Please believe me when I tell you I’m special. not in an arrogant way either.
I was born into a loveless relationship, I have no idea who my father was and my birth mother wouldn’t speak of him. I was born in a mother and babies’ home in Wales, and Wales is where I stayed for most of my young life. I was given up at 6 weeks old. When I say given up, I’m assuming I was. I’m assuming she didn’t want to keep me. Probably not.
I never really asked her when I met her. Her mother knew, but not her father. He was something in the church, so I can imagine the shame of finding out his daughter was ‘in the family way ‘would have been terrible. So I couldn’t stay with her. Perhaps I do her some injustice, by saying she probably didn’t want to keep me. Sounds like she had no choice.
So I was given up for adoption. And this is how I know I am special. I was told by my mam that when I was 3 years of age, we all went out for a picnic together, my mam and my dad and myself. I can imagine the picture in my mind, she would have put my very best frilly dress on, crisp white sock, and lovely red patent leather shoes with a little silver buckle. So that I looked my best. She would have taken time over her appearance, her hair as curly as she could make it, and with a lovely summer dress on too, and a dab of her CHANEL No 5 behind her ear. The very best sandwiches, and I know there would have been a slab of fruit cake and a hot steaming flask of tea. My daddy would have had his favourite red and grey jumper on, and his crisp flannel trousers, hair slicked back, and that crooked smile on his face, that was – my daddy. Those long fingers and strong hands carrying the wicker picnic basket, and the checked blanket. We were probably on holiday somewhere.
She told me what when I was a little baby, all cosy and cuddly in my cot, together with rows and rows of other babies, they went to choose the baby they wanted to take home. And that baby was me. I was chosen out of lots of other little ones, and so I was very special. Apparently I was so very excited when she told that, and kept running round and round.
She kept reminding me of this story when I grew up so I never forgot it. That was their fairy tale, and mine. It may not have been highly accurate, I’m not sure how there would have been such an incredible choice, so many unwanted babies, just lying there for the picking. But I don’t care about the reality of it. I know that my dad was tall and handsome, my mam bubbly and vibrant. And I am a mix of the two of them. You wouldn’t know I wasn’t conceived from their union, I think there is a little bit of both of them in me.
So you see that I was made to feel special. At 3 I wouldn’t have known what it all meant. I wouldn’t have understood about the concept of adoption, to have been left by one mummy and then given another! But a 3 year old would understand the idea of being special, being wanted, loved and cherished. And that’s what it was for those two people who were unable to have their own children.
And that feeling of being special, having a life with two people who loved me very much has carried me through all my adult life. I’m so very grateful to those two people, who took me in and loved me unconditionally, and gave me an amazing start in life.
All I can say is – Thank you.