When I was 17 I had managed to fall pregnant. I was adopted and knew nothing about my family as the records had been sealed. It was around about this time that I heard that adoption records could now be accessed. Not only did I want to gather information to help me to find my family, but I wanted to try and find out anything I could relating to my family history in preparation for my new baby.
I arrived sick with excitement, only to be met by a troll from hell, who was cold and greedy and thoroughly unhelpful. She wouldn’t allow me to see the file but instead picked a few non-pertinent things for me to write down. She continually stressed that the agency was closing down and transferring all the business to her and if I wanted to find my family she would help me, but I would have to pay for it.
I was broke, pregnant and still in my teens, but by God I was determined! Armed with the most basic of information, including a completely useless passport number from 1968 which was no longer applicable, I left the troll in her cave and began my search. It took 10 years to find my father, and another 26 or so to finally connect with my mums family.
I tried everything I could think of over the years to find my mum, all to no avail. I used google maps on her old address, wrote, phoned and generally hasseled every person of interest in my mother’s home town. I even managed to get hold of a young lady who had exactly the same name as my mum. She was fabulous. She worked as an insurance consultant and she would read out phone entries for me to try. I knew that mum had put Catholic on the adoption papers, so I began bugging the local priests – after all, once a Catholic, always a Catholic!
Nope, not this time- I still came up empty.
The interesting thing about the search was that I had discovered at the adoption agency that I had a sister and was at least given her name. I was also told that her dad was a soccer player. I came so close. I somehow managed to find her fathers soccer buddies but still could not connect to her. When I discovered her father had passed away I gave up on that route. By this time I was into my late twenties and knew that she was older and probably married with a new surname – it was hopeless. My final real attempt was to search the ancestry sites and bomb notices onto the internet notice boards.
Little did I know at the time, but that was first step on the golden path.