I am not sure who this little girl is (Part 1)

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    My name is Kerri, but when I look at these photos I am not sure who this little girl is. Two photos, representing two parts of my lost childhood that would take me over 50 years to piece together.

    I was born in 1962. My mother was a 35 year old widow with 4 boys to raise she was forced to give me up due to threats of having her other children removed. I was told from a very early age that my mother was 16, tried to abort me and died giving birth to me. I was 22 years old when I found this all to be a lie, an attempt by my adoptive mother to stop me from ever knowing the truth of my real mother and family.

    At 18, I married a long time boy friend and on that day I was given my adoption papers. To this day I will never understand why my adoptive mother gave them to me. A few months later I began my search for my mother, I believed I was searching for a dead person only to end in a shock, she was alive and well.

    It took me a bit of time getting used to the idea and when I tried to talk to my adoptive mother she told me to get out of the house not to come back, that she does not love me and that I am not her daughter, this was punishment for looking for my mother who I thought was dead.

    Back then (1980's) there was no one to talk to about adoption, no proper counselling etc so I just put one foot in front of the other and got on with it. In 1984 after 2 years of writing I finally met my mother in person. I was 23 years old. I was really scared to stuff is all up and be told to go away and don't come back. She was so little, so old and not the person I imagined her to be.

    One of the hardest things I found coping with was being told to hide in the bedroom when people came to the door. This was a real wake up call - my mother was never going to fully accept me. I was only allowed to meet my brothers, their wives and young children. All mention of me outside of this circle was off limits. I did not know it then but it was only time before ticking time-bomb of triggers, grief, anger, hurt, pain and trauma would eventually explode.


    Asking about my father was one of them and sadly back then due to the lack of understanding of adoption issues, no help with counselling, many like myself have carried some of the heaviest burdens and cried the most lonely of tears.