idea – go to a frikkin hair dresser – you’re going to be on national TV!

Other episodes have shown toothless, unemployed down and outs.  People that shouldn’t be seen on TV, especially around meal times.  It’s certainly enough to make you puke – especially if you’re an adoptee or adopter of somewhat better class. Having said that, there are a few normal people who appear on the show but it seems they are few and far between. On a whole this show has done nothing for the profile of adopted people, it suggests that adoptees and adopters are low class, trailer trash cretins.

And let me point out that on a whole, the research required to find these cretin families would take half a day.  So my conclusion is, if it’s an easy find send in your details, they’ll get one of their staff members to do a quick look up in the Whitepages during lunch and bingo, you’re in business.  After all the people they represent wouldn’t know a book if it hit them in their ugly heads.

On a lighter note, it did give me much comic relief each week when I recanted the show to my friends the following day.  We’d discuss possible outcomes of my situation unfolding on an episode given the flavour already set.

Picture this – my reunion:  ….a group of people gathered under a beautiful birch tree in a manicured Sydney park. The grass is lush and appears like is has recently rained giving the grass that rich and ful look and feel.  It’s a beautiful Sydney day with a bright blue sky void of clouds.  On arrival at the car park, which is some distance from the gathering, is me and my children. I won’t take the grandkids at this stage because I want this meet and greet to be about me, not cute little babies.

As we gather our composure after alighting from the car we start to make our way towards the gathering. At first I can’t focus on any one person but as we get closer there appears to be a main person, possible my biological mother, standing in front.  The closer we get the more I notice the ‘others’, possibly more biological family. The nearer we get I begin to realise that something is not quite what it should be – no one looks like they are dressed for the momentous occasion. Made even more momentous by the sheer fact there is a camera crew following our progress as well as capturing the reactions of the awaiting group, as these scripted meetings are the highlight of the show.

It’s at this point I begin to panic, surely these mutants aren’t related to me.  It would be at this point my kids would also be making very inappropriate comments not suitable for the camera, which would result in us fighting back the urge to burst out laughing – thankfully I have comedians for kids.

Now I have a decision to make, do we continue our way towards the group and see how the cards fall?  After all they might even be very nice people even though they do look like trailer trash.  Or do we turn around and run?  The answer to this is easy….

We run –  I’m not embarrassing myself of national TV for anyone!

Find my ‘feral’ family

I remember a few years ago being rather excited when I saw Jack Thompson advertising a new TV show called ‘Find my Family’. I’ve been a fan of Jacks for many years. He has a commanding voice, so instantly I gave this show some credibility, given that an Australian icon, who like me is also an adoptee, was going to host each episode. 

If you haven’t watched the show, it’s about people searching for long lost relatives or adoptees and adopters looking for biological parents or children respectively.  I started searching for my biological family around 30 years ago without any luck.  So it goes without saying I was looking forward to the first episode.  I even jumped on the web site Jack mentioned in his monologue to register – now that was in 2008 – I’m still waiting for even an acknowledgement email, but please don’t bother. You’ll see what I mean as you read this blog – “Find my ‘feral’ family” – this show has done nothing for the profile of adoptees.

I remember in one episode, the birth mother met her daughter in what appeared to be a caravan park. The mother was sitting on a fold-up camp chair dressed in tracksuit pants. Her curly hair, although appeared to be brushed, certainly did nothing for her appearance. We all know that you don’t brush curly hair; you scrunch it while damp while applying styling moose and blow dry with an attached diffuser.  Or how about this for an idea – go to a frikkin hair dresser – you’re going to be on national TV!  But alas, she certainly wasn’t outdone by her receiving daughter – biology certainly has a lot to play in offspring characteristics.

Unfortunately, the episode outlined above isn’t an isolated example.  The list of undesirables that appear on this show makes me more and more depressed.  Don’t get me wrong, there has been a few who appear to be ‘normal’, but for the most part, each week, it doesn’t disappoint in disappointing.

And let me point out that, on a whole, the research required to find the families they represent on this show wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.  So I gather I won’t be hearing from the producers of FMFF.  The little bit of information I supplied wouldn’t turn up anything if ran in a Google search. Besides, my family have already said they wouldn’t join me on the show because it would be embarrassing to be shown along side the cretins you see week in, week out – thanks guys. 

But rest assured if they do call me up for the show, I would certainly book in for a make-over and Tony & Guy hair-do.  Someone’s gotta raise the profile of the show and it might as well be me.


PS:  I love the family I was raised in – my search is certainly not about replacing them but proving to my friends that I’m from Royal stock.

