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Category Archives: Adoption Journey

Everything pertaining to my search for my biological family and my life with my adoptive family will be found under this title. I will try and seperate the adoptives from the biologicals because it gets very confusing. Other opinions and life lessons related to adoption learnt may also appear.

Fear, the unexpected Party Pooper

Finding The Pieces

Finding The Pieces

I have spent a lifetime looking for my mother.

In December last year I was finally able to make contact.

This blog started off documenting my adoption journey, so one would naturally assume that once I had found and contacted my mother that I should have shouted it from the rooftops, but I didn’t – couldn’t actually.

It went well, very well. My uncle told her that I had been found. Her reaction was everything a lost kid dreams of. She cried, she laughed, she was excited.

I on the other hand, was plain terrified.

My daughters and I sent letters, cards and a pressie. Our birthdays are in the same month so Mum reciprocated with cards for my birthday and my eldest daughters.

I promised to send more pics – I didn’t.

I decided to suprise her with a phone call, which was fantastic, and promised to write again – but I didn’t.

My mother broke the mold on everything I expected. She has a mental illness and I was told not to expect too positive a reaction. They were so wrong. Her card said everything I needed to hear. She was gentle and kind and totally mentally alert. It shocked me to my core.

It’s sad that the thing I have longed for all my life has scared me so completely that I am unable to enjoy it. I know she is waiting for me to write, as I waited for my father. Not writing is frankly cruel after all we’ve been through. I know how much the waiting hurts, but somehow I’m stuck.

I don’t know what to say or how. I am seldom speechless, but this unexpected grace has taken me so by suprise I have been rendered useless.

What has been given back to me is an enormous miracle, and certainly considering how many ‘impossible’ events took place for it to come into being – and yet here I sit – frozen.

I’m trying to understand what’s happening in my head, but it’s all mushy and twisted. I think it’s time to throw logic and order to the wind and follow my heart in all of this, after all that’s what kept me going all these years.

There was zero logic in the way things came together.

Zero order in the avalanche of love and care I received from people who were blood, but still strangers.

But there was heart – always heart.

My adoptive father used to say that heart was my main defining character. It dictated all the colours of all my passions and was fearless in it’s pursuit of truth and love.

I seem to have forgotten myself.

Perhaps it’s time to go back, so that I can finally go forwards again…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
23 Comments

Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Adoption Journey

 

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I’m from Where?

I'm from where.....?

I’m from where…..?

Today after many months of waiting for my unabridged birth certificate I finally received the sms to tell me it was ready.

The walk that takes 15 minutes felt like 15 hours, because somehow I knew.

I had taken a chance applying for it and putting my natural parents details on it. I had never been registered by my adoptive family, so it was worth at least trying. I didn’t really think it would work – and it didn’t.

I hadn’t lied, I had been honest all the way through this process. I had explained my adoption, showed them all the paperwork and told them that I had found my family and wanted to have my biological parents on the birth certificate.

It was not to be.

The brain is a funny machine. Knowing what would probably happen, I should have been prepared, but I wasn’t, I was gutted. Seeing the adoptive parents listed as my natural mother and father just about did my head in.

On the way there a crazy guy covered in blood accosted me begging for money. I was NOT in the mood and growled at him to back off.

He shouted furiously: ‘ You haven’t even looked at me, how would you like it if nobody looked at you!’

If one believes in Universal signs, that would be a clear indication that I was not going to be heard and my request would be denied.

Of course now the confusion has deepened further because the paperwork says my ‘natural’ mother was born in Holland…

So I’m Dutch now?

 
23 Comments

Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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‘The Letter be Writ!’

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Reaching for Heaven

It’s done! My first ever letter to my Mother!

My handwriting is positively revolting so I opted to type my first letter. I know that writing by hand is far more personal, and heaven knows this letter is, but I didn’t want my mother to struggle to read the very first thing I write.

I have procrastinated for days, agonising over what to say and tonight I sat quietly and wrote without the slightest strain.

I like to think that The Universe had a hand in tranquilising me long enough to complete it.

I kept it light and silly and loving and gentle. I was my infinite self through every word.

And was it a good letter?

Who knows? But it was my voice in type, so I guess it was good enough!

Now to find a stamp…..

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Here I am……

here I am - where are you?

here I am – where are you?

This past Friday my mother was finally told that I had been found.

Apart from giving birth this is certainly the most momentous occasion in my life to date. I don’t say this to negate the importance of the rest of my family, but just to emphasize that contact with a woman I have craved for the better part of 44 years quite frankly takes the cake!

