Monday, 28 March 2011

My memories of being adopted

Image by video4net
We chat to Zoe, who gives a frank account of her experience of adoption.

My adoptive mum is my hero. A legend that has supported me through good times and bad. When I was younger I went through a stage of not wanting to leave the house in case she left or died. I had to constantly phone her to make sure she was still there. It was a really difficult time but she never gave up on me.

Yet however much my parents loved me it never felt enough. I still felt empty, like there was something missing. I just couldn’t understand why my birth mother gave me up.

Then in November 2002 I met a researcher at an adoption meeting in our local library and we talked about tracing my birth family. Incredibly, by Christmas he had found every person in my family.

Writing a letter to my birth mum was hard. I rewrote it so many times before sending it. Within two days I had received a package back. She had filled it with photos, chocolates, socks and potpourri, which flew out everywhere when I opened it. I studied all the things intently – it was like I had always known them, yet I hadn’t at all.

The photos were amazing - finally I could understand where I got my looks from.  In one of the photos I noticed a young girl. When I looked on the back of the photo it said ‘Lucy’. She was my younger sister. I had always prayed for a little sister so this was like all my prayers and dreams had come true. In fact they had been true all along, I just hadn’t known it.

Since that first letter I have had a journey of ups and downs with my birth family, but what family hasn’t. We’ve had to do a lot of catching up and learning to do. We’ve learnt not to take offence when learning the truth and we’ve learnt not to place expectations on each other.  I have also learnt a lot about what it means to love, and not give up on relationships, as well as the importance of honesty.

I am grateful for the opportunity of being able to meet my birth family and have them as part of my life.

For more personal accounts of adoption, check out the 'Our Story' collection in BAAF's bookshop.

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