Back from the dead

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My mother was a very young country girl. When it was discovered that she was pregnant she was sent by her parents to Bethesda Home for Unmarried Mothers, an institution run by the Sydney Rescue Work Society. By all accounts the staff at the Home which catered for around 16 girls at a time was not a severe as some of the other homes.
When it became time to deliver it was a short walk across the road to South Sydney Womens Hospital where I was born. As I had inhaled some fluid into one lung I was rushed to the Childrens Hospital at Camperdown and took up residence in a humidicrib. My mother had not seen me and was told that I was not expected to survive.

Meanwhile my prospective adoptive parents were expecting my birth and were told the same version of events and that there was a high possibility of brain damage. I was in hospital for around six weeks before my adoptive parents were able to take me home.

My mother was told by a nurse at the hospital that I had not survived. If she had been told the truth it is likely that she would have tried to retrieve me and my life would have been substantially different. As it was she returned home in disgrace and in time and after much heartache married and had two other children.

My upbringing can only be described as positive. However there is always that missing “first bit “ of the story.
Birth/ ancestry and all that kind of basic stuff.

When my adoptive mother had passed away I decided to investigate my origins. Following the typical unbearable wait I received my identifying information. Next a marriage search which I received the results on a Saturday morning just before going for a 10k bush walk. Something to think about on the walk. Within a couple of hours of returning I had found my mothers current address and phone number and in due course wrote a letter.

My mother was not surprisingly somewhat shocked to receive a letter from her baby who had died more than 50 years previously. I can’t say much more publicly as I am still very much a secret to my siblings and other extended family. Hopefully that will in time be addressed.

After a number of months I received a phone call from the Adoption Information Unit telling me that my mother had another child who was also adopted. Not much work done that day I’m afraid. In due course I tracked this person down but as yet are not in a position to contact them. Again more secrets.

So what to do while I wait to “come out” to my immediate family. Family history has been rather helpful and I have contact with numerous close and distant cousins but again they can’t be told exactly where I fit in. Autosomal DNA testing and matching has identified a few more cousins and may in time allow me to work out who my father is. More secrets.


My mother was not surprisingly somewhat shocked to receive a letter from her baby who had died more than 50 years previously.