Today I received THE bestest news!!!
I have been involved with an adoption support group, for adoptee and birth/first mums, here in Canberra for the last two and a half years.
When I went along for my first meeting, a lovely lady in her 80's was also joining in for the first time. Let's call her 'Mary'. (all names have been changed..................you know the drill..................)
She looked rather dazed, but was so very sweet, and she introduced herself to the group with the words:
"Hi, my name is Mary, and I think I'm one of those 'birth mother' people, and this is all quite overwhelming and new to me!"
You see, Mary had just come back from a trip overseas to the US to see her son, his wife and her new grand-son, and on the flight home she suffered from a severe panic attack - which later was attributed to the loss of losing her first child, a son, to adoption, when she was only 19.
Back then, in the UK, she was young; she was unmarried; she was pregnant.
She was told by her family, her church, by her teachers at her nursing school - by everyone - that she couldn't possibly raise this child on her own - so when the time came - she labored for hours, alone, in an out-of-the-way room, and later when she at last gave birth, only a single nurse was there to 'help' her (I use that word rather lightly) - then her child was whisked away to another room.
A couple of weeks later she signed the adoption papers. Mary then went on to finish her nursing studies, and eventually moved far far away to Australia - and to another life.
She married, had another son, and told no one of the events which took place all those years ago.
Fast forward to recent times - and having to say goodbye to her son and newly born grandchild in the US set off emotions and feelings of such loss, that she really didn't know what was wrong.
Panic set in - and on returning to Australia - a very kind doctor finally managed to talk through things with Mary, and find out what previous event in Mary's life lay at the root of this shocking breakdown.
Since that time, Mary joined our support group; found that she certainly wasn't alone in her loss and with her feelings; and she slowly went through the process of searching for her lost son.
Thankfully, within this time, UK laws changed for mother's to gain access to their records etc - but it is an extremely long and drawn out process - especially when Mary was living so far away from the UK - she had to fill out endless amounts of paperwork - and even had to see a UK approved psychologist 3 times, to completely talk through exactly the events when she was 19 years of age - and answer to why she now wanted to find her child. (yeah - this part made me so very angry - but that's for another day........) Poor Mary had to literally jump through hoops to find her lost son - but she slowly and quietly went through the process hoping that she would find her son a) still alive and b) hoping to also have the possibility of reuniting with him after so many many years.
Time dragged on, and every time I saw her, she would say in her very quiet voice, "No - still no word" - as the wait dragged on.
Today - I received a phone call from the convener of our group.
Mary's son has at last been found.
Mary's letters have been passed on through the local department and her son has asked for Mary's email address so that he could have direct contact with his lost mum.
Today I am so very very happy for my dear friend Mary, and for her son.
Today another mother and child are finally linked back to each other.
It shouldn't have to be this hard for them to find each other.
But today I am so very very happy.