A Better Life Part 2

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The birth of my second daughter heavily underscored the undeniable longings I had to know my first child. A quarter of a century later and with fear and uncertainty influencing my actions, I ventured to the back of the cupboard and drew out the bundled dusty, sepia-toned memories that could never be denied, teased them out and examined them microscopically. It was gut-wrenching and painful and I came to doubt my readiness for a course of action that would challenge me and embarrass the family. Circumstances suggested that I was not ready and so I backed away from action until the time was right.

That time came a few years later when I felt stronger and more resolved to find my lost child. It wasn’t an easy process but was made easier by the change in the laws that permitted some contact, at least, some permission to tackle the first stage of reconciliation. Now the time was right. I wrote a letter to Jigsaw in New Zealand for information and received some helpful contacts and a brochure about the changes to the laws in 1985 around adoption. I followed this up with letters to Government Departments and got less than encouraging responses. This was not a process to be rushed.

About a year after I commenced my quest, I had a call from my mother who had received a letter from a young woman who inquired as to whether or not she could be her grandmother. Of course, this was the baby girl, Caren Lee, who was lost to me. I couldn’t believe my luck that she had put the pieces together and found my family. I was elated and scared; my joy knew no equal. I had to see her and tell her of the circumstances of her adoption and tell her I loved her and never wanted to give her away and that the future would be better and we could have a good relationship and that I would never let her down again in all my life and she now had found the family she had lost and…

 

We laid the foundations for our reunion by writing and phoning each other frequently over several months and answering each other’s questions candidly. At last, there was a huge relief for both of us that there was nothing to hide any more.