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What’s in a Name?

I was born as James Jody _____. Phillip _________, my biological father was the star football player in Blair, WI and my biological Mother Cheryl ___________ and he hooked up and had my sister and then me for children. Both Phillip and Cheryl were alcoholics and you can guess how the marriage went. My biological mother always told the story of how Phillip would drink up all the money and her mother would have to bring us food as babies.

In 1974 (give or take a year) my biological mother met and married Joseph __________, who adopted me and my sister – we took his last name. Joe was/is also an alcoholic.

Joe was a violent drunk who beat my mother bloody regularly. His family helped him beat her on a few occasions. One fathers day on our way home from somewhere he was arrested for some warrant. He was a lot of things, but he was never my father.

When I was thirteen and again at 15 I met my biological father. He was kind enough to get me drunk both times, offered to get me a hooker so I would lose my virginity and denounced my mothers tales of his drinking as her excuses.

In 1986 at the age of 15 I was put into the Foster Home system. I was placed in the home I’ve stated before that Ma was sitting in a rocking chair knitting and Pa was sitting in his rocker – they were both very old (I was 15) and I knew it would never be a lasting placement, there was no way these old people could keep up with me nor manage me. Yet that’s exactly what they did. My Ma and Pa fed me regularly, loved me constantly and even made me be responsible for my own actions.

My Pa was the first human adult male that loved me regardless of who I was or what I had done. He didn’t want anything in return, he just wanted to love me. When I did something wrong I could see actual disappointment in his eyes, I could see concern – these were things that were foreign to me.

At around 20 my biological father died from complications of diabetes – alcohol became more important than insulin – that’s a serious complication.

When I sobered up I made amends to my biological father by regularly going to his grave and cleaning it up and I talk to him. But he’s not really my father.

I also managed to see my adopted father Joe at a bar (I had a legitimate reason for being there) and made as much of an amend that I might have needed to make. But he’s also never been my father.

My Pa, was from the first day he met me up until the day he died in November of last year, my father.

This is just a brief few words explaining what’s been going on in my head since before Pa died last year, but it will possibly help you to understand why I’m taking his name as part of mine.

If all goes according to plan my name will change to honor Pa before October 1, 2009.

I’ll keep you posted and thank you for your understanding.

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