When my sister and I found each other, she told me that our mother is mentally ill. The news was utterly devastating. My first reaction was selfish, of course. After a lifetime of waiting, I had finally found her, only to discover that she probably wouldn’t care.

After a while and many tears, I began to realise the suffering that she would have been forced to endure (being undiagnosed for many years), and the pain just cranked up further.

My Uncle Guitar Strings was the one that volunteered to go into the lions den and tell her the news.

Her reaction was immediate AND positive.

I didn’t expect that! I had just got used to the idea that she wouldn’t really be involved in my life and now I hear that she is waiting on tenterhooks for me to contact her!

I find myself feeling somewhat discombobulated. My mind had finally settled on a version of reality that seemed palatable, and now I find I have to throw everything out and dare to believe a newer and better version.

The picture of myself that I have used for this post is the clearest representation of how I’m feeling right now.

I am afraid and feeling lost.

Can I truly hope to dare that I might actually have a mother who loves me, albeit in between bouts of illness?

Do I really have the courage to open a heart that is so bruised and wary.

It was easier when I though she wouldn’t care, because then I didn’t have to.

As I’m writing this I am looking at my eldest daughter typing away on her laptop and bothering me for all sorts of arb stuff while I’m busy dealing with mind numbing heartache. It makes me smile.

It’s life: family, living and loving. We all come together, bounce off, come back – it’s normal. My mother just has to be given the leisure to do the same in my life. I’ve always wanted her in my world, but until the fear hit I didn’t know I had to allow it too! I didn’t realise that I would actively have to choose, I thought I had.

She keeps taking me by surprise. I tend to do that to people too. 

Now if I can only figure out what to write in my first letter…..

 

 

 

 

 
17 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Yep! There are Two of Me……….

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I have been attempting to find myself – literally!

I applied for an unabridged birth certificate a few months ago and after numerous phone calls between myself and home affairs it was discovered that I was never registered under my ‘after adoption name’ and they suggested I fill in a late registration form.

Are you kidding me!!!!

I’d rather sell my soul to Jabba The Hut before I’d purposefully enter forms that would further alienate me from my heritage.

So it was back to the drawing board. I had attempted to get information on my adoption from the government agency for probably the better part of 15 years….phoned, faxed, emailed – nothing. (The home I was adopted from had closed and all the paperwork had been sent to Pretoria). I Never heard back from a live person, not once. But as the Universe is an often unpredictable beast, I decided to try one more time. I picked up the phone and got through immediately. The following morning I had emailed my request for my adoption file and the day after that, before 8am, my adoption file was in my inbox.

I had to tell the angels to shut the hell up as their laughter and glee were ruining my morning oaties!

Now I knew most of what was in the file, but seeing it in black and white was still very distressing. There were funny parts, i.e. a finally had a birth certificate, but it was for the ‘other me’, the one before adoption. It was sad, I saw my mother’s handwriting in her signature for the first time, and it was shocking, very shocking – I discovered that my biological father had known about me!

It said that he had been contacted and refused to help. And there, in black and white, could most likely have been the reason for my adoption. From what I could see, my mother had kept me for about a month or 2 before I went into foster care. She would have been unemployed and virtually destitute. There was no way she could have managed without help.

Now I spoke to his son, my step brother and he was convinced that had his father known he would have taken care of his responsibility. When I finally found and met my father all those years ago he certainly expressed the same sentiment. BUT –  after I met him I waited for 2 and a half years for him to call. He never did, and then he died and it was too late.

So what is the truth? Well I may never get the answers I’m looking for, which rankles. Being a seeker of truth has always been part of my intrinsic nature. As hard as it is, I understand that I have to concentrate on creating new truths now that I have found, met and fallen in love with my new/old family.

But between you, me and the dandelions, I must say that I am heartsore, truly.

I am going to honour myself by no longer making excuses for a father who even without the contents of this file has already hurt me so badly. I am no longer going to forget how I refused to go out on my birthday or Christmas for 2 years after I found him in case he called. I am not going to pretend that he died before he had the time to form a relationship with me.

I’m going to allow myself the fullness of my rage and despair and vent until I’ve burnt off the worst of it. I don’t do well with long-term hate, so I know that forgiveness will slide through when I’m done.

The one good thing is that since I’m actually officially two people, I get to be pissed off twice as much.

Works for me……

and works for me too……..

