Being separated from Stephen affected every single aspect of my life.

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My son Stephen was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, when I was a student at Edinburgh University in 1970. I was in such a fog after he was born and it took me many years to come out of it. He was always in my mind and I wondered for many years how the adoption had happened.

Looking back, it seems as if I went through the whole experience, from conception to birth, in a kind of a daze. It was as if I was not quite living my life but letting life happen around me. I always knew that I wanted to see him again and I did everything I could think of to make that happen. I just wanted the opportunity to tell him that I had loved him and missed him his whole life - even if that was all I got to say to him.

It was such a relief to find him and to realise that he was willing to listen to me and try to understand. Being separated from Stephen has affected every single aspect of my life. Because it has had such a huge impact on how I feel about myself, it has affected every relationship in my life, including my relationships with family members.

One of the best things I ever did was find other mothers. It is such a relief to be among them and sometimes it feels like the only place I can feel truly understood and accepted without any need to try to explain. The depth of my adoption separation experience and the fact that I have survived it has meant that I have been able to weather all the other troubles in my life and not been defeated.

Editor's note: Some contributors to this project experienced forced adoption outside of Australia where policies differed from those of this country. Their experiences, while different, have had a huge impact on their lives, and so their stories have been included in this collection

 

I would never have chosen to have had this tremendous loss experience, if I could have avoided it, but it is now a part of me and has given me empathy with others and fortitude to face challenges in life and not go under.