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Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Found



I've written on here before about adoption, about how it feels to be 'long lost' and searching, wondering about my origins and my family.  If you're into these kind of stories pop over here and have a read.

The story I never dared to dream that I'd be writing, was the one about how I went from lost to found in one evening.



I'd been in my new job two days, and at the end of a long day shift ( 7.30am to 7.30pm) Dave had picked me up, we'd gone food shopping, tried unsuccessfully to collect the train ticket he'd ordered for himself for the next day and managed to fit in a few cross words with each other.  We were unpacking the shopping, and boiling the kettle in the twilit kitchen when I decided to check my phone now that we were home and in range of WiFi.  It was in May, right around the time when GDPR emails were flying in and being deleted by one flick of my right thumb as quickly as they arrived. I was scrolling through a batch, feeling tired from the long day at my new job and in dire need of rehydration and food, and I very nearly deleted the email headed 'Adoption Contact Register, Possible Match'.

Thank heavens I didn't press delete. About 12 or 13 years ago, I registered myself on the government's' Adoption Contact Register, leaving details of my birth name, place, date, mother's name, and addresses and any known information.  Being on this register gave me the permission I felt I needed to release myself from the pressure of searching that adopted people so often feel.  As time presses on, this only gets more intense, but as searching can be so emotionally draining it creates a sense of impasse. I figured that I'd done as much searching as I could handle, and that I'd left a trail, and a door open to being found, and if it was meant to be, it would be.  And it was.

The first words to hit me on opening the email were 'birth mother...deceased'.

After that, the words 'I think this person could be my sister.'   Boom. Found.

There's a huge tangle of people, events, places.  People who are still secret, including me and my brother. Other siblings, one secret, one passed.  Answers that bring more questions than will ever be answered now that the only person who could has taken that knowledge to her grave.  There are people related to our mother, but I am a complete surprise to them.  They are unfailingly sweet about this, but it's tough.

And there's a small village in Tipperary, where my mother and her siblings grew up.  I always said that if I knew where to go in Ireland, I'd go. Six weeks later, we were on a plane to Dublin.

There's so much to this, and I'm feeling my way each day into this new situation, into being someone's sister.  Maybe one day I'll write some more about it, but for now I'm relishing the feeling of the weight of the burden of searching having rolled away, and the hope that I'll be reuniting with the one who changed me from lost to found, in one evening.


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