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Oh Dear, I Don’t Seem to Exist!

The Ghosts of Africa

The Ghosts of Africa

I recently applied for an unabridged copy of my birth certificate in the unlikely event that I would one day find a way to have my Scottish heritage restored to me and mine.

After 6 months of waiting and calling to see when it would be ready I was sent an sms from the department of Home affairs to tell me that I had to come in and complete the Late Registration forms…… ummm, say what?

Years back when I applied for an ID book I also had to wait months until they eventually contacted me and said I didn’t exist but they were going to issue me an ID Number so that I could get my book….. excuse me, is that even legal ????

So this is what I think I know about myself:

I was given up for adoption by my Scottish mother, but the only consent paper I’ve seen was not signed by her…

I was adopted by a family that doesn’t seem to have registered me …

I am not 44 because I only began existing a few years ago when I was issued an ID number that probably belongs to someone else’s dead chihuahua….

I am almost South African and almost Scottish…..

Sweden is nice at this time of year isn’t it, maybe I’ll call them and ask if they have a spare identity lying around…..

I’d probably get it in the post with a nice sticker book…..and a bottle of peroxide for my chestnut curls…

Can I cry now………..please?

 
11 Comments

Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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Could You Repeat That Please……..

My daughter does not have ADD or ADHD.…say what…?

This morning I went off to meet the psychologist for the feedback session on my daughter’s assessment.

For those of you who didn’t read the looong saga that went before – Her teacher and principal said she was ‘out of control’ and showing signs of ADD and started on about putting her on Ritalin. I refused – point blank, repeatedly.

They insisted on an assessment which I couldn’t afford and because they were ‘desperate’ they decided to foot the bill in an effort to get a professional on their side.

This chap has an office at the school which he uses part time. The first words out of his mouth were that he was an independent practitioner and although he works from the school he pays rent and is not beholden to their opinion in any way.

Things were looking up.

The assessment was fascinating. It’s quite a long and involved process of play therapy, story telling and writing, questions and IQ testing. I was also asked before the assessment to complete about a 10 page form with details from birth till now.

The short version of what we discovered was that she was very bright in all areas with the exception of story problems where she bombed completely, which frankly explained her attitude of rebellion when faced with maths work – she just didn’t understand.

The stories she wrote were incredible. We had both experienced trauma with the death of my father who died of cancer and the ‘Attack of the Hobbit’ and a variety of lesser upheavals. It all came out in her writing. I had no idea that she had experienced any of it so deeply.

Kids translate so differently to us and because I didn’t see the stress I assumed she was OK.

I was horribly wrong. The same themes were reproduced in all her stories over and over again. It was a real shocker. The theme of her mis-behaviour tied up perfectly with the trauma she had felt. Despite that, her stories also showed her own belief in her ability to handle difficulty, which was very interesting and encouraging to see in such a little person.

The end result is that I have agreed to send her for play therapy to allow her to work through the things that have knocked her off-course. My daughter took to ‘Psycho Bob’ immediately so he will continue working with her, not only to help her to resolve emotional issues but also to identify the areas where she needs extra assistance at school.

After chatting to him I have also discovered areas where I need to ‘ up my game’ so to speak. We identified areas where I need to connect more, we chatted about how I could help her get more organised. He explained that despite the fact that I was exhausted half the time, I still needed to ensure that she had one-on-one time every day, even if only for 15 minutes. In his words ’15 minutes giving her all the love and cuddles she needs sure beats hours of fighting and conflict because she’s looking for it.’

Good point that……

As to the school – they must be spitting nails by now!

No quick fix, no short route to salvation, just good old fashioned patience and understanding…and to think they paid for this advice – Bummer!

Added to that it’s not little o’l me alone against the system anymore. If they treat her badly my daughter now has an adult she can tell, an adult who is a position to hold them accountable.

So one journey ends, and another begins…

‘Psycho Bob’ reckons that from what he can see she’ll prob only need about 2 months of counselling – with my co-operation of course, to say nothing of her school’s…..

When all is said and done my daughter will be able to off-load the ‘junk in her trunk’ and I have no doubt she’ll be a lot less demanding once she does. But that said, she isn’t called ‘The Diva’ for nothing…

My babes personality will always be a vibrant palette made up of artistic, creative, independent, determined, and emotional hues…and truly those are all the things I love best about her.

They’re also the things the school hates the most…..

Sucks for them doesn’t it!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 19, 2013 in Adoption Journey

 

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