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Monday, 11 September 2017

Long Lost Families

Free stock photo of city, fashion, man, people    Whenever I find myself walking along a crowded street, particularly in London, where I was born, I can't help wondering if any of the people I'm walking past are related to me.  This is probably a common theme among adopted people, or those who don't know their dads for instance, or siblings.  I know there must be someone out there other than my children and grandchildren with whom I share DNA, but will we ever be introduced?

This usually bubbles closer to the surface of my brain when ITV's Long Lost Families comes back on TV.

I love how an enormous range of different people from all walks of life, with the huge variety in the details of their stories are all drawn together by a similar thread.  The simple but fathomless need to connect with people of their blood, to know that they were loved and wanted despite impossible circumstances.  Its the similarity of people's reactions across all the episodes in every series when they are told that their mother/child has been found, that really gets to me.  The way they sit with that new reality for a moment before asking the same questions, in the same order, as everybody else does, whether child, parent or sibling.

"You've really found her?" Disbelief, surprise, excitement, elation. An almost instantaneous change in facial tone, body aura. If you watch carefully, you can see that heavy lifetime's weight rolling away from burdened shoulders. Faces become finer, brighter, and eyes full of sorrow and pain actually truly smile again....incredibly this change is visible from those first moments onwards.

"Is she alright?" The joy and relief of a reply in the affirmative.

"Does she want to see me?" Genuine questioning and vulnerability in the eyes...will there will be a rejection? Again replaced by elation when its confirmed that she does.

Long Lost Families came into my life maybe 3 or 4 years ago.  Up until then, I had experienced my feelings internally, unconsciously, and in solitary.  Whatever happens to me in my journey through life as an adoptee, knowing that this universal similarity of experience exists is such a deep comfort to me.  Will I ever know the joy of finding, or being found?  Will that weight of unknowing and loss and disconnection ever roll away from my shoulders?  I don't know, and more than that, I can not live my life pinning all my hopes on the slim chance that it will.  I take comfort in the other joys my life has given me, and accept that perhaps that weight is my cross to bear.  Somewhere out there my dear mother bears her cross too. I remain open as ever to the possibilities and allow myself to feel more at ease, knowing that my feelings and reactions are normal, and shared by so many others.

And searching, finding and meeting...an energy in itself...conveys no guarantees that going forward, the person will remain in your life in the way of a lifetime's fantasies.  My life is a balance of longing and acceptance, of fantasy, and reality, and loving what is.


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