A job to be had

I’ve taken to waking up day after day at 4am, and today is no different. I was going to go for a run but woke up in a funny mood. I seem to recall a dream about bio dad.  Very odd given the day ahead.

Today my schedule includs an appointment with the Dr about a lump on my little finger and to get the results of a routine blood test I’d taken last week. I also had a 12.30pm lunch date with Belinda.

As I do most mornings when I wake up too early to go for a run, I log into Facebook.  I had a message waiting for me from a friend.  Her message indicated that she had revisited her search for her birth mother with some success, she then did a name search on FB and came up with a possible match for relatives of her mother. I’m genuinly happy for her. However, when I hear these positive adoption stories what follows is a journey down the slippery slope of depression hell. And today is no different.  My mood is made all the worse by a visit to the Dr with the news of a slightly high calcium reading followed by buzz words such as ‘tumor’. Everything else the Dr said, whether it be positive or not, paled into insignificance, for as far as I was concerned I had little or no time to live.

Anyway, no time now to grieve I had a 12.30 appointment with Belinda which didn’t eventuate, long story short with no mobile receptionI had no way of telling Belinda I had arrived at the destination.  After a 30 minute wait just in case she turned up, I headed home knowing full well the afternoon will consist of a lounge, alcohol, food and hopefully some uplifting TV to get my mind of the mornings events and news.

All turned out true except for the uplifting TV.  Firstly I had recorded three out of four of Oprahs visit to Australia. I gotta say it did make me proud to be Australian but also made me fell like a failure. Here was a overweight, not overly attractive yank trying to inspire people to follow their dreams.  After all, she was born into a very poor family and here she is 50 years later with a friggin ‘O’ on the harbour bridge. Good ona!

My delima in all this is that I don’t have a friggin realistic dream.  Don’t get me wrong, I do have dreams.  I would love to be an artist, only issue is –  I can’t draw. Or the dream about the one where “I want to write a book’ . What story do I have to tell?  The adoption story’s been done to death and there is nothing else I can think of except maybe the one about the women meets man and falls in love, but family and distance keeps them apart forever. However, I’m sure Mills and Boon have also covered that story too.

To add to my dreary day, there is a movie on foxtel called ‘Mother and Child’. It’s about adoption and the effect of it on 3 women: The adoptee, the adopter and the adopted.  ‘Oh great’, I can turture myself more today – and that I did.  I closed the curtains, turned on the air conditioning, poured some wine and watched the movie.

If I’m going to do a job on myself today – it may as well be a good one.

Who’s your Daddy?

After laying in bed for a short time the other night, I decided to get up and see what was on TV. At midnight there is usually very little choice.  The Foxtel menu listed a show on SBS (or maybe it was ABC) called ‘Who’s your Daddy?’. The title suggested it was a Jerry Springer equivalent. I was wrong.

The show was already into the 20th minute of an hour long episode.  It was about 4 English people who had just found out that the man they know as Dad, may not be their biological father.  Of course this interested me instantly being an adoptee myself.

Two of the four were brothers, aged about 16 and 18 and they had only been told that they were the result of a sperm donor. The catch was that there were several sperm donors, one being the father that bought them up and another unknown donor and it wasn’t known as to whose sperm fertilized the mother’s egg. As I missed the first 20 minutes of the show I wasn’t sure why the  father donated sperm; wouldn’t that suggest he was capable of impregnating his wife, the biological mother?

After an agonising wait and interviews with all affected parties, the boys being my concern,  found out the father that brought them up was ‘not’ their biological father.

I felt so sorry for them. Life as they knew it has changed forever. I knew there and then they began to question their own identies.

I was totally pissed at the parents who were so intent on having a child they decided to play Russion Roulette with sperm with no regard for how this would affect the children. To make matters worse, they choose not to tell the boys until they were teenages, making life for the boys until that point in time just one big fat lie.

What angered me further was seeing the mother plead that the boys were ‘special’, ‘wanted’, and ‘loved unconditionaly’. She was clearly scared she had lost the love and trust of the boys. And it was clear from the boys, trust was certainly lost. It was at this time I realised the boys and I shared common feelings – uncertainy about the past and the life jouney ahead.

One of the boys repose to the mothers pleading was;  how special can one feel when one party involved in his creation wanked into a tube in order to get some money to get himself through uni?  Thankfully that’s wasn’t the case with my creation which probably was the result of an aging (40 yo) man being attracted by a younger (24 yo) women and lust taking over.

My conculsion to all this is that sperm donation should only be allowed if you know the doner and he is preparted to be a father in some way that is 100% acceptable by the child.

Playing ‘pick a sperm’ may get you a kid but that kid may end up damaged goods and we all know that’s not what the desperate parents want, now is it!