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Finding Ragtime

“It’s the water,” I explained. “It draws me.” When a child is born in a port city, the sounds and smells of the ocean environment permeate the existence of the tiny human, perhaps even before birth itself. The sound of waves lapping the shoreline pushing the mix of salt, iodine, and magnesium into the ever-lifting oceanic air become a staple of existence, branding the consciousness with a marker it can never escape. And like juvenile salmon, once marked, the voyage into the world will have a nagging gravity drawing the fry back to its origin, back to its beginning. At least that’s how it was for me. After being born in Port Angeles mere blocks from the Straight of Juan de Fuca, I spent my first six weeks breathing the marine air of Port Angeles, Washington while being cared for by a kind nurse who acted as a foster parent.  My parents decided they weren’t ready to be parents again.  They were probably right. My mother was 17 and had already relinquished a child for adoption, so when my
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Lost No Longer

--> It’s a mystery even to me why I was so driven to find her.   As an adoptee, even I presumed my first inclination and desire would be to meet my birth mother, the very one who gave me life, who chose to carry me to term, who chose to give me up believing my life would be better in a stable environment.   And it’s true, I did want to meet her, desperately at times, and for some reason it was more important to me to meet my mother than my father.   But when I learned this woman, my mother, who either selfishly or selflessly had already chosen to go to term and give up another child a year before me, my drive to find them became duplicated.   Especially my sister.   I imagined what it was like to be her since in a sense I was already just like her, believing I had been the first born to my teenaged mother, not sure if she even survived the birth or her resulting adolescence, or adulthood.    My sister would be only a year older than me and less likely to have passed o

Found

My family tree has an invisible asterisks after the title itself, set there in an attempt to be honest of my faint origins while maintaining the dignity of respect for my adopted family.  I love my family, along with it's regular amount of drama and unsettling factoids.  The complications of explaining the family org chart is already un-simple, complete with half siblings, step parents, missing links and whatnot.  Toss in the adoption fact and watch your audience dwindle quickly while the faithful few try to un-spin their heads.  The entertainment value is certainly there, but usually the conversation simply concludes with the all-too familiar phrase.   "That's crazy!!!" To keep things straight, I wound up creating two family trees: one for my adopted family and another for my birth family.  As of last week, I still had no specific information about my mother other than her full name.  It was as if she had disappeared when she went to Oregon with my father, ne