Recognition

Posted by on Jan 27, 2018 | One Comment

Ambrotype by Margaret Muza

At age six, David told his two best friends that he was adopted. He revealed this news with great pride and no idea that anyone would ever react negatively to such a fundamental truth of his life. He’d been adopted at seven days old by a loving couple who’d assured him that he was deeply wanted and always meant to be part of their family.  But that day those two little boys, just six themselves, responded in a way that veered David down a confusing path.

He says this experience slowed down his authenticity and personal development. He no longer implicitly trusted other people, including his adopted parents or himself. How could he have been so wrong about something he’d been so sure of, so grounded in? For the rest of his youth and into adulthood, he no longer trusted even the goodness of his own story.

David told me early in our conversation that he doesn’t do small talk well.

He’s been through too much to waste time with chatter. His words continually arc back to story, to how his past, his pain and the refinement those things have worked in his life “can benefit myself and mankind.”

He’s sifted through his own story and written a book that will be released on February 15, entitled Parallel Universes: The Story of Rebirth (which will be available at bookstores as well as www.DavidBBohl.com), and he found a sort of healing in writing his story after experiencing adoption, alcoholism, and recovery.  For David, healing wasn’t an easy erasure of hurt but striding toward a new way of living that left room for pain while refusing to be controlled by it.

David doesn’t try, in life or in his book, to mask the complicated nature of life as we all experience it, or to wrap everything up with a tidy bow. He tells me instead that he resolves to, “with fortitude, take all the information I have and use it to build strength going forward.”

About three years ago, when David finally learned the name of his birth mother, he learned that she’d already passed. But he also found that he had siblings he’d never even thought to imagine.

After he found out he had a half-sister in Las Vegas, David flew there within the week. Seeing her for the first time, he felt a thrill of physical recognition he’d never known—there, in another person, were bits of his own face.

Both elated and terrified, David and his sister walked and talked, arm in arm, through Red Rocks Canyon. Their spouses trailed behind them, allowing David space to experience the first biological connection he’d ever had.

Telling me about that first walk with his sister, he said, “What we’re talking about here, so powerfully, is unconditional love.”

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