Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Adoption - The Missing Years

That's my sister and I in the orphanage in Southam, run by nuns.

I don't know when the picture was taken, or who the two ladies are. One I think is called Doreen. A worker in the orphanage.
This month is Adoption Awareness Month. So I've been finding various articles and posts about adoption popping up on my different social media accounts.

This invariably leads to thoughts of my own adoption. I was one of the lucky ones. No blonde hair or blue eyes and over the age of four, but I managed to be adopted. I say it was because I had a smaller , cuter sister and luckily we were kept together.

There is no doubt I had a better life than had I not been adopted, I do however have many hidden scars and emotional issues that I am trying my hardest not to pass on to #BabyPink and the boys.

As I lie here though watching #BabyPink sleep, and marvelling at just how much she has come along in those 9 months since she arrived into the world in an explosion of pink and frills and bows. I can't help but have a tinge of regret.

We're not talking about the What If game many adopted children play. We were told all along who our parents were. What happened for us to end up in the orphanage. I'm talking about the missing years. I've only a few memories from my early years and those few are the orphanage.

Thanks to my sister doing her finest Sherlock Holmes or should that be Miss Marple impression. I've met my real mother. In this day and age I should probably say birth mother, but that's one of my many issues. I always, when talking or thinking about her say she is my real mother and I have my adoptive mother. She has since passed away, due to my issues I only ever asked one question about my early years, and that was why she had a different surname on my birth certificate.
There were a million questions I could have, no should have asked. Not least why she left us behind. That chance has gone now.

I've a number of Aunts and Uncles and cousins, most of whom were unaware my sister and I existed. Which means that I have no one I can ask what I was like as a baby. Was I quiet? Was I a happy child? Did I walk early? Was I mischievous like #BabyPink? Was I a poor sleeper like buddy? Did I want to explore like my daughter or was I happy sitting playing with toys as my son was?

I've no idea and no one to ask. My mother kept us secret from everyone, the Nuns have all passed away or are too old to remember. The orphanage has been gone for years.

Perhaps that's why I take such an active interest in my kids as they are growing. Taking hundreds of pictures and maybe that's why I started this blog. When I'm a grandad and the grandkids sit on my knee and ask what their Mammy or Daddy was like as a child I've a thousand stories and photos for them.

For me they are the missing years and I'll never know.


  1. I have no experience of adoption myself, but thank you for sharing yours. I'm so glad you at least have your sister, your one link to the past (even if neither of you can remember what you were like back then). I hope you find peace enough to one day accept there are things you will never know.

  2. Thanks for the kind comment.

    It didn't bother me as much growing up, but now I've kids of my own I do spend more time wondering where some of their personality traits come from.