Becoming a mother taught me just what had been lost through adoption.

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Becoming a mother taught me just what had been lost through adoption. When I became a mum myself I realised the real, terrible price of adoption. Oh, I knew my mum had suffered we had been reunited when I was 18. It was plain that her whole life had been scarred by her choice (a devious, sly word, as if there was ever such a thing for a young, frightened girl who had no love, no support and no money). I was aware of her pain it was just too harrowing to admit how deep it ran for us both.

Yet all sorrows must come to the surface - when I sat nursing my newborn daughter, watching the pulse on her temple, noticing the flickering of her eyelids as she dreamt her milky baby dreams, I clearly saw what adoption had destroyed.

Instead of being a nursing mother with a contented baby as I now was, my mother had been a sorrowing, confused 18 year old with empty arms, who was then sent far, far away from family and friends to recover (another sly word - what was really meant was forget, pretend that I had never happened).

And instead of being held by my mother, I had vanished into a childrens home, to be picked up and fed only when necessary, to be changed and bathed with the minimum of physical contact, to be denied the most basic of human needs love.

After I was adopted, my parents tried so hard to soothe a wound that could never be healed. I refused to be picked up and comforted. I would lie, obediently and passively in my cot demanding and expecting nothing.


Already, I had learned to be alone, in this house full of kind, anxious strangers who wanted to love me but to whom I was an unsolvable mystery with an invisible, mum-shaped space in my